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Friday, August 5, 2011

Flippin' Out at the Library

I recently found this flip book sitting on the children's reference desk. I'm not exactly sure who made it, but I was told that it was most likely the handiwork of one of our teen "book buddy" volunteers (apparently, he/she was creating samples for an arts & crafts program). I was impressed by not only its artistic merit, but its message.

To me, the flip book shows a tale of struggle, despair, man's innate cruelty, and universal longings. But do we want our children learning these concepts in an arts & crafts class at the library? Should they be exposed to life's harsh realities with the help of cynical, gritty projects such as these? Or do we shelter them under a haze of innocent macaroni art until they are ready to be out in the world on their own?

I cannot answer these questions. You must decide for yourselves.

I hope we all learned something from this.


  1. At some point, one of my students did a flip book in the margins of a library book! It was pretty good, so I just left it as extra entertainment.

  2. I once took a book from my roommate - The Sorrows of Young Werther - because I was out of reading material. Before going to my room to read I asked, is it any good? He didn't remember.

    I finished it in one night and recall it fondly. Goethe's semi-autobiographical work reminded me of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet.

    But hidden in the margins of Werther was crude flip book depiction of a rocket rising, then ingloriously crashing.

    I still break it out at reunions.

  3. I believe this story is a cautionary tale about allowing material things to define one's happiness.

    The man with green hair is the embodiment of Fate, which affects our reality with perceived malice where none truly exists. Thus, he leaves with the same angry expression after completing his task.

    By destroying the balloon, the man has momentarily saddened the child. But the child will be happier, freed of the bonds of materialism. (After all, is the string on the balloon or is it on the child?)

  4. But if you flip it the other way, it's the heartwarming story of a guy moonwalking up to a little kid and reinflating his popped balloon with his MAGIC HANDS.

  5. I can only be reminded of the Oscar winning 1956 short film "The Red Balloon" by Albert Lamorisse and the protagonist's silent yearning for friendship and the simpleness that only childhood can bring. I would say that this representation of the classic story is more for the child in all of us and should stand as a reminder of such.

    However, I would much prefer if one were to use sound effects such as these, then Adam West's Batman should come in and beat that green-haired meany to a snotty pulp. Sequel?

  6. Having choice is so important. We all have a dark side but it's a choice in the moment which decides whether we go that route or take the higher road.

  7. Does the guy who popped the balloon represent Big Government?