Reading and thinking about Blexbolex's amazing book Ballad reminded me of another fantastic new form of story telling that recently came into my life. Magic and Fairy-Tale Dice is yet another fantastic, beautiful art-and-book-related product from Laurence King Publishing, a London based house that publishes books for students, professionals and the general consumer on advertising, art, fashion & textiles, animation, graphic design, interior design, photography and product design. In 2011 Laurence King Publishing launched a line of gift and children's books that reflects the design and production skills as well as the creative range of their line of technical art books. There are other story telling dice out there, but the Magic and Fairy-Tale Dice, illustrated by Hannah Waldron, are my favorite - and not just because of the subject matter!
Nine wooden dice have iconic representations of fairy-tale and magic tropes that, when combined, create an endless number of stories, or one never ending story. Images include a gnome, a castle, a cave, a child, a fairy, an explosion, a mask, the moon, a mouse, a pumpkin, a rainbow and a ring. There is also a top hat, a treasure and a troll. Magical items include a book of spell, a wand, a magic potion, poison and an hourglass. On the face of two of the dice is a red swirl that indicates Super Powers and the coolest die in the box is the red dice that deals out these Super Powers. You can add duplication, mind reading, supernatural strength, flying, an invisibility cape and time traveling to your story when you roll the red die. And, if you roll right, you might even get two Super Powers at once!
The Magic and Fairy-Tale Dice come with a booklet that names each image on the dice, just in case you aren't sure what to call it. The final page of the booklet gives you an idea for how to play with the dice, but really, once you open the box the ideas come flowing out. However, playing this way is a great place to start. Roll all the dice, leaving the Super Powers die aside for later, then "weave together your very own magical adventure tale involving the people places and objects that are shown on the dice." You can make the game more challenging by telling your story in the order that the dice are rolled or, as the booklet suggests, you can make it more challenging and funnier, by passing the story from one player to the next, sort of like Exquisite Corpse, the invented in the early 20th century by Surrealists in France, based on an old parlor game where one person writes lines to a story, folding and passing to the next player who adds to the story. In fact, there is a wonderful book, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure, spearheaded by Jon Scieszka, that has an AMAZING list of (mostly Newbery) award winning kid's book authors (Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Paterson, Susan Cooper, MT Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Lemony Snicket, Linda Sue Park, Shannon Hale, Jack Gantos) and illustrators contributing chapters sequentially. In fact, you can read and/or listen to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure by clicking HERE!
Source: Review Copy