Skip to main content

MUD BOOK: How to Make Pies and Cakes by John Cage & Lois Long

MUD BOOK: How to Make Pies and Cakes by composer John Cage and textile designer Lois Long is a completely enchanting little book, even more so when you learn the history of it. With a 5x5 trim size, gorgeously thick, creamy pages and a sturdy cloth binding, this beautifully crafted book is definitely for book lovers. But, it really, truly is a book for kids with a step-by-step, detailed recipe for making a mud, pebble and dandelion decorated birthday cake.

This version of MUD BOOK: How to Make Pies and Cakes, magnificently rendered by Princeton Architectural Press, is the second printing. In the mid-1950s, Cage and Long, "created the original Mud Book on a kitchen table with mud, newspaper and dandelion blossoms." Then, they put it aside, rediscovering it in the 1980s. In 1983, Long and Cage printed a limited edition of 500 copies. The handmade feel of the book comes through in this newest edition. The pages are hand lettered in pencil and inked over, their are mud spatters on the pages and erased pencil can be seen underneath ink and paint, making it all the more charming. Cage and Long end MUD BOOK: How to Make Pies and Cakes with these words of wisdom and humor, "Mud pies are to make and to look at and enjoy. Not to eat."

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…