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Monday, 7 November 2011

Penguin Threads

Penguin Threads is 'a series of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions inspired by the aesthetic of handmade crafts. The series debuts with ... specially commissioned embroidery by Jillian Tamaki.' If you're tired of my awful photography (viz. any blog post I've ever done) or you (say what!) want to hear it from Jillian herself, check out her blog posts about this project here and here and her project description here.

Now, allow me to begin gushing. These editions not only make me want to buy the books again and again, but they make me want to re-read these books, books I know like the back of my hand.

Front covers: you can't tell, but even the teeny tiny Penguin logo is hand-stitched!

French flaps!

Inside flap: Emma. Note that when you open the covers, you can see the back side of the embroidery

Inside flap: The Secret Garden

Back covers

Leaving aside for a moment the purely aesthetic pleasures of these editions, let's talk Austen and Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden and Emma are two books I adored as a kid. I had this reminiscing-about-it-now-it-seems-pretty-awkward phase of only reading Jane Austen for all of grade 5, and Emma sure was on the list. As for The Secret Garden (and its sorta antithesis but sorta companion, Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess), I can only guess at how many times I read and re-read the worn copy we had at my house.

Penultimately: there's a third book in the Penguin Threads series, but we haven't managed to snag it yet. So look out for Black Beauty by Anna Sewell as sewn by Jillian Tamaki to show up at the Librairie any day now.

And finally: thanks Paul Buckley, Penguin art director, for this selection of awesomeness. Any excuse to acquire some new Jillian Tamaki work is a great excuse.

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