Essay / Avant-Garde

Cats Superbowl Party

Downstairs: A well-dressed reveler arrives, as previous guests doff exo-togs at a handy hat rack. Climbing a ladder to the second floor, partiers pile up on at least two chairs to watch the big game. I count at least a dozen there. Snacks are on

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Essay / Avant-Garde

Owl Land

C.S. Lewis once wrote a poem with the title Impenitence. What did he refuse to repent of? Man-like beasts. Anthropomorphic animals, especially the homey civilized ones from Beatrix Potter and Kenneth Grahame. Here are the first two stanzas of his poem: All the world’s wiseacres

Essay / Avant-Garde

Draco Haiku

Draco Haiku, by Freddy back when he was Freddy Age Ten: Cute Bearded dragon Or Pogona Various The best lizard pet This simple haiku floats on the page beside a drawing of its subject, Draco the bearded dragon. The drawing features a few long, powerful

Essay / Avant-Garde

Cat Walking Monster

The representational skills of the artist known as Phoebe Age Nine have undergone considerable development in recent years. Her early work was already masterful, but in earlier compositions, she tended to concentrate on a few simple shapes. The power of early works like 18 Cats

Essay / Avant-Garde

Okay, So You Got the Ring, Smarty-Eye

Phoebe Age Nine imagines Sauron, the Lidless and Unblinking Eye of Mordor, in his great lust for the One Ring. Here he is supported by worker Orcs: Cowering at the bottom, barely visible, is Gollum, pitifully protesting, “it is my prechus golem golem.” We can’t

Essay / Avant-Garde

Look Here, Martian Grubs

This is your planet. Not the one with the rocky islands floating on a sloshy sea, but the nice, solid, red one. Kltpzyzxm, you listen to me! Sit up at your learning stump and read aloud from your info-slab. How do you expect to make

Essay / Avant-Garde

Gollum Diagrams a Sentence

When your main line of dialogue is “my precious,” it’s not easy to diagram your sentences. But Gollum will try. And Freddy Age Eleven will take a break from his English homework to illustrate it. Crumpled papers litter the floor, with “papers about to be

Essay / Avant-Garde

Behold the Cat Card

The artist known as Phoebe Age Nine has been working on this piece for a while. Every few days her friends, fans, and gallery agent have been asking, “Is the Cat Card done yet?” The terse but unworried answer has been, “Not yet. There’s still

Essay / Avant-Garde

Supercat!

Supercat! Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound! Yes, Supercat! Saving kittens as crowds cheer! Super, duper, supercat!

Essay / Avant-Garde

Dragon Drawing Comes to Life

Freddy Age Eleven is a prolific artist who draws dragons daily. His studio is littered with them, a hoard of sketches big enough to make Smaug jealous. But for Halloween, he undertook a collaboration with Sanders Consulting, a company that specializes in taking sketches and

Essay / Avant-Garde

Decliration of DaddyLand

Here is a little glimpse of what an intense writing schedule apparently looks like to the fourth-grader who shares the home with the busy scholar. The thing on the (awesome retro-modernist) table is a small scroll containing the Decliration of DaddyLand. What Daddy has to

Essay / Avant-Garde

Line, Not Spine

The artist known as Phoebe Age Nine submits an anatomical study. Or does she? A skeletal study is a foundational beginner’s exercise in many life drawing courses, but an artist as original and accomplished as PA9 is not likely to publish a simple exercise in