50-foot tall kittens that eat XBOX 360s. Robot pelicans. Santa going to jail. How could you NOT want to work on a project with such riveting subject matter???
After having volunteered with 826CHI for almost four years, it was an honor to be asked to design and layout their fourth volume of their Compendium series. For those of you who don’t know, 826CHI is one of eight branches of the non-profit 826National, which tutors local students and provides writing programs. One of the best parts of 826 is that it gives the students something to hold on to: their stories, published in an actual, honest-to-goodness, printed book. Kids love technology, but they still respect what having something in a book means – their words matter, and they should keep writing.
The Compendium gathers the favorite and best stories from the previous two years – which takes a huge effort on the part of volunteers and staff members – and is published as a professionally designed and printed book. This year, 826CHI partnered with Big Shoulders Books and DePaul University, giving grad school students a chance to help plan and edit a book. This volume of the Compendium took on the form of an atlas, allowing for adults to shed their realistic views of the world from the cover, and enter into the magical world of the students, exploring all it had to offer in no particular order at all.
Big thanks to Marnie Galloway, of Monkey-Rope Press; your illustrations made this book come to life with the imagination of the students. From the gate fold to the breaker pages, from a grandma dinosaur to talking jellybeans, your skills made it an honor to collaborate with you! (Get to know a bit more about Marnie through her Mini Mighty Monday feature!)