For creative families, the Klutz Book Factory in northern California — with new branches in New York City and at several museums — is the place to go!
“Create Wonderful Things, Be Good, Have Fun” That’s the mission statement of publisher Klutz, who almost 25 years ago released their first ‘how-to’ book on juggling.
Those of us who have enjoyed their boardbooks with pockets ‘n’ stuff attached know how much creativity, goodness and fun go into each product.
Since 2002, the innovative how-to-in-a-book makers have been part of Scholastic Inc. which has helped them expand their outreach. At a press conference at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, in a Klutz-sponsored Book Factory next to the current exhibit of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” illustrations, we had a chance to meet founder and creative visionary John Cassidy.
In discussing the Klutz style, Cassidy said products are designed to teach kids in mysterious, playful and “mischievous” ways, adding, “Actually, our books are squeaky clean. We go as far as the fart and whoopee cushion, but that’s where we draw the line.”
For years, the Klutz Headquarters in northern California at 572 College Avenue, Palo Alto CA 94306 (650/493-2481) has been a magnet for school groups and local kids’ organizations interested in a factory tour. To meet demand, Klutz has expanded its award-winning book workshops beyond their Palo Alto backyard, making it possible for children to ‘build’ their own books at several locations.
Individual Klutz Build-a-Book events are held in schools throughout the country and Canada (in association with Scholastic). Frequent Book Factory workshops for teachers or parents with children are held at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan in New York (212/721-1234); the Children’s Discovery Museum of San JosÃ© (408/298-5437); the Magic House at the St. Louis Children’s Museum in Missouri (314/822-8900); and the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California (510/336-7300).
There is a permanent Klutz Book Factory in Manhattan, at The Scholastic Store (212/343-6166) at 557 Broadway, SoHo. The Scholastic Store (914/725-7201) at 450 Central Park Avenue, Scarsdale, New York also hosts a permanent Klutz Book Factory. These retail Book Factories are available for birthday parties, classroom field trips and drop-in studio hours.
At each learning workshop, cardboard, wire bindings, 3-D materials and other supplies are provided, so participants are able to bring home their wonderful things, or create, be good and have fun for others.
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