Advent Calendars

A review of online advent calendars, for those who still enjoy the day-to-day door-opening treat that these things bring. Four days too late, but never mind...

Tate and the Calico Cat - a story in pictures.
Picture from the Dec 2000 storyStory, illustrations and flash animation by Penny Schenk. She has even got it translated into French, Italian, Dutch and Russian, with Swedish to follow. Always a delight, and very generous and warm hearted - the stories and the giving of the stories! It's the latest in a series that she started back in 1995, about the adventures of Tate the cat, set in France. You cannot peek ahead, so there's a genuine anticipation to see just how the story will evolve.
Tate and the Calico Cat

Electric December
If whimsy and tradition aren't your thing, there is still a possible advent calendar for you. This is rather different - a selection of short films made by young people across Europe. Actually, I can't view the films on my computer, but it looks very intriguing and well put together.
Electric December

St Michael and All Angels advent calendar
Based in Chiswick, London - 24 local artists have created artwork for charity. Each day reveals one of these, and if you want to you can bid for the art. A nice collaborative idea.
St Michael and All Angels advent calendar

Hubble space telescope
Beautiful photos of cosmic and stellar phenomenon.
Hubble space telescope

National Museums Liverpool
As you expect from a museum website, lots of vintage pictures and interesting information. It ties in with local events.
National Museums Liverpool

Activity Village website
Lots to read and do.
Activity Village

Three nice ones from previous years:
Next, here's a wonderful jamming session of illustrating talent, put together by PenelopeIllustration, who runs the weekly participation Illustration Friday. This is a project from 2004, with each day's bauble leading to a different illustrator's contribution. A great idea, and great fun.

This Medieval Advent Calendar is much more interesting. Each day you get a detail from a painting, and medieval Christmas stories, legends and images from the Middle Ages. A fascinating feast of art and information, you never know quite what to expect from day to day, but essentially you get to visit a diverse array of websites on Nativity and folklore themes.
Located at New York Carver.

Instead, how about this delightful wealth-of-information from the Woodlands Junior School in Kent. Each day, discover some fascinating facts about how Christmas is celebrated in countries around the World. The red flowers on the right are from a Pohutokawa, the New Zealand Christmas tree.



From Ranger magazine, May 1966


Puffin Post, year 3

It's been a long while since I posted anything Puffin Club related on the blog, but here's another four quarterly covers from the adorable Puffin Post, graphics by the wonderful New Zealand artist Jill McDonald. There is very scarce information about her work or the Puffin Club on the Internet, but since I last posted the club has actually been resurrected for a new generation - www.puffinpost.co.uk. Article on the launch from last September - TimesOnline.

As for us older members who remember the heyday of the club during Kaye Webb's editorship, if you would like to see more lovely covers and other illustrative ephemera, you must have a look at the Puffin Club Archive blog of Thin Puffin, who is posting a lot of great scanned images of all things Puffin Club.


The Urbania

from Ranger: the national boys' magazine, May 21 1966