New children's books celebrate unpaid jobs performed by moms and dads
Published Monday, March 25, 2019 4:17PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, March 25, 2019 4:24PM PDT
Holman Wang's previous books have taken children everywhere from the Star Wars universe to The Nutcracker's Land of Sweets, but his latest project hits a lot closer to home.
The Vancouver author and artist is releasing a new set of books this week designed to teach kids about how hard their moms and dads work around the house every day.
"I thought of this idea of naming all the unpaid jobs that parents do," Wang told CTV News. "For example, when mom's changing out the fridge art, she's a curator. And when dad is building a play fort, he's an architect."
For the books – titled "Great Job, Mom!" and "Great Job, Dad!" – Holman went back to the same needle-felt illustrations that made his Cozy Classics and Star Wars Epic Yarns series so popular.
The author, who works as a lawyer by day, spends dozens of hours on each character, painstakingly crafting felt figures out of loose wool.
"You just repeatedly stab that wool again and again and again, and you're entangling the wood fibers and that creates felt," he explained.
It's extremely labour intensive, but when Holman and his brother, who is also his frequent collaborator, were working on their first book, they knew they needed something to help them stand out.
"When we started thinking about illustrations, we just realized we couldn't compete with traditional, two-dimensional illustrators," he said.
In a loving tribute, the figures in his latest books are modeled after his own family – and their dog Henry even makes an appearance as a felt figure.
Though the job labels in "Great Job, Mom!" and "Great Job, Dad!" are supposed to be funny, Holman said he's hopeful kids will take away a newfound appreciation for the work that goes on around the house.
"Parents are pretty hard-working and do a lot of different jobs out of love for their kids, and kids should remember that," he said.