ISBN 9781609808792 – Seven Stories Press – Random House USA 2019 Hardback 32 pp
SEYMOUR CHWAST is an American graphic designer known for his diverse body of work, and lasting influence on visual culture. Born in 1931, in New York City, Chwast was a founding partner with Milton Glaser of the celebrated Push Pin Studios, where he remains the director. His designs and illustrations have reinvented posters, record covers, ads, animated films, and logos, and have been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world including MoMA, Cooper Hewitt, and Smithsonian Design museums. He is the author of over thirty books for children including, most recently, The Pancake King (Princeton Architectural Press), four graphic novels, and several typefaces, and has twice been named by the New York Times as among the best illustrators of the year. Chwast is the recipient of the AIGA Medal. He lives in New York City with his wife, the artist Paula Scher.
A prescient and humorous tale of a boy’s futuristic life gone haywire with the interruption of … nature.
GO BACK TO YOUR CLASS, says the mini-machine.The brightly moving thing flutters into Arno’s hand. It feels warm. Attached to a foot is a label, reading- BIRD.Two hundred years in the future, Arno’s pre-programmed, machine-controlled day takes an unexpected turn when nature intercedes. Arno wakes each morning when his personalized “mini-machine” tells him it’s time. The mini-machine squawks at him all day- “Eat your Instant Mealtime,” “Wait for the school jet,” “Go to your electric tuba lesson,” “Do not step off the Power Path”….. But Arno’s curiosity and a little yellow bird lead Arno off his pre-programmed track. “Go Back to Your Class!” squawks the mini-machine with increasing alarm. Arno’s mischievousness will delight young readers. And Seymour Chwast’s illustrations, including his Seuss-like mechanical inventions, are both charmingly old-fashioned and presciently futuristic. A gentle corrective to our infatuation with electronics, Arno and the Mini-Machine is a sweet reminder of the joy of nature and following one’s own path.