The Pocket Scavenger from Keri Smith, the inspirational creator of “Wreck this Journal”.
Within the pages of The Pocket Scavenger, readers will be instructed to collect a spectrum of quirky items: something that is miniature, a stain that is green, something from the year you were born, a used envelope, and more. Then, once their quarry is in hand, they'll apply an alteration dictated solely by chance: create a funny character, conceal it, add polkadots, remove a section, add stripes, scribble on top, duplicate it (make a copy), fold, cut into pieces & rearrange, turn into an article of clothing, trace it/use the shape as basis for a new drawing, make it ‘pretty’, and so on.
It's funny, moving, silly and serious. The way you look at things will never be the same again.
"For me this book works on two levels. On one hand it's a great book for you and your kids to work with – either together – or it's cheap enough to give them all one copy each and go and scavenge competitively. On the other it's a great book for adults to take out – either on a boring trip – or for the shear fun of micro-exploring your environment.
This book will teach you observation, a skill that is very useful in life; and it will also teach you to look at the objects in a different way. The author suggests that once you have found the object, just the beginning of the process that you then randomly select an alteration process and record it in the book. This is where it moves from mere collecting to interacting with your environment and the found objects creatively. There's a whole art genre to do with found objects and seeing them in a different way as well as creative recycling. This book will help stretch the creative muscles in both directions.
When you have an whole book full of scavenges to do then the author has to be a lot more creative – or they will get repetitive. Fortunately Keri Smith has more than risen to this challenge and provided a very thoughtful selection of objects to find and process. Some of them are obvious and easy – some of them are obscure and tricky to locate, and unlike a puzzle in a book there are many right answers. For all them, make sure you read the instructions in the front of the book. That way you'll get most from it.
If I have a niggle, it's that the book is a paperback, we're told to stick things in the book. That would have worked much better if the book had been wire or ring bound. I know that costs more – but I would suggest to the publishers they might want to think about it. But in any case, still great fun!" S.D Spicer
Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She is the author of several bestselling books about creativity including How to be an Explorer of the World -the Portable Life/Art Museum,( 2008 Perigee), Wreck this Journal (2007 Perigee). Her newest book, This is Not a Book will be released fall 2009 by Penguin Books. She is the author of the popular weblog the Wish Jar which attracts over 10,000 readers daily, and writes on occasion for a variety of magazines (including How Magazine). Keri spends her days playing with her husband and son, and divides her time between upstate New York, and the countryside of Canada.