A Story of Patience & Fortitude #1: Lost in the Library – Josh Funk

Illustrations – Stevie Lewis

I first met Patience and Fortitude over thirty years ago when Venkman and Stanz passed them on their way to meet Egon and spend some quality time with the library ghost. I learned their names this week. I’ve wanted to live in the New York Public Library since my first Ghostbusters experience. Now that I’ve read this book I know that if I ever get to visit this wonderful place I will be imagining Patience and Fortitude’s adventures as well as keeping an eye out for my favourite spectral librarian.

One morning Fortitude wakes before dawn and discovers that Patience isn’t sitting on his plinth.

Concerned, Fortitude enters the library and searches for his friend. He asks for help from those he meets inside including the statue called Frolicsome Girl. Fortitude knows he needs to find Patience before dawn so they can return to their posts and greet the library’s visitors.

This is one of the best kid’s books I’ve read this year. The rhymes are lovely, the story is about friendship, the setting is a library, the illustrations are beautiful and the answer to the mystery of Patience’s location is bookish! I’ve read this book twice so far and I’ve smiled my way through it both times. My eyes may have gotten a little misty towards the end of my reread; it’s just such a beautiful story!

What I found especially interesting was the Get to Know the New York Public Library! page at the end of the book. I was able to learn about the different rooms Fortitude visited in his search for Patience, as well as the statues and paintings he spoke to. The dot points made the story really come alive for me and solidified this library’s place on my bucket list. My favourite fact was about Patience and Fortitude, which reads in part:

They have perched there since 1911 and were given their names in the 1930s by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in recognition of the qualities he felt New Yorkers would need to survive the Great Depression.

I have to buy this book and find a kid to read it to!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library.

That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library’s labyrinthine halls.

Building Amazing Creations – Sean Kenney

Even if you only have a passing interest in Lego, this is the book you need to see. If you adore Lego like I do, OH! MY! GOODNESS!

Sean Kenney and his team are some of the most creative and talented artists I have ever come across, and believe me when I tell you this book is full of art. These people have quite possibly the best jobs in the world. They get to design and build Lego people, animals and objects for a living. I don’t know what their application process is but please, sign me up!

This is the type of book I’d usually borrow from the library, ooh and aah while I paged through the incredible photography, choose a few favourites and then return officially unread. But not this book! Sean writes a little about each of the designs photographed in the book so you will find out really cool stuff you didn’t know you needed to know, like how many pieces went into building the model, how large it is and what it weighs, where it is or has been on display, and the stories behind the designs.

You see, the sculptures are only part of this story and in the context of Sean’s explanations, you will no longer simply see a photograph of a cool Lego robot. You will also likely know the robot’s backstory, its name, what is can do and perhaps what it does for a living, so if you weren’t already convinced that plenty of time and love went into building it just from the photo, you will be after knowing its story.

The attention to detail in all of the designs are spectacular, particularly in the accuracy of the buildings, and you’ll also come across some playful humour such as the man walking his pet shark along a New York street.

You don’t even have to have an interest in any of the topics covered in the book to appreciate it. For example, could I care any less about sport? I doubt it. Were the silhouettes of figures in typical baseball game poses among my favourite images in the book? You betcha!

Favourite New Word: Hoverdooder – what you add to a car, truck, school bus or any other vehicle after removing the wheels to make the vehicle a flying car, truck, school bus, etc.

Top 7 Favourite Designs (in no particular order): rubber duck, monarch butterfly, hummingbird, grandfather teaching his granddaughter to garden, green bicycle, fisherman, and the five foot tall corn spider that hangs from the ceiling.

Sean Kenney tried to do the corporate thing and worked in an office but thankfully his creative side broke free and took him on the path he’s on today, inspiring big and little people to unleash their creativity and follow their dreams. I have to find a way to see some of these sculptures outside of book land!

P.S. I love my library for introducing me to new book friends like this one. 💜

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A behind-the-scenes exploration of a LEGO master’s body of work-for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages.

Kids love building with LEGO bricks, and so do “professional kids” like Sean Kenney. After twelve years writing code and designing websites for major corporations, Sean pursued his dream of making LEGO art. The New York Times calls his work the “artistic elite” of LEGO building. Today, Sean has four internationally touring exhibits of his work and is recognised as one of the premier LEGO builders in the world.

This large-format photographic book provides a fascinating in-depth look at a LEGO artist’s oeuvre. Chapters explore such subjects as transportation vehicles, animals, life-size work, science fiction, nature, cities, sports, portraits, and even home furnishings and custom apartments! A personalised LEGO compendium perfect for brick-building enthusiasts of all ages.