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The Pocket Scavenger Paperback – 25 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Particular Books (25 April 2013)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1846147093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846147098
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

As a free lance illustrator she has worked for a wide variety of clientsworldwide. Most recently Random House, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Ford Motor Co., the Boston Globe, Galison/Mudpuppy Press, and Hallmark. In the last few years she has given lectures and workshops on the topic of "living creatively" for the How Design Conference, the OntarioGraphic Artist's Assocation, UC Davis, and schools across North America.She has been featured in How, Step by Step, Print, Bust, Wired and many more.

Product Description

About the Author

Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She has several bestselling books, including the phenomenonal Wreck This Journal, This is Not a Book, How To Be An Explorer of the World, Mess and Finish this Book, all published by Particular Books. Read more at her website WWW.KERISMITH.COM

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Louise G on 9 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Me and my 6 year old spent the whole of last weekend obsessed with this and I can't say who enjoyed it more! Pretty simple - each double page has an item to find ("The number 5", "6 circles", "a paper clip" - some easy, some not), a notes page to write where you found it and when and its story, and a plain page opposite where you can stick it. Then you turn the book over, flip to a page and read an instruction to follow. "Trace shapes over it", "Make it a statement", "Cut it in half", "Turn it into something you love" - most instructions can be interpreted a number of ways so really gets the imagination working. I've had great fun finding and transforming my finds and been blown away by my daughter's creations. Great fun. Would be improved if the book spiral bound with room to expand. It is hard to hold the pages open and now we've done a fair few it won't shut. Guess we'll just cram as much in as possible. Love it. My friend and her kids helped us find some things in the morning and she immediately ordered her own!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Spicer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andromeda Descendent TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I like quirky books, and I like to be creative, so this book - The Pocket Scavenger - caught my eye with its intriguing publisher's description. If you were to sit down and read every word in this book, it wouldn't take long, but that's not its purpose. After a few short introductory pages, which introduce you to the idea of the scavenger hunt and explain how letting yourself be open to random chance can help you be more creative, you find yourself turning page after page of target objects - 72 in all - and, for every page, you need to find, draw or photograph something of that description. The descriptions are purposefully vague, and include the mundane, the abstract and the odd:

Some examples: Postage stamps; nine circles; a piece of moss; a part of something you ate; a used tea bag; a piece of a puzzle; something orange; a pencil rubbing of a gravestone; a fortune from a fortune cookie; a stain that is green; something left by an animal; a piece of origami; several plastic items of different colours; something curved; something from a construction site.

The next stage is to turn the book upside down, turn randomly to a page, and follow the suggestion printed in a red strip that now runs along the top of each page. The suggestions are even vaguer and more varied than the items on the scavenger list. For example, make it white, do something really fast without thinking; turn into an island; squirt ink; rub surface with dirt; do something strange; add a grid; make it political; lose the item; ask a friend what you should do; it's a hat.

Finally, stick the object onto the respective page and write something about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Lyne VINE VOICE on 16 April 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It took me a while to get this book. I have been staring at it for a few weeks and reading through the various pages with a feeling of confusion. The introduction tires to sell it as some sort of life changing experience in that if we learn to scavenge then that will allow us to enrich our lives and so on.

The book is designed to be fairly robust, and so comes with a water resistant cover and thicker than normal pages. Each page contains a thing to find and allows a log to be kept of the time, date and location. These things can be physical such as an elastic band, virtual such as a rubbing from a gravestone or virtual as in something that is broken. The reader is then encouraged to write a story about it. Following this there are further tasks which can be performed on each thing by turning the book upside down and reading small notes at the bottom of each page such as "Frame it" or "add a colour based upon a memory associated with the item".

I eventually decided that I was thinking too hard about the Zen-like introduction to the book and the life-changing implications for myself and gave it to my niece whilst I was visiting for a long weekend. She immediately sent most of the day out and about collecting some of the things listed which she brought back and proudly displayed to us and we chatted at great length about them.

Which I guess indirectly achieved the aim of the book. Well played...
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