Obren Bokich’s A Christmas Card for Mr. McFizz was published in 1987, just before I turned four years old, and I received it that year as a gift from my grandmother. I don’t remember the actual gifting. What I do remember is being fascinated by Dan Lane’s illustrations, entranced by the story (it’s odd, endearing, and rather grown-up), and demanding rereads from my parents until I could read the words myself. It’s the one picture book I told my mother not to donate when she went on a bookshelf cleansing rampage while I was in my teens.
I’m not sure what happened to that original book, but in college realized I didn’t know exactly where Mr. McFizz was and I ordered myself a replacement copy on the interwebs. The title has been out of print for years, but luckily there wasn’t a problem finding a reasonably priced copy.
Fast forward to one month ago. I was trying to figure out what to do with an enormous white wall in the living room. I had IKEA frames and saved posters from several years of the National Book Festival, but I needed something else. Enter Mr. McFizz. I went back to the worldwide web and ordered the cheapest used copy I could find (a reject from the San Diego County Library, it turns out). Then I did it – I cut up my favorite picture book.
And put it in cute frames and hung it on my wall. And I smile every single time I look in that direction.
It was a good decision. Tell me: would you cut up a picture book for wall art? Which one?