From the Waxploitation label comes Stories for Ways and Means, a gorgeous collaboration of artists and musicians that feature ‘grown up’ children’s stories with the majority of the proceeds going to organisations promoting children’s literacy.
Featuring lots of musicians I like as well as others I’ve never heard of, the 29 collaborations in this book range from the whimsical to the weird, with my particular highlight (coming as no surprise to anyone who knows me) being Nick Cave’s The Lonely Giant. Other stories that also deserve a huge shout out are Sera Cahoone’s Merle is a Fat Orange Cat which features an unusual punk band, Song Yuzhe’s Snow Cap Mountain and the antics of its guardians protecting it from the Winter Olympics, Gibby Haynes’ The Next Big Thing, which felt really Stephen King-ish, and a big chunk of weird in Tom Waits’ Circus.
The artists deserve a huge amount of the credit in the book’s gorgeousness stakes, with each bringing their own unique style and emphasising the individual atmospheres of each story – I particularly liked Ronzo (who paired with Del Tha Funky Homosapien for the excellent Watch How You Talk To People, where some angry ants get a surprise) as well as Joe Coleman, David Bray and Anthony Lister.
Ideal reading material for when you don’t have much time to dive fully into a book, none of the stories outstay their welcome and some of them I could have read a lot more of. An extremely good looking addition to my bookshelves, it’s made even prettier knowing that my money is going to a good cause.