I first saw Matthew Porter's work at Bumbershoot a couple of years ago, at the exhibit mounted by Bluebottle Art, the Capitol Hill gallery he owns with his wife, Andrea Porter. A poster based on his children's book, ABC, showed simply drawn animals staring straight at the viewer in something like surprise. The colors were muted and old-fashioned, giving the drawings a pleasing vintage feel. My kids knew their ABCs by then, but never mind; I coveted that poster for myself.
Porter has written a third children's book (Japanese woodcut-influenced Count the Birdies is the other), Monkey World: A-Z of Occupations from Simply Read Books, in which a succession of monkeys demonstrate interesting and unusual jobs. You can meet him at the Ballard Library tomorrow, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. He'll be reading the book's crayzee nonsense poems -- this is Porter's first crack at writing -- and showing original art. Don't be late for this one.
And here's something full of win for the shoppers among us: Now you can outfit your infants and toddlers in Porterwear! (Are adult sizes next? Here's hoping.) The Porters recently launched clothing line Red Panda -- featuring monkey-themed onesies and Ts -- available online and at Seattle-area kid stores Bootyland, Pop Tots, Retroactive Kids and Clover Toys.