The Blueberry Machine

Little Steidl, 2022 Little Steidl, 2023 Photographs by Jan von Holleben Design and printing by Nina Holland 56 pages 30 × 20.5cm Half-linen hardcover ISBN 978-3-944630-05-2

‘Olav was a clever boy Who didn’t need a single toy. “That cannot be!” I hear you cry. But true it was, I’ll tell you why. Just sit back and enjoy this story Of Olav’s grand machines of glory.’

In The Blueberry Machine photographer Jan von Holleben and author Monte Packham have made a book for children in which master of invention, Olav, spends the day building fantastical machines for purpose and pleasure only to discover the most useful and surprising machine of all. Set in the wonder-inspiring Norwegian landscape, the story is told in lively, playful verse. The illustrations are themselves a kind of invention, each made with a photographic print and assembled objects that are re-photographed to create a convincing final image. Packham weaves his tale between, around and through von Holleben’s wildly creative images, which are themselves a riddle to be solved and an invitation for the child to join in the fun and make something too. Nothing more is needed than the most ordinary objects and imagination to transform the reader’s own world into a place of delight and invention.