Monday, October 15, 2012

"The Countess and Her Cats" opens at The Mark Twain House and Museum, Hartford, CT

Exhibition opening: "The Countess & Her Cats" and "Illustrating Twain"
Thursday, October 18, 5:30 p.m.
We will be showing diorama and dollhouse art from the artist Cynthia von Buhler, author of the children's books "But Who Will Bell the Cats" and "The Cat Who Would Not Come Inside." Von Buhler combines dioramas she constructs with illustration in an imaginative way in her delightful tales. "Illustrating Twain" will feature illustrations by Mark Twain and about Mark Twain. Through January 15.
The opening reception on Oct. 18 is free of charge. The exhibit may be viewed with the purchase of a Mark Twain House tour or for a $5.00 museum-only admission .

A Halloween Tea Party with the Countess
Saturday, October 27, 2:00 p.m.
The younger set are invited to don their Halloween finery for a tea with "Countess" Cynthia von Buhler, author and illustrator of But Who Will Bell the Cats? Kids will feast on tea and sweets, tour our new exhibition The Countess & Her Cats and enjoy a spooky performance by Hartford Children’s Theatre.
Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for children. Call (860) 280-3130.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Flowers Can Kill Your Cat

I'm not talking about science fiction. It's true. Flowers can kill your pet.

Easter is around the corner. Before you give someone an Easter Lily make sure that they don't have a cat!

Every year I try to let people know that the white Easter Lily is extremely toxic to cats. Even the orange powder which falls from the flower onto the counter or floor is toxic. A little bit licked off your pet's paw can cause renal failure and death. Flower shops will not tell you this because they could lose money.

I had no idea about this until my cat Cleopatra almost died. Most people are clueless about which plants are poisonous to their pets.

The ASPCA has a great list that can be searched by cat, dog or horse. Click HERE.

The Countess and her Cats

Did you know that Mark Twain loved cats? His cats had fantastic names like Pestilence, Satan, Sin, and Famine.

Fans of Cynthia von Buhler's children's book sets and characters will be able to see her work in person once again. The exhibit at The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT opens in October of 2012. We will post more information soon.

Above: Cynthia von Buhler has exhibited her sets at The Nassau County Museum of Art (Long Island, NY), The Staten Island Museum of Art (Staten Island, NY), The Society of Illustrator's Museum (NY, NY), The Carrozzini von Buhler Gallery (NY, NY), and Books of Wonder (NY, NY).

A drawing by Mark Twain titled "Morning Song."

A painting which hangs in Mark Twain's home.

Mark Twain's home in Hartford, CT.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fairy Tales (with a Twist!) at Portland Stage

But Who Will Bell the Cats? will be presented as part of Portland Stage's Theater for Kids on April 23rd at 10:30.

Once upon a time...they all lived happily ever after. Or did they? Join Theater for Kids as we explore the realm of twisted fairy tales and fractured fables. Watch our professional actors turn traditions upside down during the readings, then work on your own fairy tale reinvention during an interactive workshop!

April 2 - The Amazing Bone by William Steig
April 9 - Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson
April 23 - But Who Will Bell the Cats? by Cynthia von Buhler
April 30 - The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka

Theater workshop series starts Saturday April 2nd at 10:30 AM. Sign up your child for the whole series of 5 readings + workshops or choose your favorite, $60 for the series or $15 each. Click here for a registration form, email or call 207-774-1043 x117 with questions or to sign up.

Click here for Portland Stage's Theater for Kids website.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Had A Marvelous Party

Elizabeth Bird, New York public librarian and blogger extraordinaire, was a guest at my birthday party. She blogged about it on the School Library Journal website.
Elizabeth Bird rides the rooftop Merry-Go-Round at my party.

From "I've Been To A Marvelous Party" by Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal, 10/12/10:
That was Party #1. I have begun with the low-key party because I feel that if I began with Party #2 you would be disinclined to believe me about it. Here is a taste of what I am talking about:
Lemony Snicket rides the rooftop Merry-Go-Round at my party.

Do you know what you are looking at? Alas, you do not. It is a dark picture and I’ve found that Android phones don’t quite match iPhones in terms of picture quality. Well in any case you are looking at Daniel Handler a.k.a. Lemony Snicket on the roof of a penthouse, sitting on a merry-go-round built for two (complete with animatronic monkeys and a bubble machine) as he merrily sings in the shadow of The Empire State Building. THAT is what you are looking at.

You see, I have over the years made the acquaintance of a very fine, very fascinating, very interesting young lady. She is known as Cynthia von Buhler, and you may know her best as the mad genius behind the intense picture book But Who Will Bell the Cats? which came out a year or so ago. A performance artist, artist artist, and friend of the wandering musician, Ms. von Buhler was kind enough to invite me to her recent FREAKS party. The thing is, if I tell you what went on it’s best that I mention everything seen in a list. That way it’s a bit more manageable.

Continue to read this article HERE.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life Imitating Art

Last night my cats caught a bat. I rescued it and it flew out a window. It had a little hole in one wing, but it seemed to be flying well. This is a perfect example of life imitating art. See my display window at Books of Wonder which features cats trying to catch bats.8

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Video of my Books of Wonder Animatronic Window Display

Thanks to Carl Divito for shooting this video and placing it on YouTube.

Monday, June 21, 2010

July Issue: Time Out NY Kids Feature on Cynthia von Buhler - Written by Elizabeth Bird

Cat fancy
An artist brings her latest feline-centric story to life at Books of Wonder.

Note: The slideshow is now up on the Time Out Kids website. See it HERE.

Called “one of the top contemporary surrealists” by Art & Antiques magazine, Cynthia von Buhler boasts a résumé that includes painting, sculpture, performance and video projection, for which she uses materials and media such as living fauna, collage, and electronic audio. Her art has been published everywhere from The New Yorker to Rolling Stone, but she’s also become renowned for her children’s books.

After working on titles for other authors, beginning with 1998’s Little Girl in a Red Dress with Cat and Dog, Von Buhler—who lives in a castle-like home on Staten Island—has gone on to write and illustrate her own stories. The first, The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), was based on the artist’s encounter with a stray; she created the scenes by photographing dioramas in her childhood dollhouse.

For her next book, But Who Will Bell the Cats? (Houghton Mifflin, 2009), a riff on Aesop’s fable, Von Buhler acted as set builder, painter, sculptor, gardener, plumber and mason. An elaborate concoction of sumptuous interiors photographed in a model castle, the book is impressive in every detail, from the chateau’s real stone walls to the floors she crafted from inlaid wood, mother-of-pearl and plaster.

City kids can visit the world of Bell the Cats this summer, when Von Buhler re-creates the story in Books of Wonder’s storefront, using sets that appear in the book.
Life-size animated characters from the tale, among them a kitty maid in Alice-in-Wonderland garb, will play with the paper dolls and furniture—like children decorating a dollhouse.

DIY types have a chance to work with the artist on their own mini sets. The rest of us can consider the display a summertime version of NYC’s opulent holiday windows—and there’s no reason such a glorious tradition should be confined to the winter.
Books of Wonder, 18 W 18 St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-989-3270, Display will be on view July1–Aug 30. - EB
See the Time Out NY Kids article HERE. Coming soon: Pictures and a video of the actual window display.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cynthia von Buhler Presents an Animated Window Display & Dollhouse Diorama Workshop at Manhattan’s Books of Wonder.

Meet Cynthia, get your books signed, and have your picture taken
with characters from the book.

Children’s book author and illustrator Cynthia von Buhler is creating an animated window display featuring handmade sets and painted characters from her children’s book But Who Will Bell the Cats? for Books of Wonder bookstore in Manhattan. The elaborate window will be on display from July 1 through August 30, 2010.

Dollhouse Diorama and Paper Doll Workshops – Free (with book purchase)!
Sunday, July 25, 2010 from 12 NOON – 2PM.
Monday, July 26, 2010 from 12 NOON – 2PM
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 from 6PM – 8PM

Come to Books of Wonder and learn to how to make a dollhouse room from a shoebox. Cynthia von Buhler’s characters and castle rooms will be available as pre-printed full-color sheets for children to cut out and make into their own dollhouse diorama. Please bring a standard shoebox with you to the workshop. The author/illustrator will also be signing books. Characters from But Who Will Bell the Cats will make an appearance at the events and will give away free bells on ribbon for children to wear around their necks (as supplies last).

The workshop is free for anyone who purchases Cynthia von Buhler’s books, But Who Will Bell the Cats? or The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside, from Books of Wonder the day of the event(s). Space is limited. Please R.S.V.P. by emailing The events are limited to 30 children per day. Children are required to bring a shoebox and a parent or guardian to assist them. Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th Street, NY, NY, 10011, (212)989-3270,
Recent reviews from But Who Will Bell the Cats?
My library’s secret weapon from here on in…Beautiful and haunting with the kinds of images kids will pore over." - Betsy Bird, Children's Librarian at The New York Public Library

"Destined to earn the ‘classic’ label." - Urban Baby

"this story of an indefatigable mouse should find a welcome place on the shelves of any castle...or library."- Horn Book

"Children will find a lot to discover in the details, even after repeated readings". - School Library Journal

“Young readers will pore over this one again and again." – Kirkus