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A rapid-fire list of Easter memories from the mind who designed the following:

We asked illustrator Frank Viva, whose first picture book we are eagerly anticipating, what he remembered from Easters past. He doesn’t even need pencil crayons or the Adobe Creative Suite to paint a vivid picture:


The egg decorating kit with the wire dippers and miniature glass vials of coloured dyes. Waking my parents up: “Get up!” My too-big rolled-up light-blue flannel pyjamas with a suit jacket collar outlined in yellow piping. Enormous chocolate bunnies seen through the windows of daffodil-yellow boxes alongside baskets stacked high with foil-covered eggs. Two piles (one for me and one for my sister) on the coffee table in the living room. Getting less than we thought because of the big bunches of plastic straw lining the bottoms of the baskets. Counting and comparing. My parents making breakfast: fried ham, waffles, hot cross buns and hard-boiled eggs served in the special once-a-year bunny egg cups. Sitting on the red vinyl bench seat of our black Pontiac Parisienne on the way to church. Switching from standing to kneeling to sitting on the slippery oak benches whenever the other people did (or just a second behind). Getting to put the crisp bills into the collection basket with the very long handle. Back home and bored. Silly Putty and the miracle of transferring the Sunday morning comics onto the putty (backwards). My grandmother Girlie, visiting from Nova Scotia, bent over with her head in the hallway closet looking for something. Me nudging her all the way in and closing the door. The famous family story of how I “shoved” Girlie into the closet – repeated every Easter thereafter.

How many of Frank Viva’s memories strike a chord with you? We count 10.

Frank Viva is an illustrator and graphic designer whose illustrations have appeared in Time, Esquire, the New York Times, the Boston Globe and on the cover of The New Yorker.    A past president of The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, he is passionate about cooking, wine, and his daily bike ride to the office. He runs a branding and design agency in Toronto with a focus on new media, identity systems and packaging called Viva & Co. He also also a cofounder and partner in Whigby – a company that designs and manufactures greeting cards, wrapping paper and other giftware.  His first children’s picture book, Along a Long Road, is being published in June by Little Brown Books for Young Readers in the United States and HarperCollins in Canada.

Top image via Whigby

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