Plus and minus

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When a toy or a book for children incorporates the work of a brilliant artist, you have a very special thing indeed. Which is why the Plus and Minus game, using the images of Italian modern artist Bruno Munari, is truly wonderful.

During the 1960s, Munari experimented with transparent effects and the way people could tell different stories by adding or removing components of a picture. The Plus and Minus game was first published in 1970 and is still every bit as beautiful, thought-provoking and interesting as it was almost forty years ago.

The game consists of 72 cards, each with a different image. Many of the cards have a transparent background and can therefore be layered with other cards to create more complex images, stimulating children’s visual creativity. From the simple image of a single tree, children can build a forest, then add some rain or a wandering dog.

I think this is one of those rare toys that you will hold onto long after your kids have grown up. It is fascinating for both children and adults and the timeless style of Munari’s images are well worth keeping for the grandchildren.

Plus and Minus is US$60 and is available from Modern Child, who ship to Australia.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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