Mad Press Parrot Makes Limited Edition Artists Books

Mad Parrot Press

Books, the Old Way, By Hand.


Two fine press printers, a parrot, and a book.

It’s ink and paper alchemy.

Production Update

Kenneth Grahame’s

The Wind in the Willows

Illustrated by Vladimir Zimakov

with a new introduction by Peter Hunt



Dear Friends of Mad Parrot Press:

This long-overdue update comes after several months of anxiety-laden delays amongst our suppliers for the various elements of our edition of The Wind in the Willows. COVID, artists unexpectedly having to switch to online teaching in the middle of a semester, workers hesitant to return to the paper mill, and high summer heat causing one bad batch and then some sheet shrinkage, has interrupted our efforts to bring this book in on the promised date. We’ve only just last week received the 50 sheet sample of our bespoke paper made to our specifications at St. Armand Mill in Montreal, Canada. Our shipment of final sheets are arriving mid-October.

We apologize for this delay due to a compounding of variables, all exacerbated by this spring and summer’s pandemic and its fallout. Suffice to say that the book will be well worth the wait.

We have, however, used this unexpected additional time to augment the book even further: Initially we had commissioned Vladimir Zimakov to produce twelve full-color illustrations and six smaller works for the book. Since time allowed, many of those twelve illustrations are now four color instead of three and we (gently) coerced Vladimir to produce additional smaller images. The result is a pleasing total of nine in two colors instead of one! Though this adds cost and considerable effort to the book, the price remains as originally quoted. We make books because we love them — certainly not to get rich quick!

The new mill sheet size has dictated a minor change in text layout, along with a redesign, to accommodate the slightly narrower page size of 10.5 x 14 inches.

We have completed the typesetting, editing, and corrections for the book and it is set in 14pt Centaur with Arrighi. It has a page size of 10.5 x 14 inches (26.7 cm x 61 cm) 134 pages not including front or back matter, printed on St. Armand Canal cotton rag paper. There will be 12 multi-color linoleum cuts sized at 8 x 9.25 inches complementing the text blocks on the pages. Seventy-five copies will be available for sale at $2,000, as well as five copies in sheets for binders at $1500 and 10 deluxe in individual presentation bindings by Chad Pastotnik starting at $2500.

Leather has been secured from Steven Siegel in a dark moss green natural goat. Some 37 goats shelter now in the Deep Wood Press bindery awaiting their final appearance in this world. Alas, the rest of the binding design has yet to be finalized. Having only just received the paper, collating the layout and final section count for the book are the tasks immediately at hand.

Printing should begin by early November and though we hesitate to make any firm promises, the goal is to have some books ready by the holidays.


• •

Chad Pastotnik and James Dissette have been working together on book projects since 2004. Our previous imprint, Chester River Press, brought forth The Chesapeake Voyages of Captain John Smith, Moon as Bright as Water, and was honored with the Carl Hertzog Award for excellence in Book Design in 2010 for Heart of Darkness.

Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus in Children’s Literature at Cardiff University, wrote the new Introduction to the 1985 and the 2010 versions of The Oxford World’s Classics edition of The Wind in the Willows.

 Vladimir Zimakov, Associate Professor of Art and Design and the Director of the Wedeman Art Gallery at Lasell College. Vladimir has illustrated books and book covers for the works of Gustav Meyrink, Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexandre Dumas, Herman Melville, A.T.A. Hoffman, Margaret Atwood and Julian Barnes among others.

We would like to thank those of you who have already placed your deposit for the book or have otherwise expressed interest or reserved a copy. Your enthusiasm for the project and Grahame’s classic tale keeps us going!

We hope you all are well and will remain safe during this unrelenting craziness.

30 books remain for purchase at $2,000. We ask for a $500 deposit to guarantee a copy of The Wind in the Willows.



For Reservation Deposit Only

Journal Entry

October 23rd

Artists & Printers

And One Crazy Parrot