Inside this book is a fleet of foam gliders just waiting to take flight. All young aviators have to do is punch them out, put them together and send them soaring. Each glider has its own shape, style and name: The Jetliner, Space Racer, The Arrow, Hammerhead and Triple Wing. A sheet of stickers makes each plane unique, and nifty table-top stands make the gliders look great even when they come in for a landing. The book also features simple-to-play glider games.
Klutz was incorporated in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, by three friends from Stanford University. They began by selling sidewalk juggling lessons along with a trio of no-bounce bean bags. A week's effort earned the group $35. 'It was then we realized the sky was the limit.'
John Cassidy, the English major of the group, put the instructions in book form and titled it Juggling for the Complete Klutz. Darrell Lorentzen, the business major, wrote up the original business plan and the other partner, B.C. Rimbeaux, was assigned the task of getting a bank loan. Mr. Rimbeaux was a psychology major.
The first 3,000 books were distributed via bicycle and backpack, and sales grew from there. 'It really was a failed scam,' explains Cassidy, who remains the creative force of the company. 'Our dream was to do a book on juggling, sell a bazillion in a couple of days, buy an island and retire. It didn't work out. After a year of steady, unspectacular sales, we found ourselves staring down the barrel of a career.'
Today, how-to books from Klutz come packaged with the tools of their trade (from juggling cubes to face paints to yo-yos), and are designed for doing, not just reading. 'We think people learn best through their hands, nose, feet, mouth and ears. Then their eyes. So we design multi-sensory books,' Cassidy says. The appeal of this hands-on approach is borne out by sales figures; Klutz is a fixture on U.S. book and toy bestseller lists, and is available in 24 countries around the world.
Having expanded the offerings to include Klutz Toys, Klutz Kits, Klutz Buckets, Klutz Guides and, in 2001, an educational product line, Cassidy seems to have an unlimited supply of ideas. The inspiration? 'I marinate myself in children,' he says. 'Some years ago, I created a few. With the help of my wife' (Nancy Cassidy, the voice behind the gold-record-winning KidsSongs recordings).
In 2002, Scholastic Inc., the largest children's book publisher and distributor in the world, acquired Klutz. For those of you who collect corporate mission statements, here's the Klutz credo: Create wonderful things, be good, have fun.
Series: Klutz Chicken Socks S.
For Ages: 4 - 6 years old
For Grades: 1 - 2
Format: Combined Pack with 2 or more items
Number Of Pages: 10
Published: 1st November 2006
Publisher: Scholastic US
Dimensions (cm): 18.9 x 19.6 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.23