Painstakingly clear instructions for five different string figures,
charmingly illustrated. Attached to the book is a tie-dyed string loop
– all you need to bring is ten fingers. The four-millionth copy will
sell any day now and, to prepare for that happy occasion, we've given
the book a brand-new cover.
About The Author
Anne Akers Johnson is the author or editor of books such as Juegos Con
Una Cuerda and Trenzas Locas. Typical subjects covered by the author
include juvenile nonfiction / crafts and hobbies / juvenile
nonfiction / games and activities / general.
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
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
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.