'Tips for tots'
cover design for book, Otto and Marie Neurath, 1944.
'Tips for tots' was a handcrafted mock-up made by the Neuraths as part of a proposal for a series of children's books sent to Max Parrish in 1944. The mock-up was accompanied by a paper written by Otto Neurath, 'Isotype books for children'. In it he compares Isotype charts with photographs: charts, he said, are a way of encouraging reasoning based on visual statements, while photographs are a way of making children familiar with the appearance of landscapes, animals, plants.
'Tips for tots' introduces Iso and Typie, two characters who had adventures in an Isotype world. This world was designed to bring Iso and Typie into contact with complex phenomena of a kind that would benefit from explanation according to Isotype principles: map-making, tornadoes, radio transmission. By 'Isotype world', Neurath meant an Isotype vocabulary: consistent symbolic forms for people, animals, houses, a restricted colour scheme and a particular way of organizing these elements. (SW)
area of research: Isotype childrens' books (Walker)