Anyone who grew up in Taiwan during the 1980s is familiar with these illustrated textbooks. In fact, I remember using them during the Saturday morning Chinese classes I was hauled to as a kid.
The children in the drawings look so cheerful, so peppy and so happy to be going to school. And you know how real-life kids hate that. I only had to look at these drawings for two hours each week (well, and while I was “working on” my Chinese assignments) and they made me want to hurl. I can’t imagine having to see them every weekday!
Well, as it turns out, graphic design team UglyFamily felt exactly the same way I did. Look at these awesome pastiches they issued last year:
The pamphlets also riff off of 作業簿 (zuòyè bù), or homework workbooks:
I wish I’d had those workbooks when I was a kid in Chinese school! Unfortunately, UglyFamily’s workbooks were part of a limited series launched last summer, so they’ve sold out already. But if you are infatuated with the designs, you can buy them in the form of t-shirts at Betelnut in 16 Workshops (16工房) at the Red House (西門紅樓) in Ximending. For more information, check out their blog or this article I wrote about them a few months ago.