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Chirri & Chirra: A Japanese Parallel Love Letter to the Natural World and the Whimsical World

A vital and vitalizing reminder that sweetness, kindness, and goodwill are irrepressibly alive in the wilderness of the human spirit, though we might sometimes get lost in the forest before rediscovering them.<p><i>“Two girls discover the secret of life on a sudden line of poetry,”</i> Denise Levertov wrote …

Literature

The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: Food-Related Memories, Meditations, and Favorite Recipes by Beloved Creators

Neil Gaiman’s unblinking omelette, Joyce Carol Oates’s thin-sliced defiance of grief, Marina Abramovic’s meteoric antidote to doubt, and other existential edibles.<p><i>“Art is a form of nourishment,”</i> young Susan Sontag wrote in her diary. But the inverse is equally true — food is a form of art, and it …

An Illustrated Celebration of Jane Austen’s Life

“She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow.”<p>After visiting my alma mater to deliver a commencement address, the faculty kindly took me out for brunch. Dining with us was also one of the Annenberg School’s star students. Over organic pancakes, she …

Frida Kahlo’s Illustrious Life, Illustrated

An affectionate homage to one of humanity’s most original and beloved artists.<p><i>“Only an artist can tell … what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it,”</i> James Baldwin wrote in contemplating the artist’s struggle for integrity. <i>“Being an artist is not just about what happens when</i> …

Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience

“Truth is not in what happens but in what it tells us about who we are.”<p>The question of why we read and what books actually do for us is as old as the written word itself, and as attractive. Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. For Kafka, books were “the axe for the frozen sea …

A Child of Books: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Wondrous World of Words and Stories

A jubilant paean to books as participatory engines of self-discovery, self-creation, and self-transformation.<p>Half a millennium before Carl Sagan pointed to books as “proof that humans are capable of working magic,” Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. For Kafka, books were “the …

ThingMaker 3D Printer

Created by seasoned toy maker Mattel, the ThingMaker 3D Printer gives you free reign over your own in-house toy factory. Design your creatures on the …

Google Play

Cry, Heart, But Never Break: A Remarkable Illustrated Meditation on Loss and Life

“Who would enjoy the sun if it never rained? Who would yearn for the day if there were no night?”<p><i>“Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead,”</i> John Updike wrote, <i>“so why … be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?”</i> Half a millennium earlier, Montaigne posed …

The Fox and the Star: A Lyrical Modern Fable of Loneliness and Belonging, Bridged Through Self-Discovery

A poetic illustrated parable of dissolving fear into communion with the cosmos.<p><i>“Longing is the transfiguration of aloneness,”</i> poet and philosopher David Whyte wrote in his poignant meditation on silence, <i>“like a comet’s passing tail, glimpsed only for a moment but making us willing to give up our</i> …

How to Eat Like a Local in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

The one-time capital of South Vietnam, Saigon is arguably the most exciting metropolis in Southeast Asia. Referred to officially by the government as …

10 TED Talks That Will Help You Be a Better Parent

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TED Talks

The Best Art Books of 2015

Urban dogs, underworld dragons, the unseen Peanuts, and every living person in New York.<p>I think of my annual best-of reading lists as Old Year’s resolutions in reverse — unlike traditional resolutions, which frame our aspirational priorities for the new year, these reflect on the books that emerged …

The Tea Party in the Woods: A Tender Modernist Fairy Tale by Japanese Artist Akiko Miyakoshi

A gentle taunt at the line between what is real and what is imagined.<p>To be human is to sometimes slip, then wish for a way to undo our mishaps and magically fix our mistakes. Japanese children’s book author and artist <b>Akiko Miyakoshi</b> explores this profoundly human impulse with uncommon subtlety and …

9 Learnings from 9 Years of Brain Pickings

Reflections on the rewards of seeking out what magnifies your spirit.<p>On October 23, 2006, <i>Brain Pickings</i> was born as an email to my seven colleagues at one of the four jobs I held while paying my way through college. Over the years that followed, the short weekly email became a tiny website updated …

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Reimagined in Beautiful Illustrations by Artist Andrea D’Aquino

“Begin at the beginning … and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”<p>One July afternoon in 1862, <b>Lewis Carroll</b> dreamt up his Wonderland to entertain a real-life little girl named Alice on a long boat ride. Three years later, he published the story and it went on to become one of the greatest …

Infinity and Me: An Illustrated Parable of Where Science, Philosophy, and Love Converge

An inclusive love letter to forever.<p>By the time mathematician John Wallis pioneered the lemniscate — that familiar “napping eight” — as the symbol for infinity in 1655, the human mind had been grappling with the notion of the infinite for millennia. But if infinity occupies some of our smartest …

Race & Ethnicity

The Iron Giant: The 1968 Classic Celebrating Humanity’s Capacity for Harmony, Reimagined in Gorgeous Illustrations by Artist Laura Carlin

A parable of peace, a love letter to the cosmos, and a reminder of the vulnerable and vivacious humanity that unites us beneath our surface squabbles.<p><i>“The Iron Giant came to the top of the cliff. How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where had he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody</i> …

Literature

Tiny Creatures: The Marvelous World of Microbes, in an Illustrated Children’s Book

A vibrant ode to science inspired by folk art.<p><i>“You are mostly not you,”</i> microbial ecologist Rob Knight wrote in his fascinating exploration of the human microbiome, in which he pointed out that only 1% of the genes in our bodies are human and the remaining 99% are microbial. It’s a staggering …

Mr. Gauguin’s Heart: The Beautiful and Bittersweet True Story of How Paul Gauguin Became an Artist

What an invisible dog knows about the tenacity of the human spirit and the healing power of art.<p>Many great artists have in common the ability to transform trauma into creative power. Among them is the great French Post-Impressionist painter <b>Paul Gauguin</b> (June 7, 1848–May 8, 1903), whose work …

Pool: A Tender Illustrated Celebration of Quiet Curiosity and How We Find Our Kindred Spirits

What our hunger for connection has to do with Borges’s imaginary beings.<p>A century and a half after Lewis Carroll plunged his Alice into a fantastical world through the looking-glass, South Korean fine artist and illustrator <b>JiHyeon Lee</b> offers a magnificent modern counterpart in her picture-book …

Books

The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions

A gentle reminder of what we stand to lose when we lock away loss.<p><i>“Children … are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth,”</i> E.B. White famously asserted in an interview, admonishing: <i>“Anyone who writes down to children is simply</i> …

Oliver Jeffers on the Paradox of Ownership and the Allure of Duality

“We only own something because everybody agrees that we do.”<p>Oliver Jeffers is one of the most talented and thoughtful children’s book authors and artists of our time. Whether he is exploring love and loss in his unusual stories for young readers or the facts and fictions of memory in his fine art, …

Mark Twain

10 Essential Manga That Should Belong in Every Comic Collection

While many will hear the word “comics” and think of superheroes and the litany of successful films or shows inspired by funny books, one critical and …

Anime

The Big Green Book: Robert Graves and Maurice Sendak’s Little-Known and Lovely Vintage Children’s Book About the Magic of Reading

A subversive celebration of how books transform us.<p>In 1962, the revered British poet and novelist <b>Robert Graves</b> was sixty-seven, with his greatest works long behind him; <b>Maurice Sendak</b> was an insecure young artist of thirty-four, with <i>Where the Wild Things Are</i> — his greatest work, which would turn him …

Books

The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, Reimagined in Uncommonly Soulful Illustrations by Austrian Artist Lisbeth Zwerger

“Once upon a time, when wishes could still come true…”<p>Few feats of storytelling have possessed the popular imagination more powerfully or enduringly than the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. In the two centuries since the publication of the little-known original edition, penned by Jacob and …

Literature

Sky Art by Thomas Lamadieu

Thomas Lamadieu uses photos of the sky from between buildings and makes really cool art over it. His artistic aim is to show a different perception …

Architecture