This month marks the 70th anniversary of one of our favorite children's books of all time, the beautiful, contemplative novella The Little Prince. To celebrate the book's legacy (and to encourage any parents currently dragging their feet to get it for their little ones), we've put together a list of 25 essential books that every kid should have on his or her bookshelf growing up.
Now and then I post photographs of windows because I suppose I like what symbolize and how they gave composition to an image or structure to an otherwise unstructured world – I love the implied order of right angles. Wade Zahares is an artist who loves windows even more than I do, I think, and he creates art that portrays windows in ways and colors in I can only dream about. And the more of his art I see the more it matches up with times and places in our lives, including this Boston area triple decker from the ’80s and his more recent coastal New England landscapes and harbors. There is even what appears to be a midwestern plainscape – I have never felt so validated by another person’s art.
And as if that isn’t enough, he portrays trains and rolling vistas in prints and illustrations for wonderful books. We first discovered Zahares’ art though the 1998 book, Window Music, which delighted my young children and still delights me.
And for all of the sharpness of the images and vibrance of color, he works in pastels; I love the juxtaposition of sharp angles and bold landscapes – sometimes with the turf rolled back to reveal fantastic infrastructure – with the occasionally gently smudged pastel. It is fine art that stands up to the cacophony of the garish digital age, paying homage to some great pop art but keeping a kind of hand-forged integrity.
Zahares’ art, in its way, turns LettersHead on its own head, offering up 21st century art in a 20th century way. He does in images what I try to do in words, and the time he has devoted to his craft has produced spectacular results.
Thank you to Wade Zahares for giving us permission to use his art in this post.
It’s been a while since I posted any window photos, though I have taken many. This one is in the house where I grew up, looking much the same now as it did then. We used to climb though the windows on the left and right to sun ourselves on the warm tar roof during cold April days. It was a sign of spring. The vantage point from which the photo was taken was where my mother kept her cedar chest, and I imagine it full of wool blankets and linen and lace wrapped in brown paper – to be honest I am not sure if that’s what was really in the chest or I am just channeling all of those Laura Ingalls Wilder books I read on that landing, my body wedged between the radiator and the window. But I do still have lace and linen wrapped in paper from that house, that much is certain, and I wonder now when I will ever have occasion to use them. They’ve been waiting for their moment for so long.
I have always loved the graphic design, ideas and lines of Wright’s architecture but when I see his acutal work I am often disappointed by the poor workmanship, the dark corners or the clunky oakiness the detail work and furnishings. But I just found a posting of a Cincinnatti house that has the interiors and light as I always hoped they would be – it’s an old posting on another blog but the Boswell House photographs are stunning. The Hooked on Houses blog is actually a lot of fun. And the novel Loving Frank (cloying title, great novel based on real-life events) is a worthwhile read.