Brain Pickings

We always start the week by reading the Brain Pickings newsletter from Maria Popova that hit our inbox over the weekend.

Maria describes Brain Pickings as a toy, “a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more; pieces that enrich our mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful. Above all, it’s about how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.”

We think the best pieces from Brain Pickings are the in-depth articles on children’s books featuring beautiful images and excerpts from the stories. She writes about books that have long been out-of-print as well as books from first time, present day authors.  We’ve pulled our three recent favorites below:

Special Delivery: A Mischievous Illustrated Reminder that Nothing Is Insurmountable in the Conveyance of a Loving Gesture
Special Delivery by Caldecott-winning author Philip C. Stead and illustrator Matthew Cordell tells the story of little Sadie — a brave, single-minded, will-do-whatever-it-takes heroine partway between Eloise and Amelia Earhart — who decides to mail her beloved Great-Aunt Josephine an elephant, because Josephine “lives almost completely alone” and “could really use the company.”

The Well of Being: An Extraordinary Children’s Book for Grownups about the Art of Living with Openhearted Immediacy
The Well of Being by artist Jean-Pierre Weill explores how the stories we tell ourselves to construct our definitions of who we are obscure the truth of our personhood, and how we can untell them in order to just be.

The Magic Boat: Brilliant Vintage “Interactive” Children’s Book by Freud’s Eccentric Niece Named Tom
The Magic Boat: A Book to Turn and Move by Tom Seidmann-Freud is a 1929 collection of poems, stories, puzzles, and interactive games designed to “delight and surprise.”

Subscribe to Brain Pickings here.

Photos provided by Brain Pickings.

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