children’s books

Finn’s Feather: A Tender Illustrated Meditation on Rediscovering the Joy of Aliveness on the Other Side of Loss

Because grief, too, is a thing with feathers. …

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Margaret Wise Brown and the Puzzle of What Makes a Thing Itself (or You Yourself)

Aristotle, Alice, and a back flap. …

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Highlights in Hindsight: Favorite Books of the Past Year

Trees, hummingbirds, snails, Stoicism, storytelling, Orwell’s roses, the crucible of consciousness, the end of the universe, and more trees. …

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What Is Love? A Tender and Poetic Illustrated Celebration of the Elemental Human Quest

A posy of subtle illumination from the garden of life. …

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Almost Nothing, yet Everything: A Stunning Japanese Illustrated Poem Celebrating Water and the Wonder of Life

“It has no shape but can take any shape… You can touch it, but you cannot hold it… It can slip through your fingers, like it’s nothing at all. But life would be unthinkable without it.” …

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Of Trees, Solitude, Love, Loss, and the Stubborn Symphony of Aliveness: The Best of Brain Pickings / The Marginalian 2021

From the Stoics to the snails, by way of music, matter, and the mind. …

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The Loveliest Children’s Books of 2021

From the river to the Milky Way, by way of trees, geese, and unsung heroes. …

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Before I Grew Up: A Stunning Illustrated Elegy of Life, Loss, Our Search for Light, and Loneliness as a Crucible of Creativity

An uncommonly original and tenderhearted celebration of how an artist becomes an artist. …

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The Scar: A Tender Illustrated French Meditation on Loss and Healing

Uncommon consolation from the body to the soul. …

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Make Meatballs Sing: A Loving Illustrated Celebration of the Radical Nun, Artist, Teacher, and Activist Corita Kent

“Doing and making are acts of hope, and as that hope grows we stop feeling overwhelmed by the troubles of the world. We remember that we — as individuals and groups — can do something about those troubles.” …

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Blue Floats Away: A Tender Illustrated Fable About Our Capacity for Transformation, Told Through the Story of Water

In praise of our unfathomed capacity to experience beautiful new things beyond our habitual ideas of the possible. …

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What Is a River: An Illustrated Reverence Between the Encyclopedic and the Poetic

A painted landscape of fact and feeling along the flow of existence. …

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The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: The Inspiring Illustrated Story of How Edwin Hubble Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Universe

“We do not know why we are born into the world, but we can try to find out what sort of world it is.” …

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The Blue Hour: A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of Nature’s Rarest Color

“The day ends. The night falls. And in between… there is the blue hour.” …

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Child of Glass: A Soulful Italian Illustrated Meditation on How to Live with Our Human Fragility

A subtle celebration of the terrifying tenderness that makes life barely survivable but also makes it worth living. …

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The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story

A love story, a time story, an invitation not to mistake difference for defect and to welcome, across the accordion scales of time and space, diversity as nature’s wellspring of resilience and beauty. …

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The Best of Brain Pickings 2020

A glance over the shoulder of time to reveal the patterns, themes, and ideas that steady us and shelter us in the tempest of life. …

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Favorite Books of 2020

Audre Lorde, Keith Haring, Bruce Lee, chance, love, black holes, constraint as a catalyst of creativity, and a whisper of Whitman. …

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If You Come to Earth: A Tender Illustrated Celebration of the Many Ways to Be Human and What Makes Our Miraculous Planet a World

A humanistic love letter to who and what we are, together on this lonesome, wild, and wondrous rock adrift around a common star. …

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The Shadow Elephant: A Tender Illustrated Fable About What It Takes to Unblue Our Sorrows and Lighten the Load of Our Heaviest Emotions

In praise of that quiet, nonjudgmental place of permission where all healing begins. …

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Every Color of Light: A Stunning Japanese Illustrated Celebration of Change, the Sky, and the Fullness of Life

A synesthetic invitation to dance across the full span of the spectrum within and without. …

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Emily Dickinson’s Revolutionary and Reclusive Life, in a Lyrical Picture-Book from the Lacuna Between Fact and Myth

…and one of the loveliest definitions of what poetry is. …

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Two Friends: A Lovely Illustrated Celebration of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony’s Entwined Paths as Pioneers of Freedom, Justice, and Equality

The story of two uncommonly courageous people who met in their twenties and spent the rest of their lives determined “to help each other, so one day all people could have rights.” …

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The Stuff of Stars: A Stunning Marbled Serenade to the Native Poetry of Science and the Cosmic Interleaving of Life

A consummate celebration of the improbable loveliness of life amid the edgeless panorama of cosmic being. …

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Drawing on Walls: An Wondrous Illustrated Homage to Keith Haring, His Irrepressible Art of Hope, and His Beautiful Bond with Children

“Children know something that most people have forgotten. Children possess a fascination with their everyday existence that is very special and would be very helpful to adults if they could learn to understand and respect it.” …

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