People who don't have children sometimes complain that kids are narcissistic, sociopathic little terrors. But any parent will tell you that is an unfair assessment. They are also messy, noisy, whining, and germy.
That's why, as a parent, I loved Tiny Art Director, a new book by artist Bill Zeman. Based on Zeman's funny blog of the same name, Tiny Art Director contains images that Zeman's (now five-year-old) daughter Rosie asked him to paint. Rosie's briefs are hilarious: "A sick crocodile." "A bone dinosaur eating a baby." "A cat killing a rat." "A dragon sneaking up on a girl. She's picking flowers." Each image includes commentary from Rosie (aka, the tiny art director) that reveals her to be as fussy, capricious, self-contradictory, and bossy as many grown up art directors I know. (Click on the example above for a closer look at Rosie's style of criticism.)
My wife, my two daughters, and I read the book last night and we laughed on almost every page. Jane, my six-year-old especially likes the book because she thinks Rosie (left) looks like her (right). In fact, my wife and 12-year-old daughter thought I had somehow put Jane's photo in the book and was pulling a trick on them.
What I loved about this book is learning about the extraordinary relationship between Rosie and Zeman. Rosie is a harsh critic, but it's clear that she and her dad are having a terrific time together. I hope they put out a sequel soon!
Tiny Art Director
In 2012, Kim Stanley Robinson published 2312, imagining how the world and its neighbors might look in 300 years, loosely coupled with the seminal Red Mars books, a futuristically pastoral novel about the way that technology can celebrate the glories of nature; in 2015, Robinson followed it up with Aurora, the best book I read that year, which used 2312’s futures to demolish the idea that we can treat space colonization (and other muscular technological projects) as Plan B for climate change — a belief that is very comforting to those who don’t or can’t imagine transforming capitalism into a political system that doesn’t demolish the planet. Now, with New York 2140, Robinson starts to connect the dots between these different futures with a bold, exhilarating story of life in a permanent climate crisis, where most people come together in adversity, but where a small rump of greedy, powerful people get in their way.
Last December, I published my review of Andrew “bunnie” Huang’s astoundingly great book The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware — without realizing that the book’s release had been delayed because the published decided to do some very fancy and cool stuff with the printing process.
It’s been fifteen years since the first edition of educator Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabes was published; now in its third edition — updated with current, timely material about social media and other fast-moving subjects, as well as reflections from girls who were raised on the techniques in the previous editions — the book is a compassionate, aware, and intensely practical guide to navigating the toxic, gendered lives of young girls in a diverse, politicized world.
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]