WAKE UP! A picture book exploring new life
Life is a continuing cycle of newness, then growth, and then gone: then birth and growth again. I started thinking about that theme of new life and new beginnings several years ago, and WAKE UP!, published by Candlewick Press, is the result. Working with my collaborator, poet Helen Frost, our book is about opening eyes—our own, first—and pointing to the world that’s right here, containing us all. Helen and I are both based in the US Midwest, so we started there, with a world that we didn’t need to travel far to explore, only wake up enough to actually see.
Lifting up a random garden brick to find these tiny, translucent eggs in the mud—they’re almost glowing. Slug eggs! Who knew they were so beautiful?
After weeks of waiting for a swan’s eggs to hatch, I caught a glimpse of the last of seven cygnets, breaking through its egg, barely able to keep its head upright, wet feathers just starting to dry.
During a garden party, I noticed a pair of wrens building a backyard nest. I had to duck out of the party, but I got this amazing image of the proud mother with a feather to pad her nest; we ended up using it for the book’s back cover.
A serendipitous capture: a tiny adult vinegar fly lands on the head of a days-old sawfly larva, fifty times its size. And neither one seems to mind.
As happens with all my books, I had more images than would fit in 32 pages. For the first time, last spring I watched a robin family go from newly-laid eggs to the first baby to leave the nest, and I was able to include a video sequence of the mother robin feeding worms to her nestlings in the trailer I made for WAKE UP!
Any of these photos, all of them, are just one turn of the daily kaleidoscope of life, that big group portrait of the wild and subtle panoply existing everywhere around us. Especially now, in this unsettled and rancorous climate, renewal seems especially necessary, and feels especially good.
WAKE UP! [Rick Lieder and Helen Frost/Candlewick]
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
The Kaonashi No-Face Piggy Bank makes the most out of one of the coolest characters in Studio Ghibli’s storied history — but getting one exported to you from Japan costs an astounding $164. (via Kadrey)
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]