Boing Boing 

Carla Sinclair

Carla Sinclair is the co-founder of bOING bOING, the founding editor-in-chief of CRAFT magazine, and editor-in-chief of Wink. She has written several books, including Net Chick, The Happy Mutant Handbook, Signal to Noise, and Braid Crazy.

Vegetables in Underwear

Vegetables in Underwear, released today, wins first place for the cutest and most original book for toddlers learning to shed their diapers. Jared Chapman’s adorably bright and bold illustrations of vegetables like broccoli and radishes showing off in their big kid underwear are as whimsical as the book’s title, and makes the transition from diapers to undies seem like a fun and playful event rather than some stressful chore. For anyone currently acting as potty trainer (or trainee!), this handy book should sit prominently on top of your powder room bookstand.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Age of Selfishness

A graphic look at Ayn Rand’s life, libertarianism, the financial crisis of 2008, and where the financial world is headed nowRead the rest

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook

At first glance, I thought The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook might be too gimmicky to take seriously – recipes by top mystery authors, including Mary Higgins Clark, Gillian Flynn, James Patterson, Lisa Unger, and dozens of others.

But its thick textured pages and beautiful photographs drew me in, and before I knew it I was eating a bowl of zucchini pasta-less pasta from a recipe that First Blood author David Morrell offers (my dish is pictured above). The green ribbons of “pasta” were simple to make and absolutely delicious.

I’ve now got Post-it notes stuck on all the recipes I want to try, including Hallie Ephron’s simple potato pancakes, Mary Higgins Clark’s “Game Night Chili,” Adrienne Barbeau’s stuffed grape leaves, and for when I’m feeling extra decadent, James Patterson’s “Killer Chocolate Cake” (which has butter listed as its first ingredient!).

Along with each entry, the author writes a fun backstory on his or her recipe. This original cookbook is perfect for all food and mystery fans.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Write for Wink - and get paid!

Calling all writers! Wink needs reviewers! Wink is launching a new site, Wink Fun, which will feature daily reviews of games, toys, puzzles, kits, extreme sports gear, dolls, and anything else that is purely for FUN.

Read the rest

The art of the Soviet propaganda poster

After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Soviet Union was flooded with striking posters spreading communist propaganda.

Read the rest

Mysteries of the Criminal Mind is a fascinating read, but not for the light-hearted

Focusing on historical and modern-day crime, mostly in the United States, Mysteries of the Criminal Mind takes a look at the social environment, upbringing, genetics, DNA, and other factors that comprise the minds of kidnappers, rapists, murderers, and large-scale thieves and scammers.

Read the rest

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments

When I was 8 years old I was the only girl in a backgammon tournament of almost all older men. The gray-haired gentleman I was playing in the first round made a mistake when taking his turn and therefore beat me. I told him he made a mistake.

Read the rest

Relae – Michelin-star chef offers recipes and inspirational bite-size essays

Relae: A Book of Ideas is marketed as a cookbook, but it’s so much more.

Read the rest

An encyclopedia of how keys, scissors, pianos, telescopes, self-winding watches, and hundreds of other things work

The New Way Things Work, published in 1998, was an updated version of the original 1988 The Way Things Work edition. Although technically not “new” anymore, this wonderfully illustrated encyclopedia of how things work is as captivating now as it was almost two decades ago.

Read the rest

Stiffs, Skulls and Skeletons – Over 400 medical portraits taken in the 1800s and early 1900s

Dr. Stanley Burns has collected over 1-million medical photographs from the 1800s and early 1900s, when posing for a professional portrait in the style of a painting was trendy.

Read the rest

History of the World in 1,000 Objects

History of the World in 1000 Objects opens up with a simple stone handax for cutting and digging made around 1.65-million years ago and ends, 999 artifacts later, with satellites and smart phones.

Read the rest

The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature

Imagine Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer told in Family Circus comic strip style, Alice in Wonderland’s Alice as a rude fat brat with a Valley-girl accent, Little Red Riding Hood as a young woman who climbs into bed with the Wolf, or Harry Potter told as a comic without words, except for some exclamations and sound affects. Although these mega-popular “children’s” stories have already been recreated by illustrators, artists and filmmakers throughout the years, Graphic Canon presents them and 46 others with a fresh and twisted take by contemporary artists such as Dame Darcy, Lucy Knisely, Roberta Gregory, and World War 3’s Peter Kuper. From Aesop fables and Brothers Grimm tales to The Little Mermaid, Mark Twain’s “Advice to Little Girls,” The Oz series and Watership Down, this fourth volume of Graphic Canon brings us household children’s literature as we’ve never seen it before. This book of children’s literature might not be suitable for children! I would rate it PG-13.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

To the Village Square – a photojournalist’s collection of anti-nuke images that span the last 40 years

Although the No Nukes slogan hearkens back to a louder, more passionate era of demonstrators of the 1970s, To the Village Square is a stark reminder that nuclear disasters are still happening, and that it still takes a village of voices – and images – to raise awareness.

Photojournalist Lionel Delevingne, who moved from France to the US in the 1970s, has been documenting the “No Nukes” crusade for almost four decades through his raw and striking photographs. His candid images of passionate demonstrators and disaster-stricken regions and their victims have been published in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, The New York Times, National Geographic, and many other publications. From the protestors of the Seabrook Station in Massachusetts to the disasters of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, Delevingne has captured the emotions, devastation and unity brought about by the anti nuclear movement.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Pop-Up Op-Art book is more a piece of 3D art than it is a book

Pop-Up Op-Art is more a piece of 3D art than it is a book. With each turn of the thick cardboard pages pops a bold and modern structure created by paper artist Philippe Ug (author of Funny Birds and other high-end pop-up books). Although known for more elaborate pop-up masterpieces in his earlier books, here Ug constructs streamlined cube-based op-art pops that pay homage to the “father of op-art,” Victor Vasarely. Beautiful to look at, I only wish the book was quadruple the length.

See sample pages of Pop-Up Op-Art at Wink.

Leif the Lucky – A gorgeously illustrated bio on Leif Erikson, the first European to set foot in America

Leif Erikson, the Viking explorer, is usually just briefly touched on in elementary school classrooms. But his rich story is a captivating one that any child – or adult – would enjoy. As a boy he moved from Iceland to icy Greenland, where his father established the continent’s first settlement. Eric grew up learning how to sail ships, throw spears, and catch sea animals for dinner. He played with baby polar bears and dreamed of adventures.

As a young adult Leif sailed to Norway and charmed the king with a Greenland falcon on his fist and a bear cub at his side. The king granted him permission to explore the west (Leif’s father had once seen a speck of something west of Greenland on an earlier exploration), and Leif became the first European to set foot in America (Canada) – 500 years before Christopher Columbus “discovered” it. Soon Leif’s relatives settled in this new land – for a while – until, well, I won’t give the whole story away, but let’s just say they were chased off the new land and forced to hightail it back to Greenland.

As soon as I laid my eyes on this book I was blown away by the stunning art: the bold popping colors on some pages, the beautifully shaded black and white images on others, and the saturated details and texture that all of the illustrations enjoy. And then I found out the book was first published in 1941 by Doubleday, created by the bohemian husband-and-wife team Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire, who wrote 27 illustrated books in all (many of them tales about Scandinavian heroes and mythology). Leif the Lucky is one of three of their books to be reprinted by University of Minnesota Press, and I now need to get my hands on the other two (Children of the Northlights and Ola).

Leif the Lucky, by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

See sample pages of Leif the Lucky at Wink.

Dreamscapes of marching military eggs, animated skeletons, anthropomorphic insects and other phantasmic scenes

Mike Davis, owner of the well-known Everlasting Tattoo shop in San Francisco, is also a surrealist artist whose rich and dreamlike oil paintings look as if they’ve been plucked right out of the Dutch Renaissance. A cross between artists Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Davis merges beautifully realistic landscapes of lakes and snowflakes and silhouetted winter trees with scenes of animated skeletons, fighting rooster-headed men, anthropomorphic insects, marching military eggs and large human ears that spew blood-tinted waterfalls. Mike Davis, with its textured cloth cover, is a luxurious book that showcases over a decade’s worth of the painter’s work. And to think that Davis is a self-taught artist who didn’t start painting until he was in his late thirties – simply mind-boggling.

Mike Davis: A Blind Man’s Journey, by Mike Davis

See sample pages of A Blind Man's Journey: The Art of Mike Davis at Wink.

Pippi Won’t Grow Up – Whimsical, charming and wonderfully absurd

Just released today is Pippi Won’t Grow Up, Drawn and Quarterly’s third volume of Pippi Longstocking comics. Last spring I reviewed the hilarious second volume, Pippi Fixes Everything, and this one is just as whimsical, humorous and utterly charming.

Read the rest