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Beastly Verses By Lewis Carroll, William Blake, D.H. Lawrence and other timeless poets

Beastly Verse is Joohee Yoon's beautifully illustrated children’s book of poems about animals on wonderfully thick, textured paper.

Each short poem, by classic authors such as Lewis Carroll, William Blake, D.H. Lawrence, and Carolyn Wells, is accompanied by a playfully silly illustration, many which pull out to create a three-page spread. And yet many of the poems, which are as whimsical as the beastly images, are also layered with a deeper meaning of nature and life itself. This is one of those books that adults will savor as much as – if not more than – the children who own it.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection just $14

I reviewed this beautifully designed Minecraft boxed set of four hardcover handbooks in December. The price has since dropped to $14, which is a great deal.

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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.

Be in a Treehouse: design and construction tips for arboreal living

Thanks to his TV show, Treehouse Masters, Pete Nelson is probably the best-known treehouse designer and builder in America.

His book, Be in a Treehouse, has photos of 27 beautiful treehouses from around the world, including many of his own design. He includes sketches, design notes, tips, and general observations useful to anyone contemplating building their own backyard treehouse.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Snatch: world's liveliest family game

Silly innuendoes aside, this looks like a fun game from 1954. Time for someone to make it again?

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Pondok Pekak Library, a hidden gem in Ubud, Bali

Ubud has been called the cultural center of Bali, and at the heart of Ubud Village sits the literary oasis that is the Pondok Pekak Library & Learning Center. It was one of our favorite hangouts while we visited Bali.Read the rest

Adventure Time's BMO made from Raspberry Pi

From MAKE: this cute BMO replica with a Raspberry Pi brain.

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How to make a smartphone microscope

Kenji Yoshino of MAKE shows you how to make a powerful microscope from "the focus lens from a cheap laser pointer or two, and about $10 worth of materials from the hardware store."

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How to make your own sliced deck of cards

A few hours after I ordered a box of half-wide playing cards I realized I had the tools and materials to make my own.

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7 electronics kits for kids

The Guardian reviews a selection of fun kids' electronic kits, including littleBits Space Kit, and the Raspberry Pi based Kano computer.

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Interview with Mike Evans of the Secret Dad Society

Kevin Kelly and I interviewed Mike Evans of the Secret Dad Society on the Cool Tools Show podcast. He recommends a bunch of toys and tools for family fun. Check out his picks here.

New component adds cellular networking to DIY projects

electron

The Spark Electron is a small component that enables devices to connect to the Internet where there is no WiFi or Bluetooth.

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Teen makes Arduino compatible with rechargeable battery

Quin Etnyre is one of the coolest kids I know. He saved my butt a few years ago when he was my "assistant" at an Arduino workshop I gave.

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How to make a dandelion paperweight

MAKE has posted a video (shot entirely in portrait mode!) on how to preserve a dried dandelion in resin. It uses a gumball toy capsule as the mold.

How to make a golf ball bounce 8 times higher than where you dropped it

Physics Girl demonstrates a neat trick with a stack of balls. [via]

WATCH: Magnetic silly putty eats a magnet

I missed this video when Scott Lawson released it in 2013. It's a 50 second timelapse taken over 1.5 hour period, showing some magnetic silly putty surrounding itself around a neodymium magnet.

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Dad builds a VW microbus bed for his daughter

“DIYDad” built a VW microbus bed as a birthday gift for his three year old daughter. The bed is on top, and a play space is below. It uses real VW parts scored for free on Craigslist, and the headlights are illuminated. [via]