Inspiration from then and now

That last post was a little wordy. I’ll try to lower my word count average with a focus on pictures here. I’ve mentioned that my dad was an artist, so my sister and grew up with plenty of art supplies and books about art. I particularly remember reading this book:

And being read this story:

And this one, which was, for some reason, one of my favorite, favorite books when I was a kid. And which I was thrilled to find recently, still in print in a children’s bookstore. I immediately snapped up a copy.

The Color Kittens also reminds me of a book that was a favorite of my own kids when they were small.

And of course, they also had Harold and the Purple Crayon. And The Boy Who Drew Cats.

Yesterday I bought myself a newer book that makes me feel the same way these children’s books did (do!)–even though it isn’t strictly speaking about art, the drawings and paintings in Kate T. Williamson’s A Year in Japan make me very, very happy. The book has been out a while, and I keep seeing references to it and its wonderfulness, but the fact that it has very little text kept making me pass it up. What do I need with a picture book, right?

I’m telling you, I’m so happy I bought it–I do need this book, and so do you. The color pictures are simple and vibrant and say it all without fussing. Even the black and white line drawings, like this crane

say so much. And for the record, what little text the book contains is equally wonderful. Marvelous descriptions not of temples and Mt. Fuji and kimono (okay, there are some great kimono), but pitch-perfect little pictures of everyday life in Japan–sumo wrestlers listening to music through their headphones, instructions on how to count blocks of tofu, and an annotated illustration of a traditional Japanese lunch. It makes me happier just knowing this book is on my shelf.

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