(actually more than) nine cool things on a tuesday

art by Maira Kalman


1. Surely there’s no better way to begin a day, a week, a month, a year — or even a roundup — than with a Maira Kalman fix. The above painting is part of an exhibition featuring 100 pieces of her work, “The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children,” running through September 15, 2019 at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and coming to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (October 13, 2019 – January 19, 2020).

If you can’t make it in person, the next best thing is this paperback exhibit catalog:



LOVE me some Maira! Anytime, anyplace. And the thing is, whenever I think I can’t adore her even more, she’ll do something new to tickle me pink all over again. Take this short film she made recently in collaboration with her son Alex, for example. Can’t decide what I like most — the talking chicken piano teacher? the naps? or the pink cake? When it comes to Maira, every day is a wonderful day:



And there’s more: look what’s coming out in March 2020!


Cannot. Wait. Available now for pre-order!



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remembering margaret on memorial day

When we were preparing for my mother’s memorial service last month, we found several files full of newspaper clippings, photos and documents relating to her service in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.

It was interesting to see the orders calling her to active duty, a roster of the first 59 women from Hawai’i to enlist, correspondence about awards and medals she had earned, and her certificate of Honorable Discharge. But what my brother and I probably cherished most was a short chronology she had written about her experiences.

Her simple words were an unexpected gift that made us appreciate anew her courage and resolve during uncertain times. She was living on O’ahu when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She was willing to leave her family and friends to serve in the military at a time of rampant racism and sexism, not knowing where in the world she would be sent once she finished basic training.

In my mom’s handwriting on the back of this photo: “This is the picture we took at our company party. The lei are all paper lei we made.”

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soup of the day: mare’s war!


These are probably not your mother’s stilettos.

But they could be your grandma’s!

Just ask Tali and Octavia, whose grandmother not only wears red stilettos, but drives a red sportscar, dons flippy wigs and push-up bras, has very strong opinions, and tells them about her very surprising history.

Woo Hoo! The day I’ve been waiting for all year long has finally arrived: official pub day for Mare’s War, a young adult novel written by the one and only Tanita S. Davis!!

*stilettos all over the world clicking together in celebration*

       MARE’S WAR by Tanita S. Davis,
       (Knopf, 2009), Young Adult Historical Fiction,
       Ages 12+, 352 pp.

Tanita’s first book, A La Carte (2008), was so thoroughly delicious that I can’t wait to read Mare’s War. Mare is the grandmother in question; Tali and Octavia’s summer plans are ruined when their parents force them to accompany Mare on a l-o-n-g cross-country road trip.

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