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A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.



Posts tagged "parenting"

Oct 05, 2014
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A little girl was in a drawing lesson. [The teacher] said, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what God looks like.” And the girl said, “They will in a minute.”
— Sir Ken Robinson, “How Schools Kill Creativity

Sep 30, 2014
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Parenting Tips from a Vampire Weekend Mom

There’s a nice 2013 New Yorker profile of Najmieh Batmanglij, a cookbook writer who also happens to be the mother of Zal Batmanglij, a filmmaker, and Rostam Batmangali, one of the members of the band Vampire Weekend.

Her parenting tips are pretty solid, especially this one:

Model creativity by being creative yourself, and in so doing, give your kids a realistic sense of how much work is involved.

Here’s Rostam, remembering what albums she’d listen to while cooking:

Rostam’s experience suggests a possible benefit to working at home where your kids can see some of what you do and how you do it. In his case, he eked out an extra creative bonus. His mom was sometimes so caught up in her cooking that she neglected to switch out the two CDs she had in her kitchen for years, and that Rostam remembers playing on repeat: Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” and the soundtrack of the movie “The Big Night” (lots of bouncy Louis Prima and Claudio Villa). “When you get to the point where you know something in-and-out like that,” Rostam said, “it starts to sink in and affect who you are.”

Which makes perfect sense, if you’ve listened to Vampire Weekend.

Filed under: parenting

Sep 16, 2014
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Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows

Some of the most beautiful drawing I’ve seen in a comic — no surprise that Pedrosa used to be a Disney animator. He’s sort of hard to find online, but you can see some of his old Moleskines here, and a nice, short interview about the book.

Filed under: my reading year 2014

Feb 14, 2014
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Darwin’s Children Drew All Over his manuscript

The top image was drawn on the back of the On The Origin Of The Species manuscript, the second image is of the Darwin family home:

with cozy details like a tea kettle on the boil and a fluffy orange cat in the attic window… Fascinatingly, this image might be detailed enough that it actually depicts Darwin’s famous sandwalk, his “thinking path” that led to the family greenhouse (which is, perhaps, the structure visible at the end of the path). The area was later made into a playground for the Darwin children.

The third image is of Emma Darwin’s diary, which a toddler has blacked out.

It’s all a great reminder that even legendary scientists had family lives, and that when we think about history, it’s important to remember that famous figures weren’t working in isolation. They were surrounded by far less famous friends, family members, acquaintances, and enemies. And sometimes, when we get lucky, we see some of their artifacts from the past too.

Filed under: parenting

(via)

Jan 01, 2014
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My reading (with my son) year, 2013 

I probably spent more hours this year reading with my son (he’s 14 months now) than reading by myself. Here are 10 books that we both enjoyed reading a lot. (There are a handful of books he adores that I cannot stand, and a handful that I love but he could care less about.) If you need a gift for a newborn or a toddler, I highly recommend all of these.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss and Marjorie Priceman

This one has it all: bright, beautiful illustrations, great rhyming verses, and a great narrative: each instrument comes onstage to make a new musical combo, ending with an orchestra. Love this book.

Amazing Machines: Truckload of Fun Box Set by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker

A set of 10 books about how various kinds of machines operate. (I actually didn’t know how a submarine worked until I read the submarine book.) My son is obsessed by anything with wheels, so I’ve read Cool Cars about a bazillion times, and when we’re not reading the book, he’s pushing the truck box around making truck noises. At $18, this set is a steal.

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry

Speaking of wheels, this book is probably my son’s favorite. It rhymes, there are animal noises, and occasionally you’ll see a little blue truck out in the wild. Excellent.

Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham

A classic for a reason. Love Bloy Graham’s illustrations. And we have a dog who looks a lot like Harry.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Believe it or not, I didn’t grow up with this book. At first I thought it might be too intense or scary for Owen, but he loves it, mainly, I think, because the pictures are so textured and gorgeous. Another classic for a reason.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

The rhyming scheme is a little wonky, but the illustrations are so great.

Hop On Pop by Dr. Seuss

My copy doesn’t have the tagline “the simplest Seuss for toddlers’ use,” but that’s actually a great description. Plus, it contains the truest spread in American literature.

Jungle Animals/Animales de la selva by Mike Lowery

Various jungle animals captioned with their names in English and Spanish. I love Lowery’s style.

Andy Warhol’s Colors by Susan Goldman Rubin

Super simple short book that matches some of Warhol’s animal drawings with little cute captions. Was really surprised how much Owen liked this. Because it’s so small, we can throw it in the diaper bag, which saved us at many restaurants and airports over the year.

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

This is a brand new addition to our library, but it’s been an instant hit. (Plus, my wife is a PhD in architecture, so…)

Filed under: my reading year, 2013

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The truest spread in American literature. 

(From Dr. Seuss’s Hop On Pop)

The truest spread in American literature. 

(From Dr. Seuss’s Hop On Pop)

Dec 29, 2013
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[My younger daughter] thought the typewriter was a toy that I went into my room and closed the door and played with.

Dec 07, 2013
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The Walkmen with their kids

One of my favorite bands has gone on an indefinite hiatus.

I saw them in 2002 when I was nineteen and took pictures, on film.

From 2002-2012, they put out an album every two years. Never a stinker.

We’re lucky they made music for us as long as they did.

Thanks guys.

The Walkmen with their kids

One of my favorite bands has gone on an indefinite hiatus.

I saw them in 2002 when I was nineteen and took pictures, on film.

From 2002-2012, they put out an album every two years. Never a stinker.

We’re lucky they made music for us as long as they did.

Thanks guys.

Nov 24, 2013
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I want them to understand that being a grown-up is not being boring. It’s being alive.
Guillermo del Toro, on passing his sketchbooks on to his daughters (cf.)

Nov 19, 2013
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I learned so much about art from watching a kid draw. I taught at the grade-school level. Kids don’t call it art when they’re throwing things around, drawing—they’re just doing stuff.
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