This Thing Called Life
Hundertwasser: The House of Happy Spirits
Where do you go to spark your creativity? When I can’t travel I look to my bookshelf. My friends at Prestel Publishing sent me a selection of their latest offerings in children’s books, and I’m so absolutely inspired. While I love classic literature, there are so many amazing storytellers and illustrators still yet to be discovered! Check out these titles for the young, or “young at heart” in your life. All will be available soon on Goodreads, Amazon and other bookseller sites!
This Thing Called Life by Christian Borstlap is a deliciously drawn romp that delivers a poetically simple, yet a philosophical answer to what exactly life is all about. I love how the book begins with “Long, long ago before little white wires started growing out of our ears…” Technology offers so many opportunities, but children need to use all their senses to discover. And this book lets you explore many of those senses. I love how the 2-page spreads introduce characters, colors, motions, and words that offer answers to really big questions for growing minds. Similar to Dr. Seuss’ All the Places We Go, I think this book could also be an awesome gift for a teen or adult as they reach a life milestone. The book allows anyone to apply their life experiences to the pages, and find new inspirations and life lessons each time it is read. Perfect for young kids on up! Retails for $17.95 in the U.S.
Hundertwasser: The House of Happy Spirits by Geraldine Elschner & Lucie Vandevelde is a beautiful way to introduce your elementary-aged kids to a real-life pioneer in art, architecture, environmentalism, and philosophy. The book tells the story of Austrian-born Friedensreich Hundertwasser who envisioned and constructed buildings and homes that mirror and embrace nature so that the residents could be more connected to the natural world. The story is told through the eyes of a neighborhood child that watches a construction site on their street become the happy home of a Hundertwasser-designed building. The colorful, imaginative illustrations exemplify for the reader much of the visionary’s work. He rejected geometrical straight lines but rather incorporated bends and curves like those found in rivers, mountains, and plants. The illustrator does the same in this book with lots of rainbow-colored swervy, crooked shapes coming together to depict a new building like no other the narrator or many of us readers have ever seen. I love how this book will help kids understand that creativity can affect all that surrounds them and that boundaries are meant to be questioned and pushed to create beauty and new opportunities for us and our earth. Due to the heavier text and weightier topic, I would introduce this book to kids in grades three and up. A great book for kids who like to build with Legos, appreciate art projects, or just have wild imaginations that need to be inspired regularly. Really, this is everyone -don’t you think? Retails for $14.95 in the U.S.