Posts Tagged ‘JonArno lawson’

I saw another recommendation at Brain Pickings for an intriguing-sounding book and bought it to have around for my grandchildren. It doesn’t have words, and when I tried to talk through the pictures to my second grandson, he said, “Read it.” He could tell I wasn’t using the read-a-story-book-voice.

But it’s a thoroughly charming book, and I’m sure he’ll catch on.

Maria Popova writes, “Half a century after Ruth Krauss wrote, and Maurice Sendak illustrated, one of the loveliest lines in the history of children’s books — “Everybody should be quiet near a little stream and listen.” — poet JonArno Lawson and illustrator Sydney Smith team up on a magnificent modern manifesto for the everyday art of noticing in a culture that rips the soul asunder with the dual demands of distraction and efficiency.

“Sidewalk Flowers (public library) tells the wordless story of a little girl on her way home with her device-distracted father, a contemporary Little Red Riding Hood walking through the urban forest. Along the way, she collects wildflowers and leaves them as silent gifts for her fellow participants in this pulsating mystery we call life — the homeless man sleeping on a park bench, the sparrow having completed its earthly hours, the neighbor’s dog and, finally, her mother’s and brothers’ hair. …

Sidewalk Flowers, which is immeasurably wonderful in its analog totality, comes from Canadian independent children’s-book publisher Groundwood Books.” More thoughtful description and more of the pictures may be found here.

I think Popova’s Brain Pickings blog is amazing, even if her prose is sometimes a little purple. I myself wouldn’t say that the demands of our always-on-the-job culture “rips the soul asunder.” Those demands are mostly pointless and should be ignored.

Art: Sydney Smith

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