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Blogs I Love

November 3, 2009

Maira Kalman has a fabulous blog at The New York Times website titled “And the Pursuit of Happiness.” The subject of her blog is pretty common, American democracy, nothing too novel in terms of today’s blogosphere. What is remarkable, however, are her illustrations and her style of writing; I just adore this blog, and no mater what the subject of the entry, I always come away from reading it with a smile on my face. I think it’s because her drawings are filled with such bright, happy colors.

Maira publishes a new entry once a month and the most recent entry is all about her visit to D.C. She talks about visiting the Capitol Building, meeting the dedicated staff members who work there, and visiting with Representatives and Senators. Her enthusiasm in describing the art and architecture found in the Capitol Building reminds me of why the art lover in me is always excited by a visit to this glorious building. Past subjects of the blog include observations on immigration, the inauguration, Benjamin Franklin, and the cost of war. Each entry is filled with a mix of Maira’s beautiful drawings and photographs as well as her beautiful, hand-written poetry.

I actually first became aware of Maira Kalman’s art and poetry when I was very young. My aunt gave me Maira’s book, Max Makes a Million, probably when I was around six or seven. I have loved it ever since. When I was younger I was fascinated with the illustrations as well as the unorthodox style of presenting the writing on the book pages: the letters got progressively bigger, they weren’t always in a straight line, they arched and curved around the illustrations. It was the perfect marriage of text and illustration.

I also loved the main character, the dog Max, who’s dream was to move to Paris and be a poet. That sounded like so much fun. And it helped fuel a lifeling passion for all things French, and an intense desire to visit Paris (which finally came true when I was 17). I read Max Makes a Million hundreds of times by myself when I was young, and when I was old enough, it became one of my favorite books to take with me when I babysat.

Maira Kalman has written and illustrated many children’s books, including a few more about Max, and has also illustrated a recent edition of the Strunk and White classic, The Elements of Style. You can visit her website here.

I really hope you’ll visit her blog on the NYT website and take a look around. I know I can’t wait until next month’s entry.


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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 3, 2009 5:46 pm

    thank you so much for recommending her blog!! i absolutely lovvved it!!! 🙂

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