Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sweet Dreams

A Friends and Family Book Review

For a long time, I have felt lucky not only to have been born into a family of writers, but to have married into another. I also feel fortunate in being able to count many talented writers among my friends.

Robin Landa, the author of The Dream Box, a children’s picture book, is one of them. The Dream Box tells the story of Alex, a bird who is determined “to stay awake forever” after he is troubled by a series of bad dreams. When his mother’s and grandmother’s advice to think of “nice things” and have “happy thoughts” fails to do the trick, Alex can barely keep his eyes open in school or at home. Just in time, he finds a Dream Box on his bed, designed to get rid of nightmares permanently. Could his Aunt Dee have left it behind? By following the directions that come with the box, Alex is finally able to get a good night’s sleep!

Ms. Landa’s imaginative and reassuring prose is accompanied by  inventive illustrations from the Modern Dog Design Company.  The book also includes a template and suggestions for young readers who want to make their own Dream Box.

The Dream Box has  been endorsed by clinical psychologist, Dr. Jill Bellinson, who wrote:
Every child who’s ever had nightmares (and every parent who’s tried to help) should have this book and use its technique.

For now, The Dream Box is available only on iTunes or as an ebook from Amazon.

Robin Landa is also the author of several books on advertising and graphic design, as well as Take a Line for a Walk: A Creativity Journal, a book that invites people of all ages and abilities to pick up a pencil or pen and start drawing.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reading List – International Edition

Although I’ve read thousands of books by North American and English authors, I can’t say the same about literature from many of the world’s other 196+ countries. My reading experience has definitely not been as worldly as I would like it to be. Time to branch out.

(While one book can hardly begin to represent the literature of an entire nation, over the next few weeks, I’m going to see how many countries are represented on my “already read list.”)

Book suggestions are welcome.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Grand Central!

Grand Central Terminal turned 100 years old today. I was happy to be passing through it on my way to Westchester just in time to hear some live music and soak up the energy of the celebration. The crowd on the main concourse was even bigger than usual, yet as author Tony Hiss has observed, for the most part, pedestrian collisions are miraculously avoided.  Here’s a glimpse of what I saw:

While I’ve read only a small portion of the many books, articles, and essays that have been written about Grand Central,  Maira Kalman’s is one of my favorites.  Next Stop Grand Central is a children’s picture book, but I think most adults will enjoy the whimsical text and drawings.