seasons  Seasons by BlexbolexThe author, a French comics illustrator, has created a wonderfully engaging children’s/graphic art book for all ages. It is a tour through the seasons, with each page headed in block letters, depicting a scene or object reminiscent of that time of year. The artwork is somewhat retro and the mood varies from being playful to sometimes ironic (as “fragrance” leads to “allergy”). Just the feel of the paper makes it easy to immerse oneself in this book. At the end the author states, “Blexbolex got lost for a while in the pages of his books. He has needed two summers, an autumn, a winter, a spring, several storms and a lot of sunshine to rediscover the seasons for himself.”
 Natural Curiosities  by Alfred Russell WallaceIn the 17th and 18th centuries curiosity cabinets were kept by wealthy families  to preserve  the most beautiful and rare specimens in nature.  This book depicts over 200 artistic renderings (mostly  from the 18thcentury) of birds, plants, sea creatures, insects and fossils, which were part of those collections. This is a perfect book for anyone interested in nature and art.  As the opening quote by Lao Tzu states, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
 and-pursuit  And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman I have long been an admirer of Maira Kalman’s quirky artwork and entertaining children’s books. Here she combines her inimitable talents to explore the workings of American democracy. It is part history and part modern travelogue. She begins with paintings from her experience at President Obama’s inauguration in January, then takes us to the presidencies of Lincoln and Washington, to a modern town hall meeting, and to the workings of the supreme court. Throughout, she pays tribute to the many things that bring her happiness: “Hallelujah for the Walt Whitman rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike where the plastic flowers in the women’s restroom looked quite noble.” She ends by wondering what would make the founding fathers happy today. It’s a whimsical and heartfelt look at our country in words and paintings, and as she says, “History can make you hungry.”
lost Lost and Found by Shaun Tan
If you haven’t checked out Tan’s work (The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia) you’re in for a treat. Stunning is the word that comes immediately to mind. This book collects three of his stories, originally published in Australia: The Red Tree, The Rabbits and The Lost Thing which is the basis for the Oscar-winning Best Short Film of 2011.
at-elizabeth At Elizabeth David’s Table, preface by Ruth Reichl; introduction by Jill Norman
I tend to be easily attracted to Mediterranean cookbooks with gorgeous photos, but this one begs to be held. As the introduction says, “Elizabeth’s recipes make you want to cook; the aroma of a dish and its vibrant colors spring from the page.” Once you enter her world, it’s difficult to leave.
mr-m Mr. M the Exploring Dreamer by Soizick Meister
This is painter Meister’s tribute to the surrealism of  Rene Magritte.  Mr. M is pictured in absurd situations within the beautiful landscape of British Columbia. The text and artwork play off each other in unique and often humorous ways.  Lose yourself in this book!