The Museum of Picture Books in Fukushima, Japan

Grownup bookshelves almost always have the books lined up spine-side out, so that you stand politely with your hands behind your back and your head tilted uncomfortably to the left or the right.

Children bookshelves really should have the books lined up cover-side out, so that your hands reach out eagerly and your head looks up down left and right until you see the perfect book.

Bookshelf lovers, drool along with me, please: the Museum of Picture Books in Iwaki-shi, Fukushima-ken, Japan looks stunning. Founder Rei Maki collected children’s picture books and needed a terrifically welcoming environment to house them. She asked Tadao Ando, one of the best kid-friendly architects out there, for help.

Splutter in sheer amazement at the results.

If those kindergartners haven’t been fascinated by books yet, this museum should give a helpful shove in that direction.

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Newspaper links come and go, so read this Daily Yomiuri article while you can. A few more heart-flipping photos are here and on Architecture of the Month (scroll waaaaaaaaay down to April 2006).

The Raw Food Kids

Are you a raw food kid?

Kindly talk to me about your experiences, please. I don’t know enough about the Raw Food way of life to yay it or to nay it.

Catchy tune. Interesting information.

[Thank you!]

Oh Felt Christmas Tree, Oh Felt Christmas Tree

Your kids are making their own Christmas cards this year? Great!

3D stuff is all the rage now, so perhaps they’ll try making this card, which is from the always entertaining Kids Craft Weekly.

Full directions are at Number 5, which is one of four fantastic card ideas. Either try them all this year, or, if you’re smart, decide you’ve got your homemade card ideas nicely lined up for the next 4 years. Whew.

(Whaaaaat? It *is* 3D! It’s not lying flat on the paper is it? It may be low-tech 3D, but I still say it’s 3D…..)

Borrowed a bulb baster. Will play tunes.

Okay, who forgot to tell me that bulb basters make perfectly sensible super simple instruments? This is a must-do family activity!

If you can somewhat whistle “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, borrow your neighbors’ bulb basters. Experiment with liquid levels to get the sound you want. Sheet music probably isn’t available, but you can improvise, yes?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a crash course.

If you adore band directors as much as I do and have a few more minutes, watch this next video.

Please do not stifle your happy grins.

Those old-fashioned sugar cookies from Martha Stewart

Make sugar cookies? Sure!

I already had Martha’s book.

I prowled Martha’s website.

And a few days ago, I found the recipe again.

So today I baked those old-fashioned sugar cookies, because they kept showing up everywhere.

Is that how the cookies were supposed to turn out? Really?

Maybe I’ll have better success with a different cookie recipe.

Oh and yes, of course: there’s a Martha Stewart cookie app for this! (Heads up: iPad only.)

Happy baking!

It swings through the air with the greatest of ease, the daring parotta on the…umm…

I’m happy to discover I’ve been eating parottas for years. I just didn’t know exactly what the proper name was until a few seconds ago. Off I go to see if I already have recipes.

Speaking of seconds, take all the seconds you need to grasp exactly what’s happening in this video, which I really hope you’ve already seen elsewhere.

Somewhere out there someone collects these Extreme Food Serving Styles, right?

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I’d share all of my comments about flying parottas, but then we’d never get back to what we were doing before we got distracted by this.

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