Roses in the Salad by Bruno Munari
I originally intended to give Roses in the Salad to my niece, a brilliant girl with a vast imagination who loves science and outer space and carnivorous plants. It's a "fun" perspective on vegetables:
Let's go to the greengrocer and get: three Treviso radicchio plants, a cabbage lettuce, a Romaine lettuce and some chicory....You take the radicchio, lie it out on the board and cut it close to the stalk, making sure the leaves stay attached. This is the stamp. Now we press it into the color we want and stamp it on—and there are our roses.
But then I just kept it for myself. Because it really is an enchanting book. The images are beautiful and the captions are exceptionally charming ("Spaceships or strange characters from other planets? This celery is really mysterious with its armored vehicle-like tracks. Who does this celery think he is? A decorator? A fabric designer?")
My niece is seven. This is a good age for a girl. Raised with economic security and parents who read to her at night and access to the outdoors, she is free to be herself in the world. As a woman who is no longer that age, I want to help her maintain her excitement, optimism, creativity, imagination—and I want to re-inspire these qualities in myself. So I kept this book for that selfish purpose.
I guess I could still give it to her, since I'm offering it to you. But ultimately, I think adults might need this more than children.
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