I admit, I don’t usually do much in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But I recently read a great book that seems appropriate for today: my boss gave me And The Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman for Christmas, and I loved it. I didn’t really know much about Maira Kalman, but I should have! She is an Israeli-born New York artist and author of children’s books.
And the Pursuit of Happiness is like a picture book for adults about democracy in the United States. Kalman reflects on her favorite people who helped shape the nation with beautiful language, photographs, and of course, artwork. (MLK isn’t featured at length, but he is celebrated alongside Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama.) She also intermittently includes an awesome illustration of food.
It seems a bit rare these days for art and patriotism to go together so harmoniously. I found this book very inspiring!