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Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag


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About the Author

Maira Kalman (b. 1949 Tel Aviv, lives New York) is the author of thirteen children's books and eight adult books. Among her adult classics are The Elements of Style, an illustrated edition of Strunk and White's timeless grammar guide, and two picture books of essays based on yearlong online columns for The New York Times, And the Pursuit of Happiness (2010) and The Principles of Uncertainty (2007). Kalman's best known work, created with fellow illustrator Rick Meyerowitz, is New Yorkistan: a cartoon map of the city designated by tribes, such as Pashmina, Irant, and Irate. A relatively more secret aspect of her identity is as the "M" in M&Co, the revolutionary design firm founded by her late husband, Tibor Kalman, with whom she was a constant collaborator. The firm's famous 10-One-4 watch is based on one of her doodles. She has collaborated on projects with the fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, the choreographer Mark Morris, and the composer Nico Muhly. In 2011, the Jewish Museum honored the illustrator with the first museum survey of her narrative art, Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World).


"Children of all ages can enjoy Cooper Hewitt's latest literary offering: Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag, a delightful illustrated guide to the museum's permanent collection conceived by artist and author Maira Kalman. The book's release is set to coincide with the institution's much-anticipated December reopening. Traveling A to Z through centuries of great design, Kalman's picture book is as educational as it is whimsical." -Architectural Digest

"Best Book of the year selection: Maira Kalman's whimsical, sublimely silly alphabet book celebrates the newly renovated Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum by featuring 31 of her favorite objects from the collection." -National Public Radio

"Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, a children's alphabet book with original gouaches of objects in Cooper Hewitt's design collection. These books will likely become their owners' own personal treasures, just like the "stuff" pictured inside was once for someone long ago." -Quartz

"Must-Have Coffee Table Book. Ahead of the re-opening of New York's Cooper Hewitt museum this winter, illustrator Maira Kalman will release a whimsical alphabet book of her favorite objects from the institution's vast collection." -Harpers Bazaar

"...an alphabet of curiosities annotated with show-and-tell wisdom." -Design Observer

"Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: Maira Kalman's Sweet Design-History Alphabet Book...I find the letters of the alphabet and the words they make insufficient to express the boundless wonderfulness of Kalman's Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag...this ABC gem -doubles as a design-history primer full...of a playful celebration of uncertainty and imperfection...Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag is an absolute delight in its entirety." -BrainPickings.org

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