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Girls Standing on Lawns

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  357 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Girls Standing on Lawns is a unique collaboration between renowned artist and bestselling children’s book author Maira Kalman and New York Times bestselling writer Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket. This clever book contains 40 vintage photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, more than a dozen original paintings by Kalman inspired ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by The Museum of Modern Art (first published April 8th 2014)
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Jan 19, 2016 Ariel rated it really liked it
As I was walking out of the bookstore in MoMA the authors of this book caught my eye. I swivelled around and victorious lifted the book into the air: another collaboration from Kalman and Handler!

I read Why We Broke Up a few years ago and really loved it. The story hooked me and the prose was gorgeous and the paintings were decadent. I'll admit I expected this to be similar and it wasn't. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is that there is a third collaborator here too: MoMA. This book i
Apr 11, 2015 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, art, photography
Slight. Get it from the library, read it in ten minutes, maybe feel inspired to do something vaguely arty with your old family photos. Or crayons. Or blank verse. (Those are poems, right, not just short lines? Whatever).

Jennifer Haight
Apr 14, 2014 Jennifer Haight rated it really liked it
MoMA has begun a series of collaborative books with Girls Standing on Lawns. Author Daniel Handler and author/illustrator Maira Kalman searched through MoMA’s extensive collection of photography archives and compiled a group of photographs, most by unknown photographers, and have compiled them in this slim but thought-provoking volume. The photographs are interspersed with original paintings by Kalman and text by Handler that leave readers to ponder one of life’s most common and innocuous acts, ...more
Dov Zeller
"Meet me on the lawn,
I want to take a
picture of you."

Kalman and Handler invite us into a very innocent and yet not so innocent book of photographs. They lure us with charming innocence and physical comedy into asking some deeper existential/philosophical questions. When are we "in a costume" versus "just dressing up"? A simple question, right? And yet, well, not so simple. When we look at a photograph without any context, it is impossible to know, how the person got there, whether they want to b
Ms. Barry
May 24, 2014 Ms. Barry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: smile
When creative people collaborate, the outcomes can be truly sweet. This book is delightful. Combining Handler's written word, old photography, and Kalman's art, Girls Standing on Lawns made my day when it arrived. Each page is a place to stop and enjoy the moment. For me, it's like laying on a hammock and looking up through the leaves of a tree to a blue sky on a sunny day... really, that's what it's like for me. Looking forward to the next in the MoMA/Kalman series.

Nice article about the book h
Elizabeth A
Jan 19, 2016 Elizabeth A rated it it was ok
Shelves: art, non-fiction, 2016
Book burb: This clever book contains 40 vintage photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, more than a dozen original paintings by Kalman inspired by the photographs, and brief, lyrical texts by Handler.

Here's the thing, I read and really loved the second book in this collaboration series, but this one did not work for me. Yes, I think there is a sweetness and innocence captured in these anonymous photos, but I did not love Kalman's art as much in this one, and Handle
Nov 01, 2014 Jaye rated it really liked it
from one of the notes next to a picture:

"A painting, a photograph,
a sentence, a pose.
Keep track of this.
You will not remember
every place you have stood.

A picture will last longer.
There will come a time when
you can't believe it's you
standing on that lawn."

I need to add:
if you have actual physical pictures that
you can hold in your hand, make a little
note on the back because in the future
someone will come across the picture
(a grandchild, great-grandchild, etc.?)
and that person will
David Schaafsma
Jul 13, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
I can't imagine many people loving this book, but I did. Why wouldn't someone like it? The text is pretty random, sometimes hilariously so. Which is why I like it. And because quirky tandem Kalman and Daniel Handler did it together, so it is just as bemused/amusing as you can get.

This is the first of several collaborations between Kalman, Handler and the collections folks at MOMA, where they have archived thousands of what used to be called "snapshots," now seen as "vernacular photography," or
Jan 31, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it
For this book, I enjoyed the concept more than I enjoyed the result. Though, after reading the artist little blurbs on the project and the statement by MoMa, I reread the book and was able to appreciate certain aspects a bit more.
Sep 20, 2014 BiblioBrandie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
A fun little collection of words and photographs of girls standing on lawns.
My Mom always gets a little sad when we find old black & whites at the flea market. Sometimes, I find them quite creepy because they're not smiling. Does anyone know what's up with that? I wonder if there's some historical precedent of looking demure, quiet, or moral. She also doesn't like to find knit, sewn, quilted, or crocheted coverings. We both believe some grandmother has spent hard worn hours, pricking fingers or using a tight lip to pull out slip knots and excess yarn. Let's be hones ...more
This charming little book is a three-way collaboration amongst artist Maira Kalman, writer Daniel Handler and the Museum of Modern Art. The theme is, obviously, "girls standing on lawns" and is illustrated by Handler's poetic interludes, Kalman's paintings and photographs of girls who are, quite literally, standing on lawns. Just about everyone who grew up in a household with a camera has one or more pictures of themselves in just such a setting. I know that I personally have many pictures of my ...more
Another collaboration between Maira Kalman (paintings), and Daniel Handler (words), this time based on anonymous photographs from the Museum of Modern Art, which inspire stories. Why all the photos of girls standing on lawns? Not all the dots are connected for you. There is a lot of food for thought and scope for imagination here. An interesting, less-creepy companion for those who have made a study of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, or Twice Told: O ...more
Anna-Maija Tähkävuori
May 15, 2014 Anna-Maija Tähkävuori rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: elämyksellisenä
Recommended to Anna-Maija by: Goodreads
Aivan. Vievät oikean jalan sirosti eteen, käden kepeästi lantiolle, keikauttavat pään vinoon, arkoina hymyn välke silmänurkissa. Nuo ihanat: Tytöt nurmikolla, tulivat takaisin!
Mainio ryhmätyö kahdelta vahvalta ammatilaiselta. Jo kirjan otsake saa hyvälle tuulelle, tulkitsemaan kokemuksia, omaa havaintomaailmaa läpäisevää tunnelmaa. Mielteitä seuraten pääsee elinvoiman porteille vehreän maaemon syleilyyn.
Hetkestä nurmikolla tulee kirjan lopuksi tutun täyteläinen, aika- ja ikäkausien rikastuttam
Inna Komarovsky
May 15, 2014 Inna Komarovsky rated it liked it
Shelves: sequential
"He told her how pretty she looks there on the lawn."

"You will not remember every place you have stood. A picture will last longer. There will come a time when you can't believe it's you..."

This is a short book that takes the sense of mystery of looking at an old photograph and amplifies it by putting it together with related photographs and Kalman's paintings of even more photographs of a similar setup (girls or women standing on lawns).

To me, this book's tone is very related to the tone of Her
Christine Turner
Dec 10, 2014 Christine Turner rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-month, art
Portrait photography -- 20th century -- Juvenile literature.
Vernacular photography -- 20th century -- Juvenile literature.
Portrait painting, American -- 21st century -- Juvenile literature.
Girls in art -- Juvenile literature.
Lawns -- Juvenile literature.

Girls Standing on Lawns is a unique collaboration between renowned artist and bestselling children's book author Maira Kalman and New York Times bestselling writer Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket.

Handler provides free verse
Aug 25, 2014 Mayda rated it liked it
Shelves: art
Nearly everyone has either seen pictures like these or, more likely, has posed for similar pictures. When cameras still used flashbulbs (yes, eons ago!), more often than not, the person wielding the camera would say, “Let’s go outside so I can take your picture,” and so, singly or in groups, you would pose on the lawn in front of the house or a car or a tree. And that is basically what this slim volume is: a collection of girls, standing on lawns, spanning decades. These pictures from the Museum ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Hans rated it really liked it
3.75 stars - You'll enjoy this volume more, if you think of it as spying on Maira Kalman and Daniel Handler as they worked together on a personal art project. It's a small-scale project where they notice a coincidence and noodle together on the phenomenon of girls (and women) getting their photographs taken out on the lawn - probably because it provided a nice backdrop and better lighting. It's nothing earth-shattering, simply a small cultural touchstone. This volume takes no time at all to fini ...more
Jun 16, 2016 Rhode rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Just so damn good. Reading it, you're suddenly connected to everyone who ever stood on the lawn while their father/brother/mom/sister/boyfriend took a snapshot. You might have been awkward and self conscious, or proud and pretty, or just acting silly.

I never realized before how particularly universal this experience is. Ever since we invented lawns and then cameras, practically everyone with a lawn has had their picture snapped on it.

The authors (I feel as though I should say "artists" instead
Jun 22, 2014 Shipley rated it really liked it
I read this on the sofa with a cup of coffee in hand this morning and found it utterly charming. It has very little text (supplied by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket) and is mostly comprised of a collection of MOMA archived photographs of, as the title suggests, girls standing on lawns. Maira Kalman provides a few paintings inspired by the photos as well.

I love this little book as a potential prompt for student narrative writing. Given that the photos are mostly from the 1930s and include ve
Aaron Maurer
Nov 23, 2014 Aaron Maurer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Simple, yet powerful book. A collection of art and photographs from the Museum of Modern Art. Pages are minimal with one image/artwork and few words. These images represent an arrange of emotions and time periods. I read through this twice thinking about the images of my own life. The images where I was mad for my parents taking pictures of us. The times I refused to smile. The times I was full of smiles. Time evolves. The world moves on. We change as the world changes. More importantly, do we r ...more
I'm going through a Handler/Kalman phase, so what?!?

Anyway, I did not like this one as much as I did Hurry Up and Wait. Or, actually that's not true. I did not like the writing part as much as I did in Hurry Up and Wait, but I liked Kalman's art and the photographs themselves much more.

This is a weird series. I feel like maybe I don't totally get it, but I like this strange partnership between these two and hope they keep doing more weird books together. I don't totally know what else to say.
Violette Stepaniuk
Apr 01, 2016 Violette Stepaniuk rated it really liked it
I liked the simplicity and humour of the verses inspired by the photographs, just like I liked the same in Hurry Up and Wait, by the same authors; however, I didn't find Girls Standing on Lawns quite as captivating and addictive as Hurry Up and Wait, the second book in this series. Girls Standing on Lawns seems like a warm up to what came next, a little tamer but still enjoyable.
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Mar 30, 2014 Miss Pippi the Librarian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, winnefox, mrs-m
A funny little book that showcases photographs of yesteryear. It's a book that inspires you to find your own photos of your loved ones standing on the lawn. The photographs are from the MoMA collection and Maira Kalman shared artwork she created inspired by the photographs. I would love to see more books using this technique of a poem with historical, yet miscellaneous photos.

Reviewed from a library copy.
Oct 31, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
ah, this is apparently the first in a series of conversation-like books created for the moma out of their art collection. daniel handler and maira kalman (a fantastic duo) team up to play with the moma's collection of photos of girls just standing around on lawns and in front of houses. in a collection, they tell a story of whimsy and delight at girls just being and strutting their stuff. it is not a super substantial book, but it is certainly a fun one.
Jan 25, 2016 Glenn rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Selfies before there were selfies, these photos of girls standing on lawns from the 1930s were in MOMA's collection of vernacular photography and form the basis for this collaboration between artist and writer.
Aug 22, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it
A conceptual book of found photos, art, and musings by the great team of Handler & Kalman. This is a small novelty book you can read in 5 minutes, but a nice addition as a coffee table book, gift book, or if you're a Kalman or Handler collector.
lucy by the sea
A really cool idea done badly. Really interesting old photographs of girls and women posing outside on lawns and porches. The photos were fantastic but the whimsical muttering about them left me cold.
Jesse Figuera
Apr 21, 2015 Jesse Figuera rated it it was amazing
I love this book with all my heart. I want to wear it on my shirt like a pin, or a heavy artsy brooch. It is pictures of girls standing on lawns long ago. plus daniel handler and maira kalman and maira kalman's art. and that is enough to make anyone love it.
Jan 31, 2016 Numberbox rated it really liked it
I'm on a real Maira Kalman kick. (The Yoko Ono of illustrative painting?) My four-year-old has become oddly fascinated with this little book, picked up on a whim from the library. Very sweet. Deceptively simple. So Maira.
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Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities. She has written and illustrated twelve children's books including Ooh-la-la- Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Swami on Rye . Sh ...more
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