The Colorful, Dancing, Psychedelic Cats of Louis Wain

Thanks to the the animators at Disney and Pixar, visual culture abounds with adorable critters that walk and talk just like we do. Yet it wasn’t until the late-19th century that such anthropomorphic animals were popularized, almost single-handedly, by a British illustrator named Louis Wain.

Louis Wain, A Summer Tea Party. Courtesy of Chris Beetles Ltd.

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How Harry Potter Inspired The Parkland Student Activists — And What That Means For The Future Of Children’s Literature

During Saturday’s massive nationwide March for Our Lives demonstration, hundreds of thousands of young activists took to the streets carrying protest signs demanding changes be made to America’s gun safety laws. Many of these signs bore the words of J. K. Rowling’s beloved fantasy series, Harry Potter. But the story of the Boy Who Lived and led a revolution was on more than just poster boards this weekend: Harry Potter was very much on the minds of the Parkland student survivors who have vowed#NeverAgain, and is in the hearts of an entire generation of kids who were born in an age of regular mass shootings. In the wake of Saturday’s demonstration, it’s clear that Rowling’s children’s books have had a real and lasting impact on those who grew up reading them. It’s even clearer that we need to continue to create more meaningful and more diverse children’s literature, because what we read as children can, in some way, shape the adults we become.

Read @ Bustle

What makes a book a best-seller?

All authors dream of looking at the best-seller list and seeing their book at the top. But what turns a book into a smash literary hit? Literary critic Jörg Magenau looks at whether or not there’s a recipe for success.

A person reads a book with a coffee in her hand (DW/K. Schenk)

Read @ Deutsche Welle