Gemütlichkeit- the cozy

Gemütlichkeit is an Indo-European word that has variants in German, Norweigain, Swedish, Dutch and Russian. The closest English word is cozy, but gemütlichkeit also means social acceptance and well being. 

These homes, reflect both homes primarily from history, like the traditional Chinese house, and also more modern homes, like apartment balconies. The yurt is especially cool. Yurts are from Mongolia and other Central Asian areas, but it looks like this one found its way to the Pacific Northwest. 

I think gemütlichkeit is an important concept to foster in children's books. Even non fiction or scary books can promote curiosity and love for the world at large. Adults become sour and start to enjoy creepy facts that make them scared, and laugh at cartoons of conniving businessmen in backrooms. Children live with the possibility that any one of these cute houses could one day be their own. Their world does not involve a balance sheet that knows that curb appeal costs extra, or that money is hard to earn. 

I love the German Romantic painter Carl Spitzweg, I think he is the ultimate master of gemütlichkeit, while still communicating some uncomfortable subjects like encroaching industrialization.