Top Picks: a Whole Foods summer initiative, a 1980s miniseries, and more

A new app brings a Chinese folk tale to glowing life, PBS's four-part series 'Queen & Country' explores the British monarchy, and more top picks.

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    Judi Dench
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The Lost Beatle

Is there anything about The Beatles we don't know by now? Graphic novelist Arne Bellstorf bets you don't know the tender and tragedy-shortened love story of original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe and Astrid Kirchherr, the German photographer who created The Beatles' aesthetic, including their signature haircuts. Baby's in Black is a charmingly illustrated account of the scuffling Hamburg days of the Fab Four (then five) and their fateful encounter with two star-struck local art students, who befriended, fed, and groomed them just before they became the greatest pop band ever.

A brush with fantasy

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Based on a Chinese folk tale, Dragon Brush tells the story of Bing-Wen, a young boy entrusted with a magic paintbrush. This beautiful new app for iPhone and iPad has mastered the charm and wonder of interactive children's books. While reading the story – or listening to the optional narrator – be on the lookout for interactive flourishes hidden in the scenery. Also, once the characters live happily ever after, draw your own creations with the app's paint mode.

Summer of the bee

Natural foods grocer Whole Foods is hoping to open the eyes of its customers to the plight of the honeybee with its summer initiative, Share the Buzz, of educational programs, a Do Something Reel film festival, and fundraising. Get stories, videos, and ideas for supporting honeybees at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sharethebuzz.

Hail Britannia

Still haven't had your fill of British summer 2012? Tune into PBS for the four-part series Queen & Country, debuting Sunday, July 1, and running for four consecutive Sundays. The series, hosted by veteran journalist Sir Trevor McDonald, explores the customs surrounding the British monarchy and takes viewers on a tour of the sites that are central to royal history.

Water, Water everywhere

Putting a human face on a worldwide problem, photographer Gideon Mendel has been creating an ongoing series of pictures, titled Drowning World, of flood victims all over the globe, with many subjects standing inside their flooded houses or in their water-submerged yards. Check out the photos at http://gideonmendel.com/drowningworld/.

Revisiting a classic

Judi Dench was never in finer form than in the 1980s iconic "Masterpiece Theatre" miniseries Love in a Cold Climate. Now you can catch up on this gem with the full DVD package from Athena June 25. Full of both romance and social satire, "Love in a Cold Climate" is based on bestselling author Nancy Mitford's wickedly witty novels. This eight-part series is set against a backdrop of the English nobility's golden age – and a looming world war.

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