Archive for March, 2007

Poetry Friday: Five poetry-related lovelies
(in which I can’t help but look like an overachiever, but hey,
keep reading and you’ll see why)

h1 Friday, March 30th, 2007

{Note: This week’s Poetry Friday round-up is here at Chicken Spaghetti} . . .

Yes, why o why, you wonder, would I want to be insufferably overachieving by including five poetry-related items in my Poetry Friday post today? Because, frankly, we’ve been working so hard on interviews here at 7-Imp (which we love, don’t get me wrong) that, as a result, I feel like I’m behind on reviewing books and poetry. So, I’m going to catch up a bit in this post — but try my best to keep it as short as possible. Here goes:

  1. Comics and Poetry Sittin’ in a Tree . . .

    I’ve always enjoyed The Poetry Foundation’s site, but a blogger friend recently steered me towards it again as we were discussing the children’s section of the site. And, while exploring, I found the new Poem as Comic Strip series. Check out this excerpt from the series:

    Heightened language—one possible or partial definition of poetry—isn’t the first thing one associates with comics. Yet comic book artists take into account the way words appear on the page to a degree poets will find familiar. How many lines should accompany each image? How high should the dialogue balloon float? The ratio of printed words to blank space plays a role in whether a poem or strip succeeds.

    Read the rest of this entry �

Dude, we’ve been tagged…

h1 Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award…Twice, in fact, over the past two weeks. First by Fuse #8, as a “Thinking Blog.” And then by Lindsey at Zee Says to list 5 non-bookish blogs that we read. So we’re multi-tasking by responding to both memes in one post.

First, the Thinking Blog meme. We’re flattered. And a little baffled. We mean, yeah, we’ve got advanced degrees and stuff, but we also say “dude” a lot. It’s actually pretty funny, if you look at the reviews we were cranking out when we first started this blog back in August. They’re all “blah blah protagonist’s motivation blah alliteration blah blah synecdoche yadda yadda pathetic fallacy blah.” We were trying so hard to be, you know, professional and stuff. Now we tend to trade knock-knock jokes back and forth, and ask people what their favorite curse word is. And yet we got tagged, by one of the smartest blogs in the kidlitosphere. Go fig. Maybe it’s just a ploy by the intrepid Ms. Fuse to get Eisha’s boots. (Yeah, that’s right, I’m on to you, Bird…)   

Right, so, anyway… In return, we’d like to tag a few more Thinking Blogs we dig: Chicken Spaghetti, Propernoun.net, the Excelsior File, the NCBLA blog, and Journey Woman. Thanks, all, for providing smart, interesting content and unique perspectives on literature and other issues we care about.

Second: the Non-Lit-Blogs meme. We’re pretty heavy on the lit-related blogs, but between us we were able to come up with some that aren’t all about books. Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #16:
(Or, Are You Ready to Rock, Wisconsin?!)
Author/Illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka

h1 Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

We here at Team 7-Impossible can be pretty effusive about our love for Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Like here, when Jules wrote a glowing review of Giddy Up, Cowgirl. Or here, where Eisha was equally thrilled about My Buddy, Slug. Or here and here, where Jules gets excited over JJK’s blog and his great picture book recommendations, and raves about one of our all-time favorite books EVER, Punk Farm. And, oh yeah, who could forget this fab little moment, when Eisha got disturbingly effusive all up in his grill at the Boston Globe-Hornbook Awards ceremony. Woo.

So you can imagine our happiness when Mr. Krosoczka — sorry, we mean Jarrett — graciously agreed to an interview. Good thing for Eisha, his memory must be very short.

Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #15:
Mindy at Propernoun.net (our favorite book-lovin’
forklift-driver wannabe)

h1 Monday, March 26th, 2007

There’s been a lot of talk lately in the kidlitosphere about the joy of a renowned blogger giving a rookie blogger some attention, even if it’s just visiting a new site and leaving a comment. When you first step foot into the cyber world of blogs, it’s exciting and a bit of a relief when someone you’ve never even met pops up and says that she or he is paying attention. Well, for us here at 7-Imp — back in August of last year when we first started this venture — Mindy at Propernoun was our very first visitor (who wasn’t one of our parents or good friends or who wasn’t either one of us responding to the other’s post — in other words, our first kidlitosphere blogger to drop by). She knocked on our cyber-door (on August 18th, to be exact — we looked it up), and said in response to Jules’ review of Jimmy Liao’s The Sound of Colors: “I read this one recently too and liked it. It really is a beautiful ode to bravery and imagination. Great review!” Squealing ensued. (And to give credit where credit is due, I remember Kelly at Big A, little a mentioning our blog at her site at some early point, but I do know that Mindy was our First Blogger to Leave a Comment). We had been noticed in the vast space that is cyber!

And noticed, at that, by someone as respected and smart and classy as Mindy. Mind you, this is not the sole reason we love her site (how vain would that make us?). Yet, because of it, we have a special place in our collective blog-heart for her. We admit it. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #3 (formerly known as Seven Good Things Before Monday . . . Roll with us here, folks)

h1 Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Yes, we have to make an executive decision and go with “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks” as the title for the new weekend series, formerly and temporarily named Seven Good Things Before Breakfast. Both titles are good, we think, but Michele (at Scholar’s Blog) suggested “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks” (the “kick” coming from Kick-Ass Things That Happened to You During Your Week), and we just love it. For any new folks, the idea is that we simply share The Good in our lives this week.

And how do you like the image? It’s Tenniel’s image of Lewis Carroll’s The White Queen with Alice (from Chapter Five, “Wool and Water,” from Through the Looking Glass), here telling Alice that “{w}hy, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Later, she mumbles something to Alice about 7 Kicks before breakfast, too, but that part was deleted from Carroll’s text (Alice fans, don’t send hate mail. We only jest).

Anyway, blah blah. Sorry. Here are our lists:

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Sorry, no poem…

h1 Friday, March 23rd, 2007

pink-ribbon.gif… because you know how it is, when you’re looking for a poem to fit a certain theme or mood or to say something specific? It doesn’t work. You’ll never find it. But I’m sure that a few months from now I’ll run across some perfectly pithy little poem, heartfelt and lovely, sweet without being sappy, and brilliantly worded, that will say exactly what I wish I could say to you all right now. I suppose for now I’ll just have to wing it.

Thanks to everyone who expressed their concern and support through comments and emails over the past couple of weeks. I was truly, deeply touched.

And thanks to all the far-flung friends and family who came to my aunt’s services. It was good to celebrate her life with so many loved ones.

Thanks to Jules, who ran this blog single-handed while I was staying with my internet-deprived mom.

And I’m sorry, I don’t want to get preachy or weird here, but I just have to say it, especially since I think most of our readership is female. Breast cancer is a horrible, debilitating disease. Please remember to give yourself monthly self-exams. Please get your yearly mammogram, if you’re of age. Please take care of yourselves. Please donate to cancer research funds. Please cherish every moment you have on this earth. Please tell your friends and family that you love them. Please call your mom. And your grandmother. Please send cards to people on their birthdays. Please live as hard and happy as you can. Please. And thank you. And, um… amen.

Two New Picture Books You Can’t Live Without
(Or, How to Get Your Fill of Sunflowers This Week):
A Dutch import and the highly-anticipated
A Seed is Sleepy

h1 Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

The Wish
by Elle van Lieshout and Erik van Os
and illustrated by Paula Gerritsen
Front Street Books
January 2007
My source: Library copy

This is an import from a husband-and-wife team from the Netherlands, and Gerritsen — the illustrator — is from the Netherlands as well. This is a fetching little treat whose illustrations smack just a bit of Lisbeth Zwerger’s; it’s like Zwerger on a heavy dose of whimsy.

“Far away from the rest of the world lived a woman named Lila. She had a small house on a cliff, overlooking the sea. Year after year she plowed the fields and planted seeds.” And on this opening spread, we have an eye-catching, off-center view of Lila heading up the steep, rocky hill on which she lives, carrying a huge bundle of healthy sunflowers. Lila and her flowers and her home are heaped to our left, and the valley dips in the spread’s center — with a view of the ocean by which Lila lives. It’s a delightful perspective. Read the rest of this entry �

Nina Lindsay’s first book of poetry
(I can’t wait ’til Poetry Friday)

h1 Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Yup, I know it’s not Poetry Friday, but I can’t wait. Not to mention that — just like I should not restrict myself to telling you about a book with a Native American character or by a Native American author on only a day nestled within American Indian Heritage Month — I’d like to tell you about poetry any ‘ol time I’m inspired. Poetry Friday is a beautiful thing, but here’s to poetry any day of the week. Here’s to poetry 24/7.

Eisha and I have copies of Nina Lindsay’s first published book of poetry, Today’s Special Dish: Poems (published by Sixteen Rivers Press; publication date: April 2007), thanks to the poet herself. And I know that Eisha’s just now getting back into town and has a lot to catch up on and such, so I hope she won’t hate me for going ahead without her to tell you how lovely Lindsay’s anthology is. I’m sure Eisha will want to add some commentary later; I have a feeling she’ll really like this, too.

If you’re a children’s librarian, you’ve likely heard of Lindsay before. She’s the children’s librarian in Oakland, California, who runs the successful Bay Area Mock Newbery discussions (here’s the site, though — as you’ll see — this past January marked her last blog post there, at least for now: “I am one of those wallflowers who will suddenly barge into a discussion, cutting people off, and then leave when I get tired and go face a wall somewhere and let my mind happily wander with itself. This does not a blogger make,” she amusingly wrote). She is also the Chair for the Newbery Award Selection Committee for 2008.

Lindsay’s free verse in this anthology is a real treat, if you’ll excuse the bad pun. Lindsay has the observational prowess of some of my favorite poets; as Alison Luterman puts it well, “{t}hese poems say to me that daily life, when attended to, is full of unsought treasures.” Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Impossible Interviews Before
Breakfast #14: Jen Robinson

h1 Monday, March 19th, 2007

I say we tell you why Jen Robinson’s Book Page is well worth your time in the same manner in which we told you about Susan at Chicken Spaghetti last week: Let’s ennumerate in true 7-Imp style. For the record, Eisha is unable to contribute to this blogger interview (she’s still out of town), but I know she enjoys Jen’s blog and would pretty much agree with the following tribute (in seven parts, of course):

1>. Jen is a big ‘ol advocate of children’s literacy issues. At her site (and in addition to book reviews, of course), she features weekly Children’s Literacy Round-Up posts, where she links to “news stories about children’s literacy and/or programs that promote the love of books in children,” as she put it (here is her most recent one). Jen, as you’ll read below, is not a librarian, not a teacher, and in no way works on a daily basis with children. She is the co-founder of a software firm and has a doctorate in Industrial Engineering. Who knew? This is what we love about the blogger interviews (which, I swear, could go on forever, what with all the interesting bloggers out there) — finding out that someone like Jen, who passionately champions something like children’s literacy efforts, is a software expert by day and children’s lit lover by night (so to speak — we are sure she spends some sunlight time blogging, since her blog is always up-to-date, informative, interactive, and interesting). Here’s what she has to say about it at her blog’s Mission Statement: Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Good Things Before Monday #2

h1 Saturday, March 17th, 2007

an  illustration of The Frog Prince; Walter Crane; 1900So, it looks like we for sure need to make a real series out of last Saturday’s idea to highlight Beautiful and/or Kick-Ass Things That Happened to You or That You Read or That You Noticed This Week. Yes, that was last week’s working title for the series, but it’s a bit cumbersome, eh? What do you think of Seven Good Things Before Monday? Feedback, anyone?

So, yes, that idea really took off with all kinds of folks chiming in and wanting to discuss A Bit of the Good. As Betsy Bird put it well when she mentioned this series idea over at A Fuse #8 Production, “{s}ometimes we’re so smothered in snark that we have a hard time appreciating the ‘nice.’ And I’m talking actual ‘nice’ here. Not ooey-gooey saccharine-filled ‘nice.’” To that Eisha and I say: word and for shizzle. We don’t want things to get ooey-gooey. We’re not fans of ooey-gooey. Yup, as we mentioned last week, it’s this simple: the world is scary, the news is depressing as hell. I, for one, have children. I’m worried about the world in which they’re growing up and the world of their futures. We can do something about some of the problems, but we can also take a moment to notice The Kick-Ass.

So, my list is below. But first, three things: 1> Eisha is not able to participate this week. But I hope she will be able to next week. 2> Let’s move this from Saturdays to Sundays, whaddya say? Can we cyber-gather on Sundays? That will give Eisha and me more time to compose these weekend lists — and give you one more day in the week to notice Some Good. 3> THANKS to everyone who participated last week. Please come play again. And we want updates anyway on sharing glamour shots, doing nice things for yourself, big moves, drumming, daughters getting scholarships, Dalek-shaped cookies and everything else we missed . . . you know who you are. Update, people, update! Oh, and add this week’s Good Things.

I humbly submit . . .

* * * * * * * My Seven Good Things Before Monday * * * * * * *
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