Jules: Many thanks to author/illustrator David Ezra Stein, who sent us a 7-Imp exclusive this weekend, an image from his forthcoming picture book, How to Be Nice. It will be released in Fall ’08 from Putnam.
I’ve already declared my love for his books several times here at 7-Imp (here, here, and here — to name a few). If you haven’t seen his picture books, you’re in for a treat. Below are images from two books he released this year (both from Putnam Juvenile) — Monster Hug! (on the left), reviewed here by Yours Truly, and Leaves (on the right), reviewed here. These two picture books are flat-out fabulous on so many levels, but I won’t go on. If you’re interested, you can go read my reviews. David is one of my favorite new illustrators, and we thank him kindly for sharing this new image — and some current ones — with us. (I just discovered, even though I’ve visited his site several times already, that if you click on “News,” it will take you to his blog. And if you’re a fan, you’ll be happy to know he includes such things as painting journals at this blog — such as here, drawings from the South Street Seaport, and here, paintings of a trip to Cape Cod).
And don’t miss the interview he gave HipWriterMama (a.k.a. Vivian) at the end of last month during the Blogging for a Cure effort for Robert’s Snow. Vivian includes, of course, an image of David’s ’07 snowflake, which is seven kinds of wonderful.
By way of explanation for any new folks (who we hope will leave their lists), our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week (whether book-related or not) that happened to you.
2). The Nashville Public Library’s entertaining weekly story time performers invited a guest band in this past week: Adam and the Couch Potatoes — from Nashville. They were wonderfully weird (a compliment) and had awesome three-part harmonies. Their sound was not unlike a late-’60s version of the Beatles — but for kids.
3). Speaking of story time, the Nashville Zoo is providing story times weekly for the month of November, and this past Friday they read Punk Farm. One of my best friends works in the Education Department of the zoo, and so her friend, Robin, whom I’ve met before, read the book and let me take these pics (as well as pass on to Jarrett J. Krosoczka with her permission!). So anyway, check out those pics. There she is all rocked out with her shades and “Band Manager” name tag, and she made those i.d. tags you see there to give to kids who volunteered to come down and jam when the story was over. (My wee’est is pictured here, ready to do the RAY ROO and RAY REE guitar-wailing of Pig). Much fun was had, and I was proud to at least be able to tell Robin how to pronounce Jarrett’s last name.
4). Oh, and speaking of story times yet one more time, the very kind children’s librarians at my local library asked me to come in and guest-read some books for their preschool story time this week, in honor of Children’s Book Week. Excellent. I got to be a librarian again for a minute, even though my three-year-old told me, “No! You can’t read to those kids. You’re my mommy, not a librarian.” Harsh, huh? It was great fun. I decided to read Emily Gravett’s Monkey and Me and Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz, because they are two of my favorite books from this year and because they are totally great in terms of getting audience participation from the children. And the best part? Story times at this library usually average about, I dunno, ten kids a week maybe, but the day I guest-read there just happened to be a large preschool class there. I thought for a second about getting nervous, but then I realized it would be much more fun with more kids. And I was right: They were very energetic and responsive and loved the books.
5). My husband and I got on a serious movie-
watching kick this week, trying to get caught up on a whole slew ‘o’ movies we have missed since having kids. I got over-zealous and ended up with something like ten DVDs from the library (I didn’t think they’d all come in at once. Yeesh) that we had to watch in one week. We watched a handful, including “Stranger Than Fiction” (clever, and I especially loved the last three minutes of the movie); “Little Miss Sunshine” (omigod, you know the part where Olive is finally going to perform at the pageant and she says she dedicates the performance to her grandfather and the unbearably cheerful emcee asks where he is and she tells the audience, “he’s in the trunk of our car,” and then there is stunned, awkward silence for what seems like forever? Well, I missed the next five minutes of dialogue from laughing so hard); “Borat” (Meh. And I could have done without Borat’s and Azamat’s naked fighting); and “Wedding Crashers” (heh). What’s next? “Babel,” “Broken Flowers,” “Spider-Man 2,” and Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” See? We’re really behind.
6). This is the last day of the Blogging for a Cure effort to raise money for Robert’s Snow. I have really enjoyed all the illustrator/snowflake features the bloggers involved have written. What a treat for picture book nerds like me.
And, speaking of cancer, a friend of mine and Eisha’s from college, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of this year, shared today a thanksgiving list, of sorts, with her friends and family. She said she was reflecting on lessons learned, as she recently made it past her chemo, and it might sound cheesy for me to say this, but her list was a nice reminder to me to appreciate what I have, coming from someone who faced her own mortality at way-too-young an age (early 30s). She wrote things like: “Appreciate the simple things. I smiled today at seeing a small bunch of black-eyed susans on the side of the road”; “Blessings are all around us, especially in the little things”; “Live simply. When we die, we can’t take the THINGS with us”; “What we put into our bodies does matter”; and “Love each other and tell each other!” See, I’m getting all teary-eyed again.
That’s not seven things, but I’ve typed enough.
Okay, first, how awesomely happy are those yellow birds? They totally tickle me.
It’s been a busy week, and I’m having an even busier weekend. Let me just give you the big highlights:
1* I had a promising job interview Thursday.
2* I have another one on Monday.
3* B. and I are going out of town today for some serious furniture shopping.
4* I read Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
5* Of course, our article getting published on the Poetry Foundation website is a huge kick.
6* I made a vegetarian version of chicken-and-dumplings, and it was seriously yummy.
7* That picture Jules shared of Ada with a guitar at the zoo a la Punk Farm. Rock on!
Those are my kicks for the week. How about you?