7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #37: Featuring David Ezra Stein

h1 November 18th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

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.

*******Jules’ kicks*******

1). The Poetry Foundation feature Eisha and I wrote has been posted! To read it, go here and click on “Lunchbox Poems.”

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.

*******eisha’s kicks*******

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:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian1* 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?

16 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #37: Featuring David Ezra Stein”

  1. Congratulations to Eisha on her interviews. Everything’s comin’ up Eisha! WAHOO!

  2. Wow, did I smile at the happy yellow birds. How can you not smile? Love the Punk Farm at the Zoo photos. Maybe a Punk Zoo book should be next. You little girl is so cute, JUles!
    Congrats to you both on the Poetry Foundation article. Fingers are crossed for the job announcement, Eisha.
    My seven kicks:
    1. Family Library Night and lots of families last Tuesday. It was a ‘read-in” in comfy clothes or pj’s.
    2. Getting my books from Annette Simon. Two copies of Mocking Birds and the Libby one. Then I had this embarrassing moment: I emailed Annette to see if I could buy two more Libby books for my two friends who have lost sons. She will not let me pay for them! So I will donate $$ to Fanocni Anemia Resreach (one boy died of that disease, the other of a massive heart attack..30 years old and his first child born 10 days later).
    3. A great batch of Ratatouille.
    4. Listened to Adaline Falling Star by Mary Pope Osborne. Now I am listening to as many award books as possible in prep for the national boards. (in the spring there is a 3.5 hour on-line assessment to go with the portfolio I send in.)
    5. Haiku posted on my Deowriter site.
    6. Book club meets tonight. Discussing Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson.
    7. More students arrived for Poetry Thursday.
    Hapy Thanksgivng. Have a great week.


  3. I just stumbled upon your site via Akelda the Gleeful’s blog. I love it. I’m going to put in my orders for How to be Nice first thing on Monday!

  4. Now I know “How to be Nice”: just look at those fabulously happy birds and how can you not? I’m going to be nice all day! 🙂

    Jules, your Punk Farm pictures rock. Your punkin’ head is too much, with that guitar. I predict she’ll be playing one for real some day.

    Eisha: furniture shopping? I’m glad it’s a kick for you, because it’s torture for me. How can you ever decide???

    My kickiness;
    1. Work to do. I crave soul-satisfying work, and I don’t always have it, so this week was good, with lots of productive writing.

    2. My son and his date liked the restaurant I recommended to them.

    3. The Arrival, by Shaun Tan. You must read it.

    4-7 My family, and my husband’s family, and my friends, and my kids’ friends. I’m thankful for everyone that surrounds my life’s table.

  5. Happy Sunday!

    How much do I love those yellow ducks and the BEAR dancing with the leaves??!!
    Congrats to you both on the PF feature, and to Eisha on her job interviews (fingers crossed).

    A huge thanks to Jules for organizing Blogging for a Cure, to Elaine and Grace, and Jen R and Tricia, and everyone who participated. It was truly an honor to feature my 3 chosen artists, and to be part of such a worthy cause.

    My super kicky kicks for this past week:

    1. Robert’s Snow: discovering new illustrators, books, and uber cool blogs. Absorbing all kinds of good karma from the generosity, cooperation, and kindness flying through the kidlitosphere. And the snowflakes, of course!

    2. I won a Denise Ortakales picture book on Cindy Lord’s blog, and a Linas Alsenas picture book on cloudscome’s blog.

    3. Carol Schwartz was so pleased with my feature on her, that she handpainted a special bookplate for my copy of the MOTHER GOOSE COOKBOOK!

    4. Loved the Horn Book podcast featuring Alvina Ling and Grace Lin. Very poignant to hear Grace talking about Robert’s Snow.

    5. Attended a Phyllis Reynolds Naylor presentation celebrating Children’s Book Week. Love her.

    6. My Dad celebrated his 93rd birthday yesterday. He’s the only one who reads my blog every day, and claims to be my biggest fan!

    7. This week we are getting peak autumn color (a couple of weeks late). Beautiful. Gorgeous. Inspiring.


  6. Jone, how nice of Annette! I saw pics of your Family Library Night at your blog, and it looked like fun. And I’m so glad more students are coming to Poetry Thursday. Does your school know how lucky they are to have you? For serious.

    Hi to the 40 Forever blogger! I don’t know if How to Be Nice is order-able yet?? Sorry. I hope you find that it is, but I don’t think so.

    Sara, when you typed that about my youngest maybe playing electric guitar one day (ray roo! ray ree!), it made me think of how my oldest consistently says that she wants to learn to play the bassoon. Of all the instruments, she’s got her eye on that. Isn’t that funny?

    Sara, I love your Kicks 4-7. And I’ve really got to read The Arrival.

    Jama, word to the new blogs to read ’cause of Robert’s Snow. Congrats on all those books you won. Linas Alsenas has a holiday title from last year that I loved (reviewed here — back when we had too-small images. Ew) in which Mrs. Claus gets all burnt-out on Christmas and heads for a vacation.

    And that hand-painted bookplate in your Carol Schwartz cook book? Awesome. You deserve it. Your features were always a treat to read (pun intended). ….oh, and happy birthday to your dad. My dad’s mom turned 96 last week. Rock on.

  7. Jules, your daughter is super cute. Love the ID cards too.

    Good luck with the job interviews Eisha! I can already see the future list where you have getting a great job as no 1!

    Jone, the pj wearing library night sounds like a great idea!

    I love The Arrival Sara so your listing it made me smile (not that I wasn’t already with these lists).

    Jama, that’s so cool about the bookplate.

    My list:

    1. I haven’t mentioned this in previous lists but I’ve been enjoying a pilates class after work once a week – I’ve never done pilates before but like stretching and this is lovely and stretchy.
    2. Voted yesterday at the Australian embassy in London – it was strange using normal voting forms but surrounded by marble rather than preschoolers’ drawings. It felt great being able to vote even though we’re so far away – there were even different people handing out how to vote cards for different parties out the front! I enjoyed the Australian accents too.
    3. We then wandered around London including the very attractive Natural History Museum (the building itself was lovely but the exhibits are aimed more at children and would be more fun with kids along).
    4. I got lots of chores (eg washing) done today so feel virtuous
    5. I bought some cheap but yummy dates during the week, and after realising I wasn’t going to get through them all made date loaf – I think it was my first lot of baking over here and it felt nice and normal.
    6. I bought a cute red small suitcase for when I travel a couple of nights for work. Red seems to be the theme of recent weeks!
    7. And for a very new kick – it’s just started sleeting/ slushy snowing! So pretty to watch! I’ve just run back in after running around being excited outside.

  8. Jules, I almost envy you seeing Stranger than Fiction and Little Miss Sunshine for the first time. I loved both of those And, Eisha, good luck with the job interviews! My kicks will be a little shorter than usual this week, but you’ll see why–

    kick #1: I earned my brown belt in Tae Kwon Do this week. I broke a board with a side kick and another with a front snap kick, so that’s extra-specially kicky.

    kick #2: I gave my paper on education in children’s fantasy yesterday and it went fine.

    kick #3: looking forward to Thanksgiving.

    kicks #4-7: I heard Neil Gaiman read yesterday. And I got him to sign some books. I am still smiling. (The reading was AWESOME–I said a little about it on my blog, but it’s all still too fresh to say much more than that…)

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  9. Hello Everyone!
    What a week it’s been for all you folks. I love the PF piece and will be sharing it with some friends. Eisha, I hope th ejob interviews pan out quickly and that you find something really great. Here are my kicks for the week.
    1. The big report I turned in a month ago finally came back with comments. For the most part it’s in pretty good shape, though it needs some revision.
    2. Had lunch with some of my China buddies this week and learned that one of them is expecting!
    3. At a meeting on expanding a grant I currently hold, the administration tossed around the idea of starting our own middle school — and they were serious! That would be pretty amazing.
    4. I know I’ve said this every week, but snowflakes! Every week I am inspired by the amazing work folks have done.
    5. Exchanging e-mail this week with Teri Sloat in preparation for my piece on here. She was so kind and very thoughtful. She shared she will be in VA at Hollins University for 6 weeks nextr summer. I am hoping to hear her speak.
    6. My CYBILS panel is an amazing group. We’re really grappling with some big questions, and everyone has been so thoughtful in responding.
    7. On our regular Friday library visit William walked right up to the librarian and said, “Do you have 365 Penguins? My mom won’t buy it for me.” Uh, okay, guess that one goes on the Christmas list.
    I could go on with lots of little meaningless things. Suffice it say, it’s been a nice week.
    I hope everyone here has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll look forward to checking in next week.

  10. Emmaco at Pilates and Libby with her brown belt. You all could kick my ass. And, Emmaco, I’m glad your chores made you feel virtuous. That made me laugh out loud.

    Congrats on the Gaiman sighting, Libby! Wahoo!

    Tricia, congrats on the report, and William cracks me up.

  11. Love the illustration!

  12. You guys, Blogging for a Cure was awesome. Really. Awesome.

    Jules, Have you duly noted that Leaves is making the best of 2007 lists? I’m pretty sure it was on Kirkus’s and PW’s (which, of course, I’m speaking from my leaky memory–so it could have been two other lists–I also looked at the NYT Best Illustrated list this week, and, I think, one other). Anyway, woo hoo, Mr. Stein!

    And those are SUCH FUN MOVIES you are watching. I agree with Libby: I envy you getting to see them for the first time. Stranger than Fiction is a particular favorite of mine.

    Eisha, Regarding the interviews, have you considered using the scary Spartan voice? It’s very authoritative.

    It’s too late for me to come up with a coherent list of kicks this week. I’m just back from a weekend trip to Baltimore. I had some fun while I was away, but right now I am just really grateful to be safe and sound back home. It’s hard to think of anything else, except maybe going to sleep. Zzzzzzz.

  13. Adrienne, yes, if Eisha screams like a Spartan at the interview, especially if she yells something about being able to blot out the sun with her glorious library skills, she might get one of those jobs.

    Glad you had fun in Baltimore.

  14. Oh, and yes, Adrienne, Leaves is starred all over the place, and that’s well-earned. Love that little poem of a picture book.

  15. […] How to Be Nice by David Ezra Stein […]

  16. […] how to be nice, as demonstrated by a menagerie of little creatures. David stopped by one Sunday last November to give us a preview illustration from the […]

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.