Jules: Yuyi Morales stopped by 7-Imp today! What a treat! Yes, lots of “!”s, but I’m excited. This is an image from her most recent title, Little Night (reviewed here in August by Yours Truly), a book with such sumptuous, gorgeous, dream-like artwork I can hardly stand it. Truly beautiful stuff.
And it gets better! Yuyi is sharing, not one, but two images from her forthcoming picture book, Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Alphabet Book, a Neal Porter Book, to be released in Fall 2008. Just under the illustrations is what Yuyi had to tell us about the new book.
“I was in Mexico last year, walking with my husband, Tim, in the sultry streets of Veracruz, the city where we fell in love fourteen years ago. And as love conversations go, we were talking about stories–skeleton stories to be more specific.
There is a lot of love in skeleton stories, especially if they are about candied skeletons like Señor Calavera, the main character in my book Just a Minute, who with his scary-goofy nature has helped me make beautiful connections with children.
I had never considered doing a sequel to Just a Minute; I like moving on onto new things. But that morning the ancient Gulf of Mexico was singing by the dock, the humidity was making lichens grow on the 300 hundred-year old walls, and the wooden marimba was playing on the street. It is in moments like this one that old friends like Señor Calavera come back.
‘It could be an alphabet book,’ I said.
‘About bringing a present for Grandma Beetle’s birthday,’ Tim said.
‘A different present for each letter of the alphabet. I like that!’
‘And what if,’ Tim said while we held hands, ‘what if at the end Señor Calavera brought Grandma Beetle, the most incredible present of them all?’
‘Which would be what?’ I said.
Like a love promise, Tim whispered his idea in my ear…
In the airplane flying home, I worked diligently on the alphabetic list of presents, and once I was in my studio the next day, I began creating Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Alphabet Book, where you will see Señor Calavera and his friend, Zelmiro The Ghost, trying to come up with the present that Grandma Beetle would love the most.”
One thousand thanks to Yuyi for sharing these illustrations with us. I can’t wait to see the new book! In case you missed it, check out Yuyi’s fabulous, 3-D snowflake for the 2007 Robert’s Snow auctions, featuring Little Night herself. This link here at 7-Imp shows you a great picture of the snowflake, which plays music, and includes a video Yuyi made of the creation of her snowflake. Actually, it was for sale in Auction 1, which is over, I think, but you can still look and ooh and aah, yes?
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.
I’m keeping mine short this week, since we just celebrated Thanksgiving, and I’m sure that I probably rambled about what I’m thankful for. My kicks are generally that my family is safe and healthy and happy; that my husband had extra time off this week; that my girls are so much stinkin’ fun I almost can’t stand it; that I got to blog-read a lot this week, now that things have slowed down a bit; this roll call of great illustrators at a post at JJK’s blog; this write-up about Gregory K. Pincus and Fibs at the Poetry Foundation; and the fact that Alkelda sent me the soundtrack to “Donnie Darko” (she says it’s not available in the States, so I’m feeling kick-y to have it now. It rocks something serious, my friends. And so does Alkelda). Oh, I also really liked my Poetry Friday entry for this week, not ’cause it was terribly well-written or anything, but because it made me think of being in my 20s (when I read a lot of Thomas Merton) and ’cause that poem is gorgeous. Oh, and THOSE ILLUSTRATIONS THIS WEEK FROM MS. MORALES! Wow! Best kick of all. Ciao.
Ditto on the Yuyi Morales illustrations. I. Love. Her. And I am so thrilled that there’s a new Señor Calavera book on the way.
But now, the kicks:
1* First and foremost – we’re still alive. B. and I went to the Ikea in NJ this past weekend, in a big borrowed cargo van, to replace some furniture that didn’t fit in this apartment and such. Well, despite our obsessive planning and list-making, we spent basically 6 hours there Sunday afternoon (there’s just no such thing as a quick trip to Ikea, I’m telling you). By the time we got out of there, it was dark and starting to snow. No biggie, we thought, since we knew flurries were predicted for central NY. We did NOT expect the big crazy snow storm that this became. It finally got so bad that we just decided to pull over and check into a hotel somewhere in PA. It meant I would miss work (and a writing deadline) the next morning, but so be it.
2* Oh, and also, I had a job interview the following afternoon, which meant that we had to scramble home Monday morning to get me there in time. Which we did – barely.
3* But I think it went well, and I had a very nice time meeting with the entire library staff, a couple of faculty members, etc.
4* Thanksgiving: B. and I put together our new kitchen table and chairs (which fit perfectly in our teeny kitchen, and look even better than I thought they would) and made a ton of yummy food. Then we ate while we watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs (our own Thanksgiving tradition, dating back to the “Turkey Day MST3K Marathon” thing they used to do on Comedy Central). Then we went upstairs to hang with the neighbors, eat pumpkin pie, and play with their Nintendo Wii. A perfect day.
5* Speaking of food, Wegmans has a Creme Brulee flavored ice cream that is totally amazing. It’s especially nice on apple pie. Just sayin’.
6* My temp assignment at the financial firm ended, and I got lots of lovely goodbyes and a sweet present from one of my co-workers.
7* I really hope Michele tunes in this week for this kick: B. and I borrowed the first season of the new Doctor Who on DVD, and yes, it really is all that. I’m still in the Christopher Eccleston period, though, so I still haven’t beheld the legendary David Tennant.
I hope everyone else had a lovely Thanksgiving – or a plain ol’ lovely week, for our British/Aussie/Canadian readers. Please tell us about it, and any other kicks you might have.