Jules: Welcome to our weekly 7 Kicks list, 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.
We’re so happy that Caldecott Honor-winning author/illustrator Steve Jenkins (whom School Library Journal last year called “a master illustrator”) has stopped by to share some new illustrations with us as well as some from current titles. The image here and above is from the Cybils-shortlisted Vulture View, written by April Pulley Sayre (Henry Holt, 2007), in which readers are introduced to the world of the majestic turkey vulture.
Steve also sent us two spreads from a book that he and Robin Page created (Robin is the talented co-author of many of Steve’s titles, as well as his wife) and which will be published this Spring by Houghton Mifflin. It’s called Sisters & Brothers. “It’s about sibling relationships in the animal world,” Steve told us, “a subject we were surprised to find not much information on, when we began to look . . .”
If you’re a Jenkins or Jenkins/Page fan, you’re in further luck, ’cause he sent us some spreads from another forthcoming title (Fall of this year, also from Houghton Mifflin), How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?, also co-authored with Robin. “It’s about how different animals solve the same problem — catching a fly, digging a hole, using a leaf, and so on,” Steve told us.
These are the covers for those upcoming titles . . . I love how this Houghton Mifflin bio summarizes Steve’s talents: “His books have been called stunning, eyepopping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative.” Yeah, what they said. It’s all true. If you’re not familiar with his work, know that what you’re seeing is cut-paper collage and that he’s brilliant with it. And I can vouch for the child-centered charm of his titles, too; they are a huge hit in my home and have been since my children were very young. And, though I’ve only proclaimed my love for his books here, here, and here at 7-Imp (wait, there’s also here!), I’ve read and adored many more with my children. This week, we read the wonderful Living Color (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), also shortlisted for the Cybils this year. Steve sent us a few spreads from that, and I just have to show the red spread, since I’m fascinated by that hooded seal and the sac of loose skin on his nostril, which he totally INFLATES:
We’d like to thank Steve for stopping by and making our day with these vibrant illustrations. There will be more delights for Jenkins fans this week: Tomorrow at the Cybils blog you can see another richly-colored spread from Living Color; on Thursday at the same place will be an interview with Jenkins; and the following Monday, February 4th (one of many new Nonfiction Mondays), the same interview in its entirety will be posted here at 7-Imp (the extended edition, if you will, with things like the weird-‘n’-wonderful Pivot Questionnaire). So, be sure to see that interview this week over at the Cybils site. And thanks again to Steve!
1* The big thing: I lived through a day-long job interview, complete with presentation.
2* The best part of the interview: I got to talk at length to fellow librarians and book lovers.
3* There was some very pretty snow this week: big fluffy floaty flakes, but not a lot of accumulation.
4* I got a beeee-yooo-tiful fingerpainting in the mail from a very famous artist, Princess Miriam Piper, daughter of Jules.
5* We made plans to go over to our friends’ house for dinner Sunday. It will be the first time I get to meet their new baby boy.
6* The Steve Jenkins illustrations today, and the Anna Alter illustrations Friday. Gorgeous stuff.
7* It turns out we also share some musical tastes with our upstairs neighbors. When we realized we were all going to the Neko Case concert tonight (Sat), we decided to meet up for dinner beforehand at a yummy Thai restaurant.
8* Did I mention I’M GOING TO A NEKO CASE CONCERT!!!!!
This post is long enough already, so I’ll keep this short. But isn’t all that Steve Jenkins Goodness worth it? Wow. That’s my first kick this week — that he stopped by to share some of his beautiful illustrations.
2). I started reading on Friday Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to my almost-four-year-old daughter, and she listened intently and wants to keep going, as in we’ve already made it past the deadly poppy field and the Queen of the field mice (as I previously made clear in this post, reading the classics to my girls is very exciting to me). We also read a ton of poetry this week, including repeated readings of that flawless Here’s a Little Poem, collected by Andrew Fusek Peters and Jane Yolen. I mean, really, I’ve said this a skerjillion times before here at 7-Imp, but it’s just perfect.
4). Watching season one of Battlestar Galactica with my husband. I’m hooked. Get that! Me and sci fi. Whoa. This is all new.
“In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.”
You know you wanna read the rest.
6). I get to see a good friend today.
What are your kicks this week?