Jules: These bedfellows here aren’t as strange as they seem. If you have read this year’s Cybils-
shortlisted Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz (Harcourt, 2007), then you know that is Lucy, who couldn’t sleep, and her late-night creation with an “oval body. A square head. Rectangle legs. And circle eyes. When she added triangles, the shape turned into a . . . MONSTER!” Move over, Harold. When her monster roars at her, the intrepid Lucy says, without missing a beat, “You don’t scare me . . . Let’s play!” And play they do until Lucy herself starts to get worn out and tries everything in the book to get him to sleep already, Wing cleverly turning the tables on the child/caregiver relationship and bed-time struggles. I reviewed this title back in November of last year. It’s a winner, I tell ya. And it’ll be up to the judges in the category of Fiction Picture Books to decide if they think it’s a Cybils winner this year (award winners are announced this week, so keep your eye on the Cybils site).
Many thanks to Sylvie Kantorovitz for stopping by this week to share some of her illustrations from this book with us. These were rendered in oil paints and oil pastels, yet look a like like Lucy’s crayon, do they not? I love it. If you’re a fan of the book, Natasha Wing, the author, was recently interviewed over at Just One More Book!! Sylvie also tells us that she and Natasha are currently working on the book’s sequel, Go to School, Monster!, and having fun doing so. The release date has not been announced, but I’m sure if you keep your eye on Sylvie’s site as well as Natasha’s new blog, you’ll be kept in-the-know.
When you visit Sylvie’s site, you’ll see that you have the option of clicking on “children’s books” or “paintings and drawings.” Below is an illustration from the latter category (which includes a series of paintings from nature, the “unconscious,” and a series of figures), showing a much different side of Sylvie. I am particularly fond of this oil painting, called simply “cello.”
Many thanks again to Sylvie . . .
As a reminder, 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 (as well as featuring wonderful artists like Sylvie). We hope you’ll share your kick-worthy moments from the week.
1* This week’s illustrations. Love that monster.
2* It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I finally got my books in order, for the first time since the move.
3* I rediscovered Bailey White. While organizing my fiction, I ran across Mama Makes Up Her Mind and decided to reread it. Sublime. That woman makes me proud to be southern. Now, why hasn’t she put out any books in, like, 10 years?
4* This is going to sound weird as a kick, but… remember that day-long-job-interview-with-presentation I had a few weeks ago? I had been thinking very, very hard about it ever since, and had decided that I really didn’t want the job. For many reasons that are too complicated to go into here, it just didn’t feel like the best fit for me. I was dreading what I was going to do if they offered it to me, though, because I knew I really shouldn’t take it but I was afraid an actual job offer might sway me back the other direction. However, I found out this week that they went with one of the other candidates. *Whew*
5* Almost everyone I work with has been dreadfully sick lately, but so far I haven’t caught it.
6* All the fuss over the primaries makes me realize that there are only a few months left in the current president’s administration. Can I get an “Amen”?
7* I’ve also been rereading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and reading it out loud to my husband. I knew he’d get as much of a kick out of it as I do. I wonder why there isn’t an audio version of it out yet? It’s a lot of fun to read aloud.
Eisha, I remember reading that Bailey White book forever ago. Whoa.
1). A friend of mine, who has brain cancer, went to Memphis to have an MRI, and the doctor called and told her it was all clear. LET ME HEAR IT NOW: WAHOO!!!!!!! And again? WAHOO!!!!!!!
2). I say this at the risk of sounding like an ingrate of a house-bound stay-at-home suburban soccer mom with a gin-and-tonic in hand or something, but I had a hard week as a mother. Nothing unusual. Just kids bein’ kids. My girls are very close in age, so I play referee a lot. But I felt like a particularly awful mother at times, called out to the god “Calgon” quite a bit, and turned to this again in desperation, which I had shelved and hoped I wouldn’t need (that shows you what I know). My husband was extra understanding and even gave me a random surprise to try to cheer me up. Best of all, he told me I was a wonderful mother, which is what you really need to hear when you are about to pull your hair out with the eight kerjillionth whine of the day.
3). But it wasn’t all hard. We finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and read Grimms’ Snow-White and Rose-Red (pictured here and not at all the same story as Snow White). And my oldest keeps making up more unforgettable poems (or “poms” if you’re her).
4). Okay, still on the children: We went to a pirate birthday party today for one of our little four-year-old friends, who has a filthy cool tire swing in one wicked cool, humongous tree in his yard. And for my oldest’s upcoming birthday party, she decided she wants it to be a dinosaur party. I’m sorry if I sound like a snob, but I’m really glad she doesn’t want to have a party like this. (Should I add “yet”?)
5). A friend of my brother’s for whom I’d do just about anything invited me to join Facebook. God help me. I did. It’s addictive, and I’ve found some old friends and chatted with them, and many kidlitosphere bloggers are on there.
6). Eisha and I have a co-review lined up for Monday. We haven’t co-reviewed in a while, and it was fun.
7). Finally reading a copy of Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo & Diane Dillon; Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis; and Legend of the Chinese Dragon by Marie Sellier, Catherine Louis, and Wang Fei. These are three books that, as a picture book lover, made me very happy. Wow, wow, and wow. Especially to the art work.
By the way, can any WordPress users tell me how to right-align an image? I’ve got my self-proclaimed computer geek of a husband working on this, but maybe there’s some easy answer I’m missing. It makes me crazy to not right-align some of these images, and I’ve been wanting to learn for a while now. The second Kantorovitz image up there really wants to be on the right and tells me the whole post would look much better that way. Anyone?
And what are your kicks this week?