7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #67: Featuring Gianna Marino

h1 June 15th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Happy Sunday to one and all . . . We’re happy you stopped by today, as we’re featuring some work this morning from artist and illustrator Gianna Marino, a.k.a. “Boomerang.” (And that’s because she’s done a wee bit of travelling in her lifetime, as you can read about here.)

As I was linking to Gianna’s site in the fairly recent Jim Averbeck interview (even though I’ve linked to her site before), I went and explored there and fell in love with her botanicals, painted in gouache and all featured here at her site. Pictured here is her Himalayan Blue Poppy, and below is “Chocolate Cosmos.” She also has some mixed-media paintings featured here, created using Japanese and mulberry papers, pencil sketches, gouache paint, and acrylic glazes over canvas. At her site, she writes:

“Like preparing for a journey, my paintings begin with a place, a direction or a story. I am inspired by the migration of animals, the origins of where something comes from and how it got there and why it remains there…. or leaves. Human expansion changes nature and its course and I find a layering of maps and natures path the perfect place to tell that story.”

Gianna has also written and illustrated Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet (Chronicle, 2005), which I happen to own, thanks to Jama! Kirkus Reviews called it a “lively, engaging debut.” In Zoopa, Marino brings us an alphabet soup quite unlike one you’ve seen before. It’s a search-and-find game, and it’s a fine book for helping children learn their letters (and animals). Each spread gets increasingly more crowded, as more and more animals gather around the soup bowl in this wordless book to find the letter beginning their names. The energy in Gianna’s art work in this book is infectious, the colors bold and the animals always entertaining.

Gianna’s site states that she also has numerous other children’s books in the works. Indeed, in preparing for this feature, she told me, “I do have some other things I am working on, but running out the door. Rats!” Yep, she’s travelling now, but perhaps we can chat with her later about what she’s up to.

Here’s one of the children’s illustrations featured at her site, “They Danced on his Tables”:

Many thanks to Gianna for stopping by!

As a reminder, our 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. Anyone is welcome to come list their kicks, so have at it.

But, before we list our kicks, I’d like to quickly say a Happy Father’s Day to my husband, pictured here with my oldest when she was wee. I wanted to surprise him, but I decided to ask him for permission to post this, since he can be kinda shy about this kind of stuff. Ah well. Happy Father’s Day to him — and to any fathers who may be reading today. I’ll not get syrupy-sweet on everyone here, but let’s just say my girls are the luckiest ever to have him for a father.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

eisha: Aw… Can I chime in? Happy Father’s Day, Blaine! And Happy Father’s Day to my brother, too!

1* Speaking of Blaine, he sent me a CD – a classic hard-to-find album from my semi-goth youth: The Glove’s Blue Sunshine. It was a totally sweet and unnecessary gesture, which I can only imagine was brought on because I actually knew who he was talking about when he mentioned them recently. Thanks, B!

2* That Blue Poppy up there. I love it. I want it on my wall.

3* I started my new temp job, organizing the books for another academic department’s collection. It’s going pretty well so far.

twilight1.jpg4* The temps have receded to a much more manageable high-70s-to-mid-80s range. My computer likes this much better, too – she kept overheating there while temps were creeping up on 100.

5* I’ve been eating lots of yummy summery food, like broiled asparagus, gazpacho, and tzatziki.

6* My neighbors came home from their wedding & honeymoon, and shared a bottle of champagne with me as we looked at their pics and chatted.

7* And she loaned me Twilight, which… I seriously can’t explain how I hadn’t already read it yet. But I totally get all the fuss now. Dang. I lost a whole day to that thing.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

I had a kick-y week. People were very kind to me. I don’t know what I did to deserve it.

1). Eisha sent me some very yummy coffee from Gimme! Coffee in New York. It made my mailbox smell very good for a while. And it’s making my taste buds very happy.

2). Illustrator Polly Dunbar sent me the Long Nose Puppet’s soundtracks of Shoe Baby and Flyaway Katie. The music is by Tom Gray of Gomez. It’s wild to hear a singer from Gomez singing for children. It’s good stuff.

3). Sweet, kind, thoughtful Alkelda saw my favorite musician perform last week and then sent me this kickin’ twenty-second surprise:

Sam is a good sport to say hello to a geeky fan she’s never met (actually, Eisha and I met her briefly in 1994, backstage at a Nashville show. I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER ME FROM FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. Jeez.*)

4). Adrienne sent me some snail mail, just so I could see Jen Corace’s stationery. It’s very lovely, and I always love real snail mail AND real snail mail from Adrienne! P.S. Jen Corace will be stopping by one Sunday very soon.

5). This super-cool write-up on Knoxville, Tennessee, from The New York Times (if you want to read it, I think you have to register. But registering is free. If you’ve ever lived in and loved Knoxville, it’ll make you go WOOT!).

6). My husband and I saw “The Hulk” yesterday. Arrrggh! and Rah! (It was good. I’m just trying to grunt and yell like he does.)

7). I survived a visit to the dentist this week. Drilling was involved. Drilling. And I survived.

7½). This week, my four-year-old and I take a parent-child summer camp art class thingy. Woot! again.

What are your kicks this week?

* * * * * * *

* I’m not actually being serious. I don’t expect people who met me LAST WEEK to remember me.

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24 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #67: Featuring Gianna Marino”

  1. Was that 14 years ago? Holy crap. And did we really flirt with a roadie to get backstage? I think I just remembered that bit.


  2. E, yes, it was the year I gradyeeated from kollege, so yes, it was ’94.

    And T-Bone Burnett brushed past us in his shades while we were waiting in the super-special secret line to meet her.

    And, yes, it was one of her roadies we had chatted with, ’cause we got there nerdy-early. I don’t think we were actively flirting. He probably thought you were a total babe, ’cause you were (and still are), and he just kept telling me I had Sam’s hair.

    Either way, something got us back there to meet her so that I could make an idiot of myself for a few minutes.


  3. P.S. Wait, I know exactly when it was. I’m such a Nerdy Fan that I have sitting at my desk here, in a tiny frame, the ticket from that very show. Duh. And I’ve had it all these years (I just momentarily forgot it was sitting right here at my desk).

    It was Thursday, May 19, 1994, at 8:00 p.m. at 328 Performance Hall. And one of your high school friends joined us, E. Right? Or was that Shawn Colvin’s show?

    Rawk on. “Martinis and Bikinis.” That was a killer show, and that’s the CD in which she proved she’s the fifth Beatle.

    I’m really going to shut up about my fan-dom now. Forever.

    Plus, I’m totally carrying on as if no one else is here. Hey, wait, no one else is here yet.


  4. Good Morning. Looks like you both had a great week. Eisha, I read Twilight as well, I may have to get the second. I thought the second half of the book was better than the first. My young college friend told me that the author’s website has chapters written from the point of view of Edward.
    Jules, I think I need to buy a Sam Phillips CD.
    My kicks:
    1. I am FINISHED with the national boards (all except the waiting until NOV. to find out if I passed). The test was something else. I do not know if I was concise, clear, or convincing. But I am done!
    2, Chuck and I went to dinner with friends at a new restaurant, yummy, yummy. Good company, good food.
    3. I get to have my first sleep over with my granddaughter tomorrow. Dad is out of town and Mom has to work.
    4. Speaking of gd, Chuck and granddaughter brought me lunch at school last week. It was so much fun! She was so proud to come with grandpa.
    I think I will stop there. I do have to say that I was saddened and shocked by the passing of Tim Russert this week. I loved watching his enthusiam for the election. It just reminds us all to live each day well.
    Have a great week.


  5. Happy Sunday!

    You Imps have really got it goin’ on! I mean, just look at that beautiful photo of Blaine and wee one, and with Jules getting all those gifts and having a good-smelling mailbox and Eisha Twilighting with champagne and gazpacho-ing and being a total backstage groupie babe and all . . .

    Congratulations, Jone, on finishing those board exams! Im sure you’re relieved.

    While I wait for Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney to show up in my mailbox, here are a few kicks:

    1. Alkelda and Jules and Sam Phillips. I so totally get the fandom thing and Alkelda’s videotaping Sam is such a great friendship thing that it just does my heart good to hear about these things!

    2. The release of TadMack’s first book, A La Carte. There will never be another first book. It’s a big cause for celebration. Got my copy and loving it so far!

    3. Making Marla Frazee’s fudge pie and reading all her books again.

    4. Saw “Juno” last night and loved it — from the opening credits sequence to the brilliant screenplay to the great acting and very uplifting ending.

    5. Gianna’s blue poppy and Jules mentioning Zoopa. I had almost forgotten about that contest.

    6. Received the latest Paddington book — Paddington Here and Now, by Michael Bond. Can’t wait to read it.

    7. Kelly Herold’s Little Sioux Scout Camp poem from Poetry Friday. It’s been a sad week; her words touched on the grief so many felt but couldn’t express.

    Have a good week, everyone!


  6. I know I haven’t done extensive kicks lists lately, but it’s been words, words, words around my place lately. I starting to have a love/hate relationship with them.

    Anyhow, it’s always a shot of intense energy to read your kicks, and follow along as others leave theirs. So, can I just say that having kicks to look forward to is my kick this week?

    That and my niece gets to go to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang camp again this year. (Not that I wish that she was still in the battling cancer stage, but if she has to, it’s great that she has a camp where she totally live it up for a week. Buy Newman-Os!!!) And it’s her dad’s birthday this month, and her brother’s, and my dad’s. So yay for good men everywhere!


  7. Jone, I’m sad about Tim Russert too – he was a great interviewer, and I always loved it when he moderated debates. But YAY to being done with those dang national boards!

    Jama, let’s not overdo it with the backstage babe thing. And… fudge pie? YUM. It only makes sense Marla Frazee would have great recipes – did you read The Seven Silly Eaters? She made that cake look go-o-o-od.

    Sara, I get the love/hate thing. Thanks for continuing to stop by. And it’s so good that places like Hole in the Wall Gang camp exist, even if their reason for existing sucks. I second your toast: Yay for good men!


  8. Hey, I can’t believe I’ve been mentioned in a Kick! Thanks, Jama, that made my day 🙂

    1. Jama thinks I’m a kick.
    2. 2 hours this morning away from my little darlings to write. That sounds terrible, I know, but how did this introvert get TWO (of 2) kids who talk more than talk radio? My head HURTS.
    3. Tadmack’s book is out. Tadmack rocks.
    4. Father’s Day: I’m one lucky woman–I have a great father and a great father for my kids.
    5. Frank Cottrell Boyce. His new book is awesome, and ironically enough, a Dad book.
    6. Traveling in less than 3 weeks. Maybe there will be some sun elsewhere in the world?
    7. Flood waters receding in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. But…my favorite–Iowa City–is still under water until Tuesday at least. Hang in there, Hawkeyes!


  9. I love Gianna’s art, and her perspective.

    Eisha, I’m reading the second book in the Twilight series right now, which has been aided by much time on planes/in airports today. (I’m writing from the JetBlue terminal at JFK even now. Yay, free wireless!) I was trying to avoid it, but I guess I’m just going to have to catch up and read the new one when it comes out.

    Jules, Yay, Jen Corace! I’m glad to hear that The Hulk is good. I’m an Edward Norton fan and was having that sinking oh-no-this-really-might-be-bad feeling. Yet I must go see it.

    My kicks:
    1. The Adoration of Jenna Fox.
    2. The ARC of Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale (which the publisher just sent me without my asking or anything–I heart Bloomsbury).
    3. I’m just coming home from a trip to Florida that was really, really good for my soul, mostly because of the people, but the ocean doesn’t hurt anything. (Well, sometimes it drowns people and smashes houses and stuff, but I like it even so.)
    4. I am also returning home laden with Les Beans coffee, which is awesome.
    5. AND one of my Florida peeps (Julia, who is 11) gave me A NEW MAGIC 8 BALL THAT I DIDN’T ALREADY HAVE! I didn’t even know this one existed. It was so exciting.
    6. And not to get all whatever, but I am just so grateful lately to be alive and healthy and cared for in so many ways by so many people.
    7. Isn’t 6 also good for 7?


  10. Oh, Kelly, I was watching the flood coverage on my flight today, and it was making me all anxious for you and Iowa in general. I’m quite fond of it since visiting Iowa City (and am worrying about that beautiful children’s room–and all that art!).


  11. 1) First off, can I say how grateful I am to see sunshine this morning? It has been so cold and rainy for most of May and June (so far) that I was beginning to overhear rumblings from my friends about whether they should consider moving. The garden has loved all this rain, and it’s made my watering job much easier, but hooray for sunshine! Maybe the strawberries will start growing and taste more of sunshine than of water.

    2) Filming Sam saying hello to Jules was definitely a kick. I mentioned to Jules that the line to meet Sam took as long as the concert itself because Sam spent quality time with each person. That was good news for me when I finally got to talk to her.

    3) Speaking of Sam, when I told her that I was working on “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us” on the guitar and found the B minor chord challenging, she laughed and said, “Keep working on it. If I can do it, you can do it.”

    4) Bede and I got to hang out with friends last night at their swanky new remodeled house. We had good dinner, good conversation, and got to try out the “Rock Band” game on their Wii. I’m not very good at it, but it still makes me want an electric guitar.

    5) The peonies are blooming! This is exciting.

    6) We’re going to take my husband out for sushi today in honor of Father’s Day.

    7) I hear the perking of the first cup of coffee.

    Those poppy pictures are gorgeous, by the way. I’m glad Jules survived drilling (I shiver when I think about drilling) and I’m glad Eisha and I got to trade a little bit of weather.


  12. Jone, congrats on the boards being over, though it sounds like the test was a doozy. I’m sure you did fabulously, though. YOU HAVE TO WAIT ‘TIL NOVEMBER? My goodness.

    My girls and I had a sleep-over at my mother-in-law’s last week, and they think it’s so much fun. Grandmothers are the best.

    I was also saddened and shocked to hear about Tim Russert. He was so good at what he did and not all sensationalistic about everything, and he was also just so young.

    Jama, yes, congrats to TadMack! Let’s make it big — what a great excuse to use the marquee tag again, too:

    CONGRATULATIONS, TADMACK!

    I look forward to my purchase and to reading it.

    Jama, I received the “Juno” soundtrack as a gift before seeing the movie. Both are great, aren’t they? But now I won’t be able to hear “Sea of Love” without crying.

    Kelly’s poem was great, and I’ll link here for others to read. Her post about her dad was kickin’, too.

    Sara, excellent news about your niece. We buy Newman’s stuff, including his very yummy organic coffee.

    Kelly, I’m glad you and your family are dry and safe.

    Adrienne, I also LOVE Ed Norton. So, so much. The movie was good. Congrats on your new magic 8 ball. And I’m glad your trip was safe. Oh, and I got Rapunzel’s Revenge, too, and I read about it over at A Year of Reading. Mary Lee had posted about it, and I was all, that looks great. I’ll have to look for it!. And I already had it.

    I gotta organize my books.

    Anyway, it looks so good.

    Alkelda, glad you’re getting sunshine!


  13. Jules, that’s a lovely picture! And how nice your letterbox not only smells nice but has had cool snail mail. Did you know here in the UK hardly anyone has a letterbox? It drops in through your front door, very exotic.

    Eisha, champagne with your neighbours + neighbourly book loaning is a very civilised kick, I approve.

    Tests being over is a very worthy kick, Jone, and one that I’m reading about in a lot of my friend’s blogs at this time of year!

    It’s been a busy couple of weeks with some sad and stressful events so it’s nice to do my kicks:

    1. Our visitors last week included my Dad – we had a great time catching up. An appropriate kick for a Father’s Day entry! (even if Father’s Day is in September in Australia)
    2. We went to Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, which was lovely. Highlights included learning how to use a lock when we hired a boat for the day – it’s more work than I anticipated but fun!
    3. On the way to Wales we visited Avebury, a prehistoric stone circle
    4. There is free wireless on the long distance trains here now, which is a great help when travelling for work
    5. This guest-free weekend has consisted of lots of lolling around, napping and reading
    6. I finally got around to getting my hair cut, which (pathetically enough!) has made me feel a lot neater and more organised
    7. I’ve discovered that I love elderflower cordial. There’s elderflowers out everywhere at the moment but I bought the cordial at the shops.


  14. Happy Sunday to all!

    1. Inspired partly by Janssen, and also because I downloaded it a few weeks ago, I watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers this week. What a great movie! I hadn’t seen it in many years.
    2. I also watched and enjoyed Dan in Real Life. As Mheir observed, there are books in practically every scene (including a pivotal early scene that takes place in a bookstore). I think it would have been a good movie anyway, but the book references really took it over the top for me.
    3. I finally read The Adoration of Jenna Fox. What an amazing book! I don’t know how Mary Pearson did it.
    4. I drank margaritas and watched the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon with Mheir. Our life is finally starting to feel under control (and so, of course, my travel schedule will be picking up again almost immediately. But it was nice while it lasted).
    5. I baked a chocolate cake (with chocolate frosting) this week, just because…
    6. Since the completion of the 48 Hour Book Challenge (which rocked) I’ve finished three books. In each case, I stuck to my discipline from the challenge, and wrote my review immediately. Not clear if I’ll be able to keep that up, but it feels good so far.
    7. TadMack’s book is out. Yay, Tanita!!!


  15. Eisha, no need to be so modest about your backstage babe (BB) status. If Jules says it’s so, then it is.

    And yes, I’ve read the Seven Silly Eaters — it’s my favorite book that she illustrated but didn’t write!


  16. Oh, what pretty flowers!

    Happy Father’s Day to the dads in the 7-Imp family.

    eisha: Glad that your job is still going well! Please add Chris Golden’s vampire books, especially the Shadow Saga, to your to-read list. The Gathering Dark rules.

    jules: Yay for nice people! Yay for good karma! Have fun in art class.

    My kicks:
    1) Looking forward
    2) Believing
    3) Preparing
    4) Smiling
    5) Saving
    6) Hoping
    7) Singing


  17. Kelly, YOU hang in there. And congrats on having two great dads to celebrate.

    adrienne, we’re all glad you’re alive and healthy, too. And that you have a new magic 8 ball.

    Alkelda, that was the coolest thing ever that you did for Jules. You rock.

    emmaco, once again you’ve made me jealous of where you live. Stone circles! Locks! Elderflower cordial! Have you thought about writing a guidebook?

    Jen, isn’t Jenna Fox excellent! I can’t get it out of my head either. And I’m so glad you’ve had some time to relax and hang with Mheir.

    Little Willow, thanks for the rec – I’m putting them on my list right now. Twilight definitely put me in the mood for more vampires.


  18. Emmaco, lolling around, napping, reading, AND travelling to Wales. Those are some stellar kicks.

    Jen, baking a chocolate cake for no reason is the best reason of all. And you are the THIRD person with excellent taste in books to rave about Jenna Fox. I gotsta read this thing.

    Little Willow, I wish you a very good week with wishes that come true. 😉


  19. Jenna Fox is fantastic.

    Bloomsbury rocks!

    Eisha: AWESOME. *bounces around at the thought of you digging Golden books* Know that the first three books in the Shadow Saga don’t hold back in terms of violence, language, content – all things that are par for the course with vampire horror stories. The Gathering Dark, which is the fourth book, is my favorite. It may easily be read independently of the others.

    Thank you, Jules! 🙂


  20. Wow! I just love the Sam Phillips video (both of them), and the illustrations are gorgeous. A little late to the Sunday party today, but I still wanted to chime in.
    1. Getting to go on a brief mini-vacation!
    2. Having SUNSHINE and wonderful weather (the pacific northwest has been cold, rainy, gloooooomy through Wednesday of last week!)
    3. Having sunshin when I got back home!
    4. Hiking outdoors with the dogs.
    5. Having my sweetie with me too! (And seeing him relax….ahhhh…we both needed that!)
    6. Picking up The Age of Innocence and getting very engaged by it. (For some reason I have never read this before, it was never on any high school or college reading lists for me.)
    7. That great Roald Dahl Cinderella poem – I had to read it out for loud for the boyfriend and several other friends this week. I love beautiful poetry that speaks to my soul, but I really love irreverent poetry that speaks to my funnybone!

    Have a great week everyone!


  21. Hi there, R.M. I’ve never read The Age of Innocence either. You’ll have to report back when you’re done.

    Congrats on the vacation — and all your sunshine. Thanks for kickin’ with us.


  22. Hi, all — THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the love. I’m so tickled that some of you guys listed me as a kick. Has been exciting, but WOW!! A bit scary. Here’s to all of your successes, sunshine and general rockingness as well. xoxoxox!


  23. PS – thanks, too, for all the picture book suggestions. Could my Dad love WE ARE THE SHIP any more than we do??? I think he does!!!!


  24. score, tadmack! (but who wouldn’t love that book anyway? a crazy person, i tell ya)…


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