7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #90: Featuring Jackie Morris

h1 November 23rd, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Award-winning author/illustrator Jackie Morris is visiting us this morning, and we’re so glad she’s here. Jackie, who trained as an illustrator at the Bath Academy of Art in England, now lives here in Wales and has won international acclaim for the many books she has written and illustrated. I struggle to find the words to describe her art work without sounding…well, totally trite, and I ended up deciding to go with words of praise from School Library Journal about her illustrations, since they nail it: “The undeniable beauty of the delicate watercolor illustrations, with their dramatic use of line, coupled with soft, earthy tones, lend the characters and landscapes dignity and timelessness.” Yeah, what they said.

Jackie, who—as SLJ indicates—works in watercolors, is sharing some new art work with us this morning, too, which is particularly exciting. This opening illustration above is to be the cover from Tell Me a Dragon, written and illustrated by Jackie, to be released next Fall. Isn’t it beautiful? Here are some more from that forthcoming title:

Fire Dragon

Wind Dragon

Story Dragon

Below is an illustration from Jackie’s most recently-illustrated title, a 2008 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award recipient, Singing to the Sun: A Fairy Tale by Vivian French and published by Kane/Miller this past September. (Vivian is the author of many books, one of her most recent ones being this great-looking book which I still want to read and which Cynthia Leitich Smith asks her about in this interview from October).

Kane/Miller posted a wonderful interview with Jackie just this past Friday (also posted here), in which she talks more about Singing to the Sun:

There are so many messages in the book if you want to look for them. For children, one message is that maybe love is better than wealth and power, but it is a thing to be freely given. For fathers, a reminder that daughters have free will and are fed up of being given away as prizes in stories. For parents, the message can be that arguing is frightening for children. For women, that it is always a good idea to keep your wolves close, if you have a wolf, and that cats are smart and music can often provide answers.

Does that description not make you want to run to the nearest library or bookstore to get this one? It does for me.

Jackie is also currently working on two other titles. One is to be published by Frances Lincoln in 2010, and it’s called The Ice Bear. Here’s a draft of one of the opening illustrations, followed by an illustration of mother and child:

The other title, written by James Mayhew, is entitled Starlight, Starbright (illustration pictured below), to be published by Barefoot Books. Jackie says she’s been “finding it difficult to catch the key to it,” and she’s been documenting her sometimes frustrating—but always honest—illustrating process for this one over at its own blog.

Finally, here’s a bit of random Jackie-Morris loveliness, The Guardians (you can see many more prints at this page of her site) . . .

And this is Jackie’s dragon-filled studio in October:

Jackie also told me, “I want to come for breakfast! If you came here, I would make you pancakes with peaches and bacon and maple syrup and then we would go for a walk with my cats and dogs to look for seal pups. And the sun would shine.” HOW COULD I TURN THAT DOWN? I’m so there. She’s pretty much welcome to a seven-questions-over-breakfast interview any ‘ol time she’s up for it.

Many thanks to Jackie for stopping by this morning. We look forward to her new titles.

As a reminder, our 7 Kicks posts are the weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* OH! I’ve been in love with Jackie Morris since The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, and I’m so happy she’s here. She’s so swirly! I adore all those illos, especially the Wind Dragon, the Story Dragon (I want one!), the Ice Bear… okay, basically all of them.

2* Homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from my lovely and thoughtful neighbors. Mmmm.

3* Good conversations at work.

4* Remember how that jeweler replaced the two missing rhinestones in my new glasses a couple of weeks ago? Well, another one dropped out (on the other side this time), so I went back. This time they didn’t even charge me to replace it. Can you believe it? So, since they wouldn’t take my money, I’m giving them some love. Thanks, Mansour Jewelers!

Outta here!5* I saw Twilight on opening night, with all the squealing 14-year-olds. Oh, my dearly beloveds, I had me some powerfully low expectations of that movie, and it exceeded them. It was so bad it was hilarious. Thankfully I saw it with Dana and Justin, and we went out to a diner afterwards to talk about all our favorite bad parts.

6* As you read this, I am somewhere on my journey from Ithaca to Detroit to Tokyo to Seoul. Woo-hoo! I promise I’ll check in when I can, and share pics and such. Have a lovely Sunday, an excellent week, and a Happy Thanksgiving!

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

WOOT! Have TOO MUCH FUN, Eisha, and travel safely!

1). Seeing as how so many people lately are struggling with this sagging economy—which is very sad and anti-kicky, indeed—my first kick is that my husband and I still have our jobs. Since he is a Computer Geek for Bridgestone and I work as a contractor (while temporarily away from full-time librarianship) for a company that does corporate training, we’re both seriously lucky — and keeping fingers crossed.

2). Seeing my four-and-a-half year old in her first official play. She was the Mayflower. How’s that for a story for when she’s a world-famous thespian one day?

3) . . . actually, my other kick is that she asked me if there were such things as cooking schools and said she wants to be a chef one day.

4). Robert Neubecker gave me permission to post his “Wow! Art!” spread on the page of our site in which I archive illustrator features and interviews. Here it is!

5). Continuing to find old college friends on Facebook.

6). Knowing full well that Despereaux will be adapted to the screen next month, I’m reading it to my girls. I think they’ll appreciate it even more when they’re older, but hey, I’m enjoying it. And they mostly dig it.

7). I forgot this last week: My four-and-a-half year old read most of a beginning-reader book to me and my husband. I’m not a flash-card mom, and I’m sure excessive mommy-bragging can be tiresome. But humor me here. Really, it’s just truly kick-y in that the world of books is about to really open up to her. WOOT!

What are your kicks this week? It’s been a good week of many wonderful interviews (including Sara—along with Caroline Hickey—at MotherReader’s place and J. Patrick Lewis and John Green at Writing and Ruminating and M.T. at Finding Wonderland AND many, many more); it was Jama’s birthday; and Jone got some great news. How about you?

{Quick Note For Authors:

Alan Silberberg, the 2008 recipient of the Thurber House Children’s Author in Residence, wants to make sure all you authors out there know about the application process for the four-week fellowship that is the 2009 Writer-in-Residence Program. Details on the application process can be found here at The Thurber House site. And here’s Alan’s post about it. Or, as he writes, “unless you don’t need 4 weeks of uninterrupted writing time, your own apartment in the historic home of one of America’s funniest Writer/Cartoonists, and the opportunity of a lifetime – let me try and help with some possible reasons…”}

36 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #90: Featuring Jackie Morris”

  1. 1. This week I have been doing a lot of reading about how to be a better blogger, and it has really revitalized my attitude towards blogging and I hope within the next month or two will revitalize my actual blogging, too. I have at this point 5 blogs, 4 of which I’m going to treat as more personal journals and 1 of which I’m hoping to treat a bit more like a public forum.

    2. I have come up with an idea for a sixth blog that is really exciting to me.

    3. As a result of researching for that blog, I have discovered a local speaker/author/consultant who is exactly where I want to be when I am at his point in life. I’m working up the courage to drop him an email.

    4. The universe has been sending me the message that I need to stop waiting for things to be right before beginning anything new – that I should allow myself to be messy and to fail.

    5. My friend Sonja is a one woman tribute to the power of the internet, which is very exciting. She is a published romance writer thanks to the internet and also recently got a job by combining 15 second pitch and Twitter into a monster networking hybrid of Frankensteinian proportions. (Ok, there was maybe some hyperbole there.)

    6. This is not from this week – it’s actually a few months old – but I never mentioned it here at lectitans – back in August my boyfriend of 10 years asked me to marry him. It was pretty exciting, and I had to step away from wedding planning for a few weeks to get my head on straight, but I’m back into it now and thanks to our extreme low key style I think it is going to be a lot of fun.

    7. I love to make fruity quick breads, and this past week I made two loaves of pumpkin apple spice bread which were a big hit both at work and at home.

    Also posted at my own blog here: http://lectitans.livejournal.com/68996.html

  2. Hi, Kimberly! Good to hear from you. Congrats on your engagement. I think that a low-key style is the way to go. (We did a VERY low-key wedding and spent most of money on a big party afterwards for all our friends. Definitely worth it.)

    Congrats also on your better blogging epiphanies, and here’s to being messy and failing. It’s under-rated, huh? (Oh, and here’s to bread, too. I’m currently working on one of those Amish friendship bread starter thingies. Mmm.)

  3. One week I will have all seven of my kicks alternate between bread and cheese.

  4. I liked Jackie’s studio room and scrumptious is the word that comes to mind for her artwork.
    Eisha, safe journey and enjoy Aisa!!
    Jules, Thanks for the shout out. I bet your daughter made a great Mayflower.
    Kimberly, congrats on the engagement.
    My Kicks:
    1. In case anyone missed it, I passed my national boards for teaching. Hooray!
    2. My aunt is visiting and we are having a grand time.
    3. Birthday party for my oldest granddaughter, she turned 4 last week.
    4. My daughters dutch apple pie! Yummy!
    5. The weather continues to be fabulous.
    6. Going to the coast today with my aunt.
    7. Having fun with the blog challenge
    Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. I am crazy about those dragon illustrations, as is the boy looking over my shoulder spouting the word “cool!”
    Jules, there is nothing better than watching a young one cross over into the world of a reader. Brag on! I’ll keep a good thought for Eisha and hope for safe and uncomplicated travels.

    My kicks this week include:
    1. WBBT! It was awesome! I must say I do find myself missing Robert’s Snow a bit. As fab as the WBBT was, it was largely focused on novel authors, with only a few exceptions. Robert’s Snow let us share a bit of that love.
    2. I know this sounds really braggy, but I filled up my tank for $22 yesterday! That’s right, only $1.57 a gallon. wanted to jump for joy. With the economy so bad, it’s nice to save money somewhere.
    3. Deep into Cybils nominees and still loving it.
    4. Cold but beautiful weather.
    5. William’s final day of art school and exhibition was yesterday. This time around he studied Calder, Rothko, and Mondrian and created works in their styles. It was great fun to see and schlep home.
    6. William and I are in the midst of reading Kenny and the Dragon and Trolls Go Home, Both are quite fun.

    Have a great week everyone. Happy Thanksgiving too!

  6. Kimberly, I’d like to see that.

    Jone, congrats again! Happy birthday to your granddaughter, too, and have fun with your aunt visiting.

    TRICIA! I’m yelling in great enthusiasm over William’s art exhibition! My husband and I are hoping we can get our oldest into an arts magnet school next year. William’s school sounds fabulous. I always love hearing about what they do. Congrats to him.

    Oh and I miss Robert’s Snow, too. They’re not doing it this year, but Elaine says maybe next year. I’d love to do another Blogging for a Cure then if everyone’s up for it — and if the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is.

  7. Good morning! I’m still in my pjs, which is a kick enough. This week is going to be quite busy. My father’s in town for a week, and we’ve got something planned for just about every day. I hope I’ll have some pockets of time in which to recharge. Jules, I’m with you on the gratitude of keeping afloat in this economy. Eisha, I didn’t know you had rhinestones on your new glasses. I have rhinestones on my new glasses, too! (This is turning into a scene from Chester’s Way. Way to sparkle without being a vampire.;) Hooray for everyone else’s kicks, from engagments to passing boards to not being gouged at the gas tank. Here are my kicks:

    1) A HUGE crowd in the little storytime space for my gig at Third Place Books.

    2) I’ve splurged and ordered felt King Winter and Santa Lucia figures for our winter nature table from Etsy.com. Err, while we do not have room for a seasonal nature table (do an internet search for “Waldorf nature table” and you’ll see how lovely they can be), I’ve cleared off a space on our hutch. It was satisfying to dump all of the junk from the hutch drawer and turn it into a useful holding place for objects and dolls waiting for their season to come.

    3) In a similar vein, I’ve ordered felt doll kits from Dancing Rain Dolls to create more figures. I’ve resisted my inner craftiness for years, but I just love textiles.

    4) I recently received new paperback copies of some Elizabeth Goudge novels. Hurrah for J.K. Rowling loving The Little White Horse! There’s another instance of a famous person using her powers for good. While it didn’t do well in the theatres (and I still haven’t seen it), Emma Thompson’s love of Nurse Matilda and turning it into “Nanny McPhee” brought the book back into print.

    5) The Singing Year, by Candy Verney, comes with a CD. I love that trend in resource books for using music with children.

    6) Jules sent me a YouTube link to the Sam Phillips song I heard in concert but couldn’t find. It’s probably called “Was it All in My Head?” and is currently unreleased.

    7) I’m leading music for the Advent celebration tomorrow, and am going to be teaching Eleanor Farjeon’s “People Look East.” I hope people like it!

  8. Whoa, major dragons! (And dragons are VERY important to the Welsh — there’s gotta be a lot of good electricity swirling about living in Wales while working on a book about them.) The Story Dragon alone — I know about a jillion authors who’d pay to have one of those little fellows whispering in their ears, puffs of smoke notwithstanding.

    eisha, we’re supposed to see Twilight today with my 30-something-year-old stepdaughter. Your use of “hilarious” gives me hope I won’t feel TOO bad about going…


    * Spending $30 on dog toys and walking out of the store, all the way to the car, before I suddenly said to myself, “30 bucks?!?”

    * Beating a tech problem at work that’s been driving me insane for about a month.

    * Huge helpings of moussaka and baklava from the local Greek Orthodox church’s annual food festival.

    * Seeing the first faint glimmer of understanding about Twitter. Don’t quite have it yet, but can sense it coming.

    * Florida skies. The Missus (a FL native) boasted about them to me a long time before I understood what she was talking about.

    * Finding myself smiling for apparently no reason, tracing my thoughts back and coming up empty-handed, and suddenly realizing it was one of the trumpet concertos on a Wynton Marsalis classical CD, playing while I was out in the car.

    * Learning that there’s a word (honkstomping) in gargoyle-speak for “enormous, but surrounded by even greater enormousness, and beset on all sides by the noise of a city.” Who knew?!?

    Wonderful kickin’ Thanksgiving, everyone!

  9. I love the pictures this week. I think the artwork here is just a longstanding kick on every week’s list.

    I can’t believe Eisha’s trip has snuck up already! She has fled and left me craving chocolate chip cookies.

    Jules, your number one is something I don’t remember to be thankful for enough when work gets hard – although that won’t stop me complaining about getting out of bed tomorrow morning 🙂

    CONGRATS Kimberley! And to you, Jone!

    1. A flock of starlings put on an impressive aeronautical display over some warehouses yesterday evening
    2. I visited the Scottish Highlands for a quick work event, and it was lovely (even if it snowed after I left AGAIN)
    3. There was a cute secondhand bookshop in the railway station and in my spare few minutes I found three books to buy
    4. I had fallen embarrassingly far behind on answering friend requests and messages on facebook. But today I sat down and went through them all, and now feel much more organised!
    5. Lunch at a new (to me) pub yesterday – I had very yummy salmon fishcakes with potatoes, some green spinach-like veggie and hollandaise sauce. Yum!
    6. Our microwave that broke ages ago was exchanged for a new one (it was under warranty). Even though we don’t use it much, it is handy for last minute steaming and defrosting and re-heating.
    7. Tried two different types of sheep cheese this week and was impressed by both. Go sheep!

  10. Wow! The dragons are amazing! I want a story dragon too! Love the prints, especially A Silence Like Intimacy – reminds me of my polarbear-lookalike dog Chey.

    I too am grateful that the bf and I are employed in this tough time, especially since his company just started lay-offs last week. And lower gas prices are a HUGE kick!
    I missed last week because we had friends in town, so my kicks cover last week and this week:

    1. This week’s artwork! I want to visit Jackie Morris’ imagination…
    2. Last week’s story by Capuchine! I forwarded that link to everyone I know – I want a Capuchine!
    3. A weekend with good friends and their dogs who we had not seen in far too long. And their new dog Harley is a total lovebug. He looks like he is part muppet and part dog. (There is a pic of him over at my place.)
    4. The fat well-fed squirrels in our backyard waiting, and not running away when I went outside with peanuts for them.
    5. An evening scooter-ride through the neighborhood last sunday with the bf. The air was crisp and cold, and full of fireplaces burning. It was the perfect end to a perfect fall weekend.
    6. Reading Sight Hound by Pam Houston. It captures a part of how close I am to my amazing dog, and how deep that connection runs bewteen people and their dogs.
    7. 7 Imps and their book reviews and features! I made my Christmas book list for the many kids in my life yesterday, and all the books were ones I had found through your blog, so thank you Jules and Eisha for making my shopping for cool books so easy!

    Happy Thanksgiving and have a great week!

  11. Okay, everyone, your kicks are making me happy today. They are all so detailed and a reminder that it’s the little things — from Emmaco’s #1 to Alkelda’s #3 to John’s #6 to RM’s #5 . . .

    Alkelda, I hope you have a great week with your father. Congrats on your great attendance for your gig, and I WANNA SEE YOUR WINTER NATURE TABLE. Will you take pics, when it’s all said and done? I’d like to see you lead the Advent celebration, too.

    JES, your trumpet concerto kick is exactly what I mean about how the little things can make a week. I loved that kick, in particular, and I love it when you trace a kickin’ moment back to music . . . Have fun at “Twilight,” report back, and “honkstomping” is still my new favorite word.

    Emmaco, my new kick is that you think the art work here every Sunday is a weekly kick. Thanks. I love kick #1, as already mentioned. ….I can say I’ve never had sheep cheese. Sounds intriguing.

    P.S. I’m totally going to go find you on Facebook now.

    Hi, RM! We missed you last week. Yeah, how about that Jackie? Her art work is beautiful. Eisha’s right about The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems. It’s wonderful. Oh, and your last kick is so very nice of you — and humbling, too. Thanks very much for the nice words to 7-Imp.

    I went and I saw Harley. Aw. Aw. Aw. Very cute dog.

    Let’s hope, everyone, that Eisha’s travelling safely now — and having a great time.

    And, OF COURSE, I’m going to post the video Alkelda’s talking about, ’cause it’s a fabulous song. If someone says “Sam Phillips,” I must post. Hey, it’s {partly} my blog and I can do what I want. Mwaha. This song is unreleased, and this is from a concert at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC in September; let’s hope the song ends up on one of her CDs one day:

  12. jone, congratulations to you! National Board Certification is huge!

  13. Emma, AAAHH! Which one are you? You could always find me: Julie Walker Danielson.

  14. Greetings to Jackie Morris and her lovely dragons.

    eisha: The cookies sound yummy. I was treated to some homemade gingerbread cookies this week, and they were delicious. Hurrah for the free fixings! Have a safe and memorable trip! 🙂

    Jules: Fingers crossed for your jobs. Congrats to your rising star! Aww, Mayflower! Tell her that I’m rooting for her. In about ten years, give her Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson, A La Carte by Tanita S. Davis, and Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw. 😉

    I think I have to list fourteen kicks this week, because if I only list seven, they will all be about opening weekend!

    7 Kicks for Opening Weekend:
    1) Costumes
    2) Confidence
    3) Characters
    4) Laughter
    5) Blending
    6) Belting
    7) Belts

    7 Kicks for the week in general:
    1) WBBT – Many thanks to Colleen and all of the participating authors and bloggers! I am especially grateful to those I interviewed.
    2) Conversations
    3) Comfort
    4) Comfortable
    5) Cookies
    6) Critters
    7) Contentment

    Kiba: So good to see you here. Be courageous! Be confident! That bread sounds good. Bring on the bread-and-cheese list. Tell Will that I said hi!

    Tricia: Sounds like a fun, comfortable week. 🙂

    Alkelda: Congrats on getting such a big crowd at storytime.

    Jes: Hugs to the puppy. You can’t spoil pets too much, you just can’t.

    emmaco: Baaa!

    Speaking of sheep and dragons, did anyone here ever play the computer game Loom? It was released over a decade ago – I played it in my Commodore Amiga in the early 90s – and, at one point, you had to dye the sheep green so that they would blend into the scenery and the dragon wouldn’t eat them.

    rm preston: Go squirrels!

  15. Yay, Jackie! I’m lucky to have a signed copy of Snow Leopard and a set of her amazing holiday cards. But now I know I must get my hands on those dragons, too. A story dragon! What a perfectly perfect idea.

    It’s been a kicky week.

    I surprised my daughter with sparkly shoes for a fundraising ball she was working and they fit and she loved them.

    I got to talk to MotherReader on the WBBT with Caroline, and she made us sound all cozy and way good. Thanks Pam!

    I learned how to video chat, and got to do it a lot with family this week.

    I saw my book cover. Eeep! I love it. But I can’t share, not yet. Soon.

    My son likes sushi. Oh, this is such a good, good thing! He told me I never should have said it was raw fish and if I had just told him it was like chicken nuggets, he would’ve tried it a long time ago. LOL.

    Happy travels, Eisha! And thanks, Jules, for all the work you do to bring us inspiring art work, today and each day. That alone makes turning on my computer each day worthwhile.

  16. Yaay! I’m so glad you shared Jackie Morris’ work — and how cool to exhibit her at practically the same time as Kane/Morris! Neat!

    I’m so “late” I get to look at everyone else’s kicks for once — but the reason I’m probably last to check in is that I spent nine and a half hours today proofreading my novel for the final round before binding. And it’s DONE.

    One big kick. And then I made myself cake. Chocolate chip zucchini bread, actually, but close enough.


  17. Awesome dragons! I really wish the Dragon book were coming out in time to get it for my brother and his family for Christmas. But it’ll be out in time for next year!

    Jules- I read Despereaux to Samuel almost a year ago. He digests stories so completely and reacts so emotionally that it was very intense for him. He asked so many deep questions that we had many long conversations out of this book.

    #1 I finally had a chance to swing by a women’s shelter for which I filled up a box with personal items for women and diapers/ pull-ups. Shelters tend to receive loads of donations of used clothing (much of it impractical for the shelter’s purposes) but few donations of urgently needed supplies such as new undergarments, toothbrushes, socks, pj’s, towels, twin sheets, diapers, etc.

    #2 I loved listening to my Dad reading to the boys this week. Expressions like “looks like something my horse dropped behind him” come naturally to him, so it was pretty dang funny when he read Cowboy and Octopus. He also brought a vintage book called Cowboy Sam and the Rodeo for Samuel and read him the entire thing.

    #3 We went to the aviary, and I could go on and on about all the birds we saw, but I’ll just mention the highlight. I don’t know how to express how much I adored the Eurasian Eagle Owl, Beatrice. http://www.pbase.com/drjaysel/image/66977920 She was as big as Joey and gorgeous. Joey and I were in her flight path between her trainers, and she dragged across our heads. We were both stunned and thrilled by this peculiar blessing.

    #4 My husband’s mom made an amazing pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting for my birthday cake. My husband was greatly responsible for the awesome cake, too. When someone brought the pumpkin cake to work, he knew I would love it, asked for the recipe, and suggested it for my birthday. And I felt so loved and appreciated that my family made me a birthday cake with vegetables (and cheese!) in it!

    #5 I read Barefoot Gen.

    #6 Since the spring, the boys and I have walked with a friend and her dogs four to five mornings per week. It’s a 30 to 45 minute walk with lots of big hills, and it leaves me feeling like jell-o after pushing Joey in the stroller. Now two factors bring this season to an end: her new job which starts Monday and the winter weather. The walking has helped me reclaim my health back from my sensory disorder, and now I must find some kind of physical work to take its place to keep me healthy. I am so grateful for the time with Michaele and all that it has meant for my health and our friendship.

    #7 We ate at a great German restaurant with both sets of parents. Having lived some formative years in Germany, I have a weakness for German sausage—the most anti-vegetarian of my food tastes. http://www.maxsalleghenytavern.com/dining/sampler.html I had this really amazing beer, and in addition to “porter” and a German word, its name included the word “chocolate.”

  18. TadMack, zucchini bread is on my list of favorite breads. I will have to try tossing in some chocolate chips next time I make it.

  19. Hey, y’all. One of my big kicks was seeing a snowy owl at the beach, hanging out. (Someone else saw him first, and reported on it.) Another kick was being invited to the First Grade Family Feast at the school where I volunteer. Yippee.

    Happy T’giving to all.

  20. Hooray for zucchini bread! Hooray for owl sitings!

  21. Little Willow, you big ‘ol ray of sunshine you, FOURTEEN kicks! A double dose. Rah! … and gingerbread cookies. Mmm. I think maybe just MAYBE perhaps I’ll try a gingerbread house with my girls this year — the kit kind, of course. I don’t think I could do it from scratch. I can’t decide, though, really, ’cause gingerbread cookies are just as fun.

    CONGRATS on what sounds like a great opening weekend, LW! One day I want to see you in a show.

    And, nope, I’ve never heard of Loom.

    Sara, your interview at MotherReader’s place was great. And sparkly shoes! Got a picture of them? And, ooh! ooh! Can’t wait to see the book cover.

    Oh and thanks for the nice comment. I hope for sure that 7-Imp is a reliable place to come see some kickin’ art.

    Everyone, Tadmack gets credit for this feature today, as she emailed to point out Jackie to us. Now, I’d seen Jackie’s work before, and she was for sure on my radar, but TadMack was the kick I needed to finally contact Jackie and get her lined up for this Sunday feature. I love it when people suggest illustrators. Little Willow does it all the time, too. I’ll take any and all suggestions.

    Anyway, congrats, TadMack, on the final proofing! I better get A La Carte read before this one comes out. Yeesh, I’m slow. I actually own it, and I’m just slow. Really, I just don’t want to be reading anything else when I read it.

    Kathe, so glad that Samuel enjoyed Despereaux….and what a beautiful owl that is. Amazing. Oh, and happy belated birthday!

    And Susan’s seeing owls, too. On the beach even. Hi, Susan. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

  22. Wow, I love Jackie’s art, and her studio. Lately, I am coveting all the artists’ studios. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.

    Eisha, I am using my Jedi mind trick: You will travel safely. I’m looking forward to hearing about everything.

    My kicks:
    1. I have to second Jules’ (and others’) thankfulness for being gainfully employed. My job is interesting, rewarding, and very, very secure. I feel profoundly grateful for that.
    2. I got out to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which I really enjoyed. You have to like Kevin Smith’s work, though, which I do.
    3. I am reading Lauren Myracle’s new book, Bliss, which I’m totally loving. I didn’t even mean to start it: I just wanted to look at the first page to see what it was about and then I couldn’t stop reading.
    4. Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day canning applesauce and apple cranberry relish with a friend, and we had such fun.
    5. Speaking of friends, I can be a bit of an introvert, but my friends bring such a lot of joy into my life. A lot of little things were reminding me of that this week.
    6. I made chili today. I love chili.
    7. Per usual, I’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this week, but per not-so-usual, I’m feeling pretty well-prepared. I’m even going to break out a can of the peach rum sauce Tammy and I made earlier this summer. The calories will abound.

  23. Sara: Hurrah for pretty covers and sparkly shoes.

    Tanita: Woo hoo!

    Kathe: Kudos to you and a *nod* to practicality. A lot of people have their hearts in the right place but forget the true necessities.

    Susan: A snowy owl at a beach – Now there’s another story worth of a picture book!

    Jules: I’m always amused by gingerbread houses because they make me think of the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel. Thank you for the support. As always, I hope everything runs smoothly and builds and builds throughout the entire run, getting better, tighter, funnier, smoother. I love this part and this show. It’s all so much fun. How many other elves get to wear Converse sneakers?!

    Adrienne: I have been waiting for Bliss to come in at the library! Did you like the previous book, Rhymes With Witches?

  24. Adrienne, great minds think alike, ’cause we had chili for dinner.

    It’s never quite right when you don’t show up on Sundays, so I’m so glad you did. Not that you should feel PRESSURED to show up every week (like, “only the cool kids do. Come on. Just do it. What are you anyway? A wimp?”), but it’s just not the same without you.

    I love your #5.

    My husband, in particular, is a huge Kevin Smith fan. If it were easier to go out and see movies (young kids and all), we’d have seen that one by now. Glad to hear you like it, ’cause I read just the headline of one review that panned it, and I was all, come on! It’s Kevin Smith. Don’t be dissin’ it. OHPLEEEEZ. Is it worth the effort?

    I think I might have a copy of Bliss?? I’m gonna go look now.

    PEACH RUM SAUCE? Bless my soul, that sounds good.

    I’ll join you on the Jedi mind trick, if you don’t mind. Then Eisha will travel even more safely with all that Jedi energy her way.

    Oh, and I covet the studios, too. Tomorrow, I have this interview going up that I seriously love, and this illustrator (Amy Bates) has one half of her studio devoted to her children — to go play and make a mess and paint. My envy for this, especially when I see the picture, borders on rabid. WHAT I WOULDN’T GIVE for a room like that for my girls. Shoot, we don’t even have a playroom, and they share a tiny bedroom (but now I sound like an ingrate — I am, indeed, thankful for our Little Blue House, as they call it). But an art room to be messy in? That would ROCK.

    I’m rambling. Bye. Thanks for visiting.

  25. Little Willow, your comment got stuck in spam. I saved it. Hey, that makes me feel like a superhero for a sec.

    Go, you, in your Converse sneakers.

  26. Wow, super cool art. That Wind Dragon is unbelievable.

    Eisha, here’s to good conversations, especially at work. And have a great trip.

    Jules, I hadn’t heard of Despereaux, so thanks for the recommendation…got it on hold now. And so super cool that your not-yet-five-year-old is digging into books. She’s on the cusp of diving into a whole new universe, and that’s so exciting.

    On to the kicks, perhaps too late this weekend for anyone to stumble across them…but so be it:

    1) Ivy and I did a Daddy-Daughter Date to the local symphony last night, and it was wonderful. Amazing music, and fun to hang out with my eldest for the evening.
    2) A friend and I started a music exchange this week through gmail — so much storage that it’s no problem to send mp3s back and forth. Cool way to find new songs and share the best ones.
    3) It’s Grey Cup Weekend in Canada, which is a smaller, quieter version of your Super Bowl. Even people like us who don’t follow football at all tend to celebrate. My family tradition is to make decadent chocolate eclairs to share with everyone at the party, and I obliged again this year…yum.
    4) Hung out with a dear old friend on Friday.
    5) Ivy (7) finished the first Mysterious Benedict Society this morning, having devoured it in less than three days…and she was totally blown away. I thought it might be a bit much (intensity, sheer length), but apparently not.
    6) Ivy and Ella doing their first sleepover without parents or grandparents along, with their Girl Guides. Ahh, independence….sniff.
    7) I presented to Ivy’s gifted class this week, and although it was scary, it went very well. The teacher had asked if any parents do creative work and were willing to tell/show the class…so I did. Fun!

  27. Lots of great kicks for this week, so I will just dance around and sing “Happy happy, joy joy” because everyone has had a great week.

    My kicks this week:
    1) My kids are both really into The Beatles this week. Cy loves to watch “A Hard Day’s Night” (what a great movie) and all you have to do is sing the title track to Ruby and she stops fussing.
    2) We watched both “Tropic Thunder” and “Saving Sarah Marshal” this weekend. Both were hilarious and Robert Downey Jr. is my new favorite Hollywoodite.
    3) Singing nursery rhymes to Ruby and having Cy request those “old, old songs” over and over again.
    4) I baked cookies for the first time in my new oven, and they came out perfect.
    5) Knowing exactly what we are going to buy for everyone on our Christmas list.
    6) Stripey tights on baby girls.
    7) Skinny pjs on 4 year old boys.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!!

  28. Hi, Jeremy . . . a date with your daughter at the symphony sounds wonderful. Our Nashville Symphony has what they call a “petting zoo” where children can play with instruments. I’ve always wanted to do that with my girls, and it turns out our local library will be bringing it to them this summer for the summer reading program. Cool, huh?

    Your music-sharing plan is a groovy one, indeed. Hmmm. I might have to try that.

    Glad Ivy’s enjoying her books and that your presentation went well.

    Zoe, I wanna see Cy and Ruby dancing to The Beatles! And now, okay, I’m gonna have to get “Tropic Thunder.” I had it in hand and put it back, and I don’t know why. I’ll have to go back and get it.

    Word to stripey tights on little girls.

    Happy T’giving to you all, too (even the Canadian!) . . .

  29. Oh, that does sound fantastic. What a great way to get kids interested in music.

    Have a great week, and happy (U.S.) thanksgiving to you.

  30. Jules: Go SuperJules! (One of my nicknames is Supergirl!)

  31. Hoorah for this great post on Jackie’s amazing work.. isn’t she just brilliant!
    And can you spot my clock she so kindly commissioned in that there photo of her studio?!
    Hope you are all fine and dandy
    Rima x

  32. Hi, Rima! No, I hadn’t seen that ’til now. Thanks for pointing it out. She has good taste, indeed (which we could already tell) for having one of your clocks.

  33. […] Morris, featured on November 23, 2008. Spread from Vivian French’s Singing to the Sun: A Fairy Tale (Kane/Miller; September, 2008) […]

  34. […] and illustrator Jackie Morris visited 7-Imp about this time last year, but she’s here this morning for a more detailed interview. Jackie, who trained as an […]

  35. […] on 7-Imp. Share and […]

  36. I’ll try it right away.

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