7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #99: Featuring John Hendrix

h1 January 25th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

Welcome, everyone, to this week’s Kicks post. And welcome to John Hendrix, our featured illustrator for this week. If you’ve been following the Cybils nominations, or if you just happen to like good picture books, you may have already encountered his work in Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend) by Deborah Hopkinson (Schwartz & Wade Books, September 2008), which has made it into the list of finalists for the Fiction Picture Books category this year. If you haven’t read it, check out the image above and the two below for a sneak preview.

Doesn’t seeing young Lincoln up there, being all heroic and brave and stuff, make you feel a little patriotic? Doesn’t it fit in nicely with this week’s inauguration awesomeness? We thought so too.

He also did the cover for Polly Horvath’s Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane, which we co-reviewed way back in 2007.

But he doesn’t just do book stuff. He’s got quite the varied resume… Wait, why don’t we just let him tell you:

John Hendrix loves to draw. In fact, he is drawing right now. Born in St. Louis, John has been drawing since shortly after that moment. After years of wasting money on comic books, John discovered that one might be able to draw pictures for a living. John attended The University of Kansas to study graphic design and illustration. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. After working for a few years as a designer, John moved from Kansas to New York City to become a famous artist. There, John attended The School of Visual Arts in the graduate “Illustration as Visual Essay” program and graduated in May 2003 with honors and debt. During his time illustrating in New York, John also taught at Parsons School of Design and worked at The New York Times as Assistant Art Director of the Op-Ed page for several years.

(Lobster Ski)

John’s work has appeared in such publications as Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times, and Nickelodeon among many others. He has also drawn for many book jackets for the likes of Random House, Harper Collins, Greenwillow Books, Knopf, Penguin and St. Martin’s Press. His images also appeared in advertising for ESPN/ABC, The NBA and John’s work has won numerous awards, including the Society of Illustrator’s Silver Medal in 2006 and 2008 and the SILA Silver Best of Show Award. Many of his drawings have also appeared in the award publications American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Society for Publication Design and Communication Arts. John was recently featured in Taschen’s published survey of the top 150 contemporary illustrators in the world, “Illustration Now!” in stores nationwide. In 2009, one of his drawings will appear in the book “Images & Icons, 50 Years of Illustration,” a survey of the best images over the last half-century. In addition to his editorial drawings and picture books, John is teaching undergraduate illustration at Washington University. He lives in St. Louis with his beautiful bride Andrea and spunky son Jack.

(Counting Crows)

(Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em)

We thank John tremendously for dropping by, and for sharing his fab, fun art with us. We also congratulate him on the recent addition to his family – daughter Anneli. Also: TEN POUNDS?!? Dang. Let’s all share a moment of silence for John’s wife Andrea…

* * * * * * *

Whew. Okay, you can unclench your legs now. How ’bout we move on to some Kicks? No, not that kind…

For anyone new, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is our 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. Absolutely anyone, of course, is welcome to list kicks — even if, or especially if, you’ve never done so before.

Two picture book spreads from ABE LINCOLN CROSSES A CREEK by Deborah Hopkinson, illustration © 2008 by John Hendrix, posted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* Well, obviously, the inauguration is Kick-o Numero Uno. Our director let us close our division for an hour or so while we watched it in the lecture room. A bunch of people brought brownies and cookies and such, and the whole day felt celebratory. And pretty much every day since has had a surreal tinge of “Really? This is actually happening? We really get to have a smart president who cares about important stuff? I didn’t just dream it?” to it.

Really, I don’t need any other kicks this week. How ’bout you, Jules?

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). The inauguration this week. !! I know that Obama is not perfect. We should not expect that of our leaders. But to have him now—because we chose hope over fear, as this headline reminds us— in what Anna Quindlen called “a time of civic darkness” (thanks to one of our readers, Elise, for pointing us to that link this past Friday) is to me a glorious thing. The inauguration made the week just beautiful and damn-near glowing. And I kept thinking this week how happy I am that I happen to be alive now in 2009 to witness this all.

Here’s what made me cry the second-hardest: In his inauguration speech, he said, “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth…” When he mentioned Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and non-believers, I nearly wept — particularly, “and non-believers.” I could not BELIEVE our PRESIDENT was uttering those words. I have such friends—whether agnostic or atheist or secular humanist or what-have-you, right alongside my Southern Baptist and Zen Buddhist friends as well—who are as good as good can be. (If you live in the South, you absolutely MUST point out—seriously, no sarcasm intended—that someone who is not a Christian can also be a good, well-intentioned, kind-hearted person.) And now I venture to say that they feel a bit more welcomed. Someone somewhere—I believe a speaker at the church service Obama attended the morning after the inauguration—spoke of the “harmonies of liberties” he will usher in. AMEN. It’s about time.

2). The festive, celebratory, flag-colored cupcakes we had this week. They were yummy, but I also used them to flat-out bribe my wee girls to be quiet during Obama’s speech.

3). The sign name the Deaf community created for Obama and how they chose it. I’m sorry, that’s just a seriously COOL sign name:

4). This bit of news about Neko Case. My husband even emailed me a new track off of the CD, which he stumbled upon online.

5). This tee shirt my friend’s baby was wearing.

6). Reading even more of the weird (that’s a compliment) and wonderful fairy tales of old Russia with my girls in Old Peter’s Russian Tales, which Farida recommended, since she piqued our interest in this story.

7). A surprise from illustrator LeUyen Pham in the mail, including her teeny-tiny, 3½-inch book on 2009, the Year of the Ox.

BONUSES: Getting renewed focus on a library project for work; finally doing the Netflix thing and FINALLY finishing Season Five of “The Sopranos”; and finally getting interview questions off to illustrator Ed Young in the mail. Can’t do that interview via email or phone—which is not at all his fault—so I’m doing it the old-fashioned way. It has presented its challenges, but it’s ED YOUNG! Getting interview responses from him will be MORE than worth the effort! …See how many “finally”s in this paragraph. Maybe I made some progress this week after all…

What are your kicks this week? I have sick, feverish, coughing-up-lungs little girls, as of the tail end of this week, so I’m behind on reading your blog…Do tell.

27 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #99: Featuring John Hendrix”

  1. Hiya, Eisha and Jules! I hope you are both having a fantastic weekend.

    Here are some of my kicks from the past week:

    1. Night Watch and Day Watch, the mind-blowing Russian fantasy horror movies. WOW. I can’t wait till the next movie in the trilogy. And I’m really interested in reading the novels!

    2. The recently concluded and successful Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. 😀

    3. Getting a third Butterfly Award from a mommy blogger here in the Philippines. I was really touched!

    4. Playing Animal Crossing: City Folk on Nintendo Wii. It’s good ‘ol, clean fun. I particular enjoy having my little character buy coffee in a museum coffee shop in the game. The coffee’s different every day too. I play every day so that my little character tastes different coffee every day. LOL. Can you tell I’m really into it?

    5. I finally read Savvy by Ingrid Law. It was a truly fun read and now I want to go on a road trip!

    6. Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. This blog is actually one of my kicks every week.

    7. A long weekend / a four-day work week.

  2. And Happy Chinese New Year!!! Have some glutinous rice cake and long life noodles. 😀

  3. I am so excited that you featured the illustrator of a terrific book from an Oregon author. I love the “Counting Crows” illustration.
    Eisha, Kick of the week: Inauguration, indeed!
    Jules, I would agree with the line that made me cry the second hardest…fabulous!
    My kicks:
    1. Watching the inauguration with fifth graders and not a peep, everyone glued to the screen.
    2. The inaugural poem.
    3. Met with a former student who is pursuing a scholarship through an organziation I belong to. So full of energy and spark this girl.
    4. Poetry club. Almost twenty attending the first meeting.
    5. The sunrises as I cross the Columbia River on my way to school this week.
    6. My nephew, spoke with him, sounding stronger, probably headed to a Naval hospital for continued support on his journey to get well.
    7.Book club tonight.
    Have a great week.

  4. Happy Sunday and almost Lunar New Year!

    John’s work is very cool. The Abe Lincoln book definitely looks chewy good. *slowly unclenching legs* 10 pounds?! Really?

    I’m intrigued by the City Folk game. Can the characters eat different cookies each day?

    The Obama-rama-drama definitely outkicks everything else from the week. It’s still sinking in. I loved every minute of the 23,456 hours I spent in front of the TV. I’m even watching C-Span now.

    Hope your girls feel better soon, Jules.

  5. Jama, there are no cookies. :o( But there is birthday cake, fishing, and house decorating!

  6. John: Congrats on the Cybils nomination!

    eisha: That’s a mighty good kick. I agree.

    Jules: Cupcakes as bribes? Yum. That is a great sign and an AWESOME video. Thank you for sharing. I hope the munchkins feel better soon!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Last night’s show = absolute top of this list! We had good shows on Thursday and Friday as well, but I was particularly pleased with last night’s performance.
    2) Time management
    3) Strong morals
    4) Support
    5) Unexpected laughter
    6) Recounting
    7) Inauguration!!!

  7. Seeing John’s lobster skiing makes me want to ski. We certainly have the weather for it just now.

    Jules, I hope the girls are feeling better–poor things!

    Tarie, I just moved Night Watch and Day Watch up in my Netflix queue.

    Jone, So glad to hear some good news about your nephew. I continue to send healing energy that way.

    1. Like Eisha, I watched the inauguration at work–out on the library’s big-screen television along with a bunch of coworkers and patrons. It was a moving moment, especially, I think, sitting there in a public library with, you know, the public. I got into this business partly because I believe that the free and open access to information public libraries foster is an important part of what makes our democracy function well when it’s functioning well. And I am really into our democracy functioning well.
    2. Speaking of which, my library’s been BUSY these last several months, with people looking for jobs and trying to find out more about composting and consulting Consumer Reports before they buy stuff and quite often just looking for things that will help them take a little break from the stresses confronting all of us on a daily basis. It strikes me often what a gift it is to be a part of that.
    3. Also speaking of which, how comforting was it to hear our president talking about science being restored to its rightful place? Go, brainiacs!
    4. On a smaller and larger note, I love my home.
    5. And my cats.
    6. And my family.
    7. And my friends.

    It’s a grateful kind of week here.

  8. Love that Counting Crows illustration!

    Like everyone else, the Inauguration was my Big Kick for the week. I was lucky enough to be on vacation, so watched it with the BF in pajamas with coffee in hand.
    2. Had 2 good friends go to DC for the Inauguration, and had fun thinking of them there at the time, plus got great photos from them of their experience.
    3. How awesome is it to have a President who loves books and who reads?!? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/books/19read.html?em=&pagewanted=all
    4.Vacation. Beach. Dogs. BF. Sunshine. Quiet. (A few pics up at my place.)
    5. Inaugural concert – especially Betty LaVette singing w/ Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger – just awesome!
    6. Family, friends, and furballs.
    7. Having a weekly place to come and read everyone else’s happy kicks to start the week off right.

    Jone, hope your nephew continues to heal.
    Jules, hope your little ones get better soon.

    Have a great week!

  9. It’s great to see everyone so jazzed about the inaugeration speech! And festive cupcakes are a great idea, Jules.

    I’m glad your nephew is improving, Jone.

    I only have four kicks today as my brain is refusing to spit out any more.

    1. A great couple of days away in Kent with work that included a visit to a reserve where they are using beavers (which are extinct in the UK for about 400 years) for habitat management. No beavers spotted but lots of chewed trees and a lodge.
    2. There were very cute konik ponies also helping to graze the site! I was sorely tempted to steal one but it wouldn’t have fit in the mini bus.
    3. Homemade pumpkin soup and crusty bread for lunch
    4. We took advantage of a brief spell of sunshine yesterday to walk (squelch) around some local woodland that we keep driving past but have never been in – it was a nice site, shall go back in spring when apparently there’s lots of wildflowers.

    Actually, the inaugeration speech makes five! I had a great time watching it with my colleagues after a hastily-wrapped up meeting in our accommodation in Kent.

  10. Hi, everyone. Now that my three-year-old’s fever has finally broken (and I’m hoping won’t return again, as it’s wont to do with this strange thing she’s got), I’m chiming in with a hello.

    Tarie, aw shucks, thanks for making us a kick. And isn’t Savvy just swell? Congrats on your award, and all that wii-coffee sounds fun.

    Jone, it’s very great to hear your nephew’s doing better and that you got to speak with him. And watching the inauguration with fifth graders would have been wonderful, indeed. My almost-five-year-old did well, as I tried to explain everything to her, from what “president” and “inauguration” mean to the significance of the first African-American president, etc. etc. But, yeah, I still had to bribe with cupcakes — just so I could hear.

    Jama, yes, the ABE LINCOLN book is great. I had wanted to add why I lurv it so, but didn’t get a chance. It’s great, and if you read it, let me know what you think. The book has a memorable narrator’s voice.

    LW, congrats on a great show! Again, wish I could see it. Continue to break a leg.

    Adrienne, WORD to each and every kick of yours. That’s a mighty fine list in many ways, but I particularly love the first two.

    RM, yes, it is a great way to start off the week, huh? Glad you got a great vacation, esp. during the inauguration.

    Emma, konik ponies is what I learned from you today. I’ll have to ask my father-in-law what he knows about them, if anything. He’s a cowboy at heart and loves horses and such.

    Happy Sunday to all…

  11. What a nice bouquet of kicks this week. I feel like I’m walking along a street in NYC and suddenly got a snootful of fragrance from a flower stand.

    Those are some majorly imaginative works from John Hendrix you’ve reproduced here. The lobster on skis: I really, really hope there’s some sort of real-life context for that one. I like to think that’s how lobsters see the world: shades of mostly rose, red, DEEP red, DARK red, and oh yeah, some white every now and then.

    Very cool that you’ve lined up — or offlined up 🙂 — Ed Young for an interview. That Wabi Sabi book really set me back on my heels.


    1. O. Oh. Don’t you love the way the letter has just taken on this whole new emotional flavor? Just saying the letter makes you sound excited.
    2. Over the last couple days — although this wasn’t the main reason for the trip — The Missus and I spent hours and hours driving around and taking pictures of key sites in the city where she grew up. I love being able finally to piece together the geography of the place, about which she has many stories (a Deep South native, she is, so you know stories play a big part).
    3. …AND we’d splurged a bit and stayed at a FABULOUS hotel. Raves all around.
    4. Diet Coke and Nutter Butters: ambrosia for a certain kind of traveler. (And Krystal burgers for another kind.)
    5. Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday: woot!
    6. Not just the inauguration, and not just the letter O, but the way everybody has seemed since Tuesday. I mean, nothing’s changed really, not yet. (Except — THANK YOU GODS — the planned Gitmo closing and so on.) But somehow it feels like everything has.
    7. The Obama family. (I could probably do 7 Obama-related kicks alone.)

  12. Hmm… my comment of maybe a couple hours ago seems to have been swallowed up by the angry gods of the interwebs… angry, no doubt, that I have sacrificed not a single word to them in two days’ time…

    Rather than attempt to re-create, I’ll just say WOW on the Inauguration and everything which followed, and WOW on everyone’s kicks!

  13. No, John, just saved ’em. They got snagged by spam, but I never got one of those emails, saying “this might not REALLY be spam, so go check it out.” Weird.

    ROAD TRIP! And with Nutter Butters. Excellent. May I ask where in the Deep South she was born?

    I shouldn’t have looked at that hotel link. I am covetous now.

  14. Tarie, YES, I know we’ve already talked about it on FB, but the Day Watch movies (and books) are awesome. Congrats on the awards!

    jone, I share everyone’s gladness that your nephew is in such good care. I hope he continues to improve. And woo! – congrats on the big ol’ poetry club.

    jama, “Obama-rama-drama” perfectly describes it. Isn’t it lovely?

    Little Willow, congrats on your fabulous run (so far)! I hope you continue to break legs from here on out.

    adrienne, you just captured everything that I think is beautiful and noble about what libraries do. It’s really a mind-blowing concept, when you think about it – all that knowledge and culture and everything, complete with experts to help you navigate it, freely accessible to anyone who needs it.

    rm preston, it is truly AWESOME to have a president who reads! And speaks beautifully. And can dance!

    emmaco, I had no idea beavers were extinct in the UK. And I’m also in love with those konik ponies. Look at those sweet manes and big eyes!

    JES – mmmm, Nutter Butters. I really want one right now. And you’re so right about how everyone’s been since Tuesday – it’s kind of dreamy.

  15. Here I am on the late side of things! We just finished watching “The Dutchess,” which my husband gallantly viewed with me even though it wasn’t his cup of tea. I actually didn’t know much about it, except that someone had recommended it. Great costumes! You can tell the difference between the British films and the American films–in the British films, the main character chooses duty and loyalty to one’s family over romantic love. American films are the opposite, unless they’re based on books by Edith Wharton! Here’s where the readers chime in to prove me wrong. I await the list….

    My kicks:
    1. That video about how the deaf community chose Obama’s name sign. Sign language is beautiful. I wish I hadn’t flunked the class in college.

    2. I’ve completed wake-robin trillium and bleeding-heart dolls for the school auction. I haven’t made staffs yet– the flower-staff is the item that brings the whole piece together. Wake-robin has a fantastic skirt of three petals and three leaves and is dramatic in a dignified, introverted kind of way. Bleeding-heart is for all the people who need pink in their lives. She’s got oodles of embroidery and the crowning achievement (literally) is the hair, which is comprised of little braids that I hope evoke corn-rows, with the top braids threaded with gold thread.

    3. I appreciated that in the inaugural address, Bush had to listen to Obama’s critique of the mess of the past eight years.

    4. My Snow Maiden post. Thanks for mentioning it, Jules!

    5. My daughter’s puppet shows, especially when she imitates her teachers’ inflections.

    6. Speaking of puppet-shows, we gave our daughter 4 wood “play clips” a few months ahead of plan because she needed them so badly to clip the silks to the chairs for the puppet-stage. She’s serious about her puppet-shows! So was I. I spent a lot of time as a child cutting up boxes and making curtains.

    7. Under my bed, saved for a future time, are two laser-cut shadow-puppets. One is Pippi Longstocking brandishing her sword while standing on her horse, and the other is the tooth fairy.

  16. P.S. In regard to that movie challenge, I just thought of three American films (I think) where the main character chooses duty over desire: Roman Holiday, Casablanca and Bridges of Madison County. Of course, I deny vehemently ever having seen that last one. That was my condition upon seeing it with a friend. 😉

  17. Farida, you’re right that it was great Bush was sitting there for the speech. I wouldn’t have been able to resist looking at him during key moments and think UNLIKE SOME! Which is probably why I’d be a bad president

  18. Very pleased to have found your blog (and the work of John Hendrix) this morning. Thank you!

  19. Dang spam trappers. Shootin’ innocent bystanders ‘n’ decent citizens just fer wearin’ the wrong hat.

    Saints and Spinners reminded me that I *lurved* the Obama name sign!

    Jules: Jacksonville through high school, but she’s lived in Texas and Atlanta for long stretches (also in northern VA, but that’s scarcely Southern at all).

    Oh, and one last thing about the Inaug etc.: I really, really wish I knew what was in that “from 43, to 44” envelope. Especially because all the stories I saw about it said, like, “The new President spent his first 10 minutes in the Oval Office reading a note from his predecessor.” Which just makes me wonder, what would his predecessor have written that would take 10 minutes to read? I sorta picture Jack Nicholson in the hotel in The Shining, typing (and mistyping), repeatedly, the “All work & no play…” line.

  20. Love the “Lobster Ski!” I really like Pham’s illustrations in ONCE AROUND THE SUN, a book of poems written by Bobbi Katz.


    1. Watching Obama’s inauguration on TV. I still find it hard to believe that a Black American was elected president in my lifetime. I’m a sixty something–maybe that’s why. I think younger people may have felt differently about Obama’s candidacy early in the campaign. We old folks remember back to the 1950s and 1960s. I am so happy–and hopeful!

    2. Got to visit with my daughter Sara, her boyfriend Jerry, and their dog Jack and Christmas kitten Rudy yesterday. My husband and I brought dinner. Mike made his fabulous eggplant lasagna and meatballs. I made garlic bread, hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and blonde brownies with chocolate chips. We brownie sundaes for dessert! Yum!

    3. A friend who nearly died from a blood clot in her lung was out of the hospital and back to work.

    That’s about it. Have a great week!

  21. I’m late, and not even fashionably so. I looked at last week’s kicks, and they haven’t really changed for me…more of the same, which isn’t all bad. Just wanted to chime in on the coooool art this week. Love it.

    One other note: it was fascinating to experience a fair bit of intense Obama-mania around the inauguration here in Canada. Seriously, you’d think we had landed Superman as *our* national leader. But I think we’re so relieved to put the Bush years behind us, even just as neighbours (yes, with a u…you can be neighbors if you prefer). So thanks for that, voters of America — we’re so looking forward to seeing what you and your new guy can do.

  22. Farida, I wanna see one of your daughter’s puppet shows.

    Another movie in which a character chooses duty over desire: The End of the Affair, one of my top-five favorite movies ever, in which Julianne Moore’s character chooses her new-found God/faith over her lover, seeing as how she promised God she would do this during a moment of prayer in which she thought her lover would die. This is, of course, a film adaptation of the wonderful novel by Graham Greene.

    Hi, Michael. Thanks!

    John, me, too. How I’d love to read that letter.

    Hi, Elaine. Yay for #3. Great news for your friend.

    Jeremy, we hope our new guy does well for you, too.

  23. Hello, thanks for all the great comments. Missed the caldecott medal stand yesterday, but I’ve been so encouraged by the response to the book. Happy reading!

  24. Thanks for the kudos for my 10 pound (epidural free) baby. Yes, you can call me Super Woman.

    Oh, and thanks for your kind words about my husband’s drawings!


    Congrats and indulge yourself and get as much rest as possible!

  26. […] Friendship, also by Giovanni, and released last October. Books about Lincoln are hot right now (here’s but one — remember that?), if you haven’t already noticed, what with his 200th birthday […]

  27. […] who visited 7-Imp on a Sunday early this year, studied at the School of Visual Arts; has done book covers; has done […]

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.