7-Imp’s 7 Kicks 108: Featuring Julie Fortenberry

h1 March 29th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

“Parade is over. Time for bed.”
— from Karen Roosa’s
Pippa at the Parade

Jules: I know it’s a bright Sunday morning, a new day, and not time to climb back into our beds, but I can’t help but open with this image, because I love the colors so much I just might want to marry them.

This comes from illustrator Julie Fortenberry. Julie has two blogs—one devoted solely to her art and one all about picture book illustration. And here’s the thing: I’ve always loved her children’s illustration blog, but I never quite made the connection that it was Julie Fortenberry who authored it. Sometimes I’m slow-on-the-draw like that.

That image above and the two below (you can click on most of these to see bigger versions, too) are from Julie’s new illustrated title, written by Karen RoosaPippa at the Parade (Boyds Mills Press), to be released in April. As Julie put it at her blog last year, she’s illustrated for magazines and school publications, “but this is my first real picture book.” Can we give seven loud cheers to Julie then, especially since I’ve seen the book and really like Julie’s gentle, soft-focus, velvet-warm style, very suitable to the youngest of children. Julie, whose clients also include Highlights and Harcourt Education, is here today to show us a few other pieces as well. But first, here’s a bit more of Pippa, who—as the title suggests—enjoys a sensory, exciting day at a parade with her parents, all told in an uncluttered, inviting rhyme by Roosa:

“Pippa’s toes tap, feel the beat. Music starting down the street.”

“Cotton candy, sticky sweet, on Pippa’s fingers—tasty treat.”

Pippa in progress on Julie’s computer —
“The computer allows me to paint with washes that I can remove if I get carried away.
And the best part of illustrating is that I get to paint faces.
I love painting faces.”

Julie is also an abstract painter and has exhibited her paintings in New York galleries and museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art. “I tried to think of things that my illustrations have in common with my abstractions,” Julie told me. “Both contrast paint that sits on the surface with areas that recede into the background. And both pair calm areas with textured/patterned areas…I love to mix color around, make a mess, and then tidy up.”

Apple, oil painting on wood (carved with a chisel and fork. 18 x 13 in.)

Below are a few more illustrations from Julie. I thank her for stopping by. Remember, you can keep up with her at her blog — and don’t forget children’s illustration. I mean to tell you it’s a great resource for other illustration junkies like me. As I was formatting this post and exploring that great blog even more, I found this from ’08, which Julie had linked to over there. HOW DID I MISS THIS, PEOPLE? Seriously, can we perhaps establish some kind of Sendak Alert for me? And this. Ouch. I’m gonna have to hit that blog daily so that I don’t miss any more goodies like those.

P.S. For fun, don’t miss Pippa and Mr. T.


This last image from Julie I dedicate to Farida, who celebrated her birthday yesterday — and with good, good pie, I believe.


* * * * * * *

As a reminder, our 7-kicks are 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. So, let’s kick it up. Absolutely anyone is welcome to list kicks — even if, or especially if, you’ve never done so before.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Channel it into your crescent kicks.1* Pippa! I agree, Jules – the colors in that first image are just breathtaking. And I love the shoes in the sidewalk scene. And I especially love Pippa and Mr. T.

2* We’re making plans for family to come visit for the first time: my mother-in-law first, and then my mom and sister.

3* Friday night I saw The Foot Fist Way with the Poets Upstairs. Oh. My. God. That was so amazingly funny, in that painful British-Office kind of way. I think it’s especially funny to anyone who’s spent time in the Southeast. It’s set in North Carolina, and B. and I both felt like we knew a lot of the characters a little too well. Plus, it’s very quotable.

4* Lately it seems like a lot of my kicks have to do with buying small frivolous things. Well, this week it was an old-fashioned rotating rubber-stamp holder, you know the ones I mean? Like a merry-go-round for date-stampers. It was only 50 cents at this nifty second-hand place. It makes the librarian in me nostalgic.

5* And we went to a hobby store ’cause B. was looking for something for a set model, and they had all these teeny little furnishings and things for dollhouses. Jules can testify to my love for all things made miniature. Well, get this: they had a bunch of miniature books, with tiny versions of real book covers, like Moby Dick and some Nancy Drews. I just had to get a wee itsy-bitsy Catcher in the Rye.

6* I also got some cute flip-flops in anticipation of summer. It IS coming. For serious. Someday.

7* As I’m typing this, late Saturday night, I’m watching the creepily awesome Norwegian movie Let the Right One In. Which is difficult, since it’s subtitled. I’m gonna stop now and finish watching. Jules? Got kicks?

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Mrs. Bottlecap here. This is my new Fancy Name, according to my girls. Don’t ask from whence it came, ’cause I have no clue. But when they’re playing dress-up, pretending to be royalty, talking in their fake fancy British accents, they’ve been calling me Mrs. Bottlecap and bowing to me. Go figure.

Mrs. Bottlecap’s kicks are the following (say that in your most grandiose super fancy-voice) . . .

1). I’m afraid to jinx this, but my family and I are planning a trip to the beach sorta soon-ish. We haven’t been in years, and the girls have never seen the ocean (though they like to play “beach”). When my husband and I decided one of us would work only very part-time from home (that’d be me) in order to be with the girls before they’re in school, our income took a hit, as it does for many families. But we’ve saved, and here we are. Finally. Let’s hope that nothing gets in the way of this trip, as happened last year when our air conditioner gave us the middle finger and went kaput.

2). These positively ridiculous and very fun hats we made at library story time on Thursday.

Mrs. Bottlecap and her Princess

3). My husband and I—kind of without meaning to—started a Viggo-Mortensen movie streak. We’re almost done. This past week, we saw “Appaloosa” and “Eastern Promises.” I’m still thinking about the latter, which I thought was a few missteps shy of being Nearly Masterful.

We also watched “I’ve Loved You So Long,” which has some whoppin’ good acting and which I cannot get out of my head.

Best of all, next in our queue is “Synecdoche, New York,” which I’m really anxious to see.

4). As mentioned last week, a friend from high school, whom I re-discovered via Facebook, came to visit from North Carolina. I love this pic I snapped. And just LOOK at the eyelashes on her devastatingly beautiful daughter. I mean, for serious, you should see them from the side.

5). My husband decided to take his 2008 bonus from his on-the-side contractor job from last year and buy me an early birthday present, which he says will make me squeal with delight. This is, in my world, a serious chunk o’ change, and I tried to talk him out of it. Anyway, he keeps walking around singing, “I know something you don’t know I know something you don’t know,” which is accompanied by a gloat-y dance. The other day I turned around and he was standing RIGHT behind me and started singing it again. He sends me instant messages which say “I know something you don’t know I know something you don’t know.” He’ll snap his fingers, mid-conversation, like he just thought of something, and then launch into his song and dance. And he told the girls WHEN the gift would be arriving so that they can sing THE SAME SONG…I have no idea what this gift could be. But I’m certainly intrigued.

6). Today, as you read this probably, we’re seeing an all-I-can-say-is-WOW stage adaptation of Kevin Henkes’ Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse at the Nashville Children’s Theatre. Years ago, in grad school when I was studying children’s lit, a friend and I drove to Nashville to see it—’cause we’re nerds—so I know it’s good (and terrifically funny and well-staged). Now I’m seeing it with my children. How fun is that?

7). Author/illustrator D.B. Johnson will be here this week. D.B. JOHNSON!! I love his work enough for him to have made it on this very old page of our site. Words cannot express how much I love, in particular, his Henry books.

BONUS: I made a vegetable quiche this week. I’ve never made one before. Why I never have is a mystery to me, ’cause I love all-things-eggs. And I made a kickin’ new salad to go with it. Mmm.

* * * * * * *

And now I want your opinion (as well as your kicks, of course).

First, I’m sure many of you have seen this new movie trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are”; I guess it caused quite a buzz this week. I have heard a variety of opinions—good and bad—on it, but I have to say: I have high hopes in Spike Jonze, and I’m relieved that, evidently, Sendak was very involved, gives it his blessing, etc. etc. In fact, the above NYTimes link about Sendak includes this: “{H}e hates syrupy animation, which is why he is thrilled with Mr. Jonze’s coming film of his book…despite rumors of studio discontent.” Anyway, what do you think? Be brutally honest. Though my husband is altogether not so sure about this, the trailer gave me the chills — in a good way:

And, finally, I’m taking a poll (my daughter’s already asked just about everyone she’s met this week): Which is this anyway? A duck or a rabbit? Anyone care to vote?

* * * * * * *

{So, that’s © 2009 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld by way of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved and all that, but more on that creature later this week…

Also, the PIPPA spreads are illustration © 2009 by Julie Fortenberry and text © 2009 Karen Roosa. Published by Boyds Mills Press. Posted with permission of illustrator. All rights reserved, etc. etc. and all that very important stuff.}

48 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks 108: Featuring Julie Fortenberry”

  1. Julie Fortenberry’s illustrations: So CUTE! And Pippa at the Parade goes on my list of “books I lust after.”

    Where the Wild Things Are trailer: At first I was disappointed with the creatures because I wanted them to look more… realistic. Does that even make sense? But the movie looks really promising (plot-wise). I trust Spike Jonze and the trailer is inspiring. :o)

    Duck or rabbit: Um, hello. It is obviously a RABBIT. Okay, so it can also be a duck. But look closely people! As a RABBIT, it is so much cuter! Cuteness always wins. Therefore it is a RABBIT.


    1. Purple fingers from peeling mangosteen fruits.

    2. Walking to a little eatery near my house to buy a mango for dessert. Then smelling the mango while walking home.

    3. Mom not freaking out when her only daughter calls with disturbing news. She was just so cool and wise about it all!

    4. Re-watching / going over the first three Terminator movies with my younger brothers to prepare for the new Terminator movie. I had forgotten that it is pretty good stuff!

    5. Bleach, the anime TV show.

    Happy Sunday, everyone! 😀

  2. Oh! And if I may add –

    Kicks 6, 7, and 8:

    The folks of SCBWI Japan, SCBWI Hong Kong, and SCBWI Korea. They are rockin’!!!

  3. I am very intrigued by how people paint on computer! That was a neat screenshot of Pippa in progress, although Pippa & Mr. T. very nearly had me spewing tea. Somehow I thought that was another children’s book title…

    Dahling Mrs. Bottlecap, possibly the Boy and your honey are related; I know well the I Know Something You Don’t Know song, but the gloat-y dance… perhaps we should keep them away from each other forever so that the Boy does not LEARN this dance…

    And Eisha! Love the roll-y stamper thingy! I had one of those when I was little! Of course, it was given to me because people stopped using those… but STILL. Love. Them. For some odd reason. Buying small cool things is a good sign… you’ve settled into your town thoroughly.

    I’m …of two minds about the Where the Wild Things Are trailer. After reading that NYT article about Sendak months ago, I think that anything that honors him, to help him realize how much we all love him, is A Good Thing. And if he’s involved, and happy, so be it. Even if I totally hate the idea and think I probably won’t see it… it’ll give more props to children’s books, and more people will read. And that is always worth a big Hallelujah, Amen.

    And that Duck/Rabbit thing is hilarious. Philosophy students have to debate that one too, as I found out last year. I think it’s both, but I agree that the rabbit is definitely cuter.

    Finding out that the castle I’m visiting on Friday is going to allow us to take pictures inside because one of D’s professors wrote the history of the place and wrote ahead to say we were coming,

    Figuring out almost a full page in the addictive word association game, Funny Farm,

    Not actually wasting too much time this week despite the Funny Farm thing, which is, did I mention this, addictive?!

    Finding out that a dear friend is not at all ill. Whew. Another cancer bullet dodged.

  4. I agree with Tanita, how does one paint on a computer. I find it fascinating. I love the oil on wood. Pipa is sweet.
    Early birthday greetings, Jules. Can’t wait to hear about the present. And those hats! What a kick.
    Eisha, those date stamps are great. I wonder if my library still has some hidden. I have serious spring cleaning to do in the library.
    I got the duck-goose book, too fun. Farida, Happy birthday. Tarie what are mangosteen fruits?
    My kicks:
    Getting ready to fly to Florida on Monday night.
    Playing Hungry, Hungry Catapillar with my grandddaughter while holding the other one.
    Watched The Constant Gardner last night, intense.
    Poem postcard requests are coming in. Do you want one? Let me know.
    National Poetry Month is almost upon us…30 days= 30 poems.
    Have a great week.

  5. Jone, mangosteens are fruits with thick and hard purple skin. You have to remove the green top and then sort of dig your fingernails into the top part to open it. The purple fingers are worth it because inside is the white, fibrous, tart, and refreshing flesh around the seeds. 😀

  6. Thanks for the birthday wishes! I’ll check in later with proper kicks, but I wanted to stop by now and say thanks. We ended up having ice-cream cake from Trader Joe’s and 2 kinds of ice-cream made by our friend Phil: Earl Grey tea, and orange cream.

  7. Happy Sunday!

    Love Julie’s art — “soft focus/velvety” is the perfect way to describe her style, Mrs. Bottlecap. You’re a pip (paper bags are all the rage these days)! Now I’m dying to know what your birthday present is!

    Eisha, I love miniature things too. Doll house accessories are the best. Your wee book sounds very sweet. Maybe you could get a bunch of them and display them on your rubber stamp holder thingie.

    I vote for Rabbit (he told me to). As for the Sendak movie, I don’t know . . . the trailer didn’t really grab me that much.

    Tarie, hope the “disturbing news” is not disastrous or anything.

    Tanita, so glad your friend is okay.

    Have a great time in Florida, Jone!

    Happy Birthday again, Farida!! 🙂

    My kicks:

    1. I reached my goal cap in the Library Loving Challenge! It was awesome feeling so much library love the past few days.

    2. My nephew was finally admitted into Punahou School for next year. There is a seriously long wait list, hard exams to take, and interviews to sweat through. We’re all so thrilled for him because he had a very tough year last year because of a bullying teacher who gave him a negative recommendation. Teacher bullies are rare, but they do exist (this woman had emotional problems). You may know that Punahou is Obama’s alma mater :).

    3. I snagged an interview with a very cool person — not an author or illustrator, but someone we all know. Serendipity is a very wonderful thing.

    4. Just saw a bluebird!

    P.S. I’d like a fancy name, please.

  8. Tarie, I hope your “disturbing” news passed or wasn’t too traumatizing. And yay again for your kickin’ mom, who is quite popular here in your kicks, isn’t she? As she should be.

    Tanita, if our husbands ever meet, I’ll make sure yours doesn’t get sight of the gloat-y dance, though I’m sure you can imagine what it looks like. ….I’m afraid to explore Funny Farm too much, lest I become addicted as well. BIG BIG congrats to your friend for dodging that bullet, too. Best kick of all.

    Jone, I really liked “The Constant Gardener.” By the way, I’ll try to post about your poetry postcard project this week, ’cause I want to mention Greg’s and Tricia’s April plans, too.

    Eisha, what are you gonna do with your merry-go-round for date stampers? Don’t you just miss those old-skool library accoutrements? I mean, OPACs are great, but they made a lot of those nifty library trappings little ‘ol dinosaurs.

  9. Jama and Farida, we were online at the same time.

    Farida, orange cream ice cream. YUM.

    Jama, I’ll think on a fancy name for you. CONGRATS TO YOUR NEPHEW! A teacher bully? That majorly pissed me off, just reading it. Can we all go give her a talking-to? Seriously, that’s awful. I’m glad he’ll be getting away from her and that he got into an excellent school.

    I’m oh-so curious about your interview. Oh, and thanks for coming up with a purpose for Eisha’s wee merry-go-round. I mean, it can just stand around and be cute if it wants, but that’s a great plan for it.

  10. I’ll have to check out some of Julie Fortenberry’s books at the library. I like the flock especially!

    Happy birthday, Farida! I hope you had a wonderful day. 🙂

    eisha: Hurrah for the upcoming visits! The itsy-bitsy books sound very cute. I’ve heard some good things about Let the Right One in, but I haven’t seen it nor read the (translated) book yet.

    Jules: Oh, pardon me – Mrs. Bottlecap: I think that should be a character in Clue. 🙂 No jinxing allowed. Be optimistic! You’re going to see the ocean! Your husband’s song-and-dance(-and-snap) makes me giggle. Enjoy the show!

    I was never a big fan of Where the Wild Things Are. The first time I read it, I thought he was bratty. I’m all for imagination and grand adventures (hello, Alice!) but I didn’t much care for Max or his journey.

    In general, whenever they turn picture books into films, they have to add so much to make a skinny (meaning not a lot of pages), precious (pictures and words) book into a two-hour movie that I get worried.

    Duck! Rabbit! is an adorable book. I see a rabbit. I’m very left-to-right-oriented, so that’s a rabbit to me – rabbit ears, then head. If it were a duck, he would be facing the other way.

    Tarie: Someday, I will have a mangosteen.

    Tanita: YES to castle pictures! YAY for your friend!

    Jone: Rock National Poetry Month.

    My kicks for the past week:

    1) Getting to know my new clients
    2) Good news shared by friends
    3) Surprise music via burned CDs
    4) Rehearsing
    5) Auditioning (I had a short film audition yesterday, and I have a musical theatre audition tomorrow for something with great potential, so I’m very excited and hopeful!)
    6) Being offered a role in a new show
    7) Dancing

    Current show: We open in two weeks! All-day tech rehearsal today. 🙂

  11. 7 Kicks. Gotta love ’em. (And I bet I’m not the only one to revisit them for several days afterwards, to see what others have added to the stream.)

    Loved Julie Fortenberry’s art, especially the “Apple” one. Carved with a chisel and fork. A FORK, people. And she loves using a computer to paint with. Is this not a very complex artist on display here?

    Eisha, I covet that rubber-stamp carousel. And Let the Right One In just went straight to the Netflix queue. (As did Synechdoche, New York, from Jules.)

    Jules, love your Viggo Mortensen project. Glad you liked Eastern Promises! (And I understand about the just-not-PERFECT judgment.) On the Mrs. Bottlecap thing, all I could think about was that Gilbert & Sullivan song: “I’m called Little Buttercup, dear Little Buttercup, though I could never tell why…” Maybe time to introduce the girls to light operetta. 🙂

    Some kicks:

    * My first was going to be, generally, “serendipity.” Then I saw jama had already covered it. (Further comment would be superfluous.) (And I, too, saw a bluebird in the last day!)
    * Saw Secret Life of Bees the other night. Which was kind of a kick: haven’t read the book, and was mightily moved by the film. But the bigger kick was to realize that the years of the protagonist’s (Lily’s) childhood matched mine, almost exactly; that I yet shared none of her experiences, not a single one; and that it nevertheless connected. I don’t mean this in a “Yay, me!” sense. It’s a kick that any of us, ever connect — let alone as often as we do, y’know?
    * Not a new kick, but I continue to find it hilarious that I keep catching myself speaking complete sentences to the dog, with, like, subordinate clauses and everything. Paragraphs. I hope she sometimes finds it amusing that she bothers to share complete barks and yips with me, too.
    * The film Roman de Gare (trailer) Also not perfect, but awfully darned absorbing.
    * Cupcakes.
    * Meeting new and surprising people in a story you yourself are writing. (Especially kick-y for someone who almost never starts conversations with strangers.)

  12. P.S. Duck. I can accept it as a rabbit only if I can accept that rabbits don’t have mouths.

  13. Fortenberry’s art is adorable! I especially love the birthday party one.

    Happy Birthday Farida! And an early one to you, Jules! Surprises as presents = the best!!

    Tanita I can’t wait to see the castle pictures.

    Taire the mango sounds divine. We have just discovered dried mango at my house and we love it. Hope your disturbing news is all resolved and done with by now.

    Eisha, I have those date stamps in our library and stamping a week’s worth of “date due” cards is one of my fun jobs. I always feel like I am playing librarian when I do it and get a chill when I realize it’s true!

    jama congrats on your nephew getting into a great school!

    Little Willow it sounds like your world is full of wonderful opportunities. Dancing! 🙂

    My kicks:

    My youngest turned four this week. We had a lovely family party and are still looking forward to the friends party at the Y. Gymnastics for the kids and I don’t have to lead any silly games. *grin*

    My lilac bushes have lots of nice tight buds coming out. I missed them last year and am so looking forward to that heavenly scent. My daffodils and squill are out now. The grass has turned green. It’s really here!

    I drove to church this morning. First time driving since I had surgery at the start of the month. I am starting to feel myself again and the kids are fun to be with. Looking forward to being healthy at Easter is filling me with joy.

    Commenting on all the library-donating blogs this weekend was a blast! We also went to our library and made a donation so the boys could do hand print tiles for the children’s room. I feel like the universal library is bursting with goodness.

  14. Little Willow, I just love you and how your statement about Where the Wild Things Are will give countless people a heart attack (since WWTA fans are usually rabid). I mean, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t profess their love for that book. I don’t think. Which, again, makes me love you even more than I already do.

    Glad you got good mixed tapes. Yeah, I know they’re CDs, but as a child of the ’80s, I just have to say mixed tapes. Is there a better gift?

    For a minute, as I glanced at kicks #s 6 and 7, I thought it said “break dancing.” Good luck on those auditions. Have you ever heard, speaking of short films, about Eisha’s role as a bitter clown?

    John, thanks for the trailer link, which I’ll have to look at later, since I’m about to go see Lilly on stage. As for “Eastern Promises,” my husband says that, evidently, that big fight scene in the steamer room or whatever they’re called is destined to become a classic, if you read about it online anyway. And a big film-geek friend of mine, as in someone who’s studied film and knows what he’s talking about, says that it is, indeed, filmed well, as fight scenes go. But, I’m sorry, it went on too long for me, and the eye part made me laugh out loud, and I don’t think one is supposed to laugh there. But, all in all, an intriguing movie. I mean, Viggo. Whoa. That man is a chameleon. Didn’t you say before here in your kicks that you’d seen “Appaloosa,” too? If so, what did you think?

    I love your kicks this week, John. Talking to your dog…well, I’m sure he gets you. Dogs and horses — I think they have this otherworldy understanding beyond humans. And that just sounds flaky, and I don’t have time to explain. But there ya have it.

    cloudscome, I’m SO GLAD you feel well! Best news of the day. Driving now and everything. ROCK IT. Happy Spring! And, yes, the library (and horse camp!) donating posts were great this week. Whose brilliant idea was that again?

    Off to see Lilly!

  15. I meant to include Cool Mint Chocolate ClifBars on my list of kicks. I’m serious. They are SO TASTY. If you like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, try a Cool Mint Chocolate ClifBar and delight in the fact that you’re eating something organic and good for you instead of cookies. 😉

    Farida: Yum! Glad that you had a good birthday celebration.

    Jama: What’s your favorite kind of jam? Incorporate that into your new fancy name. Congrats to your nephew and good luck with the interview.

    JES: I spoke in complete sentences to my cats.

    cloudscome: Thanks! Glad that you are driving down the road to recovery. Happy belated birthday to your youngest.

    jules: Thank you. I am incredibly supportive of anything and anyone I like, but I also know what I don’t like. I’ve never been one to let popular opinion sway me. I respect the opinions of others, even if I disagree! I totally say mix tapes too. Thanks for the luck. After the audition (which went very well but they said they won’t know for weeks yet who gets the roles), I had my first rehearsal yesterday for the show I tried out for on last Sunday. Will tell you more when I know more. I have to miss today’s rehearsal for that due to tech rehearsal for the other show. HA to the break dancing eyeblur. I’ve never tried that. Tell me about the bitter clown NOW.

  16. Tarie, I saw a trailer for the new Terminator movie, and it looks pretty awesome. Also, I think I just renamed my imaginary band Mangosteen.

    Tanita, I can’t wait to see those pics. It’s cool to be connected. And I’m so glad for your friend.

    jone, have a great time in Florida. And is Hungry Hungry Caterpillar anything like Hungry Hungry Hippo?

    Farida, Earl Grey Tea ice cream sounds ridiculously good. Happy Birthday (again)!

    jama – yes there ARE teacher bullies, and I’m so glad your nephew came away from that one relatively unscathed. Also, thanks for generating so much Library Love!

    jules, I’m of two minds for my stamp merry-go-round. Right now it’s sitting on my desk next to my big old-fashioned date stamp (too big to fit on the carousel, alas!) and my Librarian Action Figure, and it looks mighty satisfying. But I think it could be transformed into an interesting photo-holder. Will keep you posted.

    Little Willow, congrats on the new role! And as always, break a leg at those auditions. And I hope you come through today’s tech rehearsal in one piece – I know those things can be brutal.

    JES, that’s a fascinating realization about how we relate to characters, and to actual human beings. I’m gonna chew on that for a bit.

    REGARDING THE TRAILER: In no way do I expect any movie to really capture what that book did for me as a kid. However, that trailer looks like a movie I want to see. I love how it manages to be fantastical and gritty at the same time.

    REGARDING THE DUCK/RABBIT PICTURE: I’m a little ashamed to say that I recently watched a few Netflixed episodes of the BBC series Primeval, and so to me it looks like a Hesperornis without the scary teeth.

  17. cloudscome! We were posting at the same time – JINX! I owe you a coke. Anyway, a gymnastics party sounds very cool. And congrats on getting back behind the wheel – I’m so glad you’re ever-on-the-mend.

  18. The Hungry catapillar game (think I added an extra hungry) is tame compared to hungry, hungry, hippo.
    Thanks, Jules, for getting the word out about the poem postcard project. I will be sending one to China.

  19. Eisha, not to make you all self-conscious or anything, but I think you may have trumped everyone — living or not-yet-living — with your answer to the duck-or-rabbit dilemma.

    And I wonder about your rubber-stamp thingy. (Found this, among other things, while doing so.) I wonder if each of those little clamps might be, uh, tight-gripping enough to hold photos? And how many of them are there? I was thinking — say there are eight gripper things — you could write down a word or short phrase on each of eight different index cards, an adjective for a mood. Stick all the cards in their slots, so that they’re all fairly low to the table. Tell everybody it’s your “The Librarian Is…” sign and put it on your desk. Each day you pull one of the cards up higher than the others. The Librarian Is… Grumpy. Or… Feeling Charitable. Or… Sunny, Murderous, Ready to Fall Over. Whatever.

    Okay, maybe that’s extreme.

    Little Willow, the thing about talking to cats in complete sentences — in my experience — is that they seem to understand (they even have some suggestions for how you could have phrased it better), but they don’t care. Dogs care very much but it breaks their hearts to have to tell you just, like, Que?

    Jules: Appaloosa was a pretty good Western, I (we) thought. Like you say, VM is a chameleon — what a strange look for him in that film — and he and Ed Harris have now done enough movies together that they’re like two pistons in a well-oiled engine. The Missus and I have never “gotten” Renée Zellweger’s alleged sex appeal, but I thought she did all right here. (My favorite film with her was Nurse Betty.)

    Whether this is a recommendation or not — I think the former — seeing Appaloosa is what suggested that we re-watch the Lonesome Dove mini-series a week later. It reminded us that the Western genre (which sometimes seems tired, sometimes ready to choke on self-importance) still has legs.

  20. Dang it, had this open in another tab and forgot to mention it… since we’re talking about librarians and AH-nold movies:

    (Hope I can embed images in a comment here…)

  21. Nope on the images.

    Well, here’s a link to it.

  22. JES, that’s a brilliant idea. And it gives me an excuse to make out a card with my favorite new emotional adjective, “stabby,” which I cribbed from Go Fug Yourself. It also goes nicely with the Conan poster. Thank you!

  23. Wow, 21 comments already! It’s obviously been a great week for everyone.

    Eisha, I remember using those spinning stamps as a library monitor at primary school! A very cool aquisition.

    Jules, I hope the play was fun!

    Tarie, I just tried mangosteens when I was in Australia and they are so yummy! I’m not sure why I’d never tried one before.

    I’m one short today but am too fuzzy minded to think of something else!

    1. The return of long days. Even before daylight saving started today I’ve been able to enjoy walking home from work.
    2. We went to a small restaurant with some friends last night – great food and conversation. Highlight was homemade lemon curd icecream in a brandysnap basket. Yum!
    3. I bought a shower filter () and managed to install it myself!
    4. I finally dropped some shoes off to the shoe repair shop, a chore I’ve been avoiding for ages.
    5. Despite various impediments to our preferred and runner up plans for the day we still ended up buying some yummy picnic food and going for a walk in a wood
    6. I bought some seed potatoes to grow in a potato planter I was given last year. The potatoes are an old variety that will apparently have blue skin and taste great roasted.

  24. Love the in-progress photo of the art process…neat to get those glimpses behind the curtain.

    Tanita, I want to visit a castle too, with photos allowed.

    Eisha, your cute new flip flops remind me that I used my nearly destroyed ones for an entire extra summer after they should have ended up in the garbage. Must follow your lead.

    Jules, we had veggie quiche yesterday for supper too…a wonderfully simple recipe with mostly cheese, butter, eggs and broccoli. The kids even ate it, perhaps because that much fat cancels out the broccoli.

    Sorry, but I thought that WTWTA trailer was lame. Maybe even super lame. Perhaps I’m being a picky stickler, but if you convert the picture-book kid into a real kid, I think you should convert the picture-book monsters into “real” monsters. These ones look pathetic. I half expected Grimace or a Muppet to make an appearance.

    Quick kicks…

    1) We live in the boonies, so once in a while we head off to the Big City, which for us is Vancouver. Five hour drive with little ones isn’t that awesome, but it was a great trip — seeing friends, wandering along the ocean and just getting out of the usual ruts.
    2) The viola. I bought a violin last year, but this week our teacher lent me her viola (like a bigger, more bad-ass violin with a lower string and deeper tone) and I fell in love it it. Super, super fun. My violin felt like a spurned lover.
    3) Old friends from where we grew up came to visit twice this week. Very nice.
    4) Best friends from here in town have been in Mexico for two weeks (non-kick) but returned yesterday (kick).
    5) James Ehnes concert — probably the best violinist in Canada and likely right up there in the world (he’s won a Grammy)…amazing performance, and in a tiny theatre with maybe 300 people.
    6) Spring. Felt like a bit of a long winter, but the snow and ice are gone (goodbye ice photos) and the sun is shining. So nice to get the kids outside without bundling them up in 14 layers.
    7) Old Simpsons episodes. We have an ancient best-of set of VHS tapes that I’ve been going through once in a while. Classic goodness.

  25. Eisha, I have one of those stamp-thingeys in my office at work, with old stamps on it that no one uses anymore. Sometimes I spin it, for fun.

    Mrs. Bottlecap, I believe you should wait for your husband to give you that present *before* you marry the colors in Ms. Fortenberry’s illustration. Just saying.

    Also, that duck/rabbit is messing me up.

    Oh my gosh, it’s always so overwhelming reading the kicks this late in the day because there’s so much kick-y-ness. I kind of needed a shot of kick, though, because I worked today and the internet wasn’t working for the public. Any of you who work in public libraries will know what this meant for my day.

    Anyway, kicks:
    1. My new dishwasher is installed and working and washing dishes. It looks so weird having a new thing in the kitchen.
    2. We had a couple sunny 50-60 degree days here in a row, and I got to take nice, long walks on both of them.
    3. I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which I really enjoyed in that can’t-stop-reading-it way.
    4. My BFF is applying for National Board Certification and she, another friend, and I got together here Friday night to try to read through everything and do all the final-detail stuff. Mostly, I provided food. It turned out to be a really fun night.
    5. Then last night, I hung out and played Killer Bunnies with other friends. That game is geeky, which is to say I enjoy it.
    6. Apple walnut bread, toasted, with cream cheese. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
    7. I spent some time writing letters this week and catching up on correspondence. I’ve been so busy the last six months that I haven’t had time to write letters as much as I’m normally in the habit of doing, and it feels good to be putting things in the mailbox on a regular basis again.

  26. Little Willow, will do, though Eisha could do it better: As she mentioned in this ancient interview we did with ourselves, she was in this short film by Paul Harrill, and she played a very bitter clown for…how long, Eisha? (if you’re still around)….

    Jama, are you still around, too? I like Little Willow’s idea of incorporating your favorite jam into your Fancy Name. I mean, really “Mrs. Bottlecap” hardly sounds royal. A bit of jam in your new title, compared to “bottlecap,” is perfectly reasonable.

    Oh, and LW, we just got back from seeing Lilly on stage, and this EXCELLENT children’s theatre (the oldest children’s theatre in the country, a fun fact which fascinates me) announced the upcoming season, and IT INCLUDES “MISS NELSON IS MISSING” and and and and “CHARLOTTE’S WEB”! I’m very excited. Other good things, too, but that’s what made me squeal the loudest.

    Eisha, John is right. Hesperornis is my favorite vote thus far on Tom Lichtenheld’s image.

    John, I LOVE your idea for the merry-go-round stamp holder. Eisha, “stabby” is way better than “murderous,” though that made me laugh, too, when John said it. You know, the idea of a patron coming to your desk with a smile and a query and then seeing “I feel murderous today” and slinking away in fear.

    Also, John, I could go on and on about the alleged sex appeal of some actresses in Hollywood, and I’m not even gay. Why is it that women, in particular, have such strong opinions about that? And we sound awfully catty, too, but Cameron Diaz? I don’t get it. Is it the legs? Really, I think what bugs me is how they get touted as so talented, when really ….well, I’m just managing to make myself sound cattier. I’ll stop. Anyway, I think Renee Zellweger is terrifically talented (“Nurse Betty” — yes! But then the way she up and sang her heart out so kick-assedly in “Chicago,” which I LURVED), but she didn’t impress me in this movie. Interesting how we see that differently.

    Potatoes with blue skin, Emma? That’s the new thing I learned from you this week. As well as homemade lemon curd ice cream in a brandysnap basket, which nearly made me drool onto this desk, and I’m not even sure what a brandysnap basket is. Can we have a Kicks Conference/Coalition meeting/whatever one day and converge at your place? And eat with you.

    Jeremy, “my violin felt like a spurned lover” is a well-written kick. Congrats on the borrowed viola. Also, will you be taking Spring pics?!

    Jeremy, I’m looking forward to seeing the film, but I did for about a femtosecond think, those puppets could be a bit more realistic when I saw the trailer. I love hearing everyone’s thoughts.

    Adrienne, amen to snail mail, bright happy letters in one’s box amidst credit card applications and angry mail for the lady who lived in your house before you who was apparently delinquent on everything. Oops, I mean: I speak for myself there. And for sparkly clean dishes.

  27. {I meant: And amen for sparkly, clean dishes, too — not that I speak for sparkly, clean dishes.}

  28. Well, I mean, SOMEONE must speak for the dishes.

  29. Yes, indeed.

  30. Who better to speak for the dishes than you, Jules? Don’t I remember from our roommate days that you actually enjoy washing them? Or am I making that up?

    emmaco, lemon curd ice cream sounds even better than Earl Grey Tea ice cream. And is a brandysnap anything like a gingersnap, and a basket like a cone? Oh PLEASE let it be like a brandy-flavored gingersnap cone. If it isn’t I’m totally going to invent it.

    Jeremy, old Simpsons episodes rule. And that concert sounds lovely. And I, too, have a pair of flip-flops that I can’t quite get rid of, even though the soles are peeling apart. But maybe now I will.

    adrienne, i know exactly what you must have gone through today. Did they throw Molotov cocktails in your bookdrop? At least you have that shiny new dishwasher to come home to. And apple walnut bread. Geez, this has been a yummy bunch of kicks this week…

  31. Here I am! Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I went to a baby shower today that was fun because it ended up being a party with friends and presents without the games. Hey, we’re going to see the Lilly play in May! That’ll be a future kick, I’m sure. Here are the present kicks:

    1) My first item in the five handmade things meme was a felt daffodil I made for the baby shower mama today. Tanita, I have you to thank for inspiring me, as you told me about Daffyd and Welsh people wearing daffodils on their lapels.

    2) I got payment for a nature table doll I made for a friend’s daughter’s birthday (also a forget-me-not, Jules!), and immediately went out to the garden store to purchase a red currant bush for the northwest corner by our front steps. We have a white currant bush in another part of the yard, but I was smitten by the red currant bush when I saw it at my daughter’s school.

    3) My daughter’s teacher is going to make a Snow Maiden marionette in exchange for me making a daffodil doll (or any other plant that inspires me). Hurrah for barter and trade! I had planned to make Lucia a Snow Maiden marionette, but I’ve never made one before and didn’t know if it would happen before her birthday.

    4) Earl Grey Ice-cream

    5) Good friends.

    6) People are interested in my nature table dolls. I must say, I think that this portion of the storytelling business is going to be a little bit easier than getting gigs.

    7) I’ve got a new song in the making.

  32. In today’s round of kicks and responses, you all have unknowingly and repeatedly referred to things which relate to both shows I’m working on. I’ll take this as a good sign.

    eisha: Gracias! We completed tech on Act I. Our production team worked last night into the early morning and is still there now, after we actors were dismissed. Thanked them often.

    jone: Hungry Hungry Hippos can hurt hurt the wrists!

    JES: Have you seen the new Pup-peroni commercial in which dogs show their owners white signs with their thoughts and responses in writing?

    emmaco: Cheers for walks, talks, and errands.

    Jeremy: Spring rocks. Go rock your stringed instruments.

    adrienne: Forest… is in my to-read pile. Good luck to your friend! I love handwritten letters. So much more personal than quick-quick emails.

    eisha: !!! Rock your IMDb page! That is so cool. (“Can’t sleep . . . Clowns will eat me.”)

    Jules: Have you heard the song Cameron Diaz by Grant Langston? Nice line-up for that theatre company! Do they dress up as the characters (looking like mice, pigs, etc) or remain mostly human, like the Broadway adaptation of Frog and Toad? I prefer the former for such things.

    Farida: Pretty flowers, I bet. Pretty payments, too.

  33. Eisha brandysnaps are very similar to gingersnaps. So it’s a kinda 1970s recipe (like much of the menu – it’s run by a couple who just have a few choices for each course and change it once a month) but very tasty!

    And Jules, everyone is welcome to decamp to Emmaco central in Bedfordshire and eat yummy food like lemon curd. We’d better hope for good weather so we can use the backyard, otherwise we’ll be squished into odds corners like under the stairs.

  34. OH no, I simply could not pick a favorite jam. I love raspberry. But then there’s blueberrry. And does lemon curd count as a jam? Can you see the problem? If I chose, nobody in a jar would speak to me at breakfast.

    Mrs. Bottlecap, I can tell you do indeed speak for sparkly clean dishes. Please speak for mine too, but coming over and washing them. Thank you.

  35. “by coming over and washing them.”
    And blueberry has three “r’s,” right?

  36. Jules, visiting your family last Sunday was my big kick for the week. Kaylee and I had such a great time!!! And, wanted to let everyone know, Jules truly does make a great cup of coffee! I felt as if I was one of the fabuloulsy talented illustrators she interviews!

  37. eisha, if I *did* enjoy handwashing dishes at some point—which, yeah, I have a slight memory of thinking it wasn’t so onerous, as long as there were a window with sunlight involved—that passed after I had kids.

    Farida, congrats on avoiding baby shower games. And a Snow Maiden marionette sounds fabulous. Will you record “Mr. Gumpy’s Outing” if it works out?

    Little Willow, nope, never heard that song. And, yes, Lilly and co. had big mouse ears and such. And I get how you prefer the latter — so do I — but this worked well, I have to say. Man, do I wanna see that adaptation of Frog and Toad. I think Farida saw it.

    Emma, I volunteer to sleep under the stairs if we can all make it to Emmaco Central one day.

    Jama, I just asked Piper for a fancy name with “Blueberry Jam” in it, and her vote is “Mrs. Blue TeaBerry Jam.” I didn’t tell her you liked tea, too. Whaddya think? We can even spell it with three Rs.

    Angela, whee!

  38. Whew! I am very late this week, but what a lot of wonderful kicks!

    Love the blue wash in the first illustration, and I agree, Jules, “Velvet-warm” is a great way to describe her illustrations.

    LW – I am starting to think you never sleep! Break a leg!

    Mrs. Bottlecap, love the VM marathon. Have you seen Hidalgo yet?

    My kicks are all rolled into one – glimpses of spring between bouts of rain – go spring!

    Oh, and I vote rabbit.

    And the WTWTA trailer gave me chills too. The real boy/Sendak monsters didn’t bother me, it seemed to fit since its all Max’s imagination anyway, the monsters should be his. I have high hopes for Spike Jonze.

    Have a wonderful week!

  39. Hi, RM. Nope, haven’t seen “Hidalgo” yet, but I think that’s the one that we talked about getting next — one of the last Viggo flicks we haven’t seen.

    I like your all-inclusive kick, RM!

  40. Jules: Grant has some hysterical lyrics. He’s also a great performer – I went to one of his gigs years ago, and he just filled that room with his voice and his guitar, and entertained us with his storytelling! I definitely prefer people-in-costume when they are supposed to be animals other than humans, but I don’t need it to be like theme park character costumes with the head totally encased – I like to see the face with makeup and ears and whiskers, and appropriate costumes (and tails, when needed!)

    rm: Sleep? What’s that? 😉 Thank you!

  41. Mrs. Bottlecap – what a great name!

    I saw a rabbit.

    The “Where the Wild Things Are” movie looks pretty cool, but I’m not sure if Cy would enjoy it. I might be wrong, but it looks like it would appeal more to older kids (not the wild things, but the whole school and parent real world stuff).

    My kicks this week:
    1 – White mochas from the local café.
    2 – Watching “Planet Earth” on the Discovery Channel which led to a debate with Fred as to who has it better: me or a gliding Asian tree frog (sometimes I think humans are the most uninteresting species on the planet).
    3 – “LOST” continues to offer more questions than answers, and I love it.
    4 – Fab new music from the UK. Check out Just Jack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9ugXiggd14 and the Noisettes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gnXo-ipXHI.
    5 – My mother-in-law’s surgery was 100% successful and she visits the oncologist next week to discuss further treatment.
    6 – I finally watched the “Twilight” movie. I didn’t like it, (I’m a film snob, and this was simply a poorly made movie. Sorry Catherine Hardwicke – I hope Chris Weitz does a better job) but at least I know what all the fuss is about.
    7 – The belly pics at this blog: http://pacingthepanicroom.blogspot.com/search/label/the%20belly%20pictures%20series. The writing is great too. I really hope things work out for this family.

  42. Zoë, if only all history lessons came with such great tune-age.

    Great news about your mother-in-law!

  43. 1) I
    2) Know
    3) Something
    4) You
    5) Do
    6) Not
    7) Know.

    Also, Rabbit. 100%.

  44. OMG, Jules, your husband wins biggest funniest brat award. But I bet its a really good present. : )

  45. […] this past Sunday—in which the art of Julie Fortenberry was featured, incidentally, so go check that out, if you missed it—I took a poll as to whether or not the […]

  46. OMG, Blaine, that is HILARIOUS.

  47. I stumbled on this page by accident, but so glad I did! Last November I named my baby daughter, Pippa. I can’t tell you the grief I’ve received! Even from my own mother who asked, “Why don’t you just name her Paprika?!” Pippa is not so common a name in California, but that’s one reason why I liked it! Now I find Pippa at the Parade, & I must say, I feel justified 😉 Thanks for sharing everything about this book & the illustrator. Excuse me now, I’ve got to go buy a book…

  48. […] Pippa at the Parade by Karen Roosa, 2009 […]

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