7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #117: Featuring Katherine Tillotson

h1 May 31st, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: See my new doll? This is my kick #1 this week and a gift from illustrator Katherine Tillotson. I received the doll—we’ll call her Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely—just yesterday as a thank-you for today’s feature: Katherine’s here today to share some art from her newly-illustrated picture book by author Megan McDonald, It’s Picture Day Today! (to be released in June by Atheneum Books).

Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely has a lot in common with the students in McDonald’s picture book — students with names like Buttons and Feathers. Yup, it’s a school full of art materials: Clothespins, Easter grasses, glittering stars, twisty yarns, and lots of wheely things. They all gather for the class pic, only to discover that Glue is missing. (Glue is a popular guy, as you can probably imagine.) It’s pretty much mayhem (and kudos to Katherine for keeping it interesting; I’m no artist, but it seems to me it’d be challenging to animate things like fuzzy pom-poms and string), until the picture gets snapped right before the book’s close, which opens up into a four-page spread — and which I won’t give away. But it has a lot to do with how Mrs. McWheely is structured here: Making order out of scraps, out of chaos, out of what you thought was little to nothing.

It probably goes without saying that this title will appeal to art-lovin’ students, but don’t forget your ecologically-minded ones, as well. Petal here was formed from scraps that would typically get trashed. I’ve heard this before: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. Well, Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely—and Katherine—know a little something about the fun you can have in doing so.

Katherine, who lives in San Francisco with her husband, writes at her site, “I remember the first time I painted a picture and the paint went where I wanted it to go. I was in third grade, working with watercolors and was very excited by the experience.” And, though the art for It’s Picture Day Today! is rendered with cut paper, she primarily works with oil paints. Here she is to say hello and a bit about her work. Thanks to Katherine for stopping by and sharing some art with us this morning.

* * * * * * *

I have always loved to draw and paint from models. When I developed the characters for When the Library Lights Go Out {also written by McDonald}, I made puppets in order to visualize the characters. I subsequently posed these hand-made puppets for the paintings.


One of the first things I did upon reading the manuscript for It’s Picture Day Today was to pull out a bottle of glue and many bits of this and that. Below are the first characters I made. I call the tall one Mr. Scissorhead, and the short one, Mischief-Maker. If you look carefully, you can find them on the penultimate spread of the book.


{Here are} a few pieces from the creation of the book . . .





I hope this book will encourage in children the same excitement in making art that I experienced while making the collages for this story.

Thanks again to Katherine! Now on to our kicks . . .

{IT’S PICTURE DAY TODAY! © 2009 by Megan McDonald. Illustrations © 2009 by Katherine Tillotson. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. New York, NY. Posted with permission of illustrator. All rights reserved.}

* * * * * * *

As a reminder, our 7 Kicks posts 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 * * *

Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot in Persuasion1* Why, hello, Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely. It’s very nice to make your acquaintance.

2* We had a goodbye party for my co-worker who’s moving away this week. Mood-wise, it was a bittersweet affair, but it was a truly lovely party. We brought some old dead guy’s silver tea service out from the vault for a centerpiece, and people brought in scones and cucumber sandwiches and such. It was even more lovely and gratifying to see so many people from so many different library departments turn out for this. It’s a testament, see, to just how awesome my friend is and how many people adore her and are all broken-hearted about her leaving.

3* My boss’s dad is visiting from Scotland. She’s brought him in to work with her a couple of times, and he’s a hoot.

4* I’m finally almost over a nasty spring cold — the kind that renders me utterly useless for any kind of productive task, while making me a social pariah from all the nose-blowing and deep-diaphragm coughing.

SufferJets vs. Roc City5* My neighbors and I have started a little tradition where every so often we get together at one of our apartments and watch a Jane Austen film while having high tea. On Monday I hosted and made goat cheese & watercress sandwiches (with the crusts cut off, natch) and we watched the 2007 version of Persuasion.

6* Saturday night we went to the opening match of Ithaca’s roller derby team, the SufferJets. Our girls didn’t fare too well in the first half, but rallied for a surprise victory over Roc City (sorry, adrienne).

7* And then we had The Poets over for pizza and completely-made-up-mixed-drinks-that-had-to-include-rum and bad movies.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

2). I’m making pretty significant progress—with help from others—on my birthday idea for one of my good friends (an idea I mentioned last week).

3). My husband and I watched the ’07 re-make of 3:10 to Yuma this week. I’m CURSING myself now for joking about hyperbole last week, as we were, because you may not believe me now when I tell you it is a superb movie. Absolutely riveting. Where was the Oscar love for Christian Bale that year? His performance brought me to tears. And Ben Foster? Creepy-good in this film.

4). John sent me some early Linda Ronstadt tunes when I mentioned last week that there was a dearth of them in my life. How thoughtful was that?

5). My husband cracked a joke the other night while we were eating out that nearly made me choke on my food from laughing. Not to be a tease, but it’s probably inappropriate to share, seeing as how we both have a fairly sick sense of humor.

6). I swore I’d never be Braggy Mom, but these are kicks, right? Things that make us very happy and for which we’re very grateful? My five-year-old is reading the books in this series to me. Of course I have to help with words here and there, but it’s like she skipped beginning readers (with the exception of Elephant & Piggie OF COURSE), and she went straight to these little chapter books of sorts. And, since curling up with my children and reading is my favorite thing, I like it even better when she reads to me.

(Did I sound like Braggy Mom? If so, I didn’t mean to. I swear. I’m just excited.)

7). Remember this post? I finally read a copy of Bird this week, and the art and the writing are beautiful. It’s a poignant and wonderful read.

BONUS: Birthday party yesterday at a friend’s place. Cake. Ice cream. Pirates. TIRE SWING!

P.S. If anyone’s interested in a free autographed copy of Linda Ashman’s Come to the Castle: A Visit to a Castle in Thirteenth-Century England (Roaring Brook Press; April 2009; illustrated by S.D. Schindler), there’s one more day to try to snag one. The info is here.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

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33 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #117: Featuring Katherine Tillotson”

  1. Braggy Mom? No way. We all love bookworm-in-the-making stories. How fun for you and your daughter. Today is Picture Day looks totally adorable … what a special treasure for your thank you. The kicks.

    1. Meeting Pam (MotherReader), Sheila Ruth (Wands & Worlds), Sara Zarr, Laini Taylor, Natasha Maw (MawBooks) & some of the other Kidlitters @ BEA.

    2. Listening to my daughter read me a book on the phone (I left her a digital recording of a book on her pillow and she felt she had to ‘return’ the gift).

    3. Catching up with a friend I met at least year’s, meeting her daughter (high school), and having a chance to just chill together last night.

    4. Having Chris VanDusen (Mercy Watson illustrator) recognize who I am when I was at the autograph table.

    5. Listening to Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea) talk about Pennies 4 Peace.

    6. Walking around in New York … and wishing Bill was here.

    7. Getting one full night’s sleep this week.


  2. I love Mischief-Maker. He looks kind of like a tiger. Also, I wish I could make puppets. I wish I had mad sewing skillz. Sigh, sigh. My inherent carelessness and difficulty with straight lines work against me in this area.

    eisha, A party just isn’t a party until you’ve broken out with some old dead guy’s silver tea set. Also, I work with someone on the Roc City team, so I have to be sad for her.

    Jules, That’s not braggy about the wee one reading–that’s awesome! Of course, we make fun of “Daisy Meadows” in the Children’s Room all. the. time. We have to make the air quotes when we say her name, and sometimes we blame her for doing things (most recently, stealing our feather duster).

    Terry, You have my BEA jealousy. Glad you had fun!

    This week kind of sucked, but looking back, it did have bright moments. The combination of having a cold and injuring myself repeatedly really made more of an impression.

    My kicks:
    1. I managed to get an ARC of Operation Yes by our Sara, and I read it all, and it is amazing. I can’t wait until the rest of you read it.
    2. I got these two “extra” bikes that have been rotting away in my rotting shed to someone who will rehabilitate them and give them to people who need them. That felt good.
    3. We taped two more storytimes for the cable access station on Tuesday. I had kind of a nervous breakdown after we did it (I am clearly not made for a film career), but my co-children’s librarian was encouraging and patient and kind. And they weren’t SO bad after all.
    4. Also on Tuesday, we got the diner booth for our tween area. Huzzah! It is so awesome, I can hardly stand it.
    5. Yesterday, I planted more herbs (chives, more basil, more parsley) and some vegetables (three kinds of tomatoes, red peppers, and cucumbers). I even got some more mulch down.
    6. I made some real progress on a grant proposal I’ve been fretting over.
    7. I got a letter from my cousin’s stepdaughter. She is in eighth grade now and is super-awesome, and I love getting letters from her. She’s a big reader and has been giving me advice for the novel I’ve been working on.


  3. Terry, you also have my jealousy. Sounds like you’re having a blast. And leaving a digital recording of a book for your daughter? Brilliant.

    Adrienne, I didn’t even KNOW that about Daisy Meadows and had to go look it up. Is it bad that I never even bothered to see who the author of this series was? Probably very, very bad and something I shouldn’t admit at a book blog. But, um….[embarrassed laugh], yay, Daisy Meadows! Ahem.

    And you got to read Sara’s book? Woot.

    Sorry you had a Mostly Sucky Week, and I hope next week’s is All Good.


  4. Happy Sunday!!

    Love Katherine’s work — so clever (my fave is the blue wheely thing with two cone heads). Can’t wait to see this new book. Thanks for the treat :).

    Jules, Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely is perfect for you. She can probably show you some cool things to do with all your bottlecaps! Yay for P. reading aloud to you (a good thing to be braggy about).

    Glad you’re feeling better, Eisha. Bob will be happy to hear that, too. Now that you’ve had tea from a dead guy’s tea set, he will haunt your dreams (but he’ll always bring scones).

    I’m so jealous you’ve read Operation Yes, Adrienne! I’m chomping at the bit to read it. Hope your cold is better soon.

    I missed kicks last week, so these are some from the week before too:

    1. After I posted about Jackie Urbanovic’s books being featured as part of Kohl’s Cares for Kids program, I got a nice thank-you note from Kohl’s Public Relations Dept. in Wisconsin.

    2. Tarie interviewed me at Into the Wardrobe! Have you seen all the great interviews she did for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?

    3. Saw the elusive Mr. Donnelly recently. When I ran to get my camera, he ran away. I MUST photograph him some day soon. He’s adorable.

    4. Had a lot of fun interviewing Anna Alter as part of her blog tour for Abigail Spells. And I loved watching the Scripps Spelling Bee Finals Thursday night.

    5. Bing cherries.

    6. Received a lovely thank you surprise from Melissa Sweet.

    7. My nephew won an Emmy for his morning TV show in Oregon!!

    Happy June to all !


  5. Happy Day! I need that book about the library, too cute!
    Eisha, I just saw Mansfield Park last night. Chick and I both loved it!
    Jules, brag away, mom. How fun and how cute is that photo!!
    Adrienne, congrats atwinning some items at the auction.
    Terry, say hi to everyong at BEA.
    Jama, who’s your nephew that won the emmy, wonder if I watch him in the morning.
    Mykicks:
    1. The Portlnad Kidlit Dring Night and Silent Auction for Bridget…over $2500 raised!
    2. The Bridget Zinn Auction now closed. Do not have a total but I think it is big. Am working on it today.
    3. The weather.
    4 School play this coming Tuesday AND the music teacher used “Run for the Arts” money to get a new sound system!! Hooray for that.
    Have a great week!


  6. I want a wheely doll! Of course I want a wheely doll. Maybe I can get my husband to make one for me, as he tends to work with found objects more than I do.

    1. Two free bags of lambswool came to me this week by way of a friend.

    2. Calla Lilies are in bloom.

    3. Friends brought by cupcakes last night! It turned out that they bought 6 during “cupcake happy hour” (buy three get three free) and the barista gave them another 1/2 dozen to clear out the stock. :)

    4. Sushi Sunday.

    5. For my daughter’s birthday, my aunt sent a DVD copy of Julie Taymor’s The Magic Flute. We haven’t watched it yet (it’s almost 2 hours long) but we’re looking forward to it.

    6. Not to keep bringing up my shop, but I’ve got to say that it is a real kick at how online social networking has been vital to the success (so far) of my shop. The main reason is because after 4 1/2 years of blogging and explaining to people WHY I blog, it’s an external vindication of the time and dedication I’ve committed. I trust that you all know that I didn’t set out years ago to start blogging in order to boost my storytelling and doll-making businesses! :) Some people only understand things in terms of how it benefits someone monetarily, and now I can say, “See! See! I wasn’t just faffing around on the computer after all!”

    7. I am thrilled that the Bridget Zinn auction brought in over $2500. Many thanks to Jone for organizing this auction and for everyone who participated in some way.
    –Farida


  7. P.S. I’ve gotta say, it’s funny to see that two smiley faces have showed up in my post. I know I use them a lot, and try to edit them down a bit, but a little color does break up the text. What are the chances we can choose from a drop-down list of graphics and emoticons on this site? Yeah, that’s more work. One can wish, though.

    Have a grace-filled week, everyone!
    –Farida


  8. Jone, my nephew produces Good Day Oregon on KPTV Fox 12. His name is Ian Dodge. :)


  9. Extra fun illustrations today, J&E. Glad that you’re feeling better, Eisha. And Jules! The tire swing photo is wonderful. I only have one kick today, but it’s a good one. Mheir and I just got back a few days ago from 8 days in Maui. So beautiful! We ate really well, took lots of photos, watched sunsets from the lanai, and discovered that there’s a town in Hawaii called Haiku (I took a picture of the road sign). Happy Sunday, all!


  10. Greetings, Katherine (and Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely!) I’ve added It’s Picture Day Today! to my Books to Read list, and I’m requesting When the Library Lights Go Out from the library. I’m a fan of Megan McDonald’s writing (especially the Judy Moody books) and I will now make sure to follow Katherine’s works. Kudos to you, Katherine, for using scraps and bits and pieces to create your models. The hand-made puppets for When the Library Lights Go Out are adorable!

    eisha: I feel the need to ask permission to use the line, “We brought some old dead guy’s silver tea service out from the vault…” Such great potential for a great first line of a story!
    Best wishes to your co-worker. I hope whatever is on the other side of the move is grand.
    I’m glad that you are feeling better. Kick that cold to the curb!
    Oh, goodness, now I want to steal the idea of your Jane Austen high tea. How CUTE!
    Loving the team name of “Suffer Jets.” Once upon a time, a customer came into the store (not my current store) who said, quote, “I need books for my daughter’s history paper on women suffragettes.” My boss attempted to help her. It was clear that neither of them knew what suffragettes were, though both of them were female and fully-grown adults. I wanted to steer them in the right direction without obviously correcting or embarrassing them, so I just so happened to walk by the history aisle. When I saw my boss giving the customer a book on Anne Frank, I asked if I could help, because I heard they were looking for books on suffragettes. “No, it’s okay,” my boss said as she indicated the Anne Frank book, “She’s a woman, and she suffered.” The customer nodded, looking relieved. Not wanting to put my job in jeopardy by correcting my boss, I politely smiled and walked away, biting my tongue.

    Jules: Not being a fan of westerns, I haven’t seen either version of 3:10 to Yuma. However, I think Ben Foster is severely underrated. I’ve been following his career since Flash Forward – Did you watch that television series? I will always (happily) associate Christian Bale with Newsies. It’s a fine life, carryin’ the banner…
    Go, reading munchkin! I haven’t read that series, but I’m familiar with them since they are about fairies. :) That reminds me, has your family read The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks yet?

    Terry: Glad that you had fun at BEA! How sweet of your daughter to return the read-aloud favor.

    Adrienne: I am sure that you have, as you said, “mad skillz” in other areas, and that you could acquire said skillz in sewing if you wanted to – Who says things have to have straight lines?
    Can’t wait to read that. Go Sara!
    Kudos for the bike fiXing and donating.
    BIG YAY for overcoming your worries to tape more storytimes. That’s fantastic.
    The diner booth sounds fabulous.
    Yummy garden. May it help you feel better!
    Good luck with the proposal.
    Hurrah for correspondence!

    jama: Congratulations to your nephew! Wow! Congrats and kudos for your interviews and thank-yous.

    jone: How is Bridget? Let me know if you want me to post anything follow-up-like for the auction. YAY for the new sound system at school. May the play participants break a leg on Tuesday!

    Farida: Lillies are so pretty. Enjoy The Magic Flute. Hurrah for the auction’s total! Wowza! Conrgats on your shop’s success.

    My kicks for the week, in chronological order:
    1) Audition
    2) Getting back something I lost (and I don’t lose things, so I was very sad when it was lost, and VERY happy when it was found!)
    3) Bouncing back after each bad thing happened on stage during a performance (being accidentally hit in the face; being stepped on; being pushed backwards, causing a mini-domino effect, and almost falling on my rear end; slipping on the stairs and banging my leg on the stage) and nailing my solo dance sequence at the end
    4) Callback (not only getting one, but them going above and beyond to schedule it around my schedule, and being one of two girls they were calling back and considering for the lead)
    5) Being offered a supporting role
    6) A friend showing me something that made me laugh so hard that I cried and kept laughing. I then thanked him profusely. He had no idea how much I needed something to make me laugh that day.
    7) My health


  11. Jama, I missed your kicks last week! Not that anyone is obliged to come EVERY week, but I’m glad you’re back.

    Tarie’s interview with you was great. Go see, everyone! Tarie’s whole series — Asian Pacific Heritage Month — was very well-done. Tarie is also a class-act. The kidlitosphere seems to be full of classy people.

    {Tarie also just did a fine job of being hostess for the May Carnival of Children’s Lit today. It’s here.}

    And I still wanna see your Abigail post, Jama. I meant to on Friday, but work got the best of me. I like Anna’s art. I really like that book.

    Congrats to your nephew! I bet saying, “hey, I have an Emmy” is fun to say.

    Jone, congrats on all that money raised for Bridget! This, my friends, is the very best of humans. This kind of thoughtfulness and fundraising. That is a serious chunk o’ change! I look forward to hearing the auction total.

    Farida, I’d be interested in seeing a Dowler Family Wheely Doll.

    Cupcakes! Julie Taymor! Let me know how the DVD is. #6 is an excellent kick. I think about that sometimes. Like, if I ever lost my little job, would I be able to get one with the help of my online friends or the blog? As in, would someone know about something—any kind of something—I could do? I’m rambling, but I’m saying that I know what you mean. It’s a great kick.

    I have no clue how to do drop-down emoticon graphics. Hey, that sounds like the name of a club or (very lame) band, like the whole thing should have its own acronmym: DDEG. The Society for DDEG.

    Jen, man, that sounds like a great trip. Congrats on some sunny R & R! Can we see your Haiku pic?

    Hello, Little Willow, you ray-of-sunshine you. Congrats on the callbacks! Your suffragette story is both hysterical and sad. The only other thing I’ve seen Ben Foster in is Six Feet Under (I was all, who IS that actor? I’ve seen him before during 3:10, and then my husband went and looked him up, to which we collectively responded, ohhhhh! HIM). I’d like to see everything else he’s ever done now. No, we haven’t read the Banks book, but THANKS for the tip. Will look that up.

    What was the something in kick #6 that made you laugh so hard? Is it share-able?

    And hear! hear! to #7.


  12. Just put the book on hold at my local pubalic liberry. Thanks, LW!


  13. jules: Thanks! I haven’t seen Six Feet Under. Watch the film Liberty Heights. A clip from a Maury Povich show uploaded on YouTube is what made me laugh. The Fairy Rebel rocks. I want to feel 100% better.

    Jen: Glad that you enjoyed your trip!


  14. These 7 Kicks posts and the comments on them are like a charm bracelet that keeps adding new links (and charms) every week…

    My favorite thing about this week’s is the “old dead guy’s silver tea service” and the way everybody else ran with it (after cracking up when Eisha mentioned it first). The only thing that would complete my happiness would be if the old dead guy in question was a hatter.

    Loved the found-object illos here this week. It’s cool to think that eBay users in the 22nd century will be trying to outbid each other for Mr. Scissorhead or Mischief-Maker. (They can forget getting their grubby mitts on Mrs Petal Pauline McWheely, which will be in the Smithsonian Insty-Tute — home to the nation’s ephemeral treasures — for decades by then.)

    Kicks, let’s see…

    * Well, The Missus and I called it 9 years on Friday, although those are just the married ones. Pretty great ones, I wanna tell you.
    * When we first met, it was at a distance of almost 900 miles, and one of the first things we connected on was the (then current) Season 1 of Twin Peaks. As part of the anniversary activities, we started re-watching the series the other night. Dang. “Diane, I’m holding in my hand a box of small chocolate bunnies…” Never fails to entertain.
    * I spent all of about 45 minutes cleaning a couple of air filters in our living room air-cleaner thingy. This made me feel all virtuous and handy-mannish, a rare enough feeling that it seems worth celebrating. (So I did.)
    * Hesitate to bring this up on a kidlit blog, especially one with obviously close librarian connections. But the other day I discovered an archive of scripts and downloadable audio files of an occasional segment on Prairie Home Companion, called “Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian.” (I love Keillor but don’t get to hear the show very often.) They just cracked, me, up. (Some commenters mentioned they don’t like the continuation of the librarian stereotype, though, so well, be warned.) Try this one to start. (Among other things, Ruth vanquishes a strict constructionist of the Dewey Decimal System.)
    * Had a dream featuring three characters from the work-in-progress, and no one from real life.
    * Grilled mega-burgers, served open-faced on grilled English muffins. Oh, and it helps if the appetizer is grilled littleneck clams.
    * A kick about losing something, to balance LW’s finding something: lost a very close three-year-old friend this week. But it was just a ponytail, the only one I ever had, and I’ll be donating it. Plus it’s nice to feel my head is back to something like normal.


  15. John, happy anniversary again. Thank you for the phrase “handy-mannish.” As someone whose children get a big kick out of that “Handy Manny” show, which can be a bit much after about twenty minutes, I laughed outloud. Thank you for the Prairie Home link. Will check it out.

    Sayonara to your ponytail. Did you donate it to Locks of Love or some such organization?

    My kick #7, as of about ten minutes ago, is the teen dude at the movie theater I just zipped over to, in order to get matinee tickets in advance for “Up,” who told me he thought that Disney was the Illuminati and that I was signing away my soul for the FORTY — yes, FORTY — dollar tickets to see a 3-D movie (just two adults and two children, mind you, AND it was a matinee, as I said).

    He was slightly Emo — but too cheery to be Fully Emo. I had a brief conversation with him about how I got what he meant (and how as the mother of girls, I’m careful about the whole domesticated, submissive Disney Princess thing), while managing to avoid saying “dude,” and I really wanted to say that, once you get older, things aren’t always SO black and white, but then I didn’t.

    I love misfits. Sometimes I think I wanna try working in a high school library one day. That guy was me in high school. He made my day.

    (Whether or not his supervisor knows he’s saying such things to ticket-buyers is another thing I don’t want to think about…)

    Speaking of left-of-center things, I love it, John, that your meeting-The-Missus story involves “Twin Peaks.” Oh, and I briefly read the other day something about a new prime-time show, hyped as being very much like “Twin Peaks,” and I kinda cringed, ’cause…well, that show was one-of-a-kind. And I wish they wouldn’t say that.


  16. To Katherine Tillotson: Your art is SO CUTE.

    Jules: Waaahhh, I am so jealous that you have Mrs. Petal Pauline McWheely.

    Thanks for sharing that gorgeous tire swing photo. Thank you very much for your very kind words and for sharing the links to my blog posts!

    Eisha: I am glad you are feeling better. Get well soon. :o) I love your food, drinks, movie, and conversation sessions with friends!

    Jama: Thank you for making me part of your kicks! Heeheeheehee. :oD And whoa, your nephew won an Emmy?! Congratulations!!!

    My kicks:

    1. All my posts for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I had such a rewarding time featuring Asian Pacific American children’s and young adult books and their authors and illustrators. I am already looking forward to next year – I already have a list of authors and illustrators I want to interview!

    2. Hosting the Carnival of Children’s Literature for the very first time. I enjoyed reading all the submissions and am wondering when I can host again. Hehehe.

    I hope everyone has a beautiful week!


  17. Eisha, your movie/high tea tradition sounds like a great idea. And, not surprisingly, I think your sandwiches sound yummy!

    Jules, I’ve added the movie rec to my list. And you sound like a proud mum, not a braggy one!

    Terry, one night’s complete sleep must have felt fantastic. Here’s hoping you get plenty more.

    Adrienne, your new diner couch looks great! I forgot to comment on it on your blog (I have fallen out the habit of commenting). And while I was there I saw a comment that indicated that Jules had not read Cold Comfort Farm. JULES YOU HAVE TO READ THIS IT IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST BOOKS EVER

    Little Willow, that’s both a funny and a scary (how could your boss be working in a bookstore and not know that, or at least not know she didn’t know and go look it up?!) story.

    My kicks:

    1. On the Monday of the long weekend last week I went the garden centre and bought a variety (read: slightly more than originally intended) of plants such as a strawberry plant for a hanging basket, and baby nasturtiums and stripy marigolds. So now the back yard is looking great for summer.
    2. My sister and her boyfriend have been having some financial stress in these tough times but things are definitely on the up for them – phew
    3. We went away for a few days for work and being locked away with no Internet in a meeting room was productive. Our meeting room was on a reserve (=free), which was fun because then we got to watch visitors enjoy themselves and read children’s reports on their visit that were stuck on the wall (highlights were generally the children who said things like “When year four entered the reserve they sighed with relief as they were finally able to sit in a warm room”)
    4. We went for a walk after work in an ancient woodland. It was beautiful, and fringed on one side by sunny buttercup meadows and a small stream.
    5. I got to stare at a kingfisher for ages while he obligingly sat still on a stick.
    6. Pub lunch in Hampstead with a friend yesterday. I hadn’t been to that part of London before, so enjoyed walking and driving about. And catching up over lunch with an old friend was great too.
    7. The sunny weather continues!


  18. Little Willow, The level of nerve-wracking it was for me to tape these two half-hour storytimes for public access really helps me appreciate how positively you approach your work. Like, if Jason had accidentally hit me in the face while we were taping (NOT unlikely, as that man has a wingspan–WATCH OUT when he’s doing a fingerplay), I’m not sure I could have bounced back.

    Jules, You’re going to love Sara’s book.

    Jone, You rock.

    Emmaco, Thanks–and I KNOW about Cold Comfort Farm, although I recently talked to a patron at the library that told me how much she hated it. I was like, “Really? No. That can’t be.”


  19. POLLYANNA is about to start on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). *grin*

    JES: Happy anniversary! I love charm bracelets. I have a friend currently portraying the Mad Hatter on stage. How neat, to have your characters visit you in your dream! Your seventh kick scared me – I thought you were mourning the loss of a toddler. Oh, goodness. Yay for donations!

    jules: Have you seen the trailer for The Frog Princess movie, or read the book by E.D. Baker upon which the movie may or may not be based? I recall the author posting that Disney bought the rights to the book years ago, but she had no idea how much or how little was being used – much less credited – in the film. The trailer has some basic similarities to the book – the basic premise, girl kisses frog, girl turns into a frog herself – but it doesn’t look like it’s sticking to the book. The first book actually did so well that it led to another book, and another, and another, and they are all cute.

    Go Tarie go!

    emmaco: I’ve worked for people who didn’t know the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Yep. Yum to the strawberries. Phew to your sister and her boyfriend. Hello to the kingfisher.

    emmaco, Adrienne, and jules: Cold Comfort Farm is a cute book and a cute film.

    Adrienne: I am sure that you did brilliantly! Will we get to see the videos?
    I am nothing if not resilient. When I fell off the stage, I got a huge indentation in my leg, but my tights didn’t rip nor did I bleed through them, so I felt really lucky.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the scene where one person missed his cue . . . and that’s when he has to save me from the guy who is about to physically harm me. There was an awkward pause as the would-be aggressor (let’s call him A) realized the other guy (B) hadn’t come on stage yet, and so A decided to choke me while waiting for B. That was great. And by great, I mean not good at all.

    Another kick: Customers walking in on Friday with a video camera, asking me if they could shoot a scene for their short film in the bookstore, and spontaneously giving me lines such as, “Next?” and “Here you go.”


  20. Hello, all! Here are my kicks:
    1. I read all the previous comments on this post.
    2. I can see a Little Willow comment a mile away, long before I get to the part where it actually says her name. That’s a good feeling.
    3. Today, I went to lunch with my sister and her fiance.
    4. Yesterday, I saw a good friend in a show which was an amalgamation of several famous fight scenes from theatre, film, and video games. It was a raucously good time, and I may audition for their company next time they open it up. Additionally, their 10-people-rep-company model inspired me to re-commit to my dream of having a community theatre group with minimal political machinations, someday.
    5. Friday night, Will and I went to a party hosted by one of my colleagues. I was so happy for him to meet all of them, and they gave us a lovely card and gift both as congratulations for our wedding and a good-bye to me, since I’m going back to school.
    6. Tuesday, I went to the chiropractor.
    7. Monday, I had tea with my best friend, who is also my wedding photographer, and hashed out the details of my wedding photography. (I basically said, “I trust you. They better be good,” and then gave her free reign.)

    Happy week to all!


  21. Hi All,

    Been a long time since I dropped by. I’m finally back home and back to blogging. I have only one kick, but it was so good it carried me through the week.

    My mom called this week to let me know she’d received a letter from a blogging friend of mine. My mom met her only briefly at the farmer’s market last summer. She proceeded to read me a lovely letter, written from one widow to another. It was so full of compassion and support that it made my heart swell. I’m so honored to be a part of this community, and will be eternally grateful to Adrienne for the kindness she extended to my mother.

    Told you it was a good one.
    Have a great week all.


  22. :) Hi Kiba! You know me well. I hope that all of the plans are going well.

    Welcome back, Tricia. How sweet.


  23. I’m short on kicks these days, but I’ll list a few:

    1. Hubby didn’t have an adverse reaction to his first round of chemo, so that’s good.
    2. Spent the weekend in Delaware with friends – sunshine and fun things like seeing the replicas of the Nina and Pinta and eating at a good brewpub were good.
    3. Brush Up Your Shakespeare month starts tomorrow at my blog.


  24. Little Willow, We only got permission to show these particular videos on the TV, but Jason also talked me into taping a few rhymes for our YouTube channel. He keeps forgetting to upload them, but when he does, I’ll mention it.

    Tricia, Oh, I’m glad that was a kick. I remember those early months as being just so very hard; I try not to miss the opportunity to tell someone else that as unlikely as it seems, it does get easier. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it myself without so many people encouraging me. That’s still true some days.


  25. Tarie, I know. Doesn’t Eisha know how to party down?

    Emmaco, I’m going to go add COLD COMFORT FARM to the library queue now. Promise. If you and Adrienne recommend it, I’m all about it.

    I want to see a sunny buttercup meadow. Glad you had a great week — and that things are looking up for your sister.

    Little Willow, oh my, I’m sorry you got choked, but I’m glad it was, you know, fake-choking, of course, and that the actor didn’t just stand there, saying “what the…?” or something (a line in all too many plays).

    And, no, I haven’t seen trailers for the new movie or read the E.D. Baker book. I thought they were going to do a straight-up Grimm adaptation — in, you know, the Disney way?

    Kimberly, when’s the big day again? And your sister’s getting married, too? Are the weddings close together?

    Tricia, yep, that’s a pretty great kick. Hope you’re holding up well. Keeping you in my thoughts…

    Kelly, good news about #1, and I’m looking forward to your posts.

    Adrienne, I wanna see those videos, too. Let us know…


  26. Ya’ll, what can I say? I haven’t been working at RMC long enough to tell all the old dead guys apart. He was some kind of professor at Cornell a long time ago.

    Terry, my goodness, sounds like you had a great time. Now get some sleep!

    adrienne, that diner booth ROCKS. I’m sorry for your rough-and-tumble week, and hope next one is better. Tell your co-worker that Roc City skated a very good game.

    jama, CONGRATS on your awesome interview! And also to your nephew – I think that might be the first Emmy-winning-relative mentioned in our Kicks ever! Say hey to Mr. Donnelly for me.

    jone, WOO-HOO to all that money-and-karma raised for Bridget. Thanks again for all your efforts. And break-a-leg to all your students!

    Farida, there has got to be a way to stick little wheels on your flower dolls. Imagine the awesomeness. Also, yay for free cupcakes. I didn’t know Julie Taymor had done a verson of Magic Flute, but it will surely be amazing.

    Little Willow, I could never say no to you. Permission granted! And that suffragette story makes me cringe-laugh with recognition – I had a few episodes like that as a public librarian too. You handled it so gracefully – I turn into this girl. Anyway, I am so glad you survived that Three Stooges-style performance, and even rocked your dance solo. You’re an inspiration. Hope you feel 100% soon.

    JES, CONGRATS to you and Missus JES. And can I just tell you how much I LOVE Twin Peaks? Such creepy hilarious goodness. And thanks for the Ruth Harrison links. I know people who get upset about perpetuating the stereotype, too, but I feel far enough removed from it that I just think it’s funny.

    Tarie, your interviews are just awesome – thanks for calling our attention to all those talented people. And thanks again for hosting the Carnival! What a busy bee you’ve been. Maybe take a little Tarie-time now, okay?

    emmaco (and adrienne), I’ve never read Cold Comfort Farm, but I saw the movie (Rufus Sewell = YUM) and it was truly hilarious. So I guess I should read the book too. Also, I want to see a kingfisher! They look so pretty! And I’m glad your sister & her beau are on firmer financial ground.

    Kimberly, that show sounds excellent. I think you should audition too. And how lovely that your friend is doing your wedding photos! Must be nice that you can relax about that one thing, at least.

    Tricia, it’s nice to have you back. I hope you’re faring well. And that adrienne – she is just the sweetest, isn’t she?

    Kelly, you have my very best wishes for your husband, and for you too.


  27. Hi there, I am very new to blogging, but manage to keep stumbling over more fantastic blogs to read via the grapevine!

    I started my blog as required work for a uni assignment, but I’m trying to whip it into some sort of shape as I go.

    Love the idea of 7 kicks, so here goes…
    1. My mother-in-law’s face when she opened her 70th birthday present on Saturday. Her kids all pitched in to get her tickets to Singapore to visit one of her sons that’s living there for three weeks.
    2. Nearly finished my last assignment for the semester – hooray!
    3. Watching my 11 year old daughter devour the Twilight saga and being able to discuss it with her…roll on New Moon movie!
    4. Looking forward to a weekend away!
    5. Looking forward to a second weekend away! Yes, that’s right, I’m going away this weekend and the one after. Lucky me! The first is with my hubby, kids and 3 other families. We are staying in cabins at a pirate-themed camping ground and are practising our “Ahoy there” and “Arrrrrrr” already! The second is just me and a friend, wineries, spa treatments and relaxation. Bliss!
    6. Finding some new blogs to follow!
    7. Looking forward to having my brother-in-law over for dinner tomorrow night.

    Love the quirky humour you’ve got going here. Keep it up, Fiona.


  28. Welcome, Fiona!!! =D


  29. Oh, my. I only have two minutes this morning, and I’m late to kicks already, due to my life overflowing at the seams lately. But thank you, Adrienne, for making Op Yes a kick, and it thrills me to no end that you were one of the first to read it.

    Eisha, a day with both high tea and roller derby is beyond cool. You officially live the life I aspire to. And jules, I love early Ronstadt. I predict you’ll be belting her out in the car.

    Little Willow, your suffragette story is outrageously hilarious. I need to lock those people up in the workhouse near me—the one where actual suffragettes were held after they were arrested.

    And I can’t use up my two minutes without saying: animated art supplies! Where have you been my whole life??? Maybe then I wouldn’t be afraid of (gulp) Craft Projects.


  30. Hi, Fiona. Welcome! Hope you come back. Where—and what—are you studying? Librarianship? That was a pretty kickin’ gift for your mother-in-law. Have fun on your upcoming adventures.

    Hi, Sara! A life overflowing at the seams is a good thing. I’m DYING to read Operation Yes. Hear me gasping for air here? I am. Truly, I can’t wait! Lucky Adrienne.


  31. On the donate-your-hair thing, briefly:

    There are two main organizations which take hair donations for patients with cancer (and other diseases which by themselves, or as a result of treatment, cause hair loss).

    Locks of Love, which Jules mentioned above, specializes in children patients. Beautiful Lengths, sponsored by Pantene, helps adult patients.

    My main stumbling block with both: gray hair. LoL accepts gray-hair donations, but then sells them to make up the cost of actually manufacturing the wigs of non-gray hair. BL accepts gray hair ONLY if it’s 5% or less gray. (No idea how they measure this, or what they do with hair which doesn’t meet the standard.)

    There’s some, um, let’s say domestic debate as to exactly how gray my hair is. Regardless, it’s probably too gray to make it through the first step at BL, which means it could go to LoL instead.

    Another option, an organization called Matter of Trust: it takes hair donations and turns them into mats which are used to clean up oil spills and for lining the cages of birds and animals affected by them. I was thinking of going this route, but as of late April they’re moving to a new warehouse and have asked everyone to hold off on donations until they provide the new address.


  32. Kelly: Sending strength to you both. Looking forward to your Shakespeare posts!

    adrienne: Grinning in advance.

    jules: Tales of The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker, in order of release:
    - The Frog Princess
    - Dragon’s Breath
    - Once Upon a Curse
    - No Place for Magic
    - The Salamander Spell (fifth book released; actually a prequel)

    The movie is going to be very different. It’s also going to be a musical, which makes me happy. Here’s the Wikipedia page for The Princess and the Frog

    The play doesn’t have any dialogue, so all he could do to fill time was either stand there or continue to come after me.

    eisha: Thank you for the permission! Grinning at the Look It Up! Girl image. I always do what I can. I’m Tinker Bell.

    Fiona: Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Best wishes with your assignment. what a lovely present to give your mother-in-law. Happy birthday to her! Enjoy your weekends and your shared books. I love looking forward.

    Sara: I hope that all of the overflows are happy, and that those which aren’t become so immediately. I am always shocked when people don’t consider the actual length of time women have had to vote (meaning it hasn’t been “very long” in the grand scheme of things) much less what they went through in order to obtain that vote – much less what is or isn’t permitted in other countries, who does or doesn’t have such rights in this day and age.

    JES: Awesome.


  33. [...] review and a cover that swirls and twirls and tells me this book will be fun! Be sure to visit the 7-Imps post on Katherine Tillotson, such a treat to see her “models” she makes before [...]


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