7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #123: Featuring Ed Young

h1 July 12th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

(Click to enlarge. Really. You just have to. How can you not? It’s Ed Young.)

Jules: Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, 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.

Happy Sunday to one and all . . . Some of you may remember that it wasn’t too long ago that I posted the 7-Imp Ed Young interview. Well, he’s got a new book out, and I am so head-over-heels in love with it and the art therein that I’m happy to be able to show you some spreads from it today.

Hook, released by Roaring Brook Press in April, tells in a spare, trenchant text the story of a young boy who finds an orphaned egg and takes it to a hen for some care and attention. When an eaglet hatches from the egg (“{a} hook nose?” being’s the confused hen’s response; hence the eaglet’s name) and after watching him grow, she comes to realize he is “not meant for this earth” — but, indeed, meant for a “higher place.” The eagle tries to fly, though it’s a “short first flight”; he plunges to the earth from his perch. The hen then enlists the help of the boy, who takes Hook to an even higher place. Another try. Another fall. They try yet again, this time in a great canyon. This is the moment in the book in which you see this drop-dead gorgeous spread below. If you click on it to enlarge it, you’ll be doing yourself a great favor and starting off your Sunday just right. Guaranteed. Or your money back:

Eventually, Hook “rises to where he belongs. For he wasn’t meant for this earth.”

The text, expertly-paced, is so concise—Ed Young really nails that economy of expression—that I probably just provided half of it with that brief summary.

Now, this title—with a theme, as you can see, smacking slightly of Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling—works on many levels. I know of many folks who thought Young’s Wabi Sabi was, in effect, a coffee table book. A winning one, indeed — but not a book children will quite get. (To be fair, there are also those who still claim it was robbed of the Caldecott.) I don’t think they can say Hook is an adult book wearing a children’s-book Halloween costume. Well, they can, if they’re so inclined, but I’d argue that. I think at its core is nested (awful pun not intended) a metaphor to which children can surely relate: You might keep falling and failing and floundering, but you can persevere. With determination, you can see it through.

(You can enlarge this one, too.)

And one of the other levels on which it works? Well, it puts a lump in my throat every time I read it. “{He} rises to where he belongs…For he wasn’t meant for earth.” I once knew a human like that. How Young manages to infuse so much emotion into such minimal text and still leave lots of space for the reader…I mean, just…just…how does he do it? Well, he’s the master. That’s all I know.

And the art! Okay, so it’s ED YOUNG. I probably don’t need to say more, but I will: These are chalks, and they are stunning spreads. Powerful. Wondrous. “Sweeping” doesn’t quite cut it for some of these spreads. There is an austerity to the illustrations as well — and humor, too. I’m glad I managed to get some art to show you today, since I would have been frustrated, simply trying to find the words to describe the beauty. Publishers Weekly tried when they wrote, “Young’s pastels…glow with life.” Ah, yes.

Well, let’s kick it, shall we? But first, the Boring—Yet Very Important—Copyright Info:

HOOK. Copyright © 2009 by Ed Young. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, New York, NY.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* Oh, Ed Young. *sigh* He can do no wrong. The canyon spread is indeed lovely, but what I love best is the slightly WTF look the hen is giving the egg in that first pic.

2* I survived another CRAZY-BUSY week at work. Seriously, ya’ll – I don’t mind a busy day here and there. It’s fun, most people who come to use our collections are nice, and the day goes by super-fast. But if any of our readers happen to be planning on doing a little rare book/manuscript research at Cornell this summer… um… could you just hold off on that? Please? I’m not sure we even have anywhere to put you right now – our reading room was at capacity all. week. long.

3* Have you heard of Alexis Mackenzie? I’ve recently discovered her creepily-beautiful collage art, and I lurve it. I want it all over my walls. And a t-shirt too.

Viscera IV by Alexis Mackenzie - click for link to her Flickr page.

4* I went out to eat with the Poets Upstairs to this incredibly yummy restaurant, Hazelnut Kitchen. OMG. I had a summer squash soup with pistachio basil pesto that was so good I almost cried when the bowl was empty.

5* We finished the night with ice cream at Cayuga Lake Creamery. We ate at one of their outdoor tables, next to a little waterfall/pond, and there were all these noisy frogs. (Newsflash: some frogs don’t say “ribbit.” It’s more like a belch.) And FIREFLIES! Living in the “city” like I do, I hadn’t seen any yet this year. They were all over the place, and it was magical. Belching frogs notwithstanding.

6* And, since the poets are leaving this week (*SNIFFLE*) I gave them their good-bye present, which I’ve been holding on to for months: a pirate sock zombie made by Erin Glaser. Hey, JES, do you remember that hilarious scuba diving video you linked to on one of your kicks lists? That’s her! That’s how I found her blog, and from there found out she makes sock zombies (“Like sock monkeys. Only undeader.”) and sells ’em on Etsy. So thanks, John! You helped me find the perfect present for a sock monkey enthusiast to give to two devoted zombie/pirate fans.


7* I started reading As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem, and so far it’s incredibly weirdly wonderfully good. Jules, if Blaine hasn’t read it yet, he should – it’s got lots of physics in it. And you should read it too, because it’s also a messed-up love story and it’s just generally excellent so far. It’s almost making me care about physics, that’s how good it is.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). Ed’s art.

2). Ed’s art today reminded me that I don’t think I ever shared this kick: Back during the February Ed Young interview, Ed wasn’t able to do an interview via email, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to do it via phone — and do it justice, that is. So, I snail-mailed his questions to my contact, the assistant to Ed’s agent. She got them to Ed, he wrote his responses on regular ol’ lined notebook paper, she typed them up for me, and then she emailed them to me. (Whew.) When it was all said and done, she asked me if I’d like his written responses on paper. You can probably guess what my response was. She mailed them to me. It’s tremendously cool to me to see his hand-writing and have Ed Young’s hand-written responses to keep forever.

3). I finally got my library copy of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. It’s wonderful. I know she did a blog tour recently, but I’m hoping to show some art from the book some time soon. Maybe have an excerpt from the novel. Maybe have Grace say a word or two about the book, if she’s not too tired of talking about it. Something. Anything. Soon. ‘Cause I love it. Oh, and same goes for Laurel Snyder’s Any Which Wall. Illustrated novels make me extra happy.

4). Remember I mentioned last week that I’m learning to play simple songs on the ukulele for a story time I’ll be doing at my local public library? Well, that’s my father’s ukulele. Or was. He told me this week I COULD KEEP IT. Ya and hoo! Since it’ll probably take me the rest of my life to nail “You Are My Sunshine” and “I Wish I Were a Fishy in the Sea” and that Twisted Sister tune, this is good news. (Can you guess which one of those I’m not really learning? Yet.)

I love Ned somethin' fierce.5). My five-year-old is talking a lot like Ned Flanders these days. A while ago, she said, “yippo-dangedly-do-do-diddly-oh” or something similar. That was her “yes” to a simple question I posed.

6). You know when you have one of those awful nightmares that is made all the worse by your dream-you really believing the dream is not a dream but is actually happening? And you just can’t seem to wake up? Yeah. I had one of those on early Thursday morning, and it was one of those mother’s-worst-nightmare dreams. And that’s all I’ll say. But the kick here? The best kick of the whole week, in fact? It was just a dream.

7). The next day, my five-year-old—who will not go outside for days if she sees a bee or wasp or even the GLIMMER of one in the next yard—inadvertently stumbled upon a wasp’s nest. She was just trying to put some pretend cookies (“sand cookies,” if you’re in-the-know) into a toy kitchen on the back deck, and she opened up the toy oven to a wasp’s nest. And LOTS OF WASPS. Of the four children out there, the one who squeals in terror when a mosquito or ANT is on her was the one opening the oven. She’s fine now, though she did get stung and though she totally. lost. it. And there I was, not knowing if she’s the kind of kid so allergic to wasps that she’d have an anaphylactic reaction—since this was her first sting. And, you know, an anaphylactic reaction would be very, very bad.

The kick? She’s okay. Though I’d be happy to get that image of her freaking out so intensely out of my head.

BONUS: The new marionette production of Cinderella from Wishing Chair Productions at the Nashville Public Library. The girls gasped in amazement a lot.

OTHER BONUS: A brand-new Sam song —

What are YOUR kicks this week?

48 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #123: Featuring Ed Young”

  1. Score another point for zombies! Unicorns are just so last century. Love the gift for the poets.

    As I was reading Jules kicks I read that word five several times. Does this mean kindergarten is in the near future?

    Love the new Sam Phillips song.

    Busy, busy week for me and work is kicking my butt, but I did manage one great kick–finishing HP1 with William. He adored it! I did get a bit weepy at the end when Dumbledore was awarding the final points. Once again William was staring at me incredulously and asking, “Mom? Are you crying?” Yes, I am a sap. We’ve already moved on to HP2.

    Have a great week all!

  2. Tricia, yes, next month. Kindergarten. My baby. I’m pre-emptively emotional.

    And, hey, unicorns are the obsession du jour in our house for my girls, considering they’ve seen “The Last Unicorn” precisely SEVEN BLAJILLION TIMES in a row. Good movie, but I can only take so much of America singing “the last unicooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorn.”

    HP1, Tricia, makes me cry at the end, too. I hate crying in front of people. I try to avoid it. So, when I read Charlotte’s Web to the girls…well, holy crap, that just didn’t go well at all.

    I’m so glad he enjoyed it, Tricia!

    Eisha, you know I’ll read any any any book you recommend, so consider that novel added to my book pile. And I’ll tell Blaine, since he seems to be reading the same science fiction and fantasy classics over and over these days.

  3. Happy Sunday!

    Oh, Ed Young. Sigh. Lurv him. “Rises to where he belongs” — so inspiring. Thanks for sharing those gorgeous spreads. Would love to see a sample of his handwriting (hint hint).

    Glad to hear your daughter is not allergic to wasp stings, Jules. Very scary stuff. Poor thing discovering the nest! Whoa. Major trauma. Like the new SP song.

    Eisha, summer squash soup (“almost made me cry”). Must have been really good! Whoever knew there were such things as pirate sock zombies? Now I’ve seen it all. But then, I always say that about 7-Imp, and you guys keep raising the ante. Sorry to hear the poets are leaving. I always looked forward to hearing updates about them — kind of like an ongoing TV series or something.


    Receiving my copy of MARE’S WAR with its wonderful signed bookplate via Royal Mail all the way from Scotland. ((hugs)) to Tanita!

    Loved Grace Lin’s blog tour, and totally squealed with delight at finally seeing the hardcover edition of WTMMTM with the color illos.

    Made Lainey’s recipe for Peach Apple Crisp from Tanita’s first book, A La Carte. Now I’m anxious to try some of the other recipes, too.

    Finally posting my interview with Sidney Greenbush. She was so great about going through with it even though her husband had just passed away.

    Making chocolate zucchini bread (recipe from Robin Brande’s blog), and taking over a loaf to a sick friend — who’s SO relieved she doesn’t have lung cancer. She’s been suffering for 4 years and they finally diagnosed her lung infection (related to TB). She has the best doctors at Johns Hopkins, but even they were baffled. Finally, she told THEM what she thought she had. A good lesson about being a proactive patient and doing your own research!

    Japanese food last night (my favorite)! Salmon, shrimp tempura, seaweed salad, miso soup.

    Best for last: my dear friend, Florence Nakakuni, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as the first ever female U.S. Attorney for Hawai’i! She’s been a Federal Prosecutor for 24 years (now Chief of the Drug and Organized Crime Section). Her appointment is now awaiting Senate confirmation. I’m so thrilled and proud of her!

    Have a good week, everyone!

  4. The cover of Hook is outrageous along with the others. I immediately thought of Seven Blind Mice when I saw his name. Love his work.
    Eisha, I really must plan a trip east during the summer to se the fireflies! I miss them!
    Jules, my oldest grandgirl turns 5 in November so she has to wait for kindergarten but wow! You have a dughter starting this year!
    Tricia, I cry too.
    Jama, yum chocoalte zucchini bread!
    My kicks:
    1. Oldest grand girl spent the day with me yesterday and we baked cupcakes from scratch (I really need to find a better recipe, they were way too crumbly but she was happy)
    2. I thought my sweet MochaBeans was going to be euthanized but the vet said we could wait. She has nose cancer and is still eating, drinking and active. She’s 15.
    3. Women’s Book Club at the coast. Our favorite indy store booktalked some ideas, we bought a lot of books and have assignments before our August meeting when we will decide. As always “too many books, so little time”.
    4. I decided to submit 8 photos to the county fair so I have been working on which ones.
    5. Planning for the family coast trip this week. Both daughters and family will be there.
    6. My first dahlia bloom.
    7. Summer naps.
    Have a great week.

  5. Tricia, I totally get weepy like that too. I teared up a little reading Prince Caspian out loud to my husband, the part where Peter is about to fight the Telmarine king and asks Edmund to give his love to everyone if he doesn’t make it. *sniff* But what a kick, getting to share those books with William! Enjoy HP2!

    Jules, the book Last Unicorn is way better than the movie. And OMG, kindergarten! That is major! Is she excited? And I’d love it if Blaine could please read this book and explain some of the science to me.

    jama, I’m hoping you’ll still hear about the poets here from time to time, since we plan to stay in touch. They’re moving pretty close to where my sister lives in CA, so I think a visit will be in order soon. Plus we’re working on a strategy to keep the Austen Tea Parties going long distance – conference calls? Facebook chatting? Anyway, HUGE CONGRATS to your friend! What an honor. And what wonderful news for your friend – way to diagnose herself!

    jone, what? No fireflies in Portland? That’s the first bad thing I’ve ever heard about the town. I’m glad your MochaBeans (LOVE that name) is still with you, and still enjoying herself. How cool that your photos will be on exhibit at the fair. And yay for dahlias and naps!

  6. Jama, congrats to your friend, Florence. That is fabulous news! Can she arrange for us all to meet Obama one day? (Had to ask. I can’t NOT ask.)

    And great news for your friend, too.

    Jone, glad MochaBeans is still with you. And your bookclub sounds like a blast.

    Eisha, yeah, I wanna read Unicorn to the girls, but every time I go to the library, I forget to look for it. And, yes, Piper’s excited about kindergarten. She won’t call it that; keeps calling it her “magnet school for the arts.” I’m still so happy she got in. Since she’s reading chapter books to me and I’m ‘afeared she’ll be bored in reading, she’ll have all the extra arts to keep her busy. (And it’s not like she has nothing to learn in things like math. She says things like “twenty-ain’t, twenty-nine, twenty-ten,” but then I think she’s just messing with us, too.)

  7. Wow, a feast of kicks already here today — even before I got to the comments!

    Double-L LLOVE (I think that’s Welsh love or something) the chalkwork by Ed Young. And Jules, you’re right, the “great canyon” spread is magnificent. Not to say I don’t love really incredibly detailed, Breughel-esque scenes; but it’s a special kind of artist who will think to use emptiness to such catch-in-the-throat effect, y’know?

    Eisha: Whoa. That Alexis Mackenzie collage included here DEMANDS to be enlarged to full size. (Click on it and, once on the Flickr page, choose the “All sizes” to see it in all its glory.) As shown here, scaled to fit, it looked like a nicely executed but not awfully interesting sorta-Japanese(ish) painting. Blow it up, though, and… well… mega-surprises.

    Also, so happy that video led you to find Sock Zombies. (Sock Zombies. The concept seems so natural, how could someone not have already invented it?) And stay tuned for one of my kicks today, which has the name “Eisha” stamped all over it.

    Jules: The wasp story freaked ME out. Hope the little one is all right — I mean “upstairs,” between the ears — and I’m also very happy to know the sting(s) didn’t cause that nasty anaphylactic shock.

    Knew about the new Sam P song but hadn’t heard it before nor seen the video. LOVE the song. And the video, well, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it (not song but visuals) reminded me so much of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, with the blind flower girl sitting on the low wall at the bottom of a wrought-iron fence. Even had to hunt it down on YouTube. (Part 1 here; flower girl first appears around 7:00 into it.)


    * This video, for a (Japanese?) band named Sour. I don’t know anything about them, and didn’t really care for the music, but the video blew me away. (This Evian Roller Babies ad is pretty good, too.)

    * Work-in-progress progress (and surprises, even to its author).

    * Solving a frustrating, long-running tech problem at work, accidentally, in the process of solving something else by intention.

    * Pizza. Just so doggone… elemental.

    * One of my sisters was in a car wreck the other day — totaled her car, which was wedged between two others — but was okay enough to b*tch, hilariously, about the extent of her airbag injuries and the near-fisticuffs she got into with a NJ State Trooper at the scene. (He must have drawn the short straw from the dispatcher that evening.)

    * Technical details unimportant, but had a funny smart-phone moment the other night. Basically, involved experimenting with the phone’s talking-GPS feature (a robotic woman’s voice reads driving directions to you, “Go point-six miles and turn left onto Mahan Drive” etc.). Satisfied with the experiment, I got out of the GPS program and went to walk the dog. We’d gotten barely to the end of the driveway when a voice suddenly issued from my shirt pocket: “Re-routing…” Scared the heck out of me, and the dog started growling. Turns out you not only have to exit the program, you have to expressly turn off the navigation function. The program thought I was disobeying its instructions, and was seeking an alternate route based on my new position.

    * Eisha: Sort of a double kick. First, The Missus and I are making our way through the Twin Peaks special-features disk. In one of the features, Lynch tells how the first-draft title was Northwest Passage, and it took place in… NORTH DAKOTA.

    Second: Remember the literal-videos YouTube thing from a few weeks ago? It turns out there’s another YouTube category — people re-cut the trailers for existing movies as if they’d been directed by David Lynch. The first one of these I saw was the one for “if Dirty Dancing were directed by DL.” But I think my favorite was the one for The Goofy Movie. Ha!

  8. Hook is a perfect book. There, I said it. Perfect.

    eisha, That zombie pirate sock puppet is clearly the Best Thing Ever.

    Jules, Oh, that wasp thing sounds scary, scary, scary. I’m glad Miss Piper is not allergic.

    Tricia, While Lucas was reading and talking about the HP books, I had a really hard time not giving things away in my reactions. The boy picks up on the slightest twitch in your face, and I am just so emotionally wrapped up in that story. It’s been the most fun to talk about them all now that he’s finished them, and I don’t have to fret.

    Jama, The food at your house always sounds so good. And I have four zucchinis in my fridge right now…

    My kicks:
    1. It has been unduly rainy and cold this summer, but this week we had a couple truly warm, sunny days.
    2. We had our first Storytime in the Park this past Tuesday. We had good attendance, and it went really well in spite of the fact it was overcast and chilly.
    3. I had a couple good talks with a good friend this week, about important stuff. It’s good to do that sometimes.
    4. On Wednesday night, we did a Star Wars program that drew almost 500 people. As my mother keeps saying, “That’s half a thousand!”
    5. On Friday, I left work early and drove out into the boonies (i.e. where I grew up) and picked eight quarts of cherries, which led to much drying and freezing and making of jam.
    6. Yesterday, I saw my favorite food writer, Mark Bittman, speak at the Eastman House. He didn’t say anything I found hugely surprising, but it was a treat nonetheless.
    7. This morning, I went raspberry picking. The canes were just PACKED with ripe raspberries and there was no one else picking. I spent an hour or so there, and got about four quarts (oh, yeah, there will be more drying and freezing). It was divine.

  9. John, it’s possible that Sam was inspired by the Chaplin movie, since the cover for Don’t Do Anything was inspired by something Chaplin — I think. I’ll have to look up that story again, though I don’t remember where I read/heard it. But more later on that, if I can find it.

    Yes, as far as I know, John and Adrienne, Piper is not totally traumatized, but now we’ll see, won’t we? We’ll see if she ever opens a toy oven again, poor thing. But yeah, she seems to be okay.

    Thanks for the Sour video, John. Very, very cool. My husband was standing behind me as I watched it and said he saw that earlier this week in some You-Tube thread he follows. And the Evian ad made Piper laugh. And me, too.

    Glad your sister’s okay, the GPS story is hysterical (and freaky), and the Lynch You Tubes are very, very funny.

    Adrienne, what a good week it sounds like you had. Cherries, raspberries (my favorite)…once again, I’m comin’ over for dinner. See you soon. (I wish.) Hey, tell Jason, speaking of your story times, that I was inspired to learn his version of “Little Miss Muffet.” Maybe I’ll use it next week when I do my story time at the liberry down the road. I’ll credit him from way down here in Tennessee.

  10. Super-quick fly-by posting, with my apologies for not having the time to do my typical, comprehensive responses. My schedule today (and tomorrow) is crazy.

    1) Prepping the Art Saves! project for readergirlz and The Plain Janes. I hope you’ll all participate. I encourage you to get your kids / grandkids and patrons / students to draw a little something, too! 🙂 Email the results to me ASAP. Entries are due next Monday, July 20th.
    2) Opening night!
    3) Saving lots of money on groceries
    4) Offers and opportunities
    5) Choices (and optimism)
    6) Fresh fruit
    7) Handling everything

  11. Summer greetings to all!

    I am now in love with Ed Young after experiencing such a feeling of goodness by simply gazing at the beautiful canyon spread. There is something about chalk as a medium that has always appealed to me – probably because of its softness, if that makes any sense. And like you said, Jules, it’s amazing how he infuses so much emotion into such minimal text – kind of like the poetic lyrics of a Sam song, don’t you think?

    Eisha, I never thought I would put “buy pirate sock zombie” on my To Do list, but I just did. How cool is that?

    Jules, so glad Piper is okay after the wasp incident – wasps scare me more than the creatures in “Aliens”. I once brought my dog Skye’s doghouse inside in order to give it to a friend since Skye never used it, and unbeknownst to me, it had a wasp nest inside. It sat in my house all night, and I didn’t discover it until the next day. Needless to say, I had to get my friend to take it outside and remove the nest. It still makes me shiver to think about what would have happened if they had taken flight in my house!

    JES, I totally agree with you about the similarities between the Chaplin flower girl sequence and Sam’s new video. Sam has such enigmatic facial expressions and that impenetrable gaze that would have been perfect for the Golden Age of film.

    Okay, my quick kicks, since today is a work day (ugh and urgh):

    1) Sam’s new song and video!!! I can’t express my excitement adequately here, since it involves a lot of jumping up and down and endless wooting. Suffice it to say that I LOVE it.
    2) The short and unexpected summer rain we had last night – everything seems shinier today.
    3) Finally watching “Man on Wire” after hearing so much about it. No words can describe the feelings you experience while watching this amazing man walk back and forth from the very top of one of the Twin Towers to the other, with nothing below him but air. It is inspiring and emotional and I still can’t believe he actually did it.
    4) Reading “The Mirror Poems” by Toi Derricotte. Here’s a link: http://www.palace.net/~llama/poetry/mirror
    5) Eating delicious Mexican food at the Mecca – a total dive of a restaurant, but so delicious!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  12. Ed Young’s art is sublime. *sigh* I have the same question, Jules: How does he DO it?

    And waaahhh, your little girl is going to start school?! How is the separation anxiety?

    Whoa, Eisha, your night with the poets sounds… whoa. What ice cream did you order? Or did nothing really matter compared to that soup?

    Tricia, the HP books are some of my favorite books! It must be so precious reading them with William.

    Jama, OMG congratulations to Florence!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jone, I love your life. It’s filled with family and creative endeavors.

    John, re pizza: I knowwwwww. It’s my favorite food.

    Adrienne, wow cherries and raspberries! Sounds heavenly.

    Little Willow, good luck for all your projects!

    I would like to focus on one kick this week:

    My high school best friend, Amor, and her husband, my cousin JR, have their first baby. I have a new little niece! Her name is Micie (pronounced “Missy”). It’s a combination of her grandmothers’ names: Milagros (“miracle”) and Cielito (“little heaven”). Micie is a miracle from heaven. :o)

    You see, when Amor was pregnant, Micie didn’t have any kidneys. No matter how many doctors checked and what equipment was used to check and no matter they did, Micie didn’t have any kidneys. Needless to say, JR and Amor were heartbroken. I remember when Amor first told me – the world. literally. stopped.

    But “the miracle from heaven” has been born and she has two healthy, normal kidneys! God, I’m so happy. And I’m so thinking of what books to buy her already.

  13. Have a lovely week, Jill! :o)

  14. Thank you, Tarie – you, too!!

  15. P.S to Tarie (sorry, my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet) – what a beautiful story about little Micie, and what a lovely, lovely name she has! Thank you for sharing it.

  16. So many nice summery things on the lists today. I don’t want to be a downer but I had my list prepared and top on it was the fact that my 19-weeks-pregnant cousin was going home from hospital after a scare. But today she went into labour and lost her baby. I will keep the rest of the list for next week, and today be thankful that although I’m so far away she and her husband are surrounded by many people who love them.

  17. Emmaco: So very sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin’s baby. I do believe that even the good thoughts of total strangers has power to heal, so I will keep her and your family in my thoughts. Take care.

  18. Thanks, Tarie. How wonderful about your niece. And what a beautiful name she has.

  19. John, I just watched the Sour video. It was amazing and fun and touching.

  20. Emmaco, OMG. No. No no no no no no. 🙁 🙁 🙁 I am so sorry. I am sending my prayers and healing thoughts and wishes your cousin’s way.

  21. What is truly sublime about Ed’s work is that he NEVER repeats himself. The art always goes to the heart of the story, whether the loose suggestiveness of the wolf and the children in the tree in LON PO PO which ups the fear factor; to the precision of the paper-cuts in EMPEROR & THE KITE bringing us unerringly into old China; to the airiness of HOOK. He forces you to re-see the text more than anyone else making books today.

    My kicks this week: Visiting the half dozen Wemyss caves filled with Pictish symbol/pictures carved into the stone walls; helping friend (and co-author) Robert J. Harris put together his new board game called MYTHGUARDIA (he’s the creator of the bestselling British board game TALISMAN); and feeling the soul of my friend Jim Ennis
    fly out of his wicker coffin and into the Scottish air thick
    with un-shed rain. The last may not seem like a kick to any of you, but he’d waged a gallant yet futile battle with
    an awful cancer and we knew he was free of pain at last.
    His burial, on a Scottish hillside overlooking a valley filled with sheep and birdsong was so beautiful, that it
    really was a kick to let him go there, into the ether, knowing he was finally safe.

  22. Oh, emmaco, honey. I’m so very sorry. I’m sure the love and care from you and her nearby friends and family will help her through this. Take care, sweetie.

    JES, oh goodness, I’m so glad your sister is relatively unharmed, and feisty to boot. And THANK YOU for those vid links. I think this is the Lynchian Goofy video of which you speak, and it is HILARIOUS.

    adrienne, half a thousand?!? That puts my busy reading room to shame. Congrats on such excellent and well-attended programming. And cherries are my favorite berry-type-thing. The thought of all those dried/jammified cherries at your house brings on the road trip urge something fierce.

    Little Willow, woo, you are always such a dynamo. Thanks for the Art Saves info, and as always, break a leg!

    Jill – those mirror poems! “if you ask it to show you the world / it will show you the eye of your mother…” DANG. Thanks for the link. Also, your wasp story scares the crap outta me, even more than Jules’s.

    Tarie, that’s an amazing story. Your little niece has a perfect name to go with it. Congrats to your cousin.

    jane, I’d love to see those caves. And I’m glad your friend is finally at peace, and has such a lovely place to rest.

  23. Emmaco, I add my condolences to everyone else’s. That is terribly sad news, and I will keep her and your family in my thoughts. What a tragic loss.

    Little Willow, I was going to post the picture of Piper’s contribution to Art Saves!, but maybe next week I can include it in my kicks. If the deadline is 7/20, that’s good timing to mention the project to folks who might be interested in it (in either contributing at the last minute or in going to read all about it).

    Jill, those poems are great. Is the poet a friend of yours? I ALMOST added Man on a Wire to the Netflix queueueueueueueueue the other day, and I wasn’t sure if it was good. But now I’m totally gonna add it, ’cause I trust you oh-so much.

    Tarie, to answer your question about separation anxiety, I don’t think there’s any. For Piper. Hee. I’m sure I’ll cry like a big fat baby, once I get back in my car (’cause, you know, crying in front of people sucks in my world). I cried on her first day of her two-day-a-week Parents’ Day Out program, for crying out loud.

    And, yeah, Jone’s life is great. So is everyone else’s here. The Sunday kicks remind me that mine is, too, even if I’m feeling down.

    That is really wonderful news about Micie! I mean, damn skippy that’s a flippin’ miracle right there is what that is. Have you gotten to meet her yet?

    Now, Jane, that is a perfect description right there of HOW Ed Young does it. Thanks for answering our question this morning. …I’m glad your friend is now peaceful and safe, too.

    Don’t you all miss Jeremy and his kicks? I do. I think he’s travelling with his family this summer. Random comment. Sorry.

  24. Eisha – Wow. You picked the EXACT line from the mirror poems that put a lump in my throat, out of all of them. We must be buzzing (excuse the pun) on the same wavelength today.

  25. That is a great line in the poem, you all. It got me, too.

  26. John, found it: Go to this previous post from ’08. Scroll down to the Sam Phillips video that Farida took for me (!)… Sam explains in the beginning (after talking about wanting to pay back everyone who saw Die Hard 3) about the Chaplin-inspired album cover. (It’s right at around 2:10 in the video.)

  27. Thanks for the HOOK information; I love the book and sharing it with little friends. As one young child said to me “The cover looks like a carpet my feet want to touch.”

    -U.S. House of Reps putting RIF in their version of FY10 budget for amount President O requested.
    -Macy’s promo going extremely well, we’re working hard to keep it up!
    -Finished SOLD, am still trembling.
    -Enjoying tweets and blogs from ALA
    -Fresh veggies from Farmers’ Market divine, esp. peaches and tomatoes
    -Cabaret at Signature Theater on Saturday night such fun.
    -Learned about Chick-Fil-A’s peach milkshakes!

    Have a great week, all!

  28. At the risk of being short … Wow! Y’all. I’m playing Mrs. Dad this week, so I am just breezing through.

    Emmaco, I’m sending along my condolences, too. We went through this with my baby brother’s firstborn. I don’t understand, but I’m glad there’s a heaven.

    Kicks …
    1. I start year 46 tomorrow healthier & in better shape than I was when I was 40.
    2. Being treated like a rock star this morning so we could share a birthday before Bill headed to Cincinnati.
    3. UberKick – DH cleaning house, doing ALL the laundry, and disinfecting the bathroom at midnight last night after Catherine got unbelievably sick.
    4. Jon and Kate and Fuse #8 – laugh out loud hilarious.
    5. Sharing a chocolate bar to START dinner … and not having it count as dessert. This should probably be #1 or 2 😉
    6. Getting school shopping out of the way (yeah Staples 1c sale!)
    7. Feeling like I made some progress at work this week.

  29. Emmaco, so sotty to hear the loss of your cousin’s babay. Healing thoughts to your family.

  30. Carol, I am cheering loudly for your first kick. Congrats on the promo going well, too. I am having the opposite reaction to the ALA updates: I have almost started avoiding them, ’cause I would soooo badly like to be there. I mean, not a bitter kind of avoiding or jealousy, but just, you know, wanting so badly to be there that I’ll just have to read recaps later.

    Terry, happy early birthday! And I love the title “Mrs. Dad.”

    I had to go look up Jon and Kate and Fuse #8. But, boy, am I glad I did. HYSTERICAL. That Jon.

  31. 1) Ed Young! I swooned with the first book of his I saw, now I just hear his name and swoon because of years of his work are in my head and heart.
    2) Son-in-law was team leader for a major computer project at the college he works at and he was the only one who knew the new system. It was a huge burden for him, mentally and timewise, esp. when some team members weren’t doing their part to get it ready. They made the switchover this week and only have the usual kinks to work out. Sooo happy for him and that he can have more family time again.
    3) SIL even has extra time to work on my house and yard now (they’re in an apt.), he likes doing this stuff, the physical part of it and it makes me feel cared for.
    4) Spent a day with my daughter painting my kitchen (major repairs last year) and now it looks finished in there. But best part was spending day with her doing something she likes and talking everything silly to sad. (Like the weird grief moments that happen a year and a half after my hubby, her dad’s death. Some of those are sad, some funny, too). We hadn’t had a mom/daughter day like that in years, she’s so busy with her family/education etc., so it was fab. I also had never painted and now I feel empowered (and tired in a good way), I know I can do my bathroom myself! Wow!
    5) A grant for healthy eating at my school is good at brain-washing even me and I’ve had fun thinking of healthier snacks to give my grandson (which also pleases the parents). I’ve convinced him that frozen berries with milk on is like ice cream (the milk freezes) and it was a hoot to watch him try edamame in the pods–he wasn’t too sure about that! Thank you Trader Joe’s for the great price on frozen berries and cherries and for the new trail mix with no artificial dyes on the candy coated chocolate pieces!! (He can’t have red 40, now he can eat the red pieces!) Can you tell we are an ice-cream/chocolate addicted family?
    6) Thanks to financial cuts (no newspaper-altho.I hate that!) and losing my internet connection for a few days, I did more reading and actually finished more books (adult ones this time). It was like the old days!
    7) The amazing range of kicks here, from miracle births, to deaths. (Death not being a kick, but the loving responses are.) Blessings to all who have known that immense joy or loss. JaneY made me feel like I was there in Scotland and flying away up into the sky, I hope she writes a story based on that someday.
    Good health, wonderful foods, half a thousand (which I’m totally going to use now, as in “I work at a school with over half a thousand students”), scary wasps, fireflies (which I’ve never seen), and that hilarious smartphone/gps thing. Smartphones scare me, esp when they are smarter than us! Then, the pirate zombie sock puppets!!! My daughter and DIL would love those! Maybe some great YA librarians can distract besotted Twilight fans with a vampire sock puppet craft!
    Have a beautiful week everyone and yikes! I only have 2 and a half weeks of summer vacation left!

  32. My thoughts are with their family, emmaco. I am so sorry.

    Tarie: That is fantastic news. Wow.

  33. Jill, that’s spooky! Now guess how many fingers I’m holding up…

    Rasco, I LOVE the kid quote. What a perfect description of that lovely chalk art. Congrats on making it into the Rep budget intact. And as a vegetarian, I generally don’t have much use for Chik-Fil-A, but clearly I’ve gotta get in there for one of those shakes. Thanks for letting me know.

    Terry, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! And dang, but your husband sounds like a keeper. He cleaned the bathroom?!?

    Andrea, sounds like you’ve had some nice family time this week. And the berries & milk thing is genius – I may pass that along to my sis-in-law, since I think my 2yo nephew already has a formidable sweet tooth. And isn’t it true about how much stuff gets done when the ‘net goes away? Not that I’m ready to give it up…

  34. Gorgeous art – love the canyon piece, and now I have to run out and buy Hook! And WTMMTM, too.

    Eisha – you and your links. Thank you for introducing me to Alexis McKenzie, I can’t tell you how much time I spent looking at everything on flickr! And that sock pirate zombie rocks.

    Jules – so happy the wasp scare was just a scare, and your little one is ok! (I fell in a red ant pile when very small, and to this day cannot handle ants. Yuck!)

    emmaco – I too add my condolences and thoughts for your cousin and her family.

    LW – break a leg! You are so busy, sometimes it makes my head spin!

    Tarie – congrats to your family- your neice’s name is beautiful!

    Jane – that sounds like a such an elegant burial, so very lovely. And very glad your friend is safe and out of pain.

    This week flew by, so my kicks:
    1. Farmer’s Market today for huckleberries, blackberries and blueberries, as well as apricots and kolrabi.
    2. Last night made curried zucchiini with zucchini and herbs from my garden, and it was spicy and good.
    3. Friday met a friend at http://www.vindalho.com
    after work and we ate outside, and had summer vegetable poriyal, and a Kassar Lemon Drop – excellent food and excellent people watching. Saffron infused vodka = yummy.
    4. That same night we went to watch another friend’s Belly Dancing class perform. She did great, and it was very cool to watch all the performers – I had never really seen belly dancing before.
    5. On a dance note – seriously addicted to So You Think You Can Dance. This year they are all incredibly good, hate to see them get cut. After a long day at court, its a great pick-me-up to see all that talent and passion in action.
    6. Picked up 2 David Almond books from the library yesterday – Secret Heart and Heaven Eyes – can’t wait to start them.
    7. We’ve been on a Cate Blanchett kick here, so just saw Babel, and then last night The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She is so divine, and it is interesting to see the very earthy and real (but different) connection she and Brad Pitt have in both those movies. Plus it was fun to see New Orleans, especially the parts filmed in City Park – those great greek pavilions built by the WPA make me homesick and proud all at the same time.

    Have a great week!

  35. emmaco, SO sorry to hear about the loss of the baby.

    Little Willow: Even (or especially) your quick fly-by postings make me wonder about all the primitive calendars I’ve got around here, which for some reason have only 7 days in each week. Perhaps I’ve been the victim of a lifelong practical joke.

    Jama: Happy and excited by your news about Florence Nakakuni. Now I’m looking at all my friends in about the same way Little Willow’s got me looking at my calendars.

    Adrienne: Thanks for the name of the food writer Mark Bittman. I’ve seen a couple of his entries in his blog for the NYT, but had forgotten his name. And forgotten, too, how right it is that a food writer should have a name suggesting teeth.

    Jill: Thanks for the link to the mirror poems! My favorite was #6: “the mirror & time” (about the nine lives of a mirror).

    Tarie: Love Micie’s name, and very happy for you that everything is fine!

    Jane, I was touched by the description of Jim Ennis’s passing. (The little peeks which 7-Imp’s kicks provide into the nature of friendship could be a book in themselves.)

    Jules — thanks so much for hunting down the Sam P video shot in the bookstore. Love how at ease she seemed to be, and how at ease she seemed to make the “audience.” Although it did just send me on a fruitless Google search, trying to link her with Chaplin otherwise.

    (There are LOTS of pages referring to both names. Unfortunately, nearly all of those references are not about her, but the legendary music producer for Sun Records. Got the # of hits eventually whittled down to 212 and then gave up, since I must go to work today. :))

    Oh, and in the list of related videos I *also* saw the “Sam Phillips says hello to Jules” one. Ha!

    And Eisha, I also meant to tell you that the Sock Zombies have already been a big hit with the bazillion people with whom I’ve shared the info. Did you see the Sock Zombies video? I mean, the quasi-official one, not any of the apparent pretenders?

  36. Andrea, what a kickin’ mama/daughter day, and I’m glad your kitchen’s done. And good luck with that bathroom.

    As for your attempts at healthy snacking, we tried to find some packaged cookies yesterday for my girls that did NOT have high fructose corn syrup in them. Lordamercy, it was hard. Why does it have to be so hard? Why do the items without a billion fake ingredients have to cost MORE?

    And I think you’re on to something with that Twilight sock puppet idea for YA librarians. …Have fun reading your adult novels, Andrea!

    RM, I loved Babel, especially seeing the Japanese Sign Language in action. Fascinating. We’ve got Benjamin Button in the queueueueueueueue, and I keep hearing such wildly different things about it, like “It’s great!” and then “No! It’s laughable,” so I’m very curious. Anyway, yes, Cate is great.

    Oh, and I love people-watching, too. …Glad you had a great week, RM.

    John, HA to that video. Poor sock zombie. I hope she finds The One. And what does rated “P” stand for? “Puppets”?

  37. I’m coming in way late! Here are a few kicks:

    1. A lovely package from Tanita, including a signed copy of Mare’s War and a brass ring. As promised, the package was delivered by a hedgehog.

    2. I’m getting ready for my first French Camp gig. I have butterflies in the stomach, but I’m sure it’ll be a kick once it’s done.

    3. My uncle, whom I’ve not seen in years, is coming into town this week.

    4. I finished my first set of Math Gnomes. You can find them on my blog if you’re interested in seeing a photo.

    5. My daughter has been obsessed with the Statue of Liberty ever since we read A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubino.

    6. I finally got around to changing my guitar strings.

    7. I memorized the first verse of “Le Bon Roi Dagobert” after I thought it would never stick. Happy Bastille Day (July 14)!

  38. Jules – I love the director of Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu. his way of storytelling and his way of creating such incredible images. I have seen 21 Grams (which I also loved, but Babel is better), but not yet seen Amores Perros.

    Benjamin Button – I enjoyed it, but have not yet formed an opinion on it – we’ve been discussing it. I think I need to read the story now. It is worth seeing.

  39. Beautiful, magical, heart warming, wrenching and fluttering.

    Nothing make me appreciate being human more than a good story, well told with images that seek out a small corner of your mind and curl up like cat in the sun.

    Ed Young – has found that place in my mind.

  40. Farida, break a leg at the French camp gig! And have fun with your uncle.

    RM, ooh, I wanna see 21 Grams. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liz, word to that.

  41. rm, you just made me crave Indian food in the worst way. I love curry. And my sister is forever trying to get me to watch SYTYCD and sending me video links. I must say, that Kayla is something else.

    JES, I did see that video. That last shot of her chewing underwear elastic gets me every time.

    Farida – you do not get to just drop a bomb like “delivered by a hedgehog” and walk away. EXPLAIN, please! Also, your daughter cracks me up. Is she posing? Wearing a toga? I echo Jules’s “break a leg,” only I’ll say it “cassez une jambe.”

    Liz, YES.

  42. I’m checking back in, and reading the kicks and sorrows. I send my good thoughts in Emmaco’s people’s direction.

    Eisha, Tanita told me a hedgehog would deliver her package to me, and she told me no lies. We gave Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle some tea, and she’s now hanging out in my daughter’s room. Despite Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle’s jet-lag, she took part in a puppet-show the very evening of her arrival. That’s show-biz!

  43. Ah. That’s very cool. And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is a perfect name for a hedgehog.

  44. Yes, a perfect name, which is why Beatrix Potter named her so.


  45. Hey, Jules. What kind of ukulele is it? (and thank you very much for posting these Ed Young pastels!)

  46. Hi, Matt. Sorry it’s taken forever to answer your question: It’s a Uilani uke. Not a custom-made one, I’m sure, but one made by Pignose.

  47. p.s. I love The Storm in the Barn and look forward to the interview. WOOT!

  48. […] I’ve already got some poetry which I encountered elsewhere (scroll down to see #4) in the last week, poetry which I really […]

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