7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #124: Featuring Jeremy Tankard
and Boo Hoo Bird

h1 July 19th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

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.

Do you see that above? Raccoon and Rabbit are sneaking some COOKIES. Sneaky sneakers. And they’re here because today 7-Imp welcomes back authorstrator Jeremy Tankard, who’s here to share some art, including that spread above, from Boo Hoo Bird (cover below), released by Scholastic in April. Regular readers know of my deep and abiding love for Jeremy’s debut picture book, Grumpy Bird (2007). I also have a special place in the 7-Imp portion of my heart for Jeremy, since he was the first-ever taker in my seven-questions-over-breakfast interview series, started back here in 2008.

Bird, of Grumpy Bird fame, is back in Boo Hoo Bird! Yes, he’s returned and has made a noun of the word “bonk.” This I love, because—no kidding—we do that in our house. I wish I could say that Jeremy called and got that tip from me, that I get all the credit for the “BONK” usage in Boo Hoo Bird, but that’s okay. I was happy to see it. I am also happy that Jeremy, who says a bit about the book below, includes a synopsis (well, the kind that doesn’t give away the ending), since it’s been a while since I turned in my library copy of Boo Hoo Bird. But I do remember this: The book is great. It’s very funny (what with Bird’s flair for histrionics). And I still get great pleasure out of soaking in Jeremy’s art. I still say: He’s one of my favorite new illustrators.

Let’s get right to it. Thanks to Jeremy for stopping by for a brief visit and for the art. (We’re even being treated to some art from early dummies of the book today.)

* * * * * * *

Jeremy: Jules has very kindly asked if I would like to share any thoughts about my new book, Boo Hoo Bird. Never one to pass up an opportunity to self-promote, I said yes. That was a good couple of months ago now. Sigh. Life is too busy. Actually, I have a good excuse: my wife and I were expecting our second child, and I was trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends before his arrival. He showed up ten days late, and I still didn’t manage to deal with all the ‘loose ends.’ Anyway, Theo Tankard was born on May 16th. A healthy nine-and-a-half-pound boy! So, now I’m learning how to be a parent to a boy.

Anyway, enough about that. I’ll try not to review Boo Hoo Bird. (There are plenty of great reviews out there already. Besides, it just wouldn’t be right to review my own book.) Instead, I’ll give you a little blurb about the book and follow it with ‘thoughts’ (whatever those are) about it.


Grumpy Bird piece, created for the cover of a French children’s book catalog

If you liked Grumpy Bird, I think you’ll love Boo Hoo Bird. The book is a wild and crazy romp (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase) through the drama of getting a bad boo boo on your head. Or, in this case, Bird’s head. Bird is playing a game of catch with his good friend, Raccoon, when he gets BONKED on the head. The word BONK gets used repeatedly in the book and is now high on my list of very favorite words — if not right at the top of the list! Raccoon tries to ‘fix’ the problem by kissing Bird’s owie. Strangely, it doesn’t work. They go and seek the advice of Rabbit. Rabbit suggests a hug. This doesn’t work either. Beaver, Sheep, and Fox all throw in their favorite BONK remedies, but those don’t work either. What’s a poor, hurt Bird to do? I won’t give it away (but if you read some of the many wonderful reviews I’ve had they’ll tell you). Or, better yet, go get a copy of the book and find out for yourself.

Jeremy Tankard; photo by Perry Zavitz

Jeremy Tankard; photo by Perry Zavitz

My Thoughts. By Me. What I Learned
While Working on Boo Hoo Bird:

1. Writing sequels is more difficult than writing the first book.

2. ‘Sad’ is actually funnier than I’d thought.

3. Rabbit seems to be the most sensitive of Bird’s friends.

4. Raccoon might be my favorite one to draw (although I like them all).

5. Bird is the most fun to write.

6. My drawing and storytelling skills have improved immensely since Grumpy Bird.

7. Good editors are vital.

8. I love the back-and-forth between editor, author, and art director.

9. “BONK” is my new favorite word (and one that I might have to use in every book from now on). It’s just such a satisfying word. Give it a try. Go on! BONK!

10. I can’t listen to music when I’m writing, but when drawing, it sure helps.

Other Interesting Things About the Book:

1. I had to learn how to draw some of the characters in profile for Boo Hoo Bird. I didn’t think I could do it, but they actually look really cute in profile — especially Rabbit and Raccoon. In Grumpy Bird, you never see any in complete profile, except Bird.

2. The background art is more organic and ‘painterly’ than in Grumpy Bird, something that I learned while working on Me Hungry! I’m really proud of the backgrounds in Boo Hoo Bird. This was necessitated by the forward action of the story stopping when the animals reached Fox’s place. In order to keep things interesting and fresh, I needed to make the background painting a little less ‘designy’ and make more room for ‘happy accidents’ that kept the art fresh and interesting. The design elements used in the art blend in better this time around.

3. The book took a year-and-a-half to write.

4. In an early version, Bird cheers up his wailing friends by hauling out a box of wigs. The animals looked hilarious, and pretty dumb, with wigs. We changed the ending for obvious reasons.


Click to enlarge.

5. I had a hard time coming up with a really good ending. I’m really happy with the ending that I used, though.

6. When I read the book aloud to large groups of children, I get the biggest laugh from the page where Raccoon kisses Bird. I didn’t expect that at all! That, or the whole group shouts, “YEEEWWWW!!” which I find strange. Surely their parents kiss their owies better?

7. The book was originally called A Bonk for Bird. My editor came up with Boo Hoo Bird. It’s pretty obvious whose title is the better one.

8. In my first dummy, there was a spread where the animals are all thinking about how to fix their situation. Rabbit is smoking a pipe in the drawing. It took a week or two before anyone noticed. Hee hee. So sneaky of me!


Click to enlarge.

My Favorite Pictures in the Book Are:

1. The front cover (I like both the bright green AND the drawing of Bird). Every now and then, I’m completely satisfied with my own drawing; it doesn’t happen often, though. But I like how Bird turned out here.

2. Rabbit hugging Bird (because they look so cute).

3. Raccoon throwing his arms up to the heavens on the page where Bird decides he’s okay after all.

4. Raccoon and Rabbit sneaking cookies. {Ed. Note: It’s pictured at the opening of this post, but here it is again. Click to enlarge.}

5. Raccoon throwing the ball.

One More Thing…

I’m often asked, ‘what kind of bird is Bird?’

I’ve usually just told kids that he’s some kind of a made-up blue bird; he’s not really based on any particular species. Then, the other day when Heather, my wife, flipped the calendar over, there was a big photo of a bird called a Cerulean Warbler. He’s small and blue and cute. She suggested that Bird might in fact be a close cousin of the Cerulean Warbler called a Cerulean Whiner. His call is distinct, loud, dramatic, and often annoying. So, now you know.

And I could probably keep going, but it would just be silly, and I’m sure you’ve got better things to do with your time than read me droning on and on about my new book. I’m really proud of it, though. Thanks to everyone who has blogged, reviewed, bought, and read these books. You’re keeping me from getting a real job. Now go outside and play!

BONK!

love from,

jeremy
xoxo

Thanks again to Jeremy. To keep up with his work, here’s his great blog. I mean, really, you don’t want to miss sneak-peeks like this monster passing in the night, do you?

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Hey. I’m heading out to the Berks to see a show, so I’ll just keep this simple. My kicks this week are: you. All of you. Jules, especially, of course; but all of the loyal 7-Imp readers and kickers are made of awesome, and I love you sincerely. Thanks for being here.

Well, okay, maybe one more kick. It’s been a long time since I posted a nephew pic, and I just got one from my mom. He’s over two now, and apparently a lot of help around the house. Ladies, hold on to your ovaries:

Bucket o’ Miles

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

I’m with Eisha. On the 7-Imp love and the Bucket ‘o’ Miles being a bucket ‘o’ cute.

Also, speaking of loving our blog readers, guess what? It’s kinda sorta 7-Imp’s 3rd birthday. The very first post (with the tragic title — I couldn’t get more creative than that?) was dated August 1st, 2006, but we actually composed those first posts around this time of the year. (I can’t remember the reason, but we purposely dated them early August, instead of July.) I think last year we forgot to even celebrate, but I remembered this week that, hey, we’re about to have an anniversary. So, woo hoo! Happy birthday to 7-Imp and all that.

That’s a kick, but also:

I was lucky enough, it just so happens, to have three visits by long-time and good, good friends this week, all from out-of-town:

2). A high school friend who came with her four children, who are all so polite and adorable that I’d actually consider adopting them and…

3). Another high school friend and her husband, whose little girl is my girls’ favorite person ever and…

4). Two college friends I haven’t seen in entirely too long, who are two of my favorite people. And their PUDDIN’ HEAD girls, close in age to mine, were with them.

Also:

5). I got an unbirthday present from one Mrs. BlueTeaBerrry; it was very fun to open; and it was WRAPPED IN ALICE WRAPPING PAPER, people! And the card had this image here, in fact. Such thoughtful details all over this kickin’ gift.

6). The word “perftacular!” came out of my five-year-old’s mouth last week. I don’t celebrate this in one of those insufferable don’t-kids-say-the-darnedest-things kinds of ways. I simply, as mentioned last week, marvel at how the child turns more and more into Ned Flanders each day.

7). John helped me figure out something related to Sam Phillips’ recent video (a conversation which started here at 7-Imp last week), which resulted in her directly answering a question of mine on Facebook. Hey, that was cool. That John. He’s smart. And has good taste. (AND is a linguist, don’t you know?)

P.S. Happy birthday, Jill!

* * * * * * *

Announcement: If you’re so inclined to share your own thoughts on the notion of how “art saves,” you can go here to Little Willow’s site or here to read about the Art Saves project. Here is my five-year-old’s contribution. I suppose she thinks that dinosaurs-in-sombreros save, too. Rock on.

* * * * * * *

On this, 7-Imp’s third birthday(ish), we are grateful for our readers, whom we consider friends. Oh, and Bird, of course, and Jeremy’s art. (The WIGS! The wigs sent me into hysterics.) What are YOUR kicks this week?

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39 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #124: Featuring Jeremy Tankard
and Boo Hoo Bird”

  1. Welcome back, Jeremy (and Bird! and family!) Nice use of bonk. I totally say that when I hit myself (especially my head) on something.

    eisha: Enjoy the show!

    e&j: HAPPY POSTIVERSARY!

    jules: Hurrah for good visits, and for all things Alice. I’ve always liked that that image is similar to an image of Alice and Cheshire Cat from the first book. :) Earlier today, I had purposely scheduled Piper’s Art Saves to run on a Sunday! Next Sunday, though – It’ll be at the readergirlz blog and my own blog next Sunday. OLE, T. REX!

    My kicks this week:
    1) Filming an episode of a webseries
    2) Auditioning for a new musical (haven’t heard from them yet)
    3) Auditioning for a commercial (didn’t get it)
    4) Singing in a recording studio (being one of a handful of people singing ensemble parts and harmonies for a demo of a new musical)
    5) Working alongside people with brains, humor, similarities, and synchronicities
    6) Having so much fun that I have to be told to quiet down
    7) Honoring and remembering

    My current play closes today, Sunday. Matinee and then wrap party!


  2. Jeremy: BONK. :o)

    Eisha and Jules: Happy Birthday, 7-Imp!!! This is such an excellent blog and such a welcoming community. Congratulations and cheers!!!

    Little Willow: I hope the last show and the wrap party are awesome.

    My kicks:

    1. I started watching the new anime series “07-Ghost” (based on the “07-Ghost” manga series). Death gods masquerading as bishops! Exorcisms! Magic in the form of flying words!

    I watched 15 episodes in one sitting. Hehehe. Now I have to go through the torture of waiting for a new episode every week.

    2. I finally started reading Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. It’s horrifying. And what’s even more horrifying is the fact that I can not stop reading it. But yes, this is a kick.

    Where am I in the book right now? Twenty-five teenagers still alive.

    3. I had a lovely, lovely lunch with my coworkers Friday. We spent our entire lunch break discussing literary theory. * happiness *

    4. Saturday afternoon I went shopping with my brothers at the mall…

    5. …and we bought NEW BOOKSHELVES. I can’t wait to start arranging my books by genre, then by author and publication date.

    6. While at the mall, I ran into my college best friend Luningning. (By the way, the English translation of her name is “Twinkle.” :o)) We hadn’t seen each other in five years! We had dinner at a very nice Thai restaurant: tom yam with mixed seafood, pork spareribs, red beef curry, jasmine rice, and Thai iced tea. The food was yummy and we lost track of the time talking. Five years of stories to catch up on! We only left the restaurant because the janitors started looking at us funny when they wanted to clean and close up.

    7. Very late that night I got a surprise visit from Isaac (one of my best friends) and his boyfriend Joseph. It was the perfect Saturday. :o)

    Here’s to another week of kicks, and to another year of really kickin’ posts from 7-Imp!


  3. Happy Birthday, 7-Imp! We love you we love you we love you! (But you already knew that.) You are the Sun and Moon in the kidlit universe. Thanks for everything you do. :)

    Congrats to Jeremy and Heather on their new little person! Boo Hoo Bird looks fab. Bonk! Who could resist that? LOVE the stealing cookies spread, and those flippin’ wigs (hee)!

    *squeeing uncontrollably over Eisha’s nephew’s adorableness* And he’s so CLEAN :)!

    Wow, Jules, all those friends visiting. Sounds like really good times. Cool about Sam’s response, and love Piper’s art!

    LW, I get all starry-eyed reading about your shows and auditions. What great adventures each of these things must be. Singing in a recording studio = so cool.

    Tarie, love your friend’s name — both Luningning and “Twinkle.” *salivating over description of Thai food*

    A couple of kicks:

    Saw Jackie Gleason in “Gigot” last night for the first time. His character goes straight to the heart. If you find yourself getting snarky or cynical or puffed up about anything, watch this film. We all need a good dose of humanity sometimes.

    Though I wasn’t able to attend my high school reunion in Hawaii recently, I was able to see a bunch of great pictures on the Facebook reunion page. So good to see old classmates again. They had a luau!

    Researching Yorkshire cuisine as related to The Secret Garden. I’m craving parkin, oatcakes, and fat rascals.

    I won the July Small Graces auction! So thrilled about owning one of Grace’s originals.

    Paul McCartney on Letterman! Thanks again, Jules, for the heads up. *swoon*

    July is really rollin’ along. Happy Week, all!


  4. Happy Birthday-ish! I enjoyed the birds, darling nephew, dinos in sombreros. My kicks are small and July-colored, celebrating the not-too-much-seen-sun. Butterflies on the echinecea and late-blooming St. Johns Wort. Got to write “Chapter Nine” and filling in some making-sense words below. Blueberries. Corn. Lake. That sun again — enough to wear my baseball cap with Eric Carle’s caterpillar on it.


  5. I love Boo Hoo Bird, and I realize I haven’t yet tried it in storytime. Might be a good idea for Storytime in the Park this week.

    Jeremy, It’s not that the kids don’t want kisses–they just want them in PRIVATE. When they’re among their peers, they want to pretend they’re too tough to need kisses.

    Jules and eisha, Happy blog anniversary!

    eisha, Your nephew just gets cuter.

    Jules, As always, I love Piper’s art.

    Little Willow, Rock on, you!

    Tarie, Wow, your bookshelves are more organized than mine. I like to use a system I call The Wherever Adrienne Puts It System. I’m trying to get a trademark, as I think libraries all over the country may want to adopt it.

    Jama, July really is rollin’ along. Can we just slow it down a touch?

    Kick-o-Rama:
    1. Raspberries.
    2. Blueberries.
    3. Fresh jam.
    4. Fresh bread.
    5. This week, we had about 150 people for Storytime in the Park, and it went really, really well (until my voice started cracking on my last story–I made it through, though!).
    6. I’m reading an ARC of Libba Bray’s Going Bovine, which is weird and wonderful.
    7. Yesterday, a friend and I had long-standing plans to watch movies. What we ended up doing was going to a triple-feature at a drive-in about an hour from my house: Public Enemies (which I’d already seen, but was good to watch again), The Hangover (funny), and Drag Me to Hell (not quite what the reviews had led me to expect, but fun). It was fun to be outside and eat a lot of popcorn and arrive home when the birds were starting to twitter outside. And, hey, I should sleep really well tonight!


  6. Thanks for the blog birthday wishes, everyone!

    Little Willow, can we have the link to the episode in the webseries, when it’s ready? Hope so! Hope so! And, you know, I love kick #6. A lot. That right there is when you’re really having a lot of fun. Break a leg on the close of the show, and have fun at the partaaaaay.

    Tarie, what a good, friend-filled week you had. And you are serious, my friend, about organizing those books. Are you sure you don’t also wanna study library science? As if you don’t have enough to do already, right?

    Jama, you won Grace-Lin art? ROCK ON. Congrats! Thanks for the movie tip, and was Paul already on Letterman? I thought it was later. Did I miss it?

    Hi, Jeannine! Those are some good kicks, too, and I like the phrase “July-colored.” Do you know, speaking of blueberries, that my very picky five-year-old will only eat frozen blueberries, not fresh ones? I guess it’s a texture thing?? That child. She doesn’t even eat normal Kid Food, like macaroni and cheese and pizza, but one can hardly complain about that. Anyway, glad you’re seeing some sun, Jeannine.

    Adrienne, an all-night triple-feature sounds very fun. And what good, sweet, healthy, yummy, fresh food you ate all week.


  7. Quick, Still at beach. biggest kick this week has been being at the beach with my grand girls and families. Grandgirl wants me to make a spider with pipceleaners, bye!


  8. Tarie: Huzzah for organized bookshelves! I have my books arranged alphabetically by author, then by publication date. Go Twinkle! Thanks for the good hopes.

    jama: Thanks! It was fun. We didn’t have the music nor the lyrics beforehand, nor did we know the premise of the show! Upon arrival, the composer gave us sheets of printed lyrics – no sheet music, no notes, just words – then the tech guy (who I believe also played the music on the recordings) would pull up a song, play it a few times, and bam, we’d record. Thus, we created our own harmonies and tried out multiple variations until something stuck. We were supposed to be there for 2, maybe 3 hours; we were there for more than 6 hours, until almost 1 AM! I’ve been asked to come back again later this week. Enjoy your research for The Secret Garden. I love that story.

    Jeannine: Lovely kicks of food and nature!

    Adrienne: GO YOU! Wow to that audience size. That’s so cool. *handing you some nice cold water* Thanks!

    Jules: If and when that happens, sure thing. Thank you.

    jone: Enjoy the beach with your family!


  9. Happy Kicksday, Kickers!

    Jeremy Tankard’s Bluebird of Unhappiness is waay cool. One of those picture book series that makes me wonder if my early reading list was tightly controlled by fussbudgets (naaah), or I’d simply slept through those years (hmm), or what. (And as a beer gourmet I’ve gotta love his name.)

    Eisha: By “the Berks” do you mean “the Berkshires”? If so: aaaiiiieee! One of my and The Missus’s favorite places on the planet. (If OTOH Larry and June Berk are simply that nice thwarted-showbiz couple who live down the street, uh, well, I’m sure they’re very nice.)

    Jules: What a great week for company you had!

    That Humpty illustration is, yes, a kick of its own. And it reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask if you know of an author named Jasper Fforde. All of his books you might like, but I’m thinking particularly of The Big Over Easy (one of his “Nursery Crime” series). At that Google Books overview, check out the list of keywords, including Winsum, Quatt, Solomon Grundy, Jack Spratt, Prometheus, Mary Mary, Pandora, Humpty Dumpty, Miss Brooks, Brown-Horrocks, Austin Allegro, verrucas, Thomm, Carbuncle, Ford Zephyr, Basingstoke, and Rapunzel. Whew!

    Congratulations to 7-Imp (including all of you down here in the comments) on your anniversary! (I couldn’t help noticing, and laughing when I noticed, that your first anniversary post had exactly ONE comment — by (who else?!?) Little Willow.)

    Speaking of whom, LW: was the new musical whose demo you did the same new musical you auditioned for?

    Tarie, about your bookshelving system: uh, yeah, that’s just… uh… just like mine!

    Adrienne: You have a nearby drive-in which shows TRIPLE FEATURES? of CURRENT films? Where is this slice of heaven, please?

    Some kicks:

    * We’re going to the beach for a couple days next weekend. Which per se, true, on my scale of kickiness is probably around a 5 out of 10. BUT one thing I do love about this in advance, or maybe it’s two: This is one of The (Florida-native) Missus’s favorite Florida beaches… because it has her favorite fort among all the forts she visited when she was a girl. How cool is it to live someplace where there were actually MULTIPLE forts — forts! — to choose from? And for me to have found The Missus, a girl who loved forts?!?

    * I work in our department’s Admin division — a half-dozen people (theoretically) overseeing the work of almost 300 others, although I myself oversee no one. One day this week everyone but my boss and me had gone to lunch at the same time, and he had to go to the doctor. He left me in charge. You know what they say about power, especially the absolute kind? Oh yeah, baby. I’d barely filled one notepad with all my plans for public shamings and mass stabbings when everybody came back from lunch. But it was pure ecstasy for that 15 minutes, friend.

    * Writing through scenes which resist being written, but must be.

    * There’s all kinds of stuff online right now celebrating the Apollo 11 40th anniversary. Even some official Twitter streams, or whatever they’re called. But I really like the idea of this site (from the JFK Presidential Library/Museum), which is playing all the radio transmissions between the mission and Houston, in real time but 40 years later. (After July 20 — the actual landing’s anniversary — the site will stay up for experiencing at leisure, and presumably more selectively.) So you get to hear the vast silences as well as the chatter. Currently in Stage 7 of 8 leading to the landing, with Houston waiting to “acquire a signal” from the spacecraft, with 24 hrs, 40 mins to landing itself. (Which I don’t completely understand; I remembered it as taking place late at night, Eastern time. Maybe I was in my time-shifting-confusion years then. Or, more likely, now.)

    * In anticipation of finally seeing HP6, currently watching all the earlier films. (Plus, reminder to self: Coraline out on DVD this week. Packaged complete with 4-count-’em-4 pairs of 3D glasses.)

    * Breezes.


  10. Wow, Jules, what a social week you have had. How nice to see so many friends!

    Eisha that nephew of your’s is just ridiculously cute.

    Little Willow, I agree that it’s great fun when you get to work with people of a similar mind to you!

    Enjoy the book arranging, Tarie! I’m an arrange by gut feeling type of gal (maybe it can be trademarked alongside Adrienne’s?) but can see the attraction in the genre/author/date method.

    Adrienne, I haven’t been to the drive in since I was a kid. That sounds like a great night out (though I suspect I would fall asleep by the third movie).

    Jama, I had parkin for the first time at work recently. My colleague had let it sit for four days so it was rich and yummy. She said she had to make it then go on holidays or otherwise it wouldn’t have been left alone.

    1. I went to the Diana Wynne Jones conference in Bristol a fortnight ago and had a ball. I enjoyed the scholarly side more than I thought I would and meeting internet friends was wonderful. A real treat.
    2. My little hanging basket strawberry plant has been growing strawberries! Lopsided strange looking ones but very rich tasting nonetheless!
    3. Lots of social events recently including a dinner where we had fun explaining what different types of food were to French students who made the mistake of sitting near the non-French speakers of the group. It is quite difficult to describe asparagus when it is not in its original form (green plant? Like a stick with a bushy top?).
    4. I think it was someone here who linked to the blog of the photographer who was taking weekly photos of his wife’s growing pregnant belly. The baby arrived on time a couple of weeks ago which was lovely to see (even though I don’t actually know the family).
    5. I finally visited a small hippie type of shop I’d heard good things about and picked up a lovely soft cotton dress that had just been marked down by 50%!
    6. I am eating Britsh cherries. Very fat and yummy.
    7. Eisha we’re sharing kicks once again! Everyone here at 7 imp – you were all so kind last week, and are so interesting and nice in general. And what a good coincidence that I had this as number seven on the anniversary!


  11. *drooling over Adrienne’s kicks #1-4 and Emmaco’s parkin*

    LW, over 6 hours? Wow, that must have been so so so much fun to work out all those harmonies and such. Like spontaneous combustion or something . . .

    Jules, Paul’s interview was aired Wednesday night, but that day he also played a few songs on the roof of the Ed Sullivan theatre marquee (a throwback to “Get Back”). There are some youtube videos of it.


  12. JES and emmaco, We have quite a lot of drive-ins here in WNY. I go to the ones in Avon, Middleport, and Lockport most often. Middleport is my favorite because it has a good concession stand and is just up the street from my favorite homemade ice cream place on the planet.

    And, true confessions, I did take a nap before venturing forth on the triple feature, and I am kind of dragging today. Worth it, though.


  13. Jone, I’m happy to hear you’re a) at the beach and b) having a great time there. I’m even happier that you thought to stop in and say hi.

    Little Willow, singing for more than 6 hours in harmony with other good singers sounds like a good afternoon to me.

    John, Jasper’s new to me, but I’ll look into it. (I think he’s new. Something here sounds familiar.)

    Yes, that comment from Little Willow came one year afterwards, too. I love it. She went there just to make SURE we had a comment on our very first post ever.

    John, have a great time at the beach. And that site! It’s way way cool. I’ve got it running now. I will have a surprise tomorrow, a post to celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary.

    Emmaco, your kick #1 made me think how great it’d be to have a breakfast one morning with all our regular kickers. To meet face-to-face. The logistics of this type of thing would be difficult, to say the least, and travel would be expensive for many, I’m sure, including myself. But maybe one day…Boy oh boy, that’d be so fun.

    Strawberries! But, hey, what’s parkin?

    I hope your cousin’s doing as well as can be expected, Emmaco.

    Jama, thanks. I’ll look for those videos.

    Adrienne, rest up.


  14. Okay, somebody needs to send some of those adorable girls to live in N. CA. My school is way out of balance with wonderful boys, we need girls! My family is not helping as so far each of my two kids has had a boy! Darn, what a cute nephew tho!
    1) Jeremy Tankard’s books! I’ve got to get our district librarian to order some of these. We NEED them! Seems like lots of authors have a great sense of humor, we need that too.
    2) 7-Imps posts during the week, as well as Sundays. Always beauty, color, memory, humor, appreciation, and happy things related to my work. Thank you!
    3) Air-conditioning! Over 100 degrees F for several days, I remember the miserable days of no A/C or swamp coolers, couldn’t even think, read, anything.
    4) Working modern tech, to help keep cabin fever at bay, when you end up needing a break from reading.
    5) Ability to concentrate for a while on reading again, grief had robbed me of sustained reading, starting to feel like myself again.
    6) Fresh fruit–nectarines, peaches, watermelon!
    7) Words like bonk, yes we also bonk our heads in my family–falling backwards is “going boom on your bim”, which is adorable in a well-padded toddler, when they get that surprised look & are deciding if they need to cry, but they don’t because they aren’t really hurt and you are saying those silly words!
    Kind of a quiet week, but not of desperation. Hope you all have a great week where you get to do something you love, even if it’s in the middle of craziness. :)


  15. Andrea, thank you for the phrase “going boom on your bim,” which I shall try to use once this week. Thank you VERY much for kick number two. And YAY RAH for #5! That’s truly great.

    Emmaco, after I typed what I did above about how much it would kick ass to all get together one day (us regular kickers) — just to meet and chat without keyboards clicking — I kept thinking about it all day, and I thought about how VERY WELL we would EAT! As long as Jama brings dessert and you bring strawberries and Adrienne brings some fresh bread. And I just know Tarie and Farida would bring something exotic and wonderful I will have never tried before. Oh, I could go on. And wish I could snap my fingers and make it happen. Maybe one day…when we all win the lottery, huh?


  16. Hey, All:

    Happy 3rd B-day to 7imp, and big thanks to Jules and Eisha for creating such a wonderful place! And thank you, Jules, for my B-day greeting and your card! It will be tough competing with the anniversary of the Apollo moon landing tomorrow (which put a HUGE crimp in my 8th B-day party in 1969, let me tell you! Oops – I just admitted that I’m OLD).

    Quick kicks since I just returned from Monterey/Carmel and a) it’s late, and those of you not in Pacific Standard Time are probably not online anymore, and b) it’s at least 300 bazillion degrees here in my upstairs office. It was about 60 degrees in Carmel (2 hours away) and is at least 103 here in my hood in the East Bay. Talk about micro climates!

    1) This lovely, life-affirming blog and all the good people who congregate here
    2) Air conditioning
    3) Family and friends
    4) Sam’s personal FB response to Jules – I think I was almost as thrilled as she was!
    5) Anticipated fun and presents for tomorrow (I can’t help it – I love B-days, even if it’s my own)

    Have a cool week, everyone!


  17. Little Willow, I DID have fun at the show, thanks! And YOU have fun at the wrap party. YAY for Art Saves!

    tarie, wow, what wonderfully social week! And with such yummy food. I really am going to have to read Battle Royale, the way you keep talking it up. I’m assuming you’ve already read Hunger Games, right?

    jama, congrats on the Small Grace victory! And I loved Secret Garden, but have no memory of the food. What on earth is a Fat Rascal?

    Jeannine, your kicks sound like a found poem about summer. Beautiful!

    adrienne, I just got so jealous of you. You have a drive-in theatre, that shows triple features like THAT? That is just so freakin’ awesome.

    jone, thanks for stopping in, and have fun at the beach.

    JES, yes, I do mean the Berkshires – although now I want you to write a story/play/something about The Berks. I picture them as being like that Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara in Waiting for Guffman. And, as usual, you’ve found yet another bit of wonder on the ‘net that has made me so happy. Real time Apollo transmissions! Be still my heart!

    emmaco, that conference sounds very cool. As do cherries, and lopsided strawberries, and hippie dresses on sale. Thanks for the sweetness, and I hope your cousin is on the mend.

    Andrea, oh, I’m so glad you have your reading attention span back. And I second the cheer for air conditioning! It rocks! I also agree that your library- and probably EVERY library – needs Jeremy’s books. I hope you have a great week too!


  18. Jill, how dare they land on the moon on your birthday! The nerve! I hope this one is better, and that you get all the celebration and cake you can stand.


  19. Happy 3rd Blogoversary! Congratulations Jules and Eisha, but mainly THANK YOU for creating such a wonderful place to visit and learn and meet so many incredibly talented writers, illustrators and fellow book lovers!

    Love the sneaking cookies, and the WIGS! That is just too aweome.

    I had a crazy busy week, so my kicks are brief:
    1.Getting good results for clients 2 days in a row.
    2. Friday getting a last minute invitation to lunch with the BF and his boss – sweet and fun!
    3. Spending Saturday morning with a good girlfriend, walking to the Farmers Market for breakfast and shopping and catching up.
    4. Reading in the hammock Saturday afternoon.
    5. Having a party to go to Saturday night, and the BF and I deciding we really just wanted to stay home and be silly with each other.
    6. Knowing I have a 4 day weekend starting Friday. Yaaaayyy!
    7. Dinner – wild salmon which is on the grill right now.

    Gotta run, have a wonderful week!


  20. Jill, pshaw! You are just a young thang! On moon landing day I was annoyed that my kinda boyfriend after h.s. grad was listening to the radio to get the moon shot updates as we cruised the local park!! After all, I was part of the 50s “science will figure out everything” brainwashed generation, so what was the big deal? Ha!! That’s why I read the fab color, illus. science books in my elem library now–to get the wonder–’cause I sure didn’t have it then! So Happy Birthday, kiddo!
    P.S. Lucky you getting to the coast. S.F. had a high of 70 degrees yesterday. Wish I were there!


  21. Happy third blogiversary/blogoversary! I’m feeling a bit like “butter spread over too much bread” these days, but it’s a good reminder to check in and check off the things I’m grateful for:

    1. My uncle’s visit.
    2. All of you in this kidlitosphere.
    3. “United Breaks Guitars”: find it on YouTube! It took this song for United Airlines to make things right.
    4. Twice in the past week, my daughter has spontaneously said “I love you mommy.”
    5. We are not paying $955.00 a month for health insurance. I hope Regence feels the loss of our business. (Maybe I should write a song? Hah!) Knock on wood that we all stay healthy, as we have a higher deductable with our new insurance.
    6. My Most Excellent Year was such a satisfying read.
    7. Another week.


  22. JES: Enjoy the beach! Slather on the sunblock and explore the forts. I dig Jasper Fforde’s Tuesday Next books, but I’ve yet to read the Nursery Crimes. Yes, I’m a commenter. I receive very few comments at my own blog. The musical for which I auditioned and the musical for which I sang on the demo were not one in the same. I am driving myself crazy wondering why I haven’t heard from that audition. Coraline the film was good – visually grand, and entertaining throughout – but I felt the book told a better story, and that the graphic novel was a better adaptation than the film.

    emmaco: It really is. I pictured a Diana Wynne Jones ball – Wouldn’t that be a fun event? Glad that you enjoyed the conference. Yum, strawberries. Welcome to the world, baby! Sweet sales.

    jama, jules: It was fun – and I get to go back to the recording studio later this week to sing some more!

    jules: A 7-Imp Brecky would be fun!

    Andrea: Yum, fresh fruit. Boom boom.

    Jill: You are not old. Age is relative. Sounds like a lovely trip.

    eisha: You are welcome, and thanks backatcha!

    rm preston: I hope that the crazy busy had fun bits and was low on the stressmeter. Woo hoo for your forthcoming four-day weekend!

    S&S: Mmmm, bread. Awww to your daughter.


  23. Jules, your breakfast idea sounds GREAT. I promise to find out how to make Parkin and bring it along (it’s a dense molasses ginger cake) as the strawberries on my plant are so small that everyone would only get a nibble. So, how does one go about winning the lotto?


  24. Jill, Happy Birthday!!!

    Eisha, I will read The Hunger Games next. :o) I want to know why a reviewer called it Battle Royale II!

    Everyone, for breakfast I am bringing fresh mangoes and fresh mangosteens. But can we have lunch too? Cause what about all the lumpia, pancit, adobo, lechon manok, and purple yam cake I am bringing?


  25. Or would you guys prefer lechon baboy, lechon baka, sinigang, nilaga… ? Hey, we better have dinner too then. :D


  26. Eisha, I believe that a special place is reserved in actors’ heaven for Fred Willard. Yes, he’s a “character actor” — but that’s not a bad thing at all (hence, no “just a etc.”). You may be too young to remember him from the “Fernwood Tonight” fake talk-show series, playing second banana (“Me? I’m Jerry Hubbard!”) to Martin Mull’s “star.” That was the first place I saw him do his happily-but-slightly-out-of-phase-with-everyone-else schtick. So in a way it’s familiar to me, but he also manages to make it different in each role.

    As for Katherine O’Hara, I was just telling The Missus the other day about the scene in Beetlejuice where her character and her husband are forced, magically, to perform Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat” song during a dinner party. Golden.

    The Berks. Let me think about them. There’s promise. (Not A promise; just promise.)

    (Good “Fernwood” segment on YouTube: Tom Waits visits, and sings “The Piano Has Been Drinking.”)


  27. Jill, so glad you had a good trip, and happy birthday today!

    Katherine O’Hara/Waiting for Guffman: “California will be a sight for THESE weary eyes.” Okay, so that’s not funny without her purposely-stilted delivery.

    RM, what a rich week you had, and happy upcoming 4-day weekend. That’s pretty great. I also like kick #5, but then Flower on Wall would be my Native American name.

    Andrea, that’s a great moon-landing story. My girls and I just read about the landing, and we’re listening to the great site John pointed us to.

    Farida, is that a true story about United? Pretty funny. I thought it was Luke Wilson singing at first, too. And, wow, that’s a whole lot of money for health insurance. I’m glad that got taken care of.

    Emmaco, if I played the lottery, maybe I’d know. Maybe there’s some kind of grant for people like us, who just want to meet in a central location and cultivate gratitude in person over Parkin and strong coffee and good desserts?? Okay, so a girl can dream.

    And, oh yeah, EVERYTHING that Tarie typed has to come, too. Man. Drool. And, yes, of course we’d make it an all-day feast, Tarie.

    John, that Tom Waits video made. my. day.


  28. p.s. John, a little-known fun fact about Katherine O’Hara (whom I agree is brilliant, incidently) — Her sister, Mary Margaret, released this AMAZING CD in 1988. It’s like this cult classic CD of sorts — so good, hypnotic, weird as hell, very wonderful. I think I’ve only ever met one person in my life who had even heard of her and that CD (without me pushing it on them, that is!), other than my brother. He and I adored that CD in high school. Here’s the cover. I once read some interview with Michael Stipe in which he sang the praises of that CD, and I liked him even more than I already did.

    I reeeeeeeeally want to make a mixed CD for you anyway, so perhaps I can put some MMOH on there for you. (Just don’t ask Jill or Farida how LONG it takes me to make mixed CDs. Cringe.)


  29. Oops. I mean Catherine O’Hara. Not “Katherine.” Doh.


  30. I’m back – both in the USA and on 7 Imp. I really did try to keep up with my posts whilst in London, but the time difference really got in the way – emmaco, I don’t know how you do it. And I was pretty bummed at leaving my family so I didn’t post last week either. Anyway, enough excuses – I’m happy to see that everyone is as kicky as ever. My kicks this week:

    1 – I am really loving Lady Gaga right now. I had a chance to see her perform at Wembley Stadium, as a support for Take That (who are a British boy band from my youth who reformed a couple of years ago and are better than ever – NKOTB they are not). Anyway, Lady Gaga was fabulous and if anyone has a chance to see her live, you should do it.
    2 – We are really enjoying True Blood at the moment (on DVD of course – we don’t have HBO). I am a big fan of the books and I think Alan Ball has done a good job. And as for Stephen Moyer – YUM!!!
    3 – I finally bought Kings of Leon’ Only by the Night CD and it is fantastic. Sex on Fire may be my favorite song from last year.
    4 – Hope was Here by Joan Bauer. Again, a reminder of how wonderful YA lit can be. And I now love the name Hope.
    5 – Learning that my brother really wants us to move back to England. It’s funny – the older we get, the closer we have become.
    6 – Beautiful Fall-like weather in July. If only it could stay this way for the next few months.
    7 – England thumped Australia in the 2nd cricket Test at Lords this past weekend – WOO HOO (sorry, emmaco). Victories like this don’t come often, so the Poms are going to make the most of it.


  31. Jules, let me state for the record that I misspelled “Katherine” first. So, nyah nyah. (Of course, meticulous Eisha got it right from the outset!)

    If you haven’t yet, check Wikipedia on MMO’H. (Would provide link, but practically going blind here w/this Blackberry keyboard. Heh.) All kinds of serendipity, including mention of a (recent?) onstage appearance with… Tom Waits!


  32. No — not onstage. In a 1986 movie, called Candy Mountain.


  33. Jules, maybe we could be part of some trial into happiness cultivation. One that requires inter-continental travel and has a large budget
    :)

    Zoe, I always know what time it is in Australia and for the US just focus on the fact that if I post Sunday afternoon then other lists will be up without worrying about timezones.And I don’t mind Britain getting a chance to win at the cricket every now and then. It’s boring when we win all the time
    :)


  34. Zoe, excellent kicks all-around. So glad you had a good trip, but I’m sorry you’re missing your family so much. (And, yes, this weather now is GREAT!)

    John, gotta see that movie now.

    Emmaco, word.


  35. Love your website, whenever I find a new illustrator I check your archives to see if you might have featured them here so I can find out more about them.
    The repetition of the word ‘bonk’ in Jeremy’s book might not be quite so popular here in New Zealand where it is a copy slang term for having sex! Perhaps that’s not the case in your part of the world.


  36. Crissi, HA! I have a feeling even Jeremy will get a huge kick out of that.

    Thanks for liking the site! I love to learn more about international illustrators. Maybe you can be my New Zealand illustrator-feed? As in, tip me onto the good ones.


  37. Oh so cool to meet you, Crissi! :o)


  38. Yahooh, Bird!


  39. Welcome, Crissi!


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