7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #136: Featuring Il Sung Na

h1 October 11th, 2009 by jules


“Some make lots of noise when they sleep.”
(Click image to enlarge. Really. The details are lovely.)

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.

I’m keeping the feature this week simple, since it’s been a busy weekend. See that sleepy elephant up there? I’m in need of his sleep, I think. But the busy-ness is the good kind of busy. More on that in my kicks.

These spreads are from illustrator Il Sung Na’s (born in South Korea and studied and worked in London) picture book debut, A Book of Sleep, released in September by Alfred A. Knopf (but first published in the UK in ’07). I love these illustrations, and I love this book. Publishers Weekly writes, “It’s the rare picture book that, upon arrival, feels as though it has been around for years already; Na’s belongs to this group,” adding that the sleep habits of various animals, the subject of Na’s book, “seem almost incidental to the soothing, captivating aura that emanates from every spread.” To this I say: Word. Evidently, Na created the illustrations by combining hand-made painterly textures with digitally-generated layers, all combined in Photoshop. The result? Very textured, delicate, intricate spreads over which other Illustration Junkies may enjoy poring.

Case in point? Click on this spread:


“Some sleep with both eyes open…they don’t even blink!”

Wonderful, yes? You can see more spreads from it at Na’s site. I love featuring international illustrators and wish I could do it way more than I do. Anyway, go have a look. Good stuff.

* * * * * * *

A BOOK OF SLEEP. Copyright © 2007 by Il Sung Na. First American Edition published 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House, New York, NY.

* * * Jules’ Kicks and One Anti-Kick * * *

1). I attended the Authors in the Round soiree-thingy on Friday night at the Southern Festival of Books. I got to meet Sara Zarr and hang out with her a bit. She was much fun.

2). On Saturday, I got to hear Sara speak with another YA author, got to meet Elizabeth O. Dulemba and Hester Bass (who serenaded her session’s attendees — Hester, that is), and hosted a session for author/illustrator Elise Primavera, who is a HOOT, you all. I got to talk with her for about 30 or 45 minutes before her session, and she was CRACKING ME UP. I missed the chance to meet Marc Tyler Nobleman, since I’m generally disorganized, which is my loss, and I forgot my camera every time I left the house, so I have no photos. But, well, I promise I’m not making it all up!

3). Speaking of the Southern Festival of Books, this new site from Humanities Tennessee is another kick.

4). I’m typing this ON THE FIRST-EVER LAPTOP IN OUR HOME, thanks to my dear, dear husband, who knows me well.

5). I’m about to go make a cup of hot cocoa with cinnamon and vanilla.

6). Best of all, we’re going to be partying down today for my daughter’s 4th birthday, so if I’m scarce today, that’s why. I will try to check in when I can.

7). I got her more Polo books for her birthday. She loves her some of that world-travellin’ dog.

The ANTI-Kick: As many of you most likely already know, Andrea over at Just One More Book was diagnosed with breast cancer this week. As you also probably already know, she had called it quits on podcasting for a while; she was experiencing some burn-out and overload from all their podcasting and from publishers-who-were-just-a-tad-too-persistent (and who kinda sometimes forget that we do this stuff for no pay and that it’s supposed to be fun and that no one is supposed to be pushy about when we post ANYthing) and just generally feeling like she needed a serious break, like they had been pushed beyond their limits. Hardest-working duo in the kidlitosphere, I’ve always said. I’ve been there a few times myself lately, honestly, entertaining the notion of a very long blog break. So, I checked in with Andrea to see how her break was going, and she reported that it was totally blissful. And then not five minutes later, or so it seemed anyway, she emailed back to tell me she had just received news of a cancer diagnosis. Stupid-dumb, evil old cancer.

As this post over there at JOMB indicates, they’re now DEFINITELY on a blog break so that they can focus on Andrea getting better. I’m not normally a things-happen-for-a-reason kind of gal, but isn’t it a good thing that they had already declared a break—or possible end—to their podcasting? ‘Cause now this.

Let’s send them lots of good wishes, collectively, as Sunday kickers, shall we? Let’s tell her that we’re behind her in her efforts to kick. cancer’s. ass.

Good luck, Andrea, and we love you!


Andrea and Mark at the first annual kidlitosphere conference

What are YOUR kicks this week, everyone?





20 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #136: Featuring Il Sung Na”

  1. Some make lots of noise whether they are asleep or awake. *points to self*

    What beautiful artwork! I really like these images – the colors, the detailing. Kudos, Il Sung Na.

    Sending support to Andrea and her loved ones.

    Continued support to Tarie and her loved ones.

    Tanita, I hope you’re feeling better!

    Jules: Please pass this message along to her: Happy fourth birthday, little Kicker! I hope you have a wonderful day with your family. :) Glad that you had fun at the various events with the awesome authors and attendees. Enjoy the cocoa and the laptop.

    My kicks from the past week:

    1) The final week of Thomas Randall’s blog tour – Have any of you read The Waking: Dreams of the Dead yet? Nudge, nudge!

    2) Acting in and out of character. I’m currently shooting a TV series in which I’m portraying a Goth-ish girl. Think Abby from NCIS (because I’m letting her be upbeat, to bring a little bit of myself into the character) with a teeny pinch of (early Season 3) Faith from BtVS. This is quite different from my usual fare, and I’m loving it. It’s so good to do something so not-me. That’s the whole point of acting: to be someone different, to walk in someone else’s shoes (and I am, literally, as I’m wearing knee-high lace-up zip-up black boots borrowed from a friend!) The other actors are a lot of fun, and the crew is professional and focused. I’m about to leave for the set now. We have just this two-day shoot for now – unless the series gets picked up or whathaveyou! – and I kind of don’t want it to end.

    3) My current play – the Oscar Wilde piece – is coming to an end this evening. We have had a wonderful six-week run, and time has really flown. I can’t believe tonight’s our closing show. I’ve been so happy with the experience, thanks to the camaraderie of the cast and crew, the comfort I find in that theatre (and in my costume, which is comprised mostly of my own clothes), and the challenges of the piece.

    4) Power naps. Power nap, I should say, as I’ve only had the one.

    5) Hidden passages. Imagined, yes, but lovely nevertheless.

    6) I’m prepping for a prompt about superheroes that I’m going to post at my blog this coming Tuesday in support of Tom Sniegoski’s new book, Legacy. If any of you would like to be involved, please let me know!

    7) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Cold Case and Without a Trace reruns on TV in the wee hours of the morning. Thank you, TNT.

    Some don’t get enough sleep. *points to self again*


  2. Cancer just changes your whole life the moment the doctor says the word to you, but Andrea and Mark have the right fighting attitude there. I just hope, hope, hope for them. They are such kind, decent, and fun people. They do not deserve such a hard thing.

    Jules, You have been functioning without a laptop all this time? Do you have wireless now, too, so you can sit in a cushy chair while you use your laptop? That is bliss. I could not write as much as I do without the laptop-and-cushy-chair combo.

    And happy birthday, Ada! We were just discussing today how Max will be four in December, and it seems that I may have to start using his name instead of calling him “Baby” all the time. (When he was very small, we realized that he thought his name was “Baby” for a couple months there. I’m the only one who persists in calling him that anymore. He’s highly tolerant of me.)

    The Southern Festival of Books sounds awesome.

    My kicks:
    1. Last week, I missed posting kicks because we went to Albany to take my godsons to a They Might Be Giants family concert. It was so fun.
    2. Monday, I had the day off work, and I made and canned applesauce with pears. Mmmm.
    3. I got a package from eisha this week, with a book! I love getting things in the mail, and a book besides.
    4. I also mailed out a few packages this week. I find that every bit as fun as getting packages.
    5. I also got a roll of the Flags of Our Nation stamps, which I’ve wanted to get for weeks now. Yes, yes, I know. Nerd.
    6. I saw Zombieland, which was a wonderful surprise–not at all scary, and very, very funny. Way better than I thought it would be.
    7. I had a lot of opportunities to hang out with friends this week and talk and laugh and just enjoy the moment. I love times like that.


  3. Little Willow, so cool about the t.v. show, and I hope it gets picked up! Break a leg with your final show tonight.

    And, yes, I’m grateful that Tarie is still okay. I hope she checks in today, too.

    Adrienne, YES, I’ve been laptop-less till now. Horreurs! And ooo! ooo! I really want to see “Zombieland.” What a good kick #7 is.


  4. Ohhhh, that elephant is wonderful! And so are all the other elephants over at Na’s site. Obtaining a copy of The Thingamabob is definitely in my future.

    Kick cancer’s butt Andrea!!! Sending good thoughts your way.

    Jules – happy happy birthday to your little one – hope its a fantabulous day for her!

    LW – fingers crossed for your tv show.

    My kicks:
    1. Sunday coffee with the dogs. Peaceful and sweet.
    2. Read Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking. Laugh out loud funny in spots, and just what I needed.
    3. Started reading Wicked, and so far I like it.
    4. Retail therapy. Old Navy is a fun place to splurge, and doesn’t hurt the pocketbook.
    5. A massage this week. Ahhhh.
    6. Helping a friends cub scout pack yesterday by cleaning a winter lodge. Fun on several levels.
    7. Season 3 of Californication started.

    Have a great week!


  5. Little Willow, I WANT to see that TV show. I hope it does get picked up.


  6. Kick 8 (as I kick myself for foregtting):

    I have gotten inspired to have a Giant Food Fight after following along at Maggie Mason’s blog:
    http://mightygirl.com/2009/09/21/mighty-life-list-participate-in-a-giant-food-fight-check/

    It looks sooooo fun! Some friends from work and I are going to do one here.
    I have a life list, but haven’t written it down. Now I think I will.


  7. SO sorry to hear of Andrea’s diagnosis. I’ll keep her (and Mark) on the Special List that scrolls indefinitely, over and over, through a back corner of my mind. Thanks for the link to the JOMB site, Jules.

    Thanks too for the link to Il Sung Na’s site. The Book of sleep seemed to feature on every spread a pair of balanced images — like the owl and fish you’ve included — as though the seam down the middle of the spread were a mirror standing up perpendicular to the plane of the page. But no; and the one image he showed which broke that pattern (sleepy penguins huddled on the left against a field of white on the right) was really affecting, maybe for just that reason.

    (If he reads this comment, I hope he doesn’t take this as a criticism — I don’t mean it that way — but of the books he’s done and included at his site, I really liked what appeared to be the ones entirely wordless. I liked trying to glean a storyline from them. Of course, I have no idea if a kid would like that. Still…)

    rm: Sunday. Coffee. Dogs. Not a thing wrong with that picture! (Especially since you included two books in later kicks, implying that you might have added “reading” to Kick #1 but just didn’t want to make it sound too envy-making.)

    adrienne: I understand that TMBG is on the road right now specifically to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Flood album. If you haven’t seen it already, you might be interested in their track-by-track “guide” to the album that appeared in Rolling Stone this week. It’s here.

    Congrats on venturing out to see Zombieland, and I’m glad to know I don’t have to watch the commercials and think, like, Oh, Woody — what has HAPPENED to you?!? (I’ve been thinking he must have lost a bet or something.)

    Little Willow: If I’m not mistaken, Cold Case and Without a Trace debuted in the same season, didn’t they? Different nights, but what a combo. I was real disappointed when they moved the latter to a new night, and stupefied when they dropped it. The writing in that show was as good as anything in West Wing‘s early years, and often enough actually better.

    Knock on wood about your own show!

    (And kick #5: sly and allusive, like many of your kicks. Opens up all kinds of mental passages in the reader’s head!)

    Jules: I saw someplace else, a publishing newsletter I think, that the Southern Festival of Books was going to be in Nashville this week. Really wanted to ask if you were going. And really didn’t want to ask, on the off-chance that yes, you knew, but no, for some bitterly disappointing reason you wouldn’t be able to attend. Sound like it was quite the time.

    You probably didn’t know that although I’ve never met Elise Primavera, in fact your kick was the first time I’ve heard of her, I’ve probably crossed paths with her in the supermarket or something. (And I bet she failed to make note of this when she was talking to you, too. :) ) The Missus and I spend a LOT of time in the NJ town she lives in whenever we’re up that way. And from her site, she does sound like a hoot! We will have to be more alert on our next few visits.

    Congratulations on the laptop!

    Kicks, hmm…

    * Last week I pre-kicked about seeing Harry Potter #6 at the IMAX. Every bit the sensory treat I thought it would be. AND I was very very happy with the way the filmmakers treated the emotional heart of that book. (The arc of their collective skills — their maturity — seems to parallel the arc of the characters’ own growing-up.)

    * Have I mentioned here before the 2000 mini-series The 10th Kingdom? Oh jeez. THIS IS SO GREAT. The commercials hooked me well in advance of its broadcast, and the DVD of the series was among the first DVDs I ever bought. The Missus and I just began our more-or-less-once-yearly viewing of it. It’s a life mission for me to introduce it to as many people as possible, as long as you (a) like fairy tales; (b) like to laugh out loud; (c) like gorgeous (and no doubt expensive) on-location scenery; (d) have kids, or are one, or just like kids; (e) like Dianne Wiest and/or Camryn Mannheim (as Snow White) and/or Ann-Margaret (who plays a 200-year-old short-of-breath Cinderella) and/or Rutger Hauer and/or John LaRocquette etc. etc. etc.; (f) like love stories about unlikely couples; (g) like New York City; and/or (h) are willing to watch 7 hours featuring all of the above… even if you (i) might be terribly heartbroken that they never produced a sequel. You can see a five-minute preview (plus an intro 30-second commercial, sorry) here. Among other things, the best mini-series title sequence EVER.

    * A brief scene I just read in Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, featuring a supposed B movie called Godzilligan’s Island. Hilarious.

    * Touching base with childhood friends and memories, not for the best of reasons but still…

    * Incredibly busy but productive work week.

    * Incredibly busy but productive non-work, offline time.

    * Newly empty bookshelf space, chockablock with possibility.

    * Bonus kick: The 10th Kingdom, y’all. Seriously.


  8. Hello everyone,

    Sleep? What’s that? Il Sung Na’s illustrations might not help my insomnia because they are too bright and glorious to induce sleep, but looking at them makes me happy.

    Happy Birthday, Ada!!! What a beautiful month to be born in. Something tells me that you will be listening to “So Glad You’re Here” today, Jules. Sounds like you had a wonderful time at the Southern Festival of Books — wish I could have been there.

    Many, many good thoughts to Andrea as she goes through this difficult time. And to Tarie and her family for their continued safety.

    LW: how terribly exciting about the tv series! Would be so much fun to see you on the screen!
    Adrienne: canned applesauce with pears — what a yummy combination! And I love your kick #7 also.
    rm preston: just saw the play “Wicked” yesterday, and now I want to read the book. And massages are wonderful — I miss my massage therapist — she moved to Hawaii a few years ago.

    My kicks:
    1) Seeing the play “Wicked” with a friend in S.F. yesterday. From the sets to the music to the hilarious dialogue, I loved every minute (despite being in the nosebleed section). And Patty Duke played Madame Morrible!
    2) Getting to visit with an old friend in Sacramento on Friday after a work assignment, and laughing through most of our dinner.
    3) This amazing fall weather!
    4) Picking up my new city business license.
    5) Reading “Miss O’Keefe” by Christine Taylor Patten and Alvaro Cardona-Hine, an account by one of Georgia O’Keefe’s caretakers of her 18 months of employment when Georgia was 96 years old. Really beautiful writing.

    Have a happy week!


  9. JES, we must have just passed each other in cyberspace. I must say, I really enjoy your posts. Your description of The 10th Kingdom had already hooked me, but the commercial sealed the deal and I have added the show to my Netflix queue. Thanks for the recommendation.

    An empty bookshelf??! The thought of that sends me into paroxysms of glee. Haven’t seen an empty bookshelf in many moons.


  10. Seconding your anti-kick, Jules. Though, the community’s response has been a good thing, and is a reminder of what an amazing community this is. For one tangible thing, Terry Doherty made (with Andrea and Mark’s permission) a widget that people can put on their blog to show support for JOMB. You can find it in the right-hand sidebar here.

    My kicks:

    1. Feeling a bit caught up, finally, after recent travels.
    2. And yet (ironically) looking forward to the next trip, for KidLitCon. Wish you all could come!
    3. Enjoyed dinner out last night at our new favorite restaurant.
    4. Addicted to Battlestar Galactica on DVD (watching while I exercise, currently on season 2.5).
    5. Loving our cool new camera (with excellent zoom!).

    And that’s all I can come up with this week. My team is down to the wire in the baseball playoffs, playing now, and I have to go focus on that. Happy Sunday, all!


  11. Jill: Actually, not one but THREE empty bookshelves. We’re preparing for a yard sale in a couple weeks, and I’ve had a bunch of bookshelves on which I’ve kept nothing but boxes of stuff I didn’t know what else to do with when we first moved in 8 years ago. Yes, EIGHT. So, like, statute of limitations and all, y’know? Out with the miscellany. In with actual books (most of which are in boxes in *shudder* the garage).

    Let me know how The 10 Kingdom fares!


  12. Jules, thanks so much for introducing me to Il Sung Na. I love the diversity of illustrators featured here on 7-Imp. =D

    Happy, Happy Birthday to your daughter!!!!!!!

    For Andrea of JOMB, in my mind I am using martial arts to kick your cancer’s butt. Go away, cancer. GO. AWAY.

    Little Willow, Jules, and Jill, thank you SO much. * hugs *

    Little Willow, how do you survive on so little sleep??? Lots of coffee? What’s your secret?

    Adrienne, you always get to eat such lovely food!

    RM, that Sunday coffee sounds perfect. I have never been in a food fight. Darn.

    JES, I’ll try to check out The 10th Kingdom as soon as I can. =D

    Jen, thanks for letting us know about that widget! And I wish I could attend KidLitCon!

    Kicks:

    1. Things starting to get back to normal.

    2. I watched the new Fame movie today. I had a problem with the plot and character development, but the movie was still fun. It had me grinning from beginning to end. And I think the soundtrack is great!

    Reminds me of how I want to teach English at the Philippine High School for the Arts…

    3. FlashForward. I find it a really entertaining, thought-provoking, and intense new TV show!

    4. B-boying culture in South Korea. I’m in love. And obsessed.

    Watch this video for a sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsTFfr43Imo


  13. For anyone with cancer–I hold you in the Light. Having lost my beloved husband to that scourge three and a half years ago, I know the daily toll.

    My kicks:

    1. My ear drum burst. . .BUT IT DIDN’T HURT.

    2. Delta screwed my plane tickets up in a major way, and it took me 23 hours to get back from Scotland, usually about 19 hours worth. But I MADE IT HOME. (All reported in my online journal at http://www.janeyolen.com

    3. Came back to new edition of THE SEEIING STICK, a Spanish edition of SEA QUEENS, Korean edition of MY UNCLE EMILY, contracts for two other books in Korean,
    and a partridge in a pear tree. (I am lying about that last.)

    4. My grandaughter Maddison injured her foot and is on crutches BUT THE DOCTOR EXPECTS HER TO BE BETTER WELL IN ADVANCE OF HER MANY BALLET COMMITMENTS.

    5.I spoke at a friend’s retirement party (she is a children;s bookspecialist) and it seemed to go well despite the fact that with my burst ear drum I couldn’t hear a thing, including whether my voice was only inside my head or loud enough to be heard.

    6.Having lost 31 pounds since Feb, I have come home to find I can fit into a whole different wardrobe than when I went off to Scotland four and a half months ago. And I found those clothes waiting for me in the closet, and they were still hot. (Trying to stick to the children’s book theme here.)

    7. Just finished reading Elizabeth Wein’s magnificent THE WINTER PRINCE. BOY! CAN SHE WRITE!


  14. JES, Thanks for the link to the TMBG article. We went to a family show (they played mostly stuff off their kids’ albums–they have a new science-themed one out), but the night before, they played Flood straight through. I would have liked to go to that one, too, but there were the kids. Pesky.

    Tarie, I quite agree about Fame. I recognize its weaknesses, but then I just loved all the dancing and singing and whatnot. I’m also glad to hear things are getting back to normal for you.


  15. Tarie: Good to see you’re not only still in one piece, but also finding things to kick about!


  16. RM, a massage! I’m jealous. And that food fight does look like fun.

    John, thanks for The 10th Kingdom linkage! And, yes, now I’m wondering if you passed Elise Primavera in, say, Kroger or something.

    Jill, glad you enjoyed the show and dinner, and I love your last kick.

    Jen, I miss Battlestar.

    Tarie, still glad you’re okay. I loved that video, too.

    Jane, 31 pounds? Wow. That’s a lot. So sorry about your ear. Glad it didn’t hurt, though.

    Sorry I was AWOL all day yesterday. We were partying down for my wee’est birthday. Thanks to all for her b’day wishes.


  17. Thank you so much for your good wishes and healing vibes. It means so much to us to have have such a strong support system. In fact, the extended support has helped prop me up a few times already when the exhaustion and stress seems to be relentless.

    This community is incredible! Pretty soon we’ll all be celebrating Andrea’s survival.


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