7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #149: Featuring Timothy Basil Ering

h1 January 10th, 2010 by jules

(Click to enlarge spread.)

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, a 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 here once again on a Sunday to share art from a book I was hoping I’d feature in an illustrator interview, but it looks like the interview might not happen. Boo. That’s okay: Let’s go ahead and enjoy the art this morning, shall we?

Timothy Basil Ering created some unforgettable illustrations in ’09 for David Elliott’s very funny—and true-to-life, if you’ve ever been around toddlers—Finn Throws a Fit! (Candlewick, August 2009). “Droll text and exuberant illustrations render a toddler’s tantrum in all its magnificence,” Publishers Weekly wrote. This could be where I stop in describing this book, as that suffices quite nicely. And, since I’ve got only two spreads today (though I’m happy to have them at all), I’ll keep this short, as I never like to ramble longer than the amount of time you’re looking at art, if I can help it.

You all know I like my hyperbole; maybe that’s why this book cracks me up so. The very egg-shaped Finn likes peaches. Usually, Elliott writes. This in an illustration that shows him calm, placated, oh-so happy. Then: “But today, Finn doesn’t like peaches. Today, Finn doesn’t like anything.” And, as you can see in the spread opening this post, today, “Finn is cranky. Anything could happen.” And it’s at this point in the book in which what Kirkus called the climactic metaphors for the boy’s tantrums are unleashed: “Thunder in the nursery! Lightning in the kitchen!” as Finn throws his fit. There’s flooding in the kitchen from crying, an avalanche launched by his screams, and an earthquake kicked off by his…well, kicks. You’ll pretty much have to hunt down a copy of the book for the full effect: Each assault on Mother Nature and the parents is devoted a full illustration or its own spread: Hurricanes raging in the dining room, blizzards in the bathroom, and
“{t}idal waves sweep through the living room”:

(I laughed very hard when I first spotted little Finn in the background in this spread —and his particular sturm und drang there. I’ve pretty much already worked out that I perhaps have anger management issues, since if someone tells me things like “just count and breathe” when I’m really angry, that in and of itself makes me angrier. I pretty much need to do as Finn is doing there for a moment, and then I’ll likely be juuuuust fine, thanks very much.)

Did you click-to-enlarge? Just look at what Ering does in that spread with line and … well, emotion. The scribbles. The Smudging of Paint. (I’m sure that’s not a technical artistic term.) “Ering, always atmospheric, goes happily nuts with the premise, his mixed-media-charcoal, oils and grease pencil-illustrations almost palpably three-dimensional in their wind-blown vigor,” write Kirkus. I wish I could show you every spread. But, if you go get the book to see for yourself, come back and talk to me about it. I love it. Is it funnier to parents than children? Perhaps. (“While likening a child’s tantrums to a severe storm is apt enough from an adult perspective, it may be too conceptually remote for little ones…” the Kirkus reviewer added.) I can say my own children got wrapped up in it.

It’s also worth seeing simply for the post-tantrum spreads. (“What was wrong with him anyway? He’d like those peaches now. Please.”) Incidentally, this book is featured in the October ’09 New Yorker article by Daniel Zalewski on parenting and discipline and how the two are depicted in contemporary children’s lit, if any of you missed that. Interesting read.

{FINN THROWS A FIT. Text Copyright © 2009 by David Elliott. Illustrations Copyright © 2009 by Timothy Basil Ering. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.}

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). My tenth wedding anniversary, which was this week. We even got a kid-free, dinner-and-movie date. We were happy to discover that day marked the wide release of Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (UK trailer is below, since it’s a particularly good trailer) and went to see that. We rarely see movies in the theater anymore, what with wee kids — so much so that I have just started adding new movies to the Netflix queue, and I simply wait for them. Thus, our good timing with this movie was exciting to me.

Christopher Plummer is particularly good in it. Tom Waits as Mr. Nick? Perfect. And Heath… So good to see him performing for the last time. The quick-fix with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell worked. It really did, even if I would have rather seen Heath do that role (who wouldn’t?) and it would have added more depth to that particular character.

* * * * * * *

* * * * * * *

2). The ever-thoughtful Farida sending me Eleanor Farjeon’s out-of-print Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field. I finally get to read “Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep.” I wonder if it’ll move me like it does Farida.

3). Considering that most of my female friends of all beautiful shapes and sizes don’t like at least one thing about their bodies, the lyrics (from Regina Spektor), “I’ve got a perfect body, though sometimes I forget / I’ve got a perfect body, ’cause my eyelashes catch my sweat.”

4). I want this night-owl poster, which pretty much captures how I manage to get any content up at 7-Imp. And note at this post at bb-blog that it says, “Black ink was mixed with coffee grind, making this poster a scratch n’ sniff.” AWESOME-NESS in many, many directions. Thanks to Sara for pointing it out to me:

5). Congratulations, Tanita! (See here.)

6). Watching some behind-the-scenes type of footage about the show Deadwood, which my husband and I are sort of wrapping up. (Sniff.) The show got so much attention for its rampant cursing, but I love hearing the actors talk about the impressive writing/dialogue. It’s often just beautiful, really. Or “serpentine,” as one actor put it, adding that it’s dialogue that he finds a pleasure to speak. Also: I decided—when I heard him say that—that if someone threw the Pivot Questionnaire at me today, “serpentine” would be my current favorite word, especially in relation to language.

7). Re-reading Emily Jenkins’ Toys Go Out and Toy Dance Party aloud with my girls. We pause and laugh. A lot. Even after having heard it before. Tuk Tuk and the Chewing Society of North America and Frank, the washing machine: It’s funny, funny stuff. I wish she’d write a third. That would be specialness! (as Plastic might put it).


* I really like the interview with Ed Spicer, a former Caldecott committee-member, over at 100 Scope Notes — for many reasons (not because one of My Life’s Dreams is to be on a Caldecott committee, no sirree bob), but mostly because of when he talks about the importance of visual literacy:

I think it is probably true to say that the Caldecott is the most difficult winner to predict because we do not value illustration as highly as we do words in our culture. One of my pet peeves as a first grade teacher is hearing families tell me not to send picture books home to read because the student is able to read chapter books. Implicit in this request is a devaluing of art. Young students, even excellent reading young students, need illustrations because while they may well indeed be able to read books without pictures, they also need to build comprehension skills. Picturing learning is a skill that is not innate. It is developed.

* * Paterson!

* * * Eisha, if she even reads this, might just kill me, but check out these photos of acting we did in college (from our former theatre professor’s web site): Go here and scroll down to “The Shadow Box.” That’s me on the left with very big hair, playing an … ahem, lady of the night. And Eisha in the middle (not the old lady). I’m mostly sure we didn’t know WHAT we were doing playing folks over the age of 35 in our early 20s. (That’s also me a bit further down, playing Millie in William Inge’s Picnic — such a great role to play and one of my favorites.)

What are YOUR kicks this week?

35 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #149: Featuring Timothy Basil Ering”

  1. Happy anniversary to Jules & Sir! (I felt like making it sound like you two own Ye Olde General Shoppe.) Congratulations on the happy day, and many more to come.

    Quickly listing my kicks before I go to sleep:

    1) Auditioning for a staged reading of a brand-new play
    2) Being offered the role the next day! I have rehearsal tomorrow, then the show on Monday night. Yes, that quickly.
    3) Honor
    4) Memory
    5) Laughter
    6) Walking
    7) Rehearsing for another upcoming project

  2. Oh, my. How I can (unfortunately) relate (sometimes) to little Finn’s fits. And Jules, the added fuel for me is when someone says “just calm down”, which unleashes my own hurricane winds. I must get this book — and I adore Timothy’s illustrations!

    Thanks for sharing “The Shadow Box” photos — must have been fun to play *that* part!

    BIG congratulations to Tanita for the nomination! What an amazing, well-deserved honor. And I do love the Yeats quote on her blog.

    Little Willow, your wonderful one-word kicks are always inspiring, and I must admit to blatantly copying you on occasion (see below). Hope you don’t mind. You know what they say about imitation…And congratulations to you for the acting role!

    My kicks:
    1) Helping a friend today with an important court hearing she has on Monday. Just being asked to help on something that is so critical to her made me happy.
    2) Re-reading Thoreau’s essay “Walking”, and enjoying his reminders of the simple pleasures.
    3) Insight
    4) Lightness
    5) Getting to see two good movies this week: “Nine” with Daniel Day Lewis, and “Crazy Heart” with Jeff Bridges (which includes the beautiful Sam Phillips song “Reflecting Light”). Wouldn’t want to have to choose between the two stupendously talented actors on Academy Award night.
    6) For those of you who live in any of the cities listed at this link, today (well, Sunday) is “Global No Pants Subway Rides” day. I’m glad I found out about this so I can stay far away from the San Francisco subway. Enough said. http://improveverywhere.com/2010/01/04/global-no-pants-subway-ride-2010/
    7) I confess to not having read “Ulysses”, but thought this translation in the form of a comic was a cool idea: http://ulyssesseen.com/

    Have a great week, everyone!

  3. Ooohhh. I wanna throw a tantrum, too. It looks like fun!

    Happy Wedding Anniversary, Jules! I love that poster! And thanks for the link to the interview with Ed Spicer. :o)

    Congratulations, Tanita!

    Congratulations, Little Willow!

    Jill, not interested in going pantless for a day? ;o) I think I would actually do that… But there are no subways in the Philippines.

    A few kicks:

    1. The simple pleasure of choosing tomatoes at the market.

    2. Rummaging through the cupboards and discovering that there is still plenty of English Breakfast tea and “sushi bar” green tea.

    3. All the reading I have been doing for the Cybils (middle grade fantasy and science fiction category)!!!

    4. Melted Edam cheese. Mmm.

  4. You know, I’ve always liked “Finn” as a first name. Thanks for the heads up on this one. Love the tidal wave spread.

    Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a lovely celebration :). Am anxious to see Dr. Parnassus now. And I ♥ Emily Jenkins. Plastic is my favorite character. When I read Ed Spicer’s interview and got to that paragraph, I thought of you and did a fist pump.

    Congrats LW and thanks for the Ulysses link, Jill. I was a big Joyce fan way back when. Mmmm, English Breakfast tea, Tarie, and tomatoes!

    My People of the Week Kicks:

    1. Tanita S. Davis. So proud of and thrilled for her!
    2. George Clooney. Saw “Up in the Air” yesterday. Nuff said.
    3. Charles Roger. Our new great-nephew born exactly one week ago today.
    4. Arnold Hiura. My former classmate from Hawai’i, whom I’m interviewing for his new book, Kau Kau Cuisine.
    5. Fuzzy the Fox. Who’s left an entire yard full of cool paw prints in the snow.
    6. Grace Lin. Who just got engaged. Love happy news.
    7. Elvis Presley. Whose 75th birthday brought back fond memories.

    Have a good week, everyone.

    P.S. Va va va voom on the “Shadow Box” role, Jules. 🙂

  5. I put a copy of Finn on hold, and LOOK AT YOU GUYS being all college-student-y. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing those photos.

    WOOT again to your anniversary and reading and movies and all.

    Little Willow, Your whole LIFE seems to move that fast–and you amaze me with the way you keep up with it! Break a leg!

    My kicks:
    1. Farida sent me a package, too! With two lovely dolls for my collection and some yummy apple butter.
    2. My winter CSA started this week, and I got many of my favorite things–sweet potatoes, butternut squash, kale, leeks, turnips.
    3. I celebrated #2 by making brazed and glazed turnips the other night and then potato kale soup yesterday. Mmmmmmm.
    4. I inadvertently lost a few pounds over the summer. (I would call it the Join a CSA so Your Diet Becomes about 80% Vegetables and Do a Lot of Work Diet, so while it was inadvertent, it wasn’t effortless.) I don’t own a scale, so my doctor had to tell me about it, and I kept thinking I would gain it back, but, no, I realized this week I haven’t gained it back and kind of need new jeans. That’s weird.
    5. Not that I want to buy new jeans because my old ones are soft and comfortable and perfect just the way they are, and who wants to spend money on jeans? Not I. It would be cool if ones that fit just appeared magically in my closet.
    6. Although I did bake a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday, which may wind up solving this whole denim problem for me because I have been eating them in alarming quantities. They are simple but also so, so good.
    7. My godsons were inspiring me again this week. it’s so cliche to say that I want to be the person they think I am, but they truly do inspire me to some of my best behavior, and I just love spending time with them. They are a gift.

  6. Hee. I love old drama photos. There oughta be a website devoted to them, with commentary.

    It was a kicky week, beginning with A Year of Reading’s awesome tribute to Jon Scieszka, complete with his comments there and on all the blogs that had participated. What a class act. And then, Katherine Paterson! I mean: Perfect, right? Which led me back to her essays in A Sense of Wonder, which made me start reading them all over again.

    Also, my daughter gave me a calendar from the National Gallery of Ireland which celebrates their recent acquisition of ten of Harry Clarke’s illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Talk about a glowing feast of light and color.

  7. My daughters’ aunt just had a baby named Finn. Will have to tell them about that book.
    Jules, Happy anniversary!
    Everyone has such great kicks this week, been a great start to the year.
    My kicks:
    It has been generally a good week. I got some revising completed on a WIP, went to Lisa Schroeder’s book signing for Chasing Brooklyn (gave one of her books to a teen for Christmas and she gobbled it up), and am getting ready for book club tonight, The Thirteenth Tale.
    Funny thing of the week: a kindergartener pointed to a spot in the library that is kinda of barried off, and asked if I slept there.
    Have a great week.

  8. Little Willow, congrats many times over! And a brand-new play, too. That’s especially exciting.

    Jill, I really want to see Crazy Heart, in particular. Oh how I do. Re-reading Thoreau is something I might have to copy you on. Thanks for the Ulysses link, which I must go explore.

    Tarie, your last kick brings this wonderful guy to mind:

    Jama, oh how I want to see Up in the Air, too. Why are so many good movies out at once? I’ve added it to the ‘ol queueueueueueue, yes I have. …Welcome to Charles Roger, and what a good name he has. And Grace is engaged? That’s fantabulous news!

    Jama, as for that “va va va voom,” I have to add that I am Someone Who Does Not Flirt and that excessively flirty people actually get on my nerves. So it was kind of amazing I got that role. I practiced and practiced for the role of the old lady. I was interning at the time (pre-auditions) at a theatre for the deaf* in Cleveland, living for three weeks in a tiny apartment with deaf folks from all over the world. This tremendously talented older Russian deaf actor, who had worked with the National Theatre of the Deaf (also one of my dream jobs), used to sit with me over his very strong Russian coffee in the mornings and give me advice on playing an elderly person.

    Then, I up and got the part of the former whore. Go figure.

    But I digress. (* And I initially inadvertently typed “theatre for the dead.” Oh my: Zombie theatre!)

    Adrienne: Yay, CSA! I also dislike buying new jeans. I had to go buy some recently and goofed up, what with my hurry to just get out of that store already. I got jeans that weren’t Levis, which I pretty much should never do. So then I had to go back. But, hey, I also had a four-year-old with me. You know how they like to hide under racks of clothing when shopping? Yeah. Anyway, good luck finding just the right pair. Or, you know, keep eating cookies!

    I love when you post about your godsons.

    Sara, yes, the Jon Scieszka posts are kick-worthy, indeed, yet I forgot them! Even better that he left comments for everyone. And now I want to crack open my copy of A Sense of Wonder, too. I’ve got that around her somewhere.

    That calendar sounds downright lovely.

    Jone, have fun at the book club, and you should totally have a story time hour in that barred-off area. Hee. If it’s safe, that is. One of my favorite story time memories as a librarian was taking some of the kids from the school for the deaf in Knoxville to story time in a tree house in winter in the teacher’s yard — complete with hot chocolate and marshmallows. (Such small classes at TSD, which made this possible.)

  9. Go Tanita go! Well-deserved, my friend. 🙂

    Jules: That trailer for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is captivating. Thumbs-up for those Regina Spektor lyrics. I love Emily Jenkins’ books about the toys. So sweet, and so worthy of reading over and over.

    Eisha and Jules: Thanks for sharing the pictures! Awesome, Jules as Millie!

    Jill: Thanks! I appreciate it. 🙂

    Tarie: Thanks! Enjoy the cheese.

    Jama: Congrats to Grace, and hugs to Fuzzy the Fox! Thanks.

    Adrienne: ZOOM! The days fly by, sometimes. Enjoy the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Howdy to the godsons. Yum to the fresh fruits and veggies. Hurrah for the new jeans in your future.

    Sara: Yes, there should be! (Re: Old drama photos) I bet if you started a blog, there’d be a huge following. I’m serious. Let me know.

    Jone: Happy day-of-birth to little Finn!

  10. Little Willow’s got a point, Sara. I wonder if a blog like that already exists??

  11. Jules,

    Happy Tenth Anniversary!!! May you and that super husband of yours have many more wonderful years together. (Mike and I celebrated our 40th last July.)

    Thanks for letting us know about Tanita’s wonderful news. How exciting for her!


    1. Now that I’m a member of the NCTE Excellence in Poetry Committee I’ve been receiving lots of great children’s poetry books from publishers.

    2. Went out with two close friends yesterday to see a movie and have dinner at a Thai restaurant. We saw IT’S COMPLICATED with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. It was SOOOOOO funny. I haven’t laughed that hard while watching a movie in a long time.

    3. I’m keeping my fingers crossed–but I think I may finally be on the road to recovering from the respiratory infection that has plagued me since early fall.

    4. I was recently contacted by an educational publisher in New Zealand who wants to use one of my poems.

  12. Boy, wouldn’t I like to have seen more from Timothy Basical Ering about those illos? But you’re right: just based on what’s here, this looks like a hilarious, fun-for-the-reader-and-the-read-to book.

    I checked David Elliot’s Web site to see if he had any more books about Finn, who seems like the kind of outsized personality unable to be captured in a single title. But nope. Maybe later! Still, there WAS a promotional interview (2.8MB PDF) with both author and illustrator, with a couple more pictures of Finn in various states of, er, throe, and in which we learn that Ering himself has a toddler named — coincidentally! — Finn.

    (Oh, I also liked the book I saw there (Elliott’s first novel, from Candlewick in ’04), The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wuzzle. “Roscoe Wizzle used to be a normal ten-year-old kid. But that was before a sign reading COMING SOON! GUSSY’S! sprang up in a vacant lot. A sign showing Gussy Gorilla eating a Jungle Drum — just about the biggest hamburger in the world…” Cracked up at the idea of a burger called a Jungle Drum! :))

    Jules, the photos of you and Eisha made me grin. Just based on them, and rather weirdly, you looked totally convincing in your vamp-y role… and Eisha looked totally unconvincing in what looks to be some sort of goody-goody part. Heh.

    The artist who did that coffee-infused poster (who ought to make a million dollars selling it to artists, writers, and bloggers) has another cool one, too — which says something about the uplifting power of love, but also about its fragility. (And he’s in Austin. What the heck is in the water there that fuels so much… well, “creativity” seems too abstract… so much spirit energy?)

    We’re getting ready to go out to a movie, so I’ll have to do some quick kicks for now:

    * Time to read
    * Waking up to a cooooool (as in, chilly — although it helps if it’s also, y’know, groovy) house
    * “Earning out” on an advance against royalties (even if the amount was tiny, and the time to get here — 7-1/2 years — was long)
    * Citizen Kane
    * Tanita: d*mn, that was kicking news!
    * Returning to writing-writing
    * Per Jules, this: the short animated (dark-creepy-fun) film Alma

  13. Not sure I have seven, but here goes:

    1. Tanita’s news -WOOOT!
    2. Matt Phelan won the Scott O’Dell Award for THE STORM IN THE BARN.
    3. Got myself a copy of the complete poems of Rilke at half-price. Score!
    4. Folks seem to be enjoying my month-long event, “A Winter’s Persuasion”, which makes me happy.
    5. Saw LEAP YEAR – loved it.
    6. Saw SHERLOCK HOLMES. Again. Loved it. Still.
    7. Book releases of books by friends for this week kept me happy – Jenn Hubbard, Lisa Schroeder and Carrie Jones in particular.

  14. Hey guys! Happy New Year! I’ve missed hanging out at 7 imp reading all the kicks.

    Happy Anniversary, Jules! Glad you got to go out and celebrate.

    Jill, no pants on Jan 10?! Even if I fancied trotting around in my underwear I don’t know that mid-winter is the time I’d pick to do so…

    Jama, I love fox footprints in snow! Actually, I love most animal footprints, including the neighbour’s cat who likes wandering around our small yard. Congrats on your new great-nephew!

    Here are highlights of the last few weeks:

    1) All of the snow. We weren’t trapped or otherwise really inconvenienced by the snow so I am able to say that I have had a ball with all of the ice and snow everywhere.
    2) Christmas carols at Royal Albert Hall on Christmas Eve. This was a splurge to celebrate our Aussie rellies being here, and was completely worth it. It was a lovely festive event, some songs we all got to sing, others the choir sang and there were readings from texts like A Christmas Carol. Great fun.
    3) Goose was successfully cooked – lovely meat though a bit of trouble to cook with lots of fat to drain.
    4) The snow means we’ve actually had small birds on our bird feeder!
    5) I had a day off on Friday – I found out I had to take a couple of days soon, and decided to use one day on doing nothing much at all. It was blissful having the house to myself – our houseguests are lovely, but our place is small and four adults make it feel very crowded!
    6) We had to go shopping for necessary stuff (eg socks) yesterday, but it wasn’t as painful as I’d feared – and I replaced my old and battered hiking boots. I feel bad about letting them go but the new ones are not only waterproof but also very light and comfy!
    7) We went out to lunch at a pub in the next town with a new colleague of my partner’s and his family – they are great fun so we’re looking forward to hanging with them again.

  15. Jules: Happy Anniversary! We both got married in January.

    Little Willow: Congratulations on getting the role. I’m happy for you.

    I’m still stoked for Tanita.

    My kicks:
    1. I took a 14 year old tablecloth, cut it up, and recovered four chairs that the cats had clawed. I used staples, and when the staples ran out, I used packing tape. Hey, as long as the screws stay put, the system works. My husband just bought a new scratching post. May the kitties be good.

    2. I’m on antibiotics, and they’re working. I had strep throat last week (how did that happen? Somehow, thankfully, the rest of my family dodged that one) and was surprised by how laid flat I was by it. I feel great now.

    3. We’ve had two days where the sun’s peeped through. That must be a record for Seattle in January.

    4. I’m rereading the Percy Jackson books one right after the other. I’m remembering a lot more now, because I had read them as they came out and got events all mixed up. There are bits of wry humor that delight and surprise me.

    5. I’m waiting for the rice to cool down so I can make avocado sushi for lunch.

    6. The plan is for my husband and I to go to IKEA for our wedding anniversary. We need shelves! Lots of them. Little does he know that I got him yummy, decadent chocolate twigs, too.

    7. New wool felt.

  16. Congratulations to you on your anniversary, Jules. And I of course join you in congratulating Tanita. So great! And congratulations to Little Willow! Congratulations, everywhere. My kicks:

    1. The Kidlitosphere Comment Challenge. I’m enjoying leaving comments and receiving them. Kudos to Pam and Lee for building community so well.
    2. Mheir and I saw lots of friends in LA last weekend, and were even able to sneak in a visit to Disneyland with our godson and his amazing family.
    3. Other old friends are coming to visit later this week. (Our godson’s brother’s godparents – they’re really family, in all ways that matter).
    4. I’m reading the Cybils finalists for MG Fantasy and Science Fiction (and just generally happy that the shortlists are available – such great nominating committee panelists we have).
    5. Felt a small earthquake Thursday. Enough to catch the attention, but too small for any damage, which is pretty well perfect, as earthquakes go.

    And that’s all for today. Wishing everyone a lovely 2010!

  17. Elaine, good kicks all-around and very glad to hear you’re finally feeling better.

    John, thanks for that PDF. Hadn’t seen it. That Ragtime quote is quite fitting, indeed, as applied to parenting. And now I’ll have to find The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wuzzle (though—brief time interlude—neither library has it. Boo).

    What movie did you see? Hope it was good. And I would have made “Alma” a kick if I had thought it’d still be there. And it is! Yeah, that doll shop took care of my nightmares for the next seven years. Brilliant little film.

    Kelly, I was so happy to hear Matt’s news, too, and even forgot to link to that as well. But I did email him my cheers this week. And, hey, you saw some good movies this week.

    Hi, Emmaco! Glad you had fun with company. I know what’s it like to enjoy the house to yourself, esp. small ones, which we also have. Royal Albert Hall on Christmas Eve > ENVY!

    Farida, so glad you’re feeling better — or at least referring to having strept throat in past tense. Happy anniversary! Remind me to tell you the story of (part of) what my husband wrote in my anniversary card and the funny conversation it brought about.

    Jen, sounds like good times with good friends. And, again, glad you’re okay from that earthquake.

  18. Visiting seven imps for the first time, will definitely not be my last. Finn is on my must have list as he and I share the same issue – may as well get it out of your system and move on.
    My kicks this week:
    1. 3.Keeping up with the Comment Challenge.
    2. Uploading a new copy of my catalog.
    3. Finishing reviews for a stack of books teetering on my shelf.
    4. Doing some Yoga.
    5. Walking my dog.
    Thanks for creating such an inspirational website.

  19. Thanks for visiting, Kathy. Yes, “may as well get it out of your system and move on” is my philosophy on anger management. I just try to do it a) sparingly and b) when no one else is around so that folks are spared my creative cursing.

  20. Happy Sunday and Happy New Year! (I am late with that I know.)

    That Finn is something! I am the same way, and now I have to get the book for a good friend whose 2 year old is having some melt-down issues…
    Love the illustrations, especially the one you pointed out jule, with him in the background and the water in the foreground….wonderful!

    My kicks are wrapped up into 2 this week, one is finally finally kicking the nasty cold I’ve had for 2 weeks – it really laid me low. Kick 2 is its gone just in time for my departure this week for New Orleans for a long-overdue visit with family and friends.

    Congrats to Tanita! That is outstanding news!

    And congrats and happy anniversary to you and your husband, jules!

    Congrats LW!

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  21. I’ve been looking for books on tantrums of late. This one will do nicely, thanks!

    Buying a shirt that wasn’t black or gray (it’s purple. I am wearing purple, people!)
    Launching (or relaunching) my blog
    Figuring out how to turn icing into glue for a birthday cake. (Darn castle mold.)
    A late-night editing session for a friend (I cannot wait for you to read her book but you’ll have to wait another year and a half.)
    Mailing our Christmas cards (well, some of them.)
    Figuring out Google Reader.
    Brunswick Stew.

  22. Hey guys…
    Happy Sunday.
    I have to say that most of my kicks are yours.

    1. Tanita’s NAACP nod. I just think that is so awesome and right on.
    2. Jama — I didn’t know that Grace Lin had gotten engaged and that makes me cry and happy at the same time.
    3. Jon Sciezka and his leaving thank you comments on all blogs. I mean, really.
    4. Jules — the art and the name Finn because, y’know, my Tall One is named Finlay and while she’s not a big tantrum thrower, I do love the moniker… and the fickleness. I kind of know how he feels. Not every day is a peach day. Especially the mealy kind.
    5. It has been bloody cold here and I LOVE IT. Real winter, even in Texas.
    6. Ran 10 miles this morning and it was awesome.
    7. Girls almost done with their science fair projects — two weeks early. Unprecedented. We are Never.Early.For.Anything.

    Like Kicks. It’s late, but still Sunday and I wish you guys all happy weekends. Thanks for hosting us, Jules…

  23. That poster guy lives in Austin? That’s a kick. Austin is awesome!

    Another kick is that my son’s middle name is Finn (for Neil Finn the singer and Finn McCool the legend). The book here looks great.

    The biggest kick this week was how much my son loved being with his granddad even though he hadn’t seen him in 3 years (since he was 3). My little Finn was my dad’s shadow. A very nice kick.

    Have a good week!

  24. RM, have a great time in New Orleans. Glad you’re feeling better for the trip.

    Hi, Madelyn. You’ll have to be sure to remind us in a year-and-a-half about your friend’s book. And what is in Brunswick Stew?

    Liz, I keep hearing you all have cold weather. You all got snow before we did in Tennessee. Lots of snow, if I recall correctly. …I look forward to science projects with the girls, since my husband was once about seven minutes away from a life working in a lab.

    Marta, I freakin’ LOVE Neil Finn’s music. You have good taste in art and music. And what a good Biggest Kick you have.

    Have a good week, all.

  25. Jules, I played Millie! Absolutely an excellent role.

    I’m too lazy for proper kicks, and it’s Monday, but I did want to follow up with you all about my audition last Sunday – I was asked to understudy the role for which I auditioned as well as being in the chorus, and I accepted. It’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of fun.

  26. Brunswick stew is mostly chicken (or pork if you’d rather) and lima beans and corn and onions and such. In truth it’s not the greatest stew in the world, but my mother always made it when I was a kid and it was nice to see it in front of me at the dinner table.

    Happy Monday.

  27. Kimberly, congrats!

    Madelyn, thanks. I might try it one day, even if it has lima beans in it. Hee.

  28. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary, Jules!

    The kicks this week as I returned from a holiday break:
    1. Definitely this posting….Finn must be a present to my daughter and her husband as Baby William is almost ten months; the poster which I will definitely order (that is when I get ANYthing real done related to work and thinking; congrats again to Tanita; and last but not least, dragging out some of my own old college drama class photos…and you think YOU have big hair!
    2. Actually going to a movie, saw Up In The Air. (is that the right name?)
    3. Happy I don’t live further north in the winters after this cold, cold weather we are having in DC.
    4. Moving from lists and lists and lists of “Best of 09” books to reading about all the exciting books awaiting release in 2010!
    5. Reading again OPERATION YES and thinking about current military families and their needs.
    6. Reconnecting with a long lost friend through Facebook.
    7. A lovely conversation by phone with the daughter of my son’s first special ed class aide from 30 years ago; the aide recently passed away and I loved sharing with the daughter how much her mother meant to our family.

    Have a good week everyone!

  29. Loose ends. I hate loose ends — even (especially) when I’m the one who left them untied in the first place — let’s see…

    Little Willow: as I compose this, you’re probably preparing for the show with the whirlwind audition/casting cycle. Do break a leg! (I know that’s “the” thing to say, but it always slightly creeps me out.)

    Jill, I’ve seen past years’ entries on the pantsless-subway days and although they’re entertaining, I’m with you. Slightly ewwww. (Actually not just for the bystanders, but the participants. I saw the one shot of three girls in their underwear sitting on a bench at a station and prayed that they were en route for STD checkups, ha.)

    And the Ulysses graphic novel: woot!

    Feeling a bit like an outsider: what’s a CSA? (Here in the Deep South, it usually means only one thing — but I don’t think that’s what y’all are talking about, is it?)

    Jules: I feel a little ambivalent about telling you that the film we saw was New Moon (Twilight #2). Neither The Missus nor I have read any of the books, and we don’t have any kids or nieces (etc.) young enough to have been swept up in the craze. So I’m not sure why, but The Missus decided we needed to see #1 in the theater rather than waiting for DVD — and LOVED it. I wasn’t crazy about it but didn’t mind it, and liked that the author (and/or filmmakers) had played some interesting games with all the familiar vampire mythology.

    So when #2 came along, I was pretty sure we’d be seeing it in the theater, too, once the expected crush died down. (And I’d bought The Missus the DVD of #1 for her birthday, which came with a voucher good for a free ticket to #2 — which made the decision effortless.)

    For the record, The Missus was disappointed with New Moon — more than I was. Still, I expect when whatever the third one is called comes along, we’ll be at some point standing in line to see it, too.

    Btw, have I (or you?!?) mentioned already — there’s a new Wallace & Grommit film?

  30. Just have to add that I’ve seen Neil on his own, with his brother Tim, and with Crowded House. Once I got to tell him that my son was named after him. He was very nice and I couldn’t breathe.

  31. Carol, your last kick is particularly lovely, I must say. And isn’t that Operation Yes so good?

    John, I would love to read the Twilight books and see the films. The contrarian in me just always wants to wait till the rest of the world is done. Practically speaking, if I tried to get the first novel from the library, I’d probably be on a decades-long waiting list, too.

    I’m curious to know what you think of Imaginarium, once you see it, since you like Time Bandits.

    Marta, I saw Crowded House live in…let’s see….I think it was ’94 — years before the tragic death of the drummer. One of my favorite bands EVER. That whole Finn family is so talented. So cool that you got to talk to Neil.

  32. Okay, I realize I’ve actually missed the Kicks kick-off by a full day – but I have a note:

    “Dear Jules,
    Please excuse Denise for commenting late as she was away in Antarctica.” (Really. Trip of a lifetime.)

    And so my first four kicks are:

    1 – Finding that if you sit very still on a rock near a penguin colony, a circle of curious little penguins will form around you. (penguins = really cute. colony = really stinky.)

    2 – Being in a Zodiac with a National Geographic photographer while she shot ice berg photos “on assignment”. So interesting: hearing her guide the Zodiac driver round to where she could get the best light on/through the ice; an artist’s vision taking shape.

    3 – Kayaking in the vicinity of a leopard seal (long as the kayak). Witnessing a real “Wild Kingdom”drama as he hunted/toyed with/killed/ate an unfortunate penguin. : – P

    4 – Playing cards (Hearts) on New Year’s Eve with hubby and sons, waiting for midnight to arrive while twilight held fast to the Antarctic summer sky.

    And my last three kicks are about this fine blog that I’m so glad to enjoy:

    5 – The tantrum illus. are fab. I’ve gotta see the whole book. (Those were the days: when I truly feared taking my 2-year-old to the market, lest he go ballistic in the cereal aisle.)

    6 – Oh, I love Terry Gilliam! Can’t wait to see the new flick. Still have his gorgeous, eerie dream sequences from Brazil stuck in my head.

    7 – I’m getting a feel for the fun and interesting folk who post here (fox-prints lovers, castle-cake salvagers, relatives of Finns). Congrats to Tanita. And Happy Anniversary.

  33. Hi, Denise! Whoa. Just whoa. ENVY! Kick #2 is especially cool, I have to say. Thanks for telling us all about your trip. Come back!

    And, hey, if you see Imaginarium, let me know what you think.

  34. Oh man. LOVE those illustrations.

  35. […] He says, ‘Black ink was mixed with coffee grounds, making this a scratch-and-sniff poster’, with a little glow-in-the-dark paint thrown in for added fun. Check out Keith’s Flickr site. Thanks 7 Imp… […]

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