7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #152: Featuring David Walker

h1 January 31st, 2010 by jules


“Four happy bears / on four small chairs. / Not a bear / has to share.”

It’s time to take a Sunday once again to appreciate those illustrators who can entertain the youngest of children through picture books without also inducing headaches, brought on by excessive cuteness, in those adults reading the illustrated titles to said children. This is a balancing act, I would think, a tough thing to pull off. David Walker can do it.

Last August, Candlewick released a picture book by Shirley Parenteau, with illustrations by Walker, called Bears on Chairs. This book is a little gem is what it is. If you have a preschooler, or work with them, and you want a picture book that’s going to draw them like a magnet with its rhyming (“Parenteau’s rhythm and rhyme never falter,” wrote Kirkus), fun, accessible text and its soft, warm images, this is the book for you. My own preschooler has carried it around pretty much since I got a review copy and read it to her multiple times: She’ll set herself down on the couch and “read” it. With a text like this…

Four small chairs
just right for bears.
Where is the bear
for each small chair?

Calico Bear
sits on a chair.
He likes it there
on his one chair.

Now Fuzzy Bear
wants a chair.
She climbs up there
on the second chair…

…she’ll sit there, her pre-reading self, and pretend to read the words, throwing out ones like “bear,” “chair,” “there,” “share,” and “spare” a lot, making up her own tale as she pores over the illustrations. But what’s really going on is that she’s learning quite a bit about the reading process by doing so. All that’s to say: Seven cheers for winning preschool picture books, such as this one.


“Big Brown Bear / helps Calico Bear / make one double chair / for three to share. / Two of the bears / fall off that chair! / That double chair / can’t hold three bears.”

David’s acrylic art work is inviting. Toddlers will eat it up. The Publishers Weekly review compared his bears to the Care Bears, which made me shudder. Egads! David’s bears are way more subtle, and his soft, uncluttered pastel-colored spreads and gentle, round bears are comforting to the wee’est of readers.

As is the rest of his art. I’ve been sitting on these bear spreads for months now, but fortunately when I contacted David recently he sent some other samples of his art (which is what I was hoping for). And, if you’re up for another of his newly-illustrated titles, aimed at even a younger crowd—as in, the kind who like to snack on books—there’s Diane Muldrow’s new board book, How Do Lions Say I Love You? (a Random House Golden Book, December 2009). (Story-time librarians can make note of this lovely title for the wee’est on Valentine’s Day.)

For some reason, I had it in my head that David was British. Nope. He lives and works in North Carolina. Here he is to say a few words:

In short, I work in a studio in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with two constantly snoring dogs below my desk and my wife and two daughters just on the other side of the door. I design a variety of products, such as greeting cards and fabric, but children’s books are quickly becoming the majority of what I do.

As far as children’s books go, my part of the process begins when an editor contacts me with a manuscript they feel fits my painting style. Gotta admit, I really like getting that kind of phone call! Most people think the writer gets in touch with the illustrator, but actually I rarely get to speak to the writer of the books I illustrate.

I start each book with thumbnail sketches that help develop the overall layout of the story and then move to tighter pencil sketches of each spread. When I’m comfortable with the pencil sketches, I send them to the editor and art director for approval. There’s usually some back and forth at this stage, but once everyone is comfortable with the sketches, I move to the final painting. I use acrylic paint on paper and, while my paintings are done entirely by hand, I rely on the computer as a fantastic tool for placing type, making the book dummy, and e-mailing images back and forth to the publisher.

Here’s a sampling of more of David’s art, which rather makes me want Spring to come, and I thank him for stopping by:










BEARS ON CHAIRS. Text copyright © 2009 by Shirley Parenteau. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by David Walker. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

All other art work used with permission of David Walker.

* * * * * * *

As a reminder, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is 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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

As I type this, there’s about four-ish (math was never my strong point) inches of all kinds of wintery precipitation on the ground here in middle Tennessee, and it’s still falling. This doesn’t happen to us snow-deprived Southerners often. Beautiful.

Here is the picture my husband snuck onto my camera on Friday:

He loves cold weather. Says he wouldn’t mind living some place plenty-snowy one day. When we happen to get significant snowfalls, he’ll walk around outside at least once without his shoes, and it makes my skin crawl, as I get cold in seventy-degree weather. He thinks this is HYSTERICAL. I think it is crazy bidness.

(Yes, he has a snake tattooed on his foot. This I add, lest you think his right foot is being invaded by carnivorous reptiles or something.)

Okay, here are my other kicks. (And if you’ll bear with me, I have TEN this week. I just can’t help it. Maybe some of you can find ten so that I won’t feel so garrulous?)

1). Sharing a one-year anniversary with a new friend. It’s really because of Facebook that we’re friends, too. (Long story.) There are times when I consider dumping my Facebook account altogether, but then I remember good things like this.

2). So, I go to my local public library on Thursday, and the two very nice children’s librarians give me two beautiful and quite dated Sendak-illustrated titles that weren’t circulating enough and the library wanted to pull and DITCH altogether. Taking them off the shelves would be, to me, a great indignity, of course, but I don’t run the place and the upshot is that they gave them to ME. I think I squealed when they handed them over. (One is not yet out-of-print; it’s Jan Wahl’s Pleasant Fieldmouse, which we’re mostly done reading — and it is good stuff. Pictured here is the other, which seems to be out-of-print.)

3). Re-arranging our kitchen/fake dining room (let’s call it The Yellow Room) in such a manner that the room is airier and has way more space and we can all see each other face-to-face when eating meals now. I think there must be something to feng shui. I just feel better, having done this. And I just enjoy sitting in the room now. Plus, I finally got to hang my newly-framed, signed, Julie-Paschkis “Eat Pie” print, not to mention Piper’s Pointy Pencil Shoe. Things are coming up very Julie-Paschkis in my kitchen, aren’t they?

4). All week, Sam Phillips has been a guest editor at Magnet. That sounds like a lot of reading, but instead they’ve been twice-daily (very) short posts on various and random things she loves. I very much like the one on drumming: “Electronic beats and noises are cute, funny and perfect. In the hands of some, they can groove, but I love the imperfect, lopsided, sexy, human drummers. There is tone and grease and mess when you hear great ones.”

5). This for-grown-ups book trailer needs no introduction (except perhaps to say it’s a wonderful send-up of celebrity picture book authors):

Peter—most excellent comic foil there to Michael, don’t you think?—will be stopping by 7-Imp later to talk about this book and his work.

6). Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld’s brand-new Shark Vs. Train. More on that later…

7). New recipes, including linguini with walnuts and an arugula salad with Pecorino Romano and even more (but this time toasted) walnuts. Walnuts make everything better, don’t you think?

8). The great and abiding and instant love my four-year-old had for Ursula K. Le Guin’s Catwings, which we stumbled upon in the library stacks this week. CATS WITH WINGS. She looked at me as if it were too good to be true and sat through the entire little novel. She rarely does this.

9). I always figure my former grad school prof, hero, good friend, and Person Who Made Me Want to Study Children’s Lit for the Rest of My Life, whose name is Jinx, doesn’t read my blog. But she left a comment on Thursday! I got about as excited as a kindergartener who gets a gold star in class.

10). Last, but not least: Remember Jeremy Hiebert’s ice photos, right? And remember how he told us he got a gallery showing? Well, the photos are currently being exhibited at the Summerland Art Gallery in Canada. Check this out, too. I hope I’m not embarrassing him; I’m just so happy that more people get to see those exquisite photos.

What are YOUR kicks this week? Anyone else got ten to balance out my jibberjabber this morning? Or, hey, even eleven. Kicks can go to eleven, you know.

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40 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #152: Featuring David Walker”

  1. Hello everyone,

    I’ve been absent the past two Sundays because of work and other inconveniences, and missed the chance to kick with you all.

    We lost two really outstanding men this week: J.D. Salinger and Lee A. Archer. For anyone who doesn’t know, Mr. Archer was the first African-American ace pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen, and a true hero. Here’s a link with a video about Mr. Archer: http://www.visionaryproject.com/archerlee/

    Jules, I feel the same way about Facebook. It can be a really wonderful thing.Truly. I’m jealous of your snow, and covet the Sendak-illustrated book. And you know how much I also loved Sam’s guest editor stint at Magnet (and it’s not over yet – two more today!). And kudos to Jeremy on the exhibition of his amazing photos.

    My kicks:
    1) I think I’ve been a part of the 7-imp community for approximately one year now (give or take). Big thanks go out to Jules for this wonderful blog, and to all of you for sharing your amazing accomplishments and goodness.
    2) My friend Carolyn, for letting me be her friend during a very painful time (her husband passed away quite suddenly two weeks ago).
    3) Getting work after a slow couple of months.
    4) Keeping a sense of humor when things aren’t so jolly.
    5) Kind words
    6) This may not interest most of you, but I’ve had a big crush on Tom Selleck since his “Magnum, P.I.” days, and an old friend sent me this very quirky yet delicious link (check out the hilarious (and catchy) theme song buried in between the photos, most likely sung by a child of the site’s creator): http://selleckwaterfallsandwich.tumblr.com/
    7) The audio archives at this site, which include recordings by writers and poets, like Richard Wilbur and Billy Collins: http://www.kwls.org/lit/podcasts/

    Sorry Jules, but work was so crazy this past week that I could only come up with 7 kicks (but I used to list only 5, so I’m doing better). I’ll shoot for more next time.

    Have a felicitous week!


  2. Hi guys!

    I’m not a regular to comment on this blog, but I am definitely a follower with occasional comments..

    I love the work of David Walker, it is new to me. It is soft, but at the same time doesn’t make you shiver like those overly round figures you often see in children’s books. Beautiful work! He is going on my list of great illustrators! Thanks Jules for sharing!

    About the snow: we have a lot too, after a month or so the snow is back and staying again :)

    Thanks again for sharing this with us!
    Have a nice week everyone! :)


  3. Nice feet! *shiver* Amazing the things you learn at this blog :)!

    I’m really sorry to disagree, but those bears do remind me of Care Bears, which is NOT a bad thing at our house. We are equal opportunity bear lovers here. I like the soft, gentle touch in David’s art. The boy tucked into bed is my favorite! Lucky you, scoring those Sendak titles! Swooning at the thought of your yellow kitchen/dining room graced with Julie’s art!

    Yay for Jeremy’s ice photos!

    Hi, Jill, I hear you on the Tom Selleck love. Watched every Magnum P.I. episode. Kinda dreamy seeing him at familiar places in Hawaii :).

    Nice to meet you, Veronika!

    Le kicks:

    I won the Melissa Sweet Small Graces painting!

    Nice snowfall yesterday.

    I made a little hot rod car for Cynthia Lord’s pub day post tomorrow out of an eggplant. I was stumped on what to do about a steering wheel, until I found the perfect yogurt covered pretzel!

    Cindy’s new PB, Hot Rod Hamster. Adorable!

    President Obama’s SOTU and Republican Luncheon Q&A. I’m blown away by his humility, integrity, and earnest desire to serve the American people. What other President in recent memory EVER admitted to making mistakes? No, he’s not perfect, and I just wish all the cynics and skeptics would tune into his humanity a little more, something we all need desperately in our country.

    Received a signed copy of THE HOUSE, which I first learned about here at 7-Imp. Gorgeous book.

    Popcorn and Gilmore Girls re-runs.

    Happy February!


  4. My first enumeration of Kicks for the 7-Imp folks. Here goes:
    1. A trip out to Amherst, MA to see an old friend AND take in the Golden Book illustration show at the Eric Carle Museum AND see the big illustration roundup at Michaelson Galleries in nearby Northampton. Both are amazing places and everyone should go.
    2. A panel discussion in Brookline hosted by Anita Silvey (“Everything I Need To Know I Learned from a Children’s Book”) where I learned that:
    3. Lois Lowry’s favorite book as a child was “The Yearling” and Anita Diamant’s most memorable book was “Mary Poppins” which she was exposed to before Disney and Julia Andrews hijacked it!
    4. As I slowly learn about this business of illustrating for children I get a serious kick from the dawning awareness that there is a universe of people who fiercely advocate for humanity through the medium of children’s literature!
    5. I’d been feeling somewhat lost lately: too many trains in the station and ticket stubs littering the floor and everybody shouting until… I CLEANED UP THE PLACE! Well, an attempt at least. I’m better now.
    6. A party last night that culminated in a good old fashioned Yankee Swap (we missed the holidays). The twist here is that it was attended by many dear Boston-area illustrators and I walked away with a fabulous print by my amigo Leo Espinosa. Hal Mayforth went back to Vermont with an original painting by me. There was quite a battle for the original James Kaczman painting and many other fine pieces were exchanged and things did get a little tense.

    7. That full moon the last few nights. Didn’t that make you stop in your tracks just once or twice??


  5. David Walke’s art is adorable! The lions get me. I want to know how they say “I love you.”
    Jules, your husband’s feet in the snow crack me up! And that snake, fun! So lucky to get those books from the library. I hate to weed but its a necessary evil.
    Jill, sorry for your friend’s loss.
    Veronika, hello.
    Jama, I am jealous of your snow. We only had one snowfall and I was at the coast.
    My kicks:
    It was fun to read greetings for my birthday this week on FB.
    1.Portland Kidilit night on Friday evening.
    2. My writing group has firmed up our first writing retreat at the coast in February.
    3. Birthday dinner today with family. Chuck is making cabbage chicken and daughter is making carrot cake.
    4. Tulips and daffodils shoots are 3 inches tall.
    5. Completed 3 of the 5 poetry prompts I participate in this week.
    6. Heard from a blogger firend I haven’t heard from in a while.
    7. Jes’ photo “Pancakes” which reminds me of a Georgia O’Keefe painting.
    8. Teaching fifth graders how to leave good comments on a blog. The are responding to the books they are reading.
    Have a great week.


  6. Jill, I had wanted to put a brief Salinger tribute in this post, but I worried I’d screw it up. (Hey, that sounds inadvertently Holden-esque). Speaking of, here’s that Onion tribute I was telling you about, written Catcher-style. Perfect.

    One year as my friend AND with 7-Imp. Even better! Thanks for that Key West link. That will be fun to explore.

    Welcome, Veronika! Glad you like David’s art. I’ll have to try to find more of his books….Enjoy the snow.

    Jama, YOU WON THE MELISSA SWEET SOUP PAINTING? !! Do I have the right painting in mind? Yes! You are exactly who should own that.

    I love that you love the Care Bears.

    Did you see the fake news on SNL last night, where Seth Myers talked about Obama’s luncheon with the GOP folks? It’s here. The Indiana-Jones reference was GOLD.

    Rob! Glad you kicked with us. Really love kick #4; you’ll have to elaborate some time. I’d love to hear about some instances you’ve seen. What a kicky, art-filled week you had.

    Jone, glad you had a good birthday week. And you already have tulips and daffodils?

    And, Jone, P.S. To answer your question: “Lions say I love you with a purr and a cuddle.” Great board book for wee, WEE ones.


  7. Jules,

    Love the picture of your husband’s bare feet in the snow. I’m different from most people my age. The older I get the more I prefer winter to summer. I hate heat and humidity. I’ve never walked barefoot in the snow though.

    Thanks for the BEARS ON CHAIRS recommendation. I’m looking for some good books to give as baby gifts to the children of friends who are expecting babies this year–one couple in April and one couple in July.

    *****
    Jama,

    I used to enjoy watching Gilmore Girls. I loved the fast-paced, witty dialogue.

    *****
    Jone,

    Congratulations on your poetry writing. I experienced an extended period of writer’s block in recent weeks. I think I may have finally broken through the block. At least I hope I have.

    *****

    MY KICK OF THE WEEK

    I had a great kick with my daughter yesterday. We went to Cakes for Occasions, a fantastic bakery in a nearby community, to order her wedding cake. They gave us some cake samples. SOOOOO DELICIOUS!!! We decided on a three-tiered hexagonal cake with two different flavors:

    Strawberry-Grand Marnier – vanilla cake soaked with grand marnier syrup, filled with grand marnier buttercream and fresh sliced strawberries.

    AND

    Chocolate Paradise – chocolate cake soaked with rum syrup, coconut cream filling.

    Here are links to the bakery’s website and their wedding cake page:

    http://www.cakes4occasions.com/index.php

    http://www.cakes4occasions.com/wed.php?cat=2


  8. Jama,

    P.S. Congratulations on winning the Small Graces Melissa Sweet painting!!! How exciting! I won a beautiful Melissa Sweet painting in an auction that raised money for The Pet Project a few years ago.


  9. ‘Morning, everybody.

    I think you know, Jules, how I love to find “secrets” in the work of some of the artists you feature here… not in-jokes, exactly, but little sections of big and complex illustrations which you have to stare at for a long time to really see. (Sorta like a non-goal-directed “Where’s Waldo?”)

    David Walker’s work doesn’t depict big old Breughel-style scenes like those. But it’s got plenty of secrets anyhow — just in what he does with tiny dots and lines. Like, look at the one of the birds and caterpillars on the branches. All he does is just tilt an oval a certain way or add a few more little feathery wisps on the top of a head, and he’s got a complete personality on paper. Or the one of the little girl in the corner, looking up at the cat on the sofa back: man, there’s a whole storyline right there, in the tiny converging lines and dots of her face. Very cool stuff!

    I’m with Blaine about cold weather. Did he grow up in a cold-weather part of the country? Or is this more of a past-life thing emerging?

    Some other great kicks in your list, Jules: the book trailer, the Magnet series (!)… The link to the Summerland Art Gallery seems to be dead at the moment (an “account suspended” page, whoops), but at his own site Jeremy provided a link to a Flickr-ized slideshow version of what I think may be the photos in the gallery show. (I have a deep-seated fear of drowning, but got a lot of pleasure from scrolling manually through the slideshow and drowning in Jeremy’s ice.)

    Jill! Welcome back — I was wondering what was up with you; so glad it was only temporary! So what do you return with? SELLECK WATERFALL SANDWICH. Okaaaaaay:)

    Welcome, Veronika! I visited your site — LOVE the “one-liners“… you must be something else with an Etch-a-Sketch, but I think the pencil and (watercolor?) work possibly has more of a future. :)

    jama: Thanks for the reminder about the GOP Luncheon thing — I forgot to catch that. But I thought the speech, yes, was wonderful

    Welcome to you, too, Rob — thanks for sharing the kicks (much jealousy over the Yankee Swap), and thanks for sharing your work here a couple months ago — loved it!

    jone: Oooh, a writing retreat on a coast…! This would be the Pacific coast, I’m guessing? (Talk about jealousy.)

    Some fast kicks:

    * Reconnecting with people through the Internet (had to do some legwork on this one, but it was worth it)
    * Letting your fictional characters be themselves (harder than it sounds)
    * A great week for a family member who desperately needed one (including an upcoming L.A. performance of Flood by They Might Be Giants)
    * …and real good news for The Stepson too (ditto on the need)
    * Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books
    * Thick socks on chilly nights (or cold mornings, for that matter)
    * TV cop jargon: perp, unsub, et al.
    * The Hurt Locker: oh man, this film…
    * This (for writers in a slump)
    * Cute-fluffy-bunny-sounding kids’ (?) songs with subversive messages (think “Little Boxes” [Weeds or full-length version] or The Beatles’ “Little Piggies“)


  10. Jama, thanks for sharing the Tommy (we’re close friends. Ha.) Selleck love and the reminder that I need to watch the Gilmore Girls today, for my mental health.

    Jone, happy belated birthday!

    Jules, thanks for the Onion link — that was perfect!

    JES, I may have said this before, but I love your acute powers of observation and the way you bring us a new level of really “seeing” the art on this lovely blog. And please, tell me more about “The Hurt Locker”!


  11. My drooling over Elaine’s description of her daughter’s wedding cake flavors drew me back for another comment today. Yum — strawberry and chocolate!

    Jill, I love that you call him Tommy :). You two must indeed be very close. Here, I thought Tom and I had something going, with me calling him “Stachie,” (for his moustache). Must mention that once I actually got a letter addressed to him in my mailbox, care of the NRA (there’s a branch office in the same city where I live). For awhile there, I thought Stachie had moved in without my knowledge!

    YES, Jules, I won the SOUP PAINTING!! Ever since you forwarded that email to me, I knew it was meant to be.

    Jes, I hope you catch some of the GOP Q&A (several channels are rebroadcasting parts of it). It was quite something. Thanks for the SNL link, Jules. That was hilarious!


  12. For anybody interested in the Pres Obama/GOP luncheon Q&A which jama mentioned, you can find the full video and transcript here (Huffington Post).


  13. P.S. Amazing!


  14. Oh have mercy, Elaine, those cakes look scrumptious. What fun! What a particularly deliciable kick of the week.

    John, are you sure you don’t want to go back to school to get an art history degree? I’ll join you. I love what you see in art.

    Love your kicks. Will explore the links later, when my daughters aren’t calling me to go into the snow. Never heard of The Hurt Locker? Will have to look that up…And thanks for the GOP-luncheon link. I’m going to carve out time to watch that.

    (Any time you want to pass on examples of the cute-fluffy-bunny-sounding kids’ songs that are actually subversive in nature, I’ll gladly take recommendations.)

    Oh, and p.s. No, The Husband has never lived up North or anywhere else cold. Grew up in Tennessee, though we briefly lived near D.C. a while. Just loves the cold and snow.


  15. David, Shirley, and Jules: I just put Bears on Chairs on request at the library. That is too cute.

    Jules’ Husband: I am freezing just looking at that picture. Freezing.

    Jules: Hurrah for ten kicks! I’m glad that you had such a good week. I cherish the Catwings books. Yes, the Indy / Obama reference was hilarious.

    Jeremy: Congratulations on the current exhibit! How cool. Literally, yes, what with the ice.

    Jill: Happy Impiversary! Good thoughts for your friend Carolyn.

    Hi Veronika!

    Jama: Woo hoo for the win! What a cool little car. I hope that the State of the Union address encourages citizens of all ages and walks of life to do something good

    Rob: Sounds like a fun trip. Hurrah for cleaning! I too find the moon to be beautiful.

    Jone: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Or is your husband’s or daughter’s day? In any event, enjoy it! Hello to the flowers. Kudos on the poetry prompts participation.

    Elaine: Tasty times. Break that block into a million pieces!

    JES: Hope your characters are behaving.

    Thank you to everyone for the feedback on my kicklist last week. I’m very excited.

    Farida: Thank you for what you said about eligibility and card issuance. That was sweet.

    My kicks for the past week, in chronological order, with alphabetical letters to differentiate between things:
    1) Audition for new musical A; offer later that same day!
    2) A completely unexpected phone call (also that same day) offering me new musical B
    3) Shoot for pilot C – rewarding, completely what I wanted it to be
    4) Shoot for pilot D – surprisingly fun and easy
    5) Audition for film E; hoping hard!
    6) Allowing and asking for help during a crazy blitz at work in which I had no less than 50 people in the shop, all of whom needed my attention and assistance, in addition to persons calling on the telephone As I found myself without a cloning device, I asked for help and I got it. We fully completed the tasks without losing our minds. Mostly.
    7) Knowing that I’ll be sending in important paperwork tomorrow

    There was a low day this past week, due to the date itself. I had to remind myself that fourteen and a half years were filled with joy as we hit the ten-year mark of a loss.


  16. LW, although I didn’t post kicks last week, I did see your kicks, and meant to congratulate you on your SAG eligibility! WOOT! So happy for you. But also sad for the loss that you mentioned today. Hope you felt some peace about that last week. Sounds like the remainder of your week was very bright, however. What a great list!


  17. The Hurt Locker may not be to everyone’s taste: it’s a drama (apolitical) about the Iraq war, with events taking place in 2004. It follows a team of three Army specialists in disabling and disposing explosives, during the last month(ish) of their rotation in Baghdad.

    No really big-big name stars, though a few recognizables are in bit parts. It’s on more “top-10 films of 2009″ than any other film; its director — Kathryn Bigelow (and get this, she’s James Cameron’s first wife) — just snagged the best-director award from the Director’s Guild; despite several nominations, it got passed over at the Golden Globes; and Wikipedia says it “also became only the fourth film to win all three major U.S. critics group prizes (NY, LA and NSFC) joining Goodfellas, Schindler’s List and L.A. Confidential.”

    So in a way, the buzz about it is actually (hold your breath) about the buzz about the film. But it really is exceptionally well written (screenplay by an embedded reporter), directed, and acted. It’s classed as a “thriller” but I think that’s a little misleading: a lot about relationships here (among guys and, to a much lesser extent, between guys and women). While it depicts violent acts, there’s surprisingly little blood.


  18. That photo of your husband’s feet in the snow (would love to hear the story of the snake tattoo, by the way) reminds me of the k.d. lang song from the movie


  19. What? What happened to my list of kicks?


  20. Hiss boo. It looks like my list of kicks is lost. Well, I’ll try to sum up: the photo of the feet in the snow reminds me of the k.d. lang song from the movie Salmonberries called “Barefoot”: the chorus is “I’d walk through the snow barefoot/If you’d open up your door.” I also wrote about getting a new big sifter for flours, working on “Closer to Fine,” being closer to fine, thanking Jules for the card, and stuff like that. I am thinking about what I will do to celebrate my 5 years of blogging in February. I’d like to do a giveaway of some sort.


  21. Little Willow, another set of kicks that almost leaves me breathless, just reading them. Sorry about the loss anniversary, but happy for your successes this week.

    I like the word “impversary,” too.

    John, thanks. Sounds like something to add to the queueueue.

    Farida, what in the what the happened to your kicks? I apologize on behalf of blaine.org. I want to hear you play “Closer to Fine.” “The best thing you’ve ever done for me / is to help me take my life less seriously / It’s only life after all.” That song takes me back to college something serious.

    Five years? WOOT.


  22. Jules and Jill: Thank you, on all counts.

    JES: I have yet to see The Hurt Locker, but I’ve been cheering on Jeremy Renner for many years now and am glad that he’s receiving recognition for his work.

    Farida: Sorry that the dingoes ate your kicks. Congratulations on your upcoming blog anniversary.


  23. Great look at some new David Walker! I love him. I have all his fonts that he licensed for Two Peas in a Bucket years and years ago, and they always come in handy for things–love having an illustrator live inside my computer : ) New Tom Lichtenheld, too! That’s good news. We love his books around here…

    Book kick of the week: reading The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen to my girls every night by request…


  24. Oh, those bears are so sweet, but I’m with JES – I want to know the story behind the little girl in the corner throwing a fierce STINK-EYE at the cat!

    Jules – having 10 kicks is fabulous! I love that your huband sneaks pictures on your camera for you to find. Your 4year old falling in love with Catwings has inspirde a birthday book for a friend’s little one, so thanks! That trailer was great, Micheal Ian Black seemed like he was channeling Tom Cruise – awesome.

    Congrats to Jeremy on the gallery exhibit!

    Welcome back Jill! I’ve a crush on Mr. Selleck too. Have you ever seen him on Jon Stewart when he was talking about having the pet cow cremated? A must-see for Selleck lovers.

    Hi Veronika!
    Jama – congrats on winning the painting!
    Rob – that full was inspiring.

    Jone – Happy late birthday! Haven’t the few days of sun been nice?

    JES – I’ve loved Kathryn Bigelow since Point Break, so based on your endorsement, The Hurt Locker is definitely on my list to see.

    LW – another week of no sleeping, right? I don’t know how you do it, but its very fun to read of your whirlwind life and all your accomplishments.

    My kicks:
    1. Short but sweet messages.
    2. A long phone call with my niece. She’s 23, and its nice to see the wonderful and caring person she has grown into.
    3. Rough week at work, but awesome co-workers always makes it better. Especially when you all walk en masse to the wine-tasting/open house at the big money law firm a few blocks away. We may have just gotten pay cuts, but we still know how to have fun.
    4. Evening runs in the neighborhood to blow off steam.
    5. Indoor soccer, so damn fun.
    6. Finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo yesterday, mostly liked it. Now on to finish Kaye Gibbons “the life all around me by ellen foster.” So far I like it.
    7. Attending tonight’s fundraiser for http://fencesforfido.org/ which was a lot of fun. Went with one friend and co-worker and another is on the board for it. They needed funds to build fences for 12 dogs, and it seemed all they needed to do was show a picture of the dog on the screens and someone waved their bid card and paid for that dog’s fence. Very cool.

    Busy week, now off to sleep. Have a great week everyone!


  25. Welcome, Elizabeth! My four-year-old also adores Van Dusen’s Circus Ship. She’s fascinated by it.

    RM, who knew we had so much Tom Selleck love around here? Glad you have co-workers who know how to have such fun. … I had no idea that The Life All Around Me By Ellen Foster even existed. I remember loving Ellen Foster when it very first came out, and I’ve always wanted to see how I’d respond to the book now.

    Never heard of Fences for Fido either. Sounds like a good group.

    I should add for those who love the stink-eye girl: That is called, I THINK, Time-Out.


  26. Hi RM! Just wanted to thank you for the heads up about the Stewart/Selleck video (can’t wait to see that!). I’m glad to see all the Tommy love (or as Jama calls him, “Stachie”. Ha!). I also love dogs, so the fundraiser sounds great!


  27. I’m a day late! It’s always kind of overwhelming to read everyone’s Kicks all at once, but I’m glad I did.

    I put Bears on Chairs on order. Jules, it is a kick the way you’re always pointing me to books I haven’t seen yet.

    Had I been timely with my kicks, I may have listed The Hurt Locker as a kick, too, incidentally. I watched it Friday night. I was left kind of sitting there staring at the credits thinking, “Holy God, something like that is happening RIGHT NOW. To REAL PEOPLE.” It’s not that I’ve been unaware of what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan–I know several people who’ve been there–but this film made me think a lot, and maybe a little differently. It’s a really tight film, too–one of those ones where you miss something every time you blink.


  28. I’m quite embarrassed that I had this page open since Sunday afternoon and didn’t get to actually READING it until today. And then several more hours before I attempted this response!

    Thanks so much for the shout out, Jules…and for kind words from everyone else. You guys gave me my first gallery show, and the confidence to stick with it, for which I am still most grateful.

    The show opening was a lot of fun. Over 100 people came and celebrated with us, which was apparently amazing for a small-town gallery opening. My throat was sore for talking all night, but it was great to listen to people’s questions and responses too — lots of enthusiasm. Made some good connections too, lining up another show for later in the year at a local winery that has a gallery upstairs, meeting the curator from the bigger gallery in the bigger town down the road, and another interview with a bigger newspaper…who knows what will come of it all, but I’m glad to have taken the first baby steps.

    Sorry I’ve been so out of the loop…I’m looking forward to life getting back to normal again when I can be a good 7-Imp Citizen again. Quick kicks:

    1) Opening the show. Big kick.
    2) Mountain biking in January…rare for anywhere in Canada…it’s been unseasonably warm since Christmas.
    3) Birthday celebration tonight, with my brother visiting from the other side of the country.
    4) Scrap metal…my latest photographic muse this week.
    5) Played hockey four times this week…and almost getting in shape as a result.
    6) Meeting several online friends for the first time in person.
    7) Soundgarden.


  29. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

    Jama: I checked out your blog, you make amazing things with food! My mom does it every now-and-then when someone has a birthday. I really like your ideas! And the book sounds adorable.

    Rob: I love Lois Lowrys “The Giver”. It has been one of my favorites! The Golden Book illustration show sounds great. Reading about these kind of events always makes me wanna go to the US.

    Jone: it sounds interesting to teach children about leaving a good comment :) Any guidelines?

    Elaine: those cakes sound delicious! It is always exciting to find the right ones for a wedding.

    Jes: Thanks for checking out my work. I’ve never had an Etch-a-Sketch, but I know how it works, it might be a fun thing to have :) I love Terry Pratchett! I love his humor.

    Farida: 5 years of blogging! Wow, that is quite an achievement! I’m still getting to learn about it…


  30. Adrienne, I’m just gonna have to add The Hurt Locker to the queueueue.

    Jeremy, don’t be embarrassed. Shoot, it’s really hard to keep up with all the blogs in the world we like. I struggle with it, too. (I do like the phrase “7-Imp Citizen,” though.) WOOT! I love reading over-100-people and an interview and another gallery showing (with WINE)! Congratulations!…I like the new photos. Happy birthday! As for kick #6, I still want someone to give 7-Imp, I dunno, a grant to have an actual dinner—a big ‘ol breakfast might be better—in the middle of the country and we can all meet.

    Veronika, have you ever been to the US? Have you ever lived anywhere, other than Hungary or the Netherlands?


  31. re: 7-ImpCamp
    How about Vegas? Cheap to get to from anywhere.
    :)


  32. YES! Then we’ll all have to misbehave to be sure we can say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” with authority.


  33. p.s. I just fell for the name “7-Imp Camp,” too.


  34. Jules: Well, I was born and raised in Hungary and lived there until my 19th. Than I took a shot at living and studying further in the Netherlands. So I’ve been here for almost 5 years now. But I’ve never been to the US. Maybe some day when I’m graduated and there’s a great illustration festival, I’ll visit :)


  35. [...] morning come, and I hope, based on what I saw, that Kitty and Piggy find a publisher. Remember how last Sunday you joined me in celebrating an illustrator who can create engaging illustrations for the [...]


  36. [...] Posted in Picture Books, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks | 35 Comments » [...]


  37. Snowbound in Philadelphia, and taking advantage of the quiet hibernation to read the children’s lit blogs I mean to read every single day. I’ve never posted a comment before, and I’m sort of strangely nervous, but eager to share 7 kicks:
    1) Discovering video skype-ing. Best thing ever to happen to a long-distance relationship.
    2) Recommending The Seals on the Bus, by Lenny Hort, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, to a bus-obsessed 2-year-old at the library who was so taken with it that he refused to let it out of his hands. His mother looked at me and said, “This is THE book.”
    3) G. Brian Karas, my new very favorite illustrator.
    4) Having Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop, by Christopher Raschka, arrive at my library branch (I was horrified to find that our copy was checked out, and had to put it on hold!) in time for Friday’s storytime. My co-workers made fun of how excited I was, but they couldn’t dampen my spirits.
    5) Having one of my very favorite regular library kids come in with his preschool for a storytime. He periodically took the books out of my hand, held them up for his classmates to see the pictures, and asked them questions, like, “All you good people, what is the name of this elephant?”
    6) The part in But Excuse Me That is My Book, by Lauren Child, when Lola is laughing so hard at the memory of a beetle in her favorite book who gets stuck on his back, and she says, doubled over with laughter, “All his funny little legs, Charlie.”
    7) The number of people who have come in this week to request Alice in Wonderland.


  38. Hi, Elizabeth! Not sure if you meant to post these kicks on today’s post?? (which is here)….but I certainly don’t want to move them, in case you meant for them to be here.

    Thanks for visiting! Is there anything better than getting just the right book to a kid? And that Seals on the Bus *is* good, and I also adore Brian’s illustrations. (Did you see this from ’07?) Love kick #5: Future librarian maybe?

    In which part of the country do you work?


  39. RE: Vegas: Read WHAT HAPPENS HERE by Tara Altebrando. Now.

    I read Bears on Chairs and One Frog Sang today. The bears are so adorable. Definitely getting my recommendation. Floppy Bear’s arms-up apologetic shrug was cute and reflective.


  40. [...] For a peek at some of the text and interior illustrations, check out a post from Seven Impossible Before Breakfast here. [...]


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