7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #155: Featuring Paul Schmid

h1 February 21st, 2010 by jules

Anyone else see this review over at A Year of Reading? That’s Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s latest title, published by HarperCollins last month and illustrated by Paul Schmid. It’s called The Wonder Book, and it’s…well, a little wonder, to be precise about it. I love children’s books that do word play well (as it’s ever-so easy to screw up), and this is one. I’m happy to feature Paul this morning, who is making his debut in picture books with this title. Amy says—in that video you see linked in Franki’s post—that Paul’s illustrations perfectly “capture the essence and flavor of this book. It’s almost as if his style was created for this book. I cannot imagine The Wonder Book looking any other way.” Score.

The Wonder Book, which—as the publisher likes to point out—is tremendously browse-able, has poems, lists, (clever, as already mentioned) word play, the less famous friends of Mary Mack, Prince sdrawkcaB (a poem actually best read backwards, as in last line first and first line last), palindromes (including the “Too bad I hid a boot” Paul shares below), half-birthday celebrations, a dinosaur with a killer vocabulary (Tyrannothesaurus Rex, who talks everyone to death), a word play in four acts, some moments of clarification, a Rhyming Summary of the Universe, and lots and lots of wonderings. To be opened and read in any spot you’d like, as noted, it’s actually a good title for a lazy, wondering Sunday morning, I have to say. Publishers Weekly has already noted the “Silversteinian effect” of the book, in case your brain is also yelling WHEE! WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS!, as mine was when I first saw the book.

Paul, pictured below (just above my kicks), is here this morning to tell us briefly how he came to picture books and to share some art. I thank him for stopping by.

I studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, a wonderful school for traditional art training. Lots of figure drawing. Afterwards, I began working as an advertising art director, somewhat blindly following in the footsteps of my dad and grandfather. I had some pretty good clients (Harley Davidson Motorcycles), but an art director is someone who hires other people to do the fun stuff like illustration, and I found I preferred to get my hands dirty. I left agency work and, after wandering a bit around Asia and the Canadian Rockies one summer, I settled in Seattle and began illustrating. Mostly in pastel, which did keep my hands messy.

After a few in-house gigs at The Seattle Times newspaper, I was hired as a full-time staff artist and enjoyed more than a dozen years court-room sketching terrorists and bank robbers, banging out celebrity portraits and feature illustrations at manic speed, and even writing occasional travel stories centered around my hobby of plein-air landscape painting. It was fast, fun, and conceptual work. But the sad decline of newspapers meant less and less opportunities, so eventually it was time to move on.

I had sent some of my personal art work for kids to the Sandra Dijkstra agency some years before and snagged the interest of a young whippersnapper named Steven Malk. In about a couple of weeks, that go-getter landed me a commission for a Christmas book. But timing is everything, and this time it couldn’t have been worse. My wife had just left her job to do the mom thing with our infant daughter. You can’t raise a family on a first-timer’s advance (insurance, anyone?), so I reluctantly gave up the book. Steve, however, would give me a call every few years to see if my circumstances had altered, and after an eleven-year wait they did. We teamed up again, and the fabulous editor Maria Modugno at HarperCollins sent The Wonder Book my way.

It was just the thing for me. Amy Krouse Rosenthal left little or no directions for the visuals, so I had free reign to get as wild as I wanted, and ended up with a huge stack of ideas and sketches. Pure fun.

As a kid, I remember coming upon my dad’s stash of Ronald Searle’s St. Trinian’s saga, while also being speechlessly in awe of Robert Lawson’s pen and inks for The Story of Ferdinand, so the prospect of illustrating the book in black and white was thrilling for me.

{These are} perhaps my favorites from The Wonder Book.

I think kids love to linger over book art, and that doesn’t always mean more detail; concept works well, too. If they don’t see the gag right away, all the better!

Here is an outtake from The Wonder Book. An enthusiastic little porcupine I named Percy. It was originally a stand-alone gag, but the more I looked at poor Percy and imagined his disappointment when his quills ruined his fun with the balloon, the more I felt compelled to help him out. The result was my first written manuscript for a kid’s picture book, Percy’s Big Idea, which should be printed in 2012 or so.

Here’s Percy thinking about things.

Percy begat Pearl. I was scribbling away furiously on Percy’s story, and as such was seeing porcupines in everything. As I was picking my daughter up from school one day, I glanced over to see one of her classmates hugging all her friends goodbye. I actually heard a voice in my head say: “That’d be tough for her to do if she were a porcupine,” and Pearl’s story was born. Pearl is sweet, Pearl likes to hug, but Pearl is a porcupine. She is determined not to let her handicap get in the way, so she endeavors to find a solution.

I have a deep regard for kids; I think they are more tuned in to their happiness than adults. They’re optimistic, inventive, resourceful, and determined. All qualities I wish I had more of.

A Pet For Petunia will be the first of my stories to be published. The plot of Petunia is modeled after the relentless campaigns for various oddball pets waged by my own daughter, Anna. (We settled on two rats and a Leopard Gecko. So far.) When Petunia sets her heart on a pet skunk, she encounters resistance by her stubborn, myopic, unreasonable, booby-headed parents and decides to takes matters into her own hands. I just finished the art for that book, and it will be out around January of 2011.

I had no idea I could write, so Harper’s intention to publish four of my stories has been a terrific surprise.

Here’s a peek inside Paul’s studio. His “inspiration wall” includes a note which I am pretty sure says “creativity is subversive.” Well, there you go. I like that.

Thanks again to Paul. Here’s to Percy, Pearl, and Petunia and their forthcoming adventures, and I look forward to seeing more Paul-art in the future…To keep up with Paul’s work, visit his website or his blog. (Speaking of his blog, I love tip #6 of his daughter’s writing advice.)

* * * * * * *

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 * * *

I’m trying to recover, as I type here on Saturday night, from having had a lovely and hugely huge dinner with a friend who came over to visit and let us feed him belated birthday cupcakes. I love having people over and feeding them chocolate. With sprinkles. I guess that’s kick #1.

2). Well now, for some reason I had it in my head that (500) Days of Summer had gotten bad reviews all-around or something altogether incorrect like that. So, when my husband and I watched it this week, I was surprised at how much I liked it. And I bet the soundtrack is great, too, as it’s sure to involve The Smiths. THE SMITHS!

3). This afternoon, my daughters were playing with the neighbor. They played princesses. The neighbor was the princess first and insisted on pretending to be stuck in a castle so that the prince can save her. Then, it was my kindergartener’s turn. From the next room, I heard her say, “I don’t want to be a princess who waits on some guy to save her.” While the neighbor argued in utter confusion, I was in the kitchen doing a fist pump, jumping up and down, and mouthing, ATTAGIRL!

4). My husband found this old footage online of Prince rehearsing in the early ’80s. Looks like a lot of videos got removed, but what matters is that “When the Doves Cry” is still on there. If you’re making fun of that song as you read this, please do so behind my back, as I really do still adore that song so very, very much.

5). My daughter wrote in a card for one of her classmates on her birthday: “I love you and it will never stop.”

6). Stumbling upon Bunny Days by Tao Nyeu in a bookstore, reading it with my girls, and laughing so hard that we got funny looks. More on this later. I think Tao will stop by for a breakfast interview.

7). I am generally disorganized and haven’t responded to this publicly at 7-Imp and picked my own favorites and so on and so on, but this was nice to see and I thank Jenny for it. I am in such good company there. I hardly feel “prolific,” but perhaps I’m fooling everyone.

BONUS #1: Go, Betsy, go! Forbes, dude. FORBES.

BONUS #2: Oliver Jeffers is one of My Bests, and I was happy to stumble upon this. He should be stopping by for an interview, too. Fingers crossed:

* * * * * * *

What are YOUR kicks this week? How is everyone? I’m behind on my blog-reading. Boo.

30 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #155: Featuring Paul Schmid”

  1. I love the whimsy in Paul’s work! And I am terribly impressed that his daughter has accumulated that many drawings for her animation. Great family.

    I only have time to share one kick — we saw the documentary The Hobart Shakespeareans last night and I highly recommend it. I think you would love it, Jules, if you haven’t seen it yet.

  2. I, er, wonder if Amy Krouse Rosenthal would let me borrow her brain for a little while, just long enough (a week?) to come up with half a dozen marvelous book ideas, and then I’d let her have it back. I swear.

    In the meantime, my kicks this week include:

    1) A Cybil for The Day-Glo Brothers!
    2) News of an upcoming Korean version of the book
    3) The first review (and a mighty complimentary one, at that) for Shark Vs. Train
    4) A rare hot streak for my book suggestions (Operation Yes, The Thing About Georgie, Leviathan, Redwoods) for my own kids — my recommendations are actually being well received
    5) Tanita Davis’ Mare’s War, and the book queued up behind it on my nightstand: Diana Welch and Liz Welch’s The Kids Are All Right
    6) I finished addressing another round (almost the last!) of edits for my next book, Can I See Your I.D.?
    7) Homemade (by me!) blueberry muffins and Hopkins County Stew

  3. Tabatha, thanks! That sounds like good stuff.

    Chris, congrats on that Cybil and the great review. Shark Vs. Train is good stuff. Your kids are in good hands and reading good stuff, though I’ll have to look up The Kids Are All Right.

    I’ll be over for blueberry muffins later…Is the coffee brewing?

  4. 1. Today is my five year blogiversary!

    2. I had a good week with my mom visiting. It was much too short, and we all miss her.

    3. Hurrah for princesses who do not stick around in towers waiting to be saved. (However, a 100 year nap sounds like a right proper rest for this tired mama.)

    4. We went to see Bill Harley in concert last night. Man, I wish I had a fraction of that guy’s stage presence.

    5. I’m doing kicks on the early side, i.e. in the single digits. I’ll return later in the day to read what everyone else has been up to.

    6. Bede and I got to go out to the movies last week while my mom babysat. We saw “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” Hmmm. You say “Clash of the Titans” is coming out this summer?

    7. Saturn has a hexagon shaped cloud feature around its northern pole.

  5. I keep seeing information about THE WONDER BOOK and have looked forward to putting my hands on it and opening it to the “wonders” inside, and wow, I am even MORE eager now. And Paul’s daughter’s writing tips, another wow!

    1. My dad is doing well after his surgery, the best of the best news.
    2. Had a great week ending last Sunday with my special William (the only grandchild I have, 10-months old and did I mention precious?).
    3. The response to RIF’s plea for help in restoring our funding in the federal budget is so reassuring; it will be a long, long process, but so far the response is the best we have ever experienced!
    4. The CYBILS were announced, what a great set of books. I was honored to sit on final panel of judges for non-fiction picture book….go DAY-GLO and Chris!
    5. TEAM USA at the Olympics!
    6. Finished NOTES FROM NO MAN’S LAND by Eula Bliss – it sure made me do some thinking, very well written essays.
    7. Book Club this afternoon, talking about ALA award winning books with some judges from through the years.

    Have a good week all!

  6. Farida, I am joining you in the unusally early kicks camp! Congrats on the five years blogging!

    Jules, your daughters are lovely as always.

    The Hopkins County stew looks interesting, Chris!

    The Hobart Shakespeareans looks great, Tabatha. It must feel good knowing you’ve positively influenced so many children’s lives.

    1. I finally dropped off bags of stuff that had been laying around the house to a local charity store
    2. I arranged to have the zip replaced on an old faithful black skirt
    3. Inspired by my recent reading of Connie Willis’ Blackout, we went and visited St Paul’s in London yesterday. And because it was a clear day we go to climb all the way to the top of the dome – great views!
    4. Then we wandered over to the Borough Market, where we were sadly too late for some of the stalls. The upside was that some other stalls were selling off food before the end of the day, so we got a ridiculously cheap and large free range chicken (which will be roasted for dinner, yum) and two-for-one artisan bread and other goodies.
    5. A close colleague has left to go on maternity leave, and although we’ll miss her we made her last day fun, with piles of cakes, lots of nice presents like books and people dropping by all day. I made an apple ricotta cake that was very successful (if I say so myself).
    6. My sister’s pregnant belly is getting much bigger! She is sending me photos regularly, and looks beautiful and healthy. Only 7 weeks (officially) to go!
    7. The crocuses in town are out in bloom

  7. When I saw that first B&W picture of the pyramid of dot-eyed kids on a very bored camel’s back, I thought: Shel Silverstein. And when I started to read about the wordplay and such, I thought: Yes!

    And then I got down there below the fold in the page and saw that both you, Jules, and PW had said the same thing. In that moment, all the instant gratification of being agreed with by authorities, and very little of the disappointment of Not Being First. (I was inspired to check — unsurprisingly, Silverstein-related posts go back quite a ways here!)

    Now I really, really want The Wonder Book for myself. The “This little piggy…” page was GREAT! (Although I have to say my favorite of the illustrations here was “Twos Day”; I like how the little girl and her reflection are at opposite end of the boat, and then — this really snuck up on me — how the reflection of the oar and oarlock is likewise impossible. I can see a kid staring at that illustration for a while, working out exactly what it is which isn’t… quite… right.)

    Haven’t seen or even thought much about seeing (500) Days of Summer until just now. But your description, and then reading about it on Wikipedia… may even be a regular rental, rather than a Netflixer!

    (Joseph Gordon-Levitt is, I think, some sort of acting genius; either he or his agent seem to have impeccable taste in films and roles to be associated with. No idea what his career aspirations are, but I can picture him in 20-30 years as having had a Jeff Bridges sort of filmography.)

    You and your girls in a bookstore, Jules: you’ve got to be customers the booksellers follow around in secret, and take notes on.

    Congratulations to Betsy, Chris Barton, and Farida!

    (Speaking of Farida: curse you and your kick #7. I foresee a looooong afternoon of heavy Web-hopping before me…)


    * My friend Marta alerted me to this video, called Validation. If I had a hundred other kicks to report this week, it would still be at the top of the list. How hard is it to spend 15 minutes watching that and NOT come away in a good mood? (I was going to email the link to you earlier, Jules, but I was hoarding it for myself — my Precious, my Precious… — so I could share it as a kick.)

    * …and if you saw and liked that one, also take a look at Rent-a-Person by the same filmmaker. There’s a tiny few seconds which directly connects the two… fun!

    * Bad news becoming not-quite-bad news: a dead refrigerator/freezer would have been MUCH worse than a breaker’s having simply popped in the outlet which the fridge uses. (Even though the frozen food still had to go into the trash.)

    * Lost. (I know, I know.)

    * Taking advantage of a brief lull in cold temperatures to grill outside. BURGERS, yet. (” “, ” “.)

    * A long time ago, I subcribed to this online thing called Woophy. Vaguely remembered it as some sort of free, “cool photos uploaded by members” site; had not actually read the regular e-newsletters in a loooong time, until this week. Turns out to be rather beyond cool: an attempt (not their words, but this is about right) to document the inhabited world in photos taken by amateurs. (I so wanted to share this with Jeremey Hiebert, but the “amateur” disqualifies him, I think.)

    * 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks posts and comments. Can no longer imagine a Sunday without them. Wonder how I ever got through weekends before. I must’ve slept in or something.

    [Aside: Egad. Sorta went crazy with the links in this comment… more work for you, Jules!]

  8. Hi all,

    Oui, oui, oui! I LOVE Paul’s art, and “A Pet For Petunia” sounds so wonderful. Great concept.

    Jules, your girls and their comments make me laugh and smile every time. Priceless. I love Oliver’s video that you posted — I’ve had his “Incredible Book Eating Boy” on my wish list for ages.

    Tabatha, I have heard about The Hobart Shakespeareans before, but will definitely add it to the Netflix queue. Thanks for the tip.
    Chris, WOOT! to the Cybil award!
    Farida, Happy Blogiversary! Glad you had a good visit with your Mom.
    Rasco, glad for your good news about your Dad.
    Emmaco, going to St. Paul’s in London sounds wonderful. Very jealous.

    My kicks:
    1) My boyfriend Bob started his new job this week after being laid off a LONG 18 months ago. So happy for him!
    2) The unqualified generosity of family.
    3) A lovely V-Day dinner with Bob which included a book I have been eager to read: The Diaries of Paul Klee. Very interesting.
    4) Meeting and laughing with new friends at an event last night that I wasn’t in the mood to attend — now I’m glad I went.
    5) Nature walks with hints of Spring.
    6) Other than listening to Sam’s new EP a bazillion times in a row, I found out about this band yesterday, and love their sound: http://theburned.bandcamp.com/
    7) Homemade peanut butter cookies.

    Have a lovely week, everybody!

  9. JES, looks like we passed each other in cyberspace again — we probably need to reign in the speed on our aerocars. Just wanted to say thanks for the Validation video — that was great!! It even had a Tom Selleck reference (can’t beat that). I’m off to watch Rent-a-Person.

  10. Paul’s sketches are really fun, Jules. Thanks for brightening my day with them! I love your first kick, too. Having friends over and feeding them chocolate. Lovely. Here are my kicks:

    1. Congratulations to Chris (and Liz and Laini and all of the other authors) for Cybils wins.
    2. Like JES, I’m happy that LOST is back. And I must admit that I’m eagerly anticipating the return of FlashForward, too. I am all about complex plots.
    3. I have a new niece, the first from my side of the family. She’s doing well, and my brother seems to really love being a dad.
    4. I baked a chocolate cake the other day, for no reason at all.
    5. I really enjoyed reading NurtureShock (nonfiction for adults, about how science contradicts certain popular ideas about kids).
    6. Had a great dinner last night at the home of friends, with much interesting conversation, and came home with a bag of books. Cutest moment was when their three-year-old daughter, unprompted, thanked us very politely for the bottle of wine that we brought.

    Happy Sunday, all!

  11. Tabatha, finally got around just now to adding Hobart Shakespearans to the queueueue. Sounds very good.

    Farida, happy blog anniversary again, and so glad you had a good time with your mother. Saturn and its hexagon clouds: It takes me back to my days as a kid, sitting around reading books about outer space and wondering at the unbelievability of it all.

    Carol, have fun at the book club today, and those Cybils Awards are great. Those bloggers know their stuff, huh? Gald you’re father is doing well, and kick #3 is good news.

    Emmaco, crocuses! Impending aunt-hood! Piles of cakes! Those things make for a good week. I’ve GOT to read Connie Willis already, as so many of my friends with excellent taste recommend her books. And…whee! Seven weeks is not long to wait at all for this baby! My oh my, I’m using so many exclamation marks.

    John, that very bored camel’s facial expression cracks me right up. Silverstein, by the way, showed up in the sample chapter of our book proposal (the book we’ll be writing this year). Betsy and I wrote about subversive books and why we love them so, and you can bet that Silverstein showed up, as he once wrote for Playboy.

    I love your musings on the “Twos Day” illustration, as my five-year-old laughed very, very hard at those pages: There’s “Sun Day,” which features a pissed-off vampire, “Money Day,” “Twos Day,” “Weds Day,” “Thirst Day,” “Fry Day,” and “Sat-on-her Day.” I won’t give away the latter’s illustration, but it was Piper’s very favorite.

    (500) Days of Summer, John, wasn’t flawless, but I was pleasantly surprised. Like I said, I was confused about its reviews. It got, I read afterwards, overwhelmingly positive reviews; I must have been thinking of some other movie. Since I’m a Review Nerd, I went into the movie thinking it would be weak. Shows you what I know. It was a lovely surprise, the whole film. And yes to what you said about Joseph. Did you see him on SNL, singing and dancing, too?

    Re Saturn, if it helps, John, this is the link Farida had sent me. Your thirst for knowledge and subsequent Web wanderings are two of my favorite things about you. Hey, I sound like the parking-lot guy now, but I mean it.

    Speaking of…The joys of FREE PARKING! That was fun. Glad you hoarded it, John. Thanks for that last kick. Maybe one week we can spend an entire Sunday all validating one another.

    Jill, so glad you had a good Valentine’s Day! Email to come…I’m listening now to the music at the link you gave us. (Also: Peanut butter cookies are my favorites, but we don’t make them often around here, as I’m alone in that.)

  12. Jen, NurtureShock sounds intriguing…Congrats on aunt-hood! And I am also very curious how the creators of Lost are gonna wrap things up.

    Chocolate cake for no good reason is probably the best of all.

  13. Jen, the library down the road has NurtureShock. Whee! Thanks for the tip. Looks eye-opening.

  14. The Wonder Book sounds wonderful, pun intended. I love wordplay and palindromes.

    Hi Paul! I like the little French pig. 🙂 I too love The Story of Ferdinand. I look forward to reading your tales of Percy, Pearl, and Petunia. (Yay, alliteration!)

    Jules and JES: I have yet to see 500 Days of Summer. Go, Joseph Gordon-Levitt! I gained even more respect for him after he did a tribute to Singin’ in the Rain on SNL. I know Jules saw it, but for those who didn’t: Joseph performed Make ‘Em Laugh during his opening monologue, and he did a great deal of the original choreography and sang live. I think Donald and Gene would be proud.

    Jules: PRAISE your daughter for that comment. Now that’s an awesome princess! I like Oliver Jeffers’ works, too. Thanks for sharing the video. He seems fun.

    Big congrats to Betsy for being in Forbes. Wowza!

    Chris Barton: Congrats on all counts! Nice list of books read and recommended. Leviathan will be our book pick for March at readergirlz. Please tell me y’all will participate in the discussions!

    Happy blogiversary, Farida! Glad that you enjoyed your mom’s visit.

    Rasco: Glad that your father is doing well.

    emmaco: Thanks for donating to charity. I read “Connie” right as someone on television said, “Connie.” That’s how my life works. Healthy vibes to your sister and her family.

    Jill: Congrats to your boyfriend on his new job!

    Jen Robinson: Yes, bring it on, FlashForward! Congratulations to your brother and his family.

    Kicks for the past week:
    1) The Smile giveaway Raina Telgemeier & I are doing was mentioned in USA TODAY – Pop Candy by Whitney Matheson
    2) Walking in sunshine instead of rain,
    which lead me past (then into) …
    3) a wonderfully well-stocked dance supply store
    4) and a public library!
    5) Rehearsal for something that shoots next week went well
    6) Prepping for tonight’s staged reading – I’m excited! I hope it goes well, and that it leads to something.
    7) Seeing a commercial for something that airs this coming Friday, something I’ll actually be seen in (but don’t freak out, it’s pretty much a featured extra role, no lines)

  15. I think you’ll enjoy NurtureShock, Jules. It’s thought-provoking stuff.

    And yes, chocolate cake for no reason (or for any reason) is always a kick!

  16. Omigosh, I am wildly excited about The Wonder Book and Paul Schmid’s upcoming books.

    His work is so fresh and fun!

  17. Little Willow, you and Betsy are superstars this week, what with Forbes and USA Today. Hope your staged reading is going well.

    Jen, I’m getting it from the library that doesn’t have such a long wait, typically, so perhaps I can start it soon.

    Hi, Tammi. Glad you like what you see.

  18. LOVE those illustrations from THE WONDER BOOK. Must. Have. It.

  19. Oh, I like Percy, and I really really like Pearl!

    And jules, big fist pump for your daughter not wanting to be a princess waiting on a guy – that put a huge smile on my face and made my day.

    Chris – congrats on the Cybil!
    Farida – congrats on your blogoversary!

    Rasco – more good thoughts for your dad.

    emmaco – the crocuses are popping up here too – so lovely! Your dinner sounds lovely too.

    John – grilled bugers. Yum!

    Jill – hooray for jobs and for a lovely Valentine’s day!

    Jen – love your chocolate cake for no reason.

    LW – congrats on the USA today mention and the commercial!

    My kicks:
    1. The beautiful Portland sunshine this weekend. Amazing.
    2. Cheyenne has had another health issue (poor sweet dog, its been a rough year for her, and once again, its not as bad as they thought). The kick is her great vet, and the whole staff that love her – they gave her treats, hugs, and a bandage with a ladybug on it!
    3. Breakfast and walking and talking and shopping yesterday with a good girlfriend while waiting to pick Chey up. Excellent and much needed company and distraction.
    4. Made about 40 or so cupcakes – chocolate and yellow cake – for a birthday party at work on Friday. It was a decorate your own cupcake party. I od’ed on frosting.
    5. Two indoor soccer games this week, wednesday and today. Such a fun workout.
    6. Finally watched Gladiator. As a huge Russell Crowe fan, not sure why it took me so long to get to it, glad I finally did.
    7. Robin Hood is coming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqL9ygBCck
    Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, and Ridley Scott. And Marian does not look like a girl who is waiting around for old Robin. : )

    Have a great week everyone!

  20. Hi, Kelly!

    RM, glad Cheyenne is okay. Poor pup. And I had no idea this Robin Hood was even coming out. Whaddyaknow. Good trailer.

    40 cupcakes. Mmm.

  21. Jules,

    I’ve been missing in action for a couple of weeks–Superbowl Sunday we had a small, food-filled party. Then I came down with the worst sinus infection of my life. Even the teeth on the right side of my head hurt. I’ve also been working with my daughter on plans for her wedding in July.

    THE WONDER BOOK looks great. Love those daughter stories!

    I’m going to have to come back a little later and read everybody’s kicks. I’ve got to get to work on some poems for a special occasion.

    A few weeks of kicks:

    1. Superbowl Sunday spent with some good friends at our house. My husband made his fabulous homemade pizza. We had lots of other goodies too.

    2. I recuperated in time to prepare my daughter a 30th birthday party dinner, which we brought to her house. It’s always fun visiting with my BIG girl.

    3. Sara and I met with the florist and photographer yesterday. Two more things checked off the wedding list of things to.

    4. Sara and I met my husband for a late brunch yesterday at our favorite restaurant when we were done with our “wedding” stuff. The bellinis were delicious.

    5. I got a package of books from a UK publisher in the mail last week. It contained several copies of MY CAT IS IN LOVE WITH THE GOLDFISH AND OTHER LOOPY LOVE POEMS. I have a poem titled “Jack and June” included in the anthology.

    6. My mother has been getting around much better these days. I’m happy to see she isn’t in pain any longer.

  22. Farida,
    Thank you for the heads up about Saturn! I’m an astronomy geek wannabe.
    JES, love Validation!
    Elaine, congrats on the loopy love poems!

  23. Well, I’m still largely missing in action, but I wanted to see what great things are goin’ on … since it WAS Mardi Gras last week.

    Congrats, Chris … and all of the other Cybils winners.

    About an hour after I read Franki’s review of The Wonder Book, the UPS truck pulled up … and brought me my copy. I’m trying to restrain myself since I have a few other books already piled on the nightstand with bookmarks in them 😉

    Jules – I love the princess story. My little Ninja wears a tiara and wields a big “Ha-a-Rah!”

    I also need to live closer to you and Jen … all this chocolate! mmmmm

    As for Kicks …

    1. Returning to the land of the living after an out-of-the-blue bout with some nasty bug.
    2. Listening to Catherine *beam* on the phone telling me about her bit 100-yard IM Saturday.
    3. Getting to see her swim and best her times in ALL her races (4) yesterday.
    4. Lunch with my sweetie.
    5. A full week of school for the kids.
    6. Having all the laundry done.
    7. Having a quiet night to read for HOURS last night.

    Happy week, all.

  24. Elaine, glad you’re feeling better — and your mother, too! For the record and in my humble opinion, I think your daughter’s getting married at such a great age. My high school drama teacher used to advise students to wait till after age 30 to get married; now I see why. I almost did that. I was 28.

    Congrats again on getting published in the Loopy book! I can’t wait to see pics of your daughter’s wedding, if you’re willing to share.

    Terry, glad you’re feeling better, too. I love the image of your “ha-a-rah”ing ninja princess!

  25. I am late. I hate when I miss the kicks, but I worked on Sunday, and working on Sundays always messes up my routine, which involves lots of coffee and my pajamas.

    Anyway, I cannot believe that I missed the kicks when someone uttered the phrase “booby-headed parents.”

    Also, I LOVED (500) Days of Summer, and I do own the soundtrack, and it is, in fact, quite good.

  26. Does it tell you anything about my life recently that it’s Wednesday and I’m finally chiming in with my kicks?!?

    1. Thanks for the linky love to Franki’s review of The Wonder Book! I can’t wait to see more of Percy the Porcupine!

    2. Amy Krouse Rosenthal is coming to the 2011 Dublin Literacy Conference!

    3. The 2010 NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts have been announced! (http://tinyurl.com/yc65m8v)

    4. I’m the chair of the 2011 Notables Committee!!! (eep!)

    5. We saw the Peking Acrobats perform last night. Whoa. Awesome!!

    6. My phone was stolen and recovered last week.

    7. Kids sharing their work in student led conferences. Parents who appreciate kids’ work in student led conferences. Sharing growth and successes in student led conferences!

  27. Adrienne, if I could hang out with Olivia, I’d be late for kicks, too. If I even remembered them at all. I was looking at those pics on Facebook, and Ada SQUEALED when she saw Olivia!

    Mary Lee, CHAIR! Congratulations!

  28. […] Caldecott worthy.  (Perhaps Jules over at Seven Imp will do an interview with Tao???  Check here (scroll to the bottom) for a snippet by Jules about BUNNY […]

  29. […] February here at 7-Imp, I featured the debut illustrated title from Paul Schmid, Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s The Wonder Book. It was […]

  30. […] The Wonder Book, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal […]

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