7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #159: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 March 21st, 2010 by jules

If I re-named this blog, I dunno, Seven Impossible Julie Paschkises Before Breakfast, I’m quite certain regular 7-Imp readers wouldn’t be surprised. (I know the title would need some work.) I’ve featured Ms. Paschkis’ art many times before here at the blog, and it’s evident I’m a huge fan.

That would be why I contacted Julie about sharing some art from her two new illustrated titles — Where is Catkin? by Janet Lord (Peachtree, February 2010) and Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle (coming from Henry Holt in April). And, with Julie’s books, I am perfectly fine posting art from them sight unseen — as in, I haven’t even had a chance to read Catkin yet, but in the hands of Janet Lord and Julie, I’m not worried about its potential to be great. (It’s also received good reviews thus far, Kirkus calling it “lovely,” “gorgeous,” and a “visual feast,” and Publishers Weekly writing, “Paschkis’s bright, peasant-style illustrations bring cheery liveliness to Catkin’s world; they’re a bit like the art Wanda Gág might have produced had four-color printing been available to her.”)

Opening this post is a (text-less) spread from Catkin, and the cover is pictured above left.

Thanks to Chasing Ray’s Colleen, I got to read an early copy of Summer Birds, which—as the subtitle tells you—is a picture book biography of naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian, known for her observations on the metamorphosis of the butterfly (called “summer birds” during the Middle Ages in which Merian lived). Engle and Paschkis do a stellar job of shining the spotlight on an observant young woman, living during a time in which butterflies, moths, and frogs were believed to have sprung from the mud and were not seen as the miracles of nature they are, but instead as magic — and evil. “I disagree,” Maria says:

I am only thirteen years old, but I capture insects. I study them. I have to capture my insects in secret. Neighbors would accuse me of witchcraft if they knew. Everyone says insects are evil, but I know my summer birds are beautiful and harmless.



“I love to paint colorful pictures of every kind of caterpillar, cocoon, and summer bird. I keep a notebook filled with my paintings. I write down everything
the summer birds do.”


(Click to enlarge.)


“When people understand the life cycles of creatures that change forms, they will stop calling small animals evil. They will learn, as I have, by seeing a wingless caterpillar turn into a flying summer bird.”

A beautiful biography. I can’t wait till you all can see it, and I thank Colleen for sharing an early copy with me.

And here are a couple more text-less spreads from Catkin, which I look forward to seeing. Many thanks to Julie for sharing her art with us all again. Her art just makes my day is what it does.


* * * * * * *

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 * * *

1). Good conversations with a new friend. Over coffee. She’s talented, too. See?

2). Whenever Kevin Henkes makes a picture book:

BEAUTIFUL. Find your favorite child or perhaps the nearest child on the street, and pair it with Valorie Fisher’s When Ruby Tried to Grow Candy. Check out Travis’ review for more info on My Garden.

3). Reading Ellen Weiss’ and Mel Friedman’s Porky and Bess (Random House, February 2010), illustrated by Marsha Winborn, with my four-year-old this week. A perfectly charming chapter book. It involves Porky trying to make moon cake, the prerequisite being collecting moonlight in a can. LOVE THAT. Any of you know how to make moon cake? If so, may I have a slice if I ask politely and don’t make a mess?

4). Reading The Hundred Dresses with my six-year-old for the first time.

5). When I inadvertently sent an instant-messenge to an illustrator, whose name is very close in the IM roster to my husband’s, to please remember to bring some bread home for dinner. And she didn’t think I was NUTS when I apologized, once the initial confusion passed and we figured out what had happened. Thank you, Ashley Smith.

6). This song. Particularly, the piano right smack-dab in the middle.

7). That, as humans, one of our superpowers is NOT the ability to read one another’s minds.

BONUS: Hearing from an editor that, years ago, she saw a piece of art here at 7-Imp (as in, created specifically for 7-Imp) that she fell in love with and contacted the illustrator to see if he had any ideas for picture books. And now his first book as both author and illustrator is coming out this Fall. The illustrator told me that story a few years ago, and I remember it. But having the editor tell me this out of the blue this week made me even happier about the whole thing. I mean, really. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW HAPPY THIS MAKES ME? I never wanted 7-Imp to be about me running my mouth about nothing, but instead for it to connect folks. And, in this case, it’s brought an illustrator and publisher together. I’m sure I’ll post about the book soon.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

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36 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #159: Featuring Julie Paschkis”

  1. Jules, your bonus kick reeeeally kicks…that must have been so gratifying. Also, love that Mason Jennings song — Butterfly is one of our family’s favourite songs, despite the not-very-kid-friendly lyrics. And your new friend is so beauti…umm…I mean, such an excellent musician.

    Kick-o-rama:
    1) Ice (yes, still). Despite the ending of my photography show at the local art gallery, I keep taking more photos of frozen water. It’s mostly been way too warm, but then will dip below freezing the odd morning…so I indulge in my odd obsession.
    2) Creating music. I’ve spent a lot of mental energy and time on this lately…finished composing this duet (mp3), which I’m planning to learn properly and play with our violin teacher at a June recital. It’s very rough and the sound quality sucks, but it’s enough for me to spend the next couple of months polishing and practicing.
    3) Lord of the Rings. Reading it with my girls for the first time…so fun.
    4) Up. Maybe a bit shmaltzy, but I was an emotional puddle after finally watching it.
    5) Working at home. My job hasn’t been very interesting, but once in a while I’m just so thankful that I don’t have to go to an office very often.
    6) The garden. I haven’t done much in it yet, but it’s looking expectant, ready for growing goodness.
    7) Spring. Not that we had much winter, but it’s still so nice to have more sunlight in the evenings.


  2. Happy Spring!

    Julie’s back! Beautiful art. And that is just about the best BONUS kick ever in the history of kicks! Can’t wait till you feature the book here. Porky and Bess? That’s where I live. Must check it out! I share your Kevin Henkes love, too.

    I so admire people who compose music, Jeremy! Love the violin. :)

    Le kicks:

    Spring. Gorgeous gorgeous day yesterday.

    Received a box of chocolate dipped macadamic nut cookies from Arnold Hiura, whom I interviewed recently. Yum!

    Our guardian angels are watching over us. Yesterday, a woman almost backed up right into the side of our car (the side where I was sitting) in a parking lot, as we were driving by. She stopped within an inch. Some people just. don’t. look. Phew!

    Had a nice cupcake chat with the counter person at Bakeshop in Arlington, and also talked to the baker’s mother. Love small, family businesses.

    Finally saw “Crazy Heart.” Loved it, of course.

    Am SO excited over the poems and recipes people have been submitting for my Poetry Potluck next month.

    Being Irish :).


  3. Wow that bonus kick really rocks! That is what it is all about & I’m so happy you heard about it. I’ve been missing the kicks for a while but I’m glad to be here today.

    My kicks:

    1.Breakfast in the sunroom; hearing the birds singing. Spring!
    2. A new chiminea for the patio. S’mores tonight!
    3. Spring break with beautiful weather all week! YAY!
    4. Family bike rides
    5. When brother play nicely together. Golden moments.
    6. Reading Tamora Pierce/The Will of the Empress
    7. Daffodils & crucus in bloom!


  4. 1. Getting “The Feather of Memory” off the ground on the Ides of March (much more to come soon): http://featherofmemory.blogspot.com.

    2. Learning that Ted Delaney’s Lemony Snicket interview in San Francisco was a big success (I didn’t get to go) for Library of the Early Mind:
    http://childrenslitproject.wordpress.com/.

    3. Listening to an inspired audiobook reading of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes by Stefan Rudnicki.

    4. Hearing my four-year-old daughter singing a dozen Beatles songs in a row and reciting every word (well, with a few interesting neologisms thrown in).

    5. The music of Runrig (great UK band).

    6. Reading about The Gallic Wars.

    7. Spring.


  5. Oh, there’s so much to look forward, too. I love Margarita Engle, Julie Paschkis, and Maria Sibylla Merian, and to put them all together: can’t wait. And Kevin Henkes in any form. Jules, I’ll want to know what your daughter thinks of the ending of One Hundred Dresses. It’s on my children’s lit syllabus, and most think it works, but some hate it. Lots of discussion about the things girls wear in their hair setting up first grade hierarchies, etc.
    1. Spring peepers are peeping!
    2. My book, Borrowed Names, came out.
    3. Jama. Need I say more?
    4. Proud that my daughter set up a facebook account for Reach Out and Read -LA. And promised to blog for them.
    5. Two small purple crocus.
    6. Double date to see Alice in Wonderland tonight.
    7. Love the editor makes connections here story!


  6. Jeremy, I love to hear about a person’s “odd obsessions.” And yours just results in good stuff for our eyes to take in. And, like Jama, I also admire (and am envious of) folks who create music. Congrats! I bet that’s a lot of fun. And do you mean that you read the LOTR trilogy with your girls and then watched the Jackson movie adaptations? I am also a puddle after watching those; that’s not “schmaltzy” at all. I am, because a) they’re so well-done, b) the story’s beautiful, and c) my brother was very eager to see those movies (he wanted to be an amateur “Tolkien scholar”), but he died before they came out.

    Now that I’ve brought the room down here, as the Sweeney Sisters would say… Sorry.

    Jama, I haven’t seen Crazy Heart yet, but don’t you know there’s a SAM PHILLIPS song in it! ….Good kicks, so glad you have Spring finally, and can’t wait to see what goes on next month at your blog.

    Andi, I WANT A SUNROOM. Instead, I settled for painting my kitchen all sun-like yellow. Enjoy those daffodils — and Spring Break. Was it last week, or is it coming up?

    Jeannine, my daughter was very reticent about the whole book. Not much commentary for me at all. She also didn’t get emotional over it, as she often does when we’re reading about someone suffering — or, you know, in this case, being made fun of, etc. She’s a rather sensitive soul. And, yes, those hierarchies get set up at a really young age, now don’t they? It’s wild.

    No, you don’t need to say anything other than “Jama,” and we immediately know the awesome-ness you speak of.

    Enjoy Alice. Will be curious about what you think of it. Haven’t seen it yet.


  7. Steven, good thing I quickly checked spam, ’cause your kicks ended up in there, and I didn’t get notification of it.

    Anyway…

    Good to hear from you. Kudos to your daughter for her good taste in music. And thanks for the link-age. Interviews with Handler are never dull. Congrats on getting “Feather of Memory” up and running, too. And happy, happy, happy Spring…


  8. Jules,

    I’d have to say one of my kicks is visiting 7-Imp this morning and seeing all this beautiful artwork by Julie–one of my favorite picture book illustrators. I love that PORKY and BESS cover! Would that be a good book for a seven-year-old girl? Your BONUS kick really rocks!!!

    *****
    We had a spell of gorgeous spring weather here. We even had temperatures in the seventies yesterday. It was a perfect day for our family. We had a party to celebrate some wonderful news. One of my nephews was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease last summer–and he is now in remission! He is one of my favorite people in the world–a gentle giant (He played college football on scholarship.) with a droll sense of humor. He is truly a special individual. I am sooooo happy!

    I hope everyone has a wonderful first week of spring.

    *****

    Jeannine,

    I ordered a copy of your book yesterday. Can’t wait to read it!


  9. Elaine, yes, that would be a good book for a seven-year-old girl. It’s officially a “grades 2-to-3″ chapter book. I tend to just ignore those categorizations, for different reasons, but I went to look it up for you.

    Now, Elaine. That is some pretty wonderful news about your nephew! Big ‘ol congrats to you and your family — and especially to him. May he remain in remission for the rest of his life.


  10. Kickin’ good art today, Jules! (And the whole thing is cross-laced with coincidental connections that you may or may not know about…)

    It’s real hard for me to look at the samples of Julie Paschkis’s work and not want to smile. (I didn’t bother trying.) Of all of them here, I think the one which most floored me was actually atypical: the guy in the bug (summer bird?) costume, with the black background (p6a.jpg). Channeling Hieronymus Bosch there, eh?

    The link you provided to your earlier interview with her led me down some paths, I want to tell you. (It came out a few months before I first stumbled in the 7-Imp door and promptly banged my head on the lintel — I’ve been in a daze here ever since.) There I learned of her book on the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe, for example. That’s Georgia O’Keefe, as in… friend of Wanda Gág, to whom PW compared Paschkis’s work in the Catkin book. Crazy!

    (I’ll have more to say about Gág in a moment, in my own kicks.)

    I also read some, while I was out and about on the Web, about Maria Merian and “summer birds.” What a life she had, and what a great subject for a kids’ (or adults’) bio. Apparently the scientific thinking at the time was that such creepy crawlies were born spontaneously from mud. Um, okay.

    Second Jeremy’s opinions (both of them, including the interrupted one) about your new friend. And what a life SHE’s had, huh? My only regret was visiting Myspace, which always makes me wince; it turns out that she’s got a regular Web site, as well, with lots of photos, media of various sorts, a bio, and so on.

    (And you know what? In some unimaginable alternative universe in which I couldn’t stand your sweet self, I would still sneak around here to scarf down all your musical suggestions.)

    Jeremy, we LOVED Up too!

    Jama, I’m thrilled at the idea of having a cupcake chat with anyone.

    Thanks for the new word, Andromeda — chiminea. Now I can stop saying things like, “You know those big fireplace sorta things…?”

    Jeannine: clever sneaky you, slipping in that Borrowed Names kick in the middle of your list. With NO exclamation points, yet. Here, have some of mine: congratulations!!!!!

    Kicks:

    * Wanda Gág. And I’d never even heard of her before reading this post. Now I am hopelessly smitten. Check out this photo of her “as a young artist” at Wikimedia Commons, for example. Or the one at the top left of this page about her work and life. In a reprint edition of her utterly charming early diaries and drawings (previewed on Google Books), I read an entry from June 1914 (when she was 21) which says:

    Te-rutel-dutel-doot! That’s how I feel to-day. My spirits are down in the Heu-land and are capering and darting around among the tall grasses and flowers. Oh but everything is free and happy and optimistic down here!

    Sounds like an afternoon spent reading a Seven Kicks post and follow-up comments, eh? Finally, I read that she spent the last years of her life on a farm outside this town in rural NJ. Which leads me to the next kick:

    * The sweet sort of homesickness. That part of NJ was my adult stomping grounds in the state — a secret jewel whose existence almost always surprises those who think of the state as Sopranos Country.

    * Beautiful weather.

    * We’ve lived in this neighborhood for 8 years and barely know any of our neighbors. Yesterday The Missus and I, out walking The Pooch, stopped to talk to one of them. We’d always presumed from earlier talks that he was English. Turns out he’s Welsh — my past-life nationality if I ever had one. I’m pretty sure that was the longest conversation we’ve ever had with anyone who lives within a quarter-mile of us. Enjoyable and surprising throughout.

    * Some upcoming days off work — not for fun, alas, but the change in scenery will be nice even if I’m “working.”

    * Watched Rosemary’s Baby last night. Egad. Still.

    * This video (which I shared earlier with you, Jules).

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

    P.S. Agree with you and everyone else on that bonus kick, Jules. Wow!


  11. Oh, der. After reading John’s kicks, I see that Jeremy was talking about Up and not the LOTR movies. Sorry. I missed that very short “Up” when reading.

    I got schmaltzy on that movie, too.

    AW, John. You called me sweet. Thanks!

    Yes, John, I just read Summer Birds to my six-year-old for the first time (though I had already read it, obviously), and we read about how they believed frogs and butterflies and such just sprung from the mud. And that they were evil. I second your “Um, okay.” Just when you thought you knew everything about the Middle Ages….which, well, I didn’t anyway, but you know what I mean.

    And I didn’t even know Natasha had that site. Thanks, John. I’m with you on MySpace, though at least there we can hear her songs. I’ve got her CD to listen to also, but I’m waiting for quiet time to really focus on it.

    I’m glad this post introduced you to Wanda Gág’s art. She’s considered the first American picture book artist. I still want someone to release a huge collection of all her works. Maybe they have, and I’m just behind the times.

    Glad you figured out you have a Welsh neighbor. I’d like to have a nice Welsh neighbor and not some lady who refuses to even wave at us (but I digress)….

    Glad you’ve got beautiful weather, John.


  12. I love the work of Julie Paschkis. I do not use the word “love” lightly. It’s a good thing I’m not a stalker-fan, or I would show up on Ms. Paschkis’ doorstep and say, “It’s teatime! I’ve brought the scones, and they’re still warm. May we eat them in your studio?” Here are my kicks:

    1. Adrienne is coming to Seattle on my birthday! Jules, can I get a marquee for that? Not my birthday, but Adrienne’s visit.

    2. I received some lovely emails from Canadian filmmaker Lynn Smith, who found my blog post of several years ago in praise of her film-work for Carl Sandburg’s Arithmetic. I’ve just placed a hold on the book she illustrated of Sandburg’s poems called From Daybreak to Good Night.

    3. I had two good gigs in a row, which helps with the self-esteem. I know many of the people who check in here understand the challenges of introverts who are also performers. I strive for resiliency, and it’s elusive.

    4. The one thing I splurged on at the gala auction last week was a marionette puppet-play party presented by my daughter’s first Waldorf teacher. Rather than having it be for a birthday party, I’m planning on hosting it during the summer so that the focus can be on the puppet-play.

    5. The trillium are blooming.

    6. I know I said I was planning to wait, but I just started to read aloud Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to my daughter.

    7. Everyone else’s good news, especially Elaine’s.


  13. Yes, Farida, here’s your marquee tag. I asked Adrienne this week if she’d get to see, and I have to say I’m very jealous that I won’t be there with you two. But happy you get to see one another again.

    Is your daughter enjoying Alice? I tried last year with my girls — but need to try again.

    Congrats on the good gigs, Farida! Well-deserved. How much do I like the statement “I strive for resiliency, and it’s elusive”? A lot.


  14. Jules: I know, I wish you could be here too. I just asked my daughter what she thinks of Alice and she replied, “It’s a little wild, but I like it.” I’ve said for awhile that I thought she should wait until she was older, so it may be that she wants to like it.

    Thanks for the marquee tag!


  15. Late today, had a friend visiting. I LOVE Julie Paschkis’ work. In fact, how more timely is this? I discovered a book she illustrated about a cultural favorite of my home town, Simi Valley. The book is Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey! Oh my, what a connection I had to share with lkids this week.
    Okay so that is my #1 kick of the week.
    Then my friend staying with us this weekend, the fabulous weather yesterday and the Portland Farmer’s Market, and the Saturday Market. Today the rain has returned and I am snuggling up with two local authors and their books: The Naughty List by Suzanne Young and It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder.
    Jules, love, love,love The Hundred Dresses. What a classic.
    Everyone, have a great week.


  16. Jone, have never seen that Paschkis book. Must remedy this.

    Glad you had some good company. It’s raining here, too. It’s a good day to sit in and finish my interview with OLIVER JEFFERS. I’m yelling that, ’cause I’ve always wanted him to stop by. And he finally will be.

    Enjoy your books, and you have a good week, too.


  17. I’m with everyone else on the supreme kickiness of your bonus kick, Jules! And I love the art here today, and not just because I like insects.

    Jeremy, wow to the violin composition! And how very cool to have your children enjoy Lord of the Rings with you.

    Yum, Jama, macadamia nut cookies.
    JES, myspace makes my eyes hurt too, so thanks for the website link! And while living here in the UK I have learnt that Welsh is one of my favourite accents.

    1. Far from having to be written off, as I feared last week, the car only cost £18 to fix! It was the clutch, which we’d replaced last year and was still under warranty!
    2. It is definitely getting warmer. I even went for a lunchtime walk without my top coat on this week!
    3. I have recently attended a couple of work events that made me realise how much more confident I have become since I started working in this job – one meeting that terrified me the first time I had to go is now just mildly interesting.
    4. Although I like cooking, I had never made chicken stock until recently. It was embarrassingly easy, and nice to use.
    5. Remember how I accidentally bought a pizza peel with a handle almost as tall as me? Well I finally got around to borrowing a saw off a friend, and today we cut it down to a less unwieldy length!
    6. And now I have a loaf of rye bread in the oven.
    7. Megan Whalen Turner’s new book, Conspiracy of Kings comes out this week. I am away for work a lot over the next couple of weeks, so am unsure whether I should read it in bits between work things, or save it for the Easter break. What a lovely dilemma to have!


  18. Emmaco, isn’t that good news about your car, that you didn’t owe a small fortune on it? May I come over for some of that rye bread, too? Glad you had warm walking weather this week. I sense a theme amongst all the kickers (though, as I type this, it’s chilly and rainy and windy outside – BOO).


  19. Summer Birds and Where is Catkin look lovely. Oh, the detail and warmth in Julie Paschkis’ work is so easy to get lost in!

    I also want to read Porky and Bess, and definitely want some moon cake.

    Congrats to you Jules on such an awesome bonus kick!

    Jeremy, John and Jules – I adore Up! Wasn’t expecting to cry when I saw it, but simply love, love, love that movie. (One of the dogs is like Dug when it comes to squirrels.)

    Elaine – wonderful news about your nephew!

    Jeannine – congrats on your book being out!

    Jone – hasn’t the sunshine been amazing?
    So happy to hear everyone else is enjoying spring too!

    It was a rough and weird week this week, which makes it all the nicer to stop by here and bask in the warmth of everyone’s kicks.

    My kicks:
    1. Good, wonderful, supportive friends – the best, actually.
    2. Supportive co-workers. So unbelieveably necessary and great to have in what is often a difficult job.
    3. A late night expedition to Target with a friend as a mission in distraction.
    4. Sharing stories from the week over a beer at a neighborhood pub with another friend.
    5. Finished reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Affirmed it was a good choice for a 14 yr old in my life.
    6. An afternoon full of sunshine spent on the porch with the dogs and a book.
    7. Feeling grateful for having so much love and goodness in my life.

    Have a great week!


  20. So glad the book got to you and you featured it this way – it really really is wonderful, isn’t it? The artwork blew me away and Engle does an excellent job of telling the story.


  21. Like you, I adore Julie Paschkis’s work. Thanks for sharing this new book, which I’ll be looking for!


  22. RM, I freakin’ love The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Wonderful book. I think giving it to a 14-year old girl is brilliant.

    I’m jealous of kick #6, though, in my case, I’d be surrounded by cats. We have too many. Anyone, want a cat?

    Thanks again, Colleen!

    Kelly, doesn’t it look great?


  23. This artwork is truly stunning, as I’m quite new to your blog (last few months) I haven’t seen you feature this artist before so I’m glad you came back to her.
    Truly stunning, the images of the cat remind me of William Morris in the patterned strokes and texture.

    So my 7kicks:
    1. Being able to share my love of books over at http://5minutespeace.wordpress.com
    2. Getting lots of books for review this week
    3. Getting over 100 followers on twitter. (all about the self-gratification this week it seems)
    4. Watching ‘The MIllion Pound Bike Red) and donating to sport relief
    5. Having a fantastic conversation with a customer about cookery books, so jealous she’s just done a course at Leith’s cookery school.
    6. Making some contacts to get into a publishing career.
    7. Having an delicious roast dinner yesterday. So grateful of this luxury.

    Wonderful post as always, your blog is such an inspiration.


  24. 1. Having a friend walking to my subway stop on an evening it’s pouring and I’ve forgotten my umbrella.
    2. Catching up on the day, and on Senate rules, with my husband…while I’m taking a hot shower.
    3. A carpet of purple crocuses.
    4. Emails from my mother with lots of exclamation points, signed “mommie.”
    5. Thermoses. They work! So gratifying when hot, honeyed tea is still hot after two hours.
    6. Misty days after sunny days.
    7. Knowing and working with the editor who read 7-Imp and found a fabulous author-illustrator.


  25. Thanks, Lucy, and hi! Congrats on kick #6, in particular, though it sounds like you had an all-around good week.

    Hi, Sarah! Hey, I know you! Those are some good, rich, simple kicks right there. A hot shower makes everything better. So do purple crocuses.


  26. Fly-by posting! Sorry for not being able to share in the kicks (and the kitty illustrations!) yesterday, but I was out of the house most of the day.

    1) Singing and recording in a recording studio
    2) Great casting director seminar
    3) Attending a private screening
    4) Imposing limits
    5) Practicing every single day
    6) Taking care
    7) Dreaming and believing


  27. Little Willow, no apologies necessary. If my week were as busy and good as yours, I’d be late, too.

    What’d you get to sing?


  28. I like to set various pictures as the background on my computer — I rotate them often; I like for my kids to look at all kinds of art, as well as surprising and funny things I find. When I saw this art, I had to set the butterfly woman touching a flower as our background. How lovely.


  29. Tabatha, I agree. Gorgeous stuff. And look what Farida found: Paschkis-designed fabrics.


  30. Thanks for pointing those out, Farida (and Jules). Makes me wish I was a quilter! I will have to show them to my mom.


  31. [...] reviewed by Beth Fish Reads, 7 Imp, and We Love Children’s Books. Share and [...]


  32. Little Willow, your kicks are a lesson in less-is-more — inspiring simplicity. Jealous that you got to record in a real studio.

    rm_p, lots of warmth and friendship in your kicks…they’ve got a nice glow! I think we often underestimate how important it is to do things like discuss your week with a friend at the pub.

    Thanks for the kind words about my amateurish attempts at music, emmaco. And yes, it is so fun to share LOTR with my daughters — we read The Hobbit a couple of months ago and they loved it too. I can almost smell the fresh bread baking in your oven…

    Jules and Jone — I’ve been searching for our copy of The Hundred Dresses for a few weeks now and have had no luck. I know the girls loved it, so I may have to admit defeat and get it from the library.

    Also…Jules, what a bummer that your Tolkien-loving bro never got to see those movies. Among more serious bummers, of course.


  33. Jules – I really loved The Disreputable History too – LOVED such a smart strong young female lead! Haven’t heard back yet from 14 yr old whether she likes it or not, but its nice to feel confident in the pick.

    Jeremy – thanks! And I agree, good friends can give everything a warm glow.

    LW – I envision you some weeks as the Tasmanian Devil – a nonstop blur of action. Only your blur is more productive than his.


  34. The illustrations in Summer Birds are fantastic!!


  35. I’ve featured the sisters twice on my blog. I don’t review picture books but Julie’s art and Janet’s stories are the only exceptions!


  36. [...] Jen Robinson’s Books Page review of The Taming of Lola • Lola at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast • Ellen Weiss’s website • Jerry Smath’s [...]


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