Today’s illustrator feature will be short and sweet, as these are images from a book I’ve already raved about here at 7-Imp. And that would be Suzy Lee’s new title, Mirror. Here’s what I wrote about it back in March:
In May, a book that the ultra-talented Suzy Lee (who you may remember visited me in 2008) created in 2003 (I believe) will be published here in the States by Seven Footer Press. It’s called Mirror, and it is beautiful and sad and funny and stunning in that Suzy-Lee way. I’m hoping to secure some illustrations from it to show you, but I had to mention it today, what with this mirror theme. (Also: I got a copy of it just today, and the world stopped spinning while I read it, another reason I have to yawp about it now.) This wordless wonder, all about a young girl playing with her mirror image, also demonstrates the Best Use Ever of the Space Eaten Up by the Necessary Binding of a Book and also More Brilliant Use of Symmetry in Illustrations. More on this later. God, I love Suzy Lee.
The book is still that good. And I managed to get a few spreads from Suzy—who excels in her picture books at showing us that words can be superfluous and who, as I’ve said before, tells stories with striking color, shape, and line, not to mention the spot-on body language of her wee protagonists—to share with you today.
It’s probably a great and terrible blasphemy for a book-blogger to say this, but I’ll say it anyway: This book is difficult to describe. You. must. see. it. Please try to find a copy and come back and talk to me about it. Better yet: Read it with children and ask them what they think happens at the book’s close. This is a conversation-starter of a picture book if I ever saw one. In this book, a young, sad (or perhaps just bored) girl, pictured above, discovers her reflection in a mirror. And plays with it. And then becomes one with it. And then gets awfully surprised by it, but I’m not going to give anything away here about the ending. If you’re familiar with Suzy’s most recent U.S. title, Wave, then you know what powerful stories about transformation Suzy can tell for the youngest of children (child meets wave in that 2008 title and child meets reflection in this more intense one).
Kirkus has described this as “haunting,” as well as cleverly-planned and well-told and a “psychological mind game” that possesses a “creepy disquietude.” It’s true. Again, I don’t want to give the ending away. Here are a couple more spreads, though these don’t include the brilliant Rorschach-esque splashes of color that you see mid-way through the book. Enjoy.
MIRROR. Copyright © 2003 by Suzy Lee. English edition (U.S. and Canada) © 2010 by Seven Footer Kids. All rights reserved.
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. New folks are always welcome.
1). I was very honored to have been asked to be a part of the programming committee for the 2010 Southern Festival of Books. That means, as I understand it, that I might be able to say, “Ooo! Ooo! You really want to bring in this author or illustrator….” And, as you know, gabbing about good books for children—and the people who write and illustrate them—makes me happy.
2). I was also honored to have been asked to speak with some of my former Knoxville colleagues this summer at The University of Tennessee’s Center For Children’s and Young Adult Literature (CCYAL), which has a special place in my heart. I think for that I get to gab (again) about good new picture books to an audience of teachers and librarians. HELLO! I pretty much do that for kicks and giggles, as they say, here at the ‘ol blawg, so that’s right up my alley.
3). Oh and the upcoming Children’s Festival of Reading in Knoxville (brought to everyone by the Knox County Library system). Look at the line-up. I’m so there!
4). I heart this song. I have for a while now. Now that it’s a video, you can hear (and heart) it, too, if you’re so inclined.
I myself am a fan of crooked lines, not to mention squeaks and rattles.
4½). Speaking of music, being introduced to Grooveshark. Where has it been all my life?
5). Peter Brown’s totally gonna buy me a drink one day.
6). Hittin’ a beautiful creek at a trailhead in middle Tennessee this week with some friends — and seeing a heron or two stroll by in the water.
7). My kindergartener in a spring musical at her school this week. She was running her own show in her head, I think, during the performance and seemed altogether uninterested in being a sheep. HYSTERICAL (but only to family, I know).
And here’s a big kick I inadvertently left out of last week’s post: Many of you already know this, but congratulations to Jen Robinson, who often comes to kick with us, on the birth of her baby girl! She came early, because she knows how many great books Jen has to read to her. Can’t wait to see pics. Here’s her official announcement about it from last week.
Two book-related notes:
** For information on Project Play’s “Great Moments in Backyard Play” writing contest for kids, visit their website here.
** Peter, the fellow who runs Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations, is making a concerted effort to increase the number of book lists in his Book Club Books category. If you’re interested in writing a book list and think you know a number of books that would make a good addition to his collection of book club recommendations, you can get in touch with Peter at email@example.com and he’ll fill you in on the details.