7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #167: Featuring
Gus Gordon (and Evel Knievel)

h1 May 16th, 2010 by jules

I apologize in advance to my readers this morning that I’ll be talking about a book you can’t get here in the States (yet?), but I’m making it up to you by featuring the work of Australian author/illustrator Gus Gordon, who wrote and illustrated said book. You know I love to shine the spotlight on international illustrators when I can. (Ooo! Ooo! If I had more blog-time in life, I’d make it a regular feature here at the blog. A girl can dream.) And I’ve seen a copy of Gus’s latest book, Wendy, published last year by Penguin Books in Australia. I have no idea if it will eventually be published in the U.S., but I hope so, because it’s wonderful. The dry humor in the book is laugh-outloud funny, and Gus’s cartoon illustrations are just right.

Wendy tells the story of … you guessed it: Wendy. Wendy is a chicken.

(Click to enlarge.)

As you can see from the above illustration as well as the cover, Wendy is a busy chicken. She entertains herself—and the other animals—on the small farm where she lives, but it’s just not enough for her.

Early Wendy sketch. (Click to enlarge.)

One day, in a state of serious ennui, she decides to “do something quite extraordinary”: She tightrope-walks between two buildings on the farm, but she waves a bit too much and lands up in the hospital.

(Click to enlarge spread.)

There she meets a bear named Bob, a Motorcycle Stunt Bear, who tells her all about Monty McFloos Mostly Spectacular Travelling Circus. Feeling right at home, she works up her own motorcycle act, à la Evel Knievel. Eventually clearing eleven buses as she sails across the sky on her motorcycle, she becomes famous, and her jumps, in fact, get bigger each time.

(Click to enlarge.)

(Click to enlarge spread.)

I don’t want to give it all away, in case this gets released here in the States, but let’s just say that Wendy eventually finds her way home after her thoughts return there. I also want to give ample time to Gus to say hello, as he’s sent some art and some words for us this morning. So, without further ado, here’s Mr. Gordon.

* * * * * * *

“Some Stuff About Gus:

I’m author and illustrator.

I grew up on a farm.

I now live by a beach (not on the beach) in Sydney, Australia, with my lovely wife, Ali, and our three little people.

I studied at the Julian Ashton School of Art.

I love the picture book format.

My creative influences are many. They include the Illustrators/Cartoonists Jean-Jacques Sempé, Arthur Rackham, George Booth, William Steig, Bill Watterson, Charles Addams, Eric Carle and Quentin Blake. More recently, I’ve been inspired by the work of Delphine Durand, Leigh Hobbs, Kevin Waldron, Shaun Tan, Neal Layton, Oliver Jeffers, Sara Fanelli, and Carin Berger. They also include the writers Roald Dahl, J. R. R. Tolkien, Jon Scieszka, Julia Donaldson, and John Yeoman. I am especially drawn to line-work and nonsensical, humorous folk.

I love collage.

I hate beetroot.

Some Other Things About Gus:

I use all kinds of media — but probably watercolour more than any other. Most of the time I just play around with whatever’s lying about -– crayons, charcoal, colour pencils, acrylics, gouache, cardboard. I’m most passionate about collage and spend a good deal of time collecting interesting papers and textures. Old postcards, anything. I can’t go to an art supply shop without buying some funky paper.

My favourite part of my job are those moments when it’s all clicking and you have no idea what time it is. You’re lost in a book or in the process. Having said that, there are always days when you’re stuck in the mud and you can’t figure out how to get out. Solving creative problems can be enormously satisfying.

At the moment, stylistically, I’m in the process of deconstructing the way I convey story and especially my technique. I’ve really been trying to get back to basics and focus on telling the story, concentrating on the character, rather than getting bogged down in conscious technique -– perspective, form, anatomy, etc. We have three little children and I’m always fascinated with their naïve drawings. In many ways their conceptualisation, the way they interpret the world, is so much more real and refreshing than a trained artist’s translation. They haven’t been taught the ‘right’ way to draw yet.

Some Things About Wendy:

I have always been oddly fascinated with chickens. We always had them growing up on the farm -– maybe that’s how it started. There is something about them. I can’t decide whether they are one of the most stupid animals to ever walk the earth or, on the other hand, if you heard on the news that a chicken had passed all the necessary mental and physical challenges required to become the first chicken on the NASA space program, you wouldn’t be altogether surprised. (Okay, maybe a bit.)

Although Wendy has always been a chicken, the story has changed significantly. Originally, Wendy was a spy who had all these James-Bond-like, save-the-world missions, but it was all a little too ambitious. The character felt right, but I felt that she needed more of a focus for her adventures. This is where Evel Knievel came into the picture.

My brother and I were huge Evel Knievel fans growing up. He was so flamboyant and reckless. I used to draw him constantly. We loved the way the fans would flock to see him jump these crazy obstacles with little regard for his life. He would inevitably crash and spend months in hospital recovering from multiple injuries — only to emerge and do it all over again. He was the ultimate showman.

I was also very interested in the travelling-circus-era of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, when circus’s and freak shows were the primary form of entertainment around –- especially for those who lived outside the cities. I loved watching those old black-and-white circus movies when Houdini and others were the big stars of the day. Wendy seemed the perfect personality for such heroics and, once I had her on a motorbike … well, it just looked so right.

In terms of illustrating Wendy, I wanted to capture that Evel-Knievel feel but in the old travelling-circus-era and in a country setting. I had to fudge the time frame a little, but I thoroughly enjoyed drawing the old ‘bubble’-style trucks and buses. I used the sepia toned ‘photos’ to help the reader get a sense of a moment being captured in time and also when Wendy reminisces about time past. The media I used were black pencil, acrylics, crayons, colour pencil, collage, and a bit of digital stuff. I enjoyed the collage element the most. I tried to pick the most suitable papers and patterns for the various scenes, trying to make sure the element enhanced the illustration — not distracted the reader.

So, basically, Wendy was born out of something that was there all along. It had been collected like all the other junk that invades the cavity between my ears. It was plucked from my boyhood subconscious. Boy, there’s some crazy stuff floating around up there.

(Click to enlarge spread.)

Endpapers from Wendy. (Click to enlarge.)

What’s next?

I’m always looking for more time. Mostly time to write, which I enjoy just as much as painting/drawing. I always seem to be too busy working on other folks’s books (which is still enjoyable) to find good quality time to spend on my own. Although, I am at present currently working on my next picture book. I can’t say much about it, but it’s set in New York. I’m quite excited about this one. It’s very different from Wendy. I also have an idea about the following book: It’s about Norman, a one-legged, cross-dressing Algerian Hamster Pirate who dreams of one day playing the bagpipes in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. I’m hoping it hasn’t been done already.

* * * * * * *

All images used with permission of Gus Gordon. 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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). Some beautiful hand-made jewelry and music from my friend, Jill, as a birthday gift. (The whole gift nearly made me cry, seeing as how it was so thoughtful).

2). More music from another friend.

3). And this poster (which I’ve kicked about before) from Denise. Heavens, my friends are good to me.

4). Also: It’s always a good week when Sam releases new music, which she did.

5). Someone also pointed this out to me, and I very much want to be there looking at that collection right now.

6). Also: I’m super happy Gus stopped by.

7). All of you kickers.

NOTE: Don’t forget MotherReader’s Fifth Annual 48-Hour Book Challenge. Here’s all the info.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

31 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #167: Featuring
Gus Gordon (and Evel Knievel)”

  1. Yay to more international illustrators on 7-imp! Just what we love too!

  2. […] those in the Wendy fan club, check out this great interview with her wrangler Gus Gordon on the 7Imp blog. Great background info from Gus plus heaps of […]

  3. […] those in the Wendy fan club, check out this great interview with her wrangler Gus Gordon on the 7Imp blog. Great background info from Gus plus heaps of […]

  4. I love the Evel Knievel drawing Gus did at 7. The illustrations have a wonderful light sense of humor.

    *My first kick would be smelling freshly ground coffee beans, then listening to the coffee as it gurgled and sputtered out of the maker. And then enjoying it as I sit down to read your blog.

    * I became a great-aunt! Holding the wee little girl takes me back to when my own children were just babes. And gives me another wonderful reason to buy books.

    *Walking to work under the knarly branches of the weeping elms.

    *Coming across a whole section in my favorite plant nursery that is devoted to lupins, couldn’t help remind me of ‘Miss Rumphius’.

    *Discovering that the chocolate store down the street now serves dessert crepes. Perfect with an afternoon shot of java.

    *Watching the faces of the kids when Rick Riordan came to visit.

    *Receiving a package by snail mail from a faraway friend, containing photos of the handmade books she has created along with a cd of Turkish music.

    And a Book Kick!

    *Opening new shipments of books to find that the boxes are filled with my old favorites the likes of ‘Cold Comfort Farm’, ‘The Bat Poet’, ‘Owl Moon’. I’d go on but I have to get unpacking!

  5. This is really cool and fun – thanks for sharing it with us! My kicks:

    1. Sold a short story to Strange Horizons that is not about Alaska flying (the only thing I have been paid to write about for ages). It’s an actual haunted house story. I still can’t believe this.

    2. And in other huge news – I DO NOT HAVE SKIN CANCER! I really thought I did because, well, I get it a lot (thank you Florida childhood). I think my dermatologist was shocked as well. I’m cleared for six more blissful months. Huzzah!

    3. Summer Blog Blast Tour this week – make sure you all check it out. (Jules has an interview that is going to be awesome.)

    4. So many freaking good books read recently that I don’t know where to begin. But there is a blog post in the near future about them, promise.

    5. Spring has finally arrived to the Pacific NW. I wore shorts this week. And planted sunflowers. Happy days.

    6. Let’s count the no skin cancer thing twice, okay?

    7. Michael Franti’s “Say Hey” from the great CD “All Rebel Rockers”. This will cure what ails you, promise.

  6. Go, Wendy…I hope it does get released here. Love Gus’ drawings.
    Jules, don’t you love when birthdays extend?
    Cathy, I do the same things Sunday AM, listend to coffee gurgle, grap a cuppa, and read this blog.
    Colleen, thank goodness you do not have skin cancer!
    My kicks:
    The weather this week was gorgeous,
    Yesterday was phenomenol: first SCBWI-OR conference and daughter’s bday dinner.
    Survived my first critique outside my trusted critique group.
    Listening to eldest grandgirl sing a song about a princess and her husky (her dog.)
    Watching the grangirls and cousins cheer each other on with the pinata.
    Reading Molokai by Brennert for book club which is tonight.
    Preparing kids for Ralph Flether visit this week.
    Have a great week.

  7. I’m telling you, those Australians know how to make children’s books. Seeing what does wind up getting imported here, I’ve long been interested in what doesn’t make it. I suspect they’re hiding all kinds of wonderfulness.

    Jules, Can you believe I spent a week in Minneapolis not knowing the Kerlan collection existed and so I missed it entirely? I did. I got to a bunch of other art-y things there, though. It’s a fantastic city all around if you like to look at art.

    I am not sure I can come up with kicks for this week. It wasn’t bad–just kind of a blur. The consistent thing this week has been some of my reading for the book award committee I’m on, which I’m really enjoying. Today, too, the weather has taken a turn back to nice spring, and I’m looking forward to spending a day working in my yard.

  8. I really like the illustrations for Wendy – they make me happy!

    Jules, you’re always a kick for us. Seriously, you are. :o)

    Kate, I agree!

    Cathy, wow there is so much joie de vivre in your kicks. I love it.

    Colleen, YAY to not having cancer!!! And I am looking forward to the SBBT.

    Jone, your grangirls are so blessed to have you. :o)

    Adrienne, enjoy the reading for the book award committee and your gardening today!

    Things for which I am immensely grateful:

    1. I attended the inaugural Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore. I learned SO MUCH and I was SO INSPIRED by the beautiful festival. I have never felt this much love, energy, and determination for Asian children’s and YA books. There were actually a couple of times during the festival where I teared up because my heart was just bursting with joy.

    For the very curious, my blog posts on the festival can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/2am538u

    2. There is a lot of really yummy food in Singapore. Chili crabs, cereal prawns, chicken rice, smoked duck, and the list goes on and on. * pats very satisfied tummy *

    3. I couldn’t get enough of the coffee in Singapore, which is called “kopi tarik,” or “pulled coffee” in English, and can be served with evaporated milk or condensed milk.

    Life is so good. :o) Cheers, everyone!!!

  9. Wendy looks great. Hope someone picks it up over here!

    (When she’s in the hospital talking to Bob the bear, did you notice Wendy’s medical chart?

    Condition:broken wishboneruffled feathersslightly fried

    Ha! Love it when an artist tosses in that sort of detail. He did the same thing in some of the other spreads, notably the one of Wendy jumping the double-decker bus — the ads in the background.)

    Kicks o’the week:

    1. The animated film Ponyo. (We’re big fans of that director’s films, so we were pretty confident about this one in advance of actually seeing it.)

    2. Jasper Fforde’s newest book, Shades of Grey. It takes place in an alternate/future Britain where humans have evolved into these highly color-sensitive creatures, complete with rigid social structures. (There are two general social classes, the Chromatics and the Greys — guess which are on top. Within the Chromatics, there’s a further hierarchy: Purples (unsurprisingly) are the snooty upper class; Yellows are rigid rules followers; and so on.) This author ALWAYS dumbfounds me with his ingenuity, his wordplay, and his hilarious sense of humor.

    3. My brother and sisters. I’m the oldest of the four of us, so you might think I’d be less dependent on them for sanity checks and reassurance… doesn’t work out that way in practice, though!

    4. You mentioned the Sunday kickers here, Jules. I’ve gotta say, I love the people that come by my place, too.

    5. Wrapped up two big ol’ hairy and IMPORTANT jobs at work this week at almost the same time — between 2 and 3 on Friday afternoon. Talk about sailing into the weekend!

    6. Sandwiches.

    7. The miracle of bread (even when not in a sandwich).

    BONUS KICK (because I haven’t included a single stinking link so far, and I’m feeling practically unclothed): Babies are born to dance.

  10. P.S. Whoops — the bulleted list of Wendy’s conditions got mangled!

  11. JES, thanks so much for pointing out those details in the illustrations!

  12. Kate, I love it, too. Just wish I had more time for it.

    Cathy, that week right there was sort of…holy to me. Coffee. Chocolate. Books. Babies. Hand-made gifts from friends. Taking walks. What a good week you had. Enjoy those books.

    Colleen, I’m still so happy for your cancer-free news. And congrats on the short story. I look forward to reading it.

    Jone, happy birthday to your daughter, and congrats on surviving the critique. Have fun at book club tonight. Woot!

    Adrienne, I know you can’t talk about the Batchelder a lot, but one day I wanna hear all about it. Whatever you CAN talk about.

    Tarie, aw shucks, thanks. And, man, do I want some of that coffee. I’m so happy for you for lots of reasons, esp. that you enjoyed that festival so much.

    John, yes, what a wonder is a sandwich. Your novel sounds great, though I don’t expect to read a novel again until 2011, when our book is done. (For real…I’ve just got these little windows of time.) Glad your brothers and sisters are there for you.

  13. I applaud Wendy. From one busy chick(en) to another: You go, girl! Welcome to 7-Imp, Gus. Be safe out there, Bob.

    I’ve had a really good week. It was quite busy – what I call crazy-busy, when the days go by both quickly and slowly because there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it all, and so many obligations to fulfill that I was running around almost non-stop for about 18 hours a day – but it was all worth it. My kicks for the week include:

    1) The staged reading. We had two performances for industry and interested parties. I feel as though both shows went really well, and I was blown away by the feedback I received. Thank you, kind and complimentary people. You have no idea how much I appreciated what you had to say.
    2) Meeting the legendary Margaret O’Brien. You’d probably know her best from her work in Meet Me in St. Louis or the 1949 version of Little Women. Well, she attended the first show, and afterwards, she asked to speak with me. I was immensely flattered and honored. We spoke at length. It was an encounter and conversation I’ll never forget.
    3) Tonight, I have a callback for the play for which I auditioned last week. Cross your fingers!
    4) On Wednesday night, I auditioned for another play. It was a really intense piece, and though I ultimately didn’t get the role, I am glad that I tried, and that I wasn’t (too) afraid to go a little outside of my comfort zone.
    5) Last night, when the casting director told me that I didn’t get the part in the short film I auditioned for last Sunday because they went in a different direction, he said so many nice and genuine things about my performance and my personality that it was better than getting that part.
    6) Belting my heart out at rehearsals.
    7) The music of Pomplamoose. They write and perform their own music as well as really creative covers. Check out their versions of Telephone by Lady Gaga and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce — I didn’t care for those songs as performed by their original artists, and Pomplamoose has versions which I feel are both musically and artistically than the originals! Also check out their take on the classic song Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes. Click here to watch + listen to Pomplamoose at YouTube. Also visit the official Pomplamoose website.

    Jules: I’m glad that you had a week filled with celebrations, music, and friends.

    Cathy: Congratulations! Welcome to the world, baby girl. Also: Cold Comfort Farm is fun.

    Colleen: I think that should count lots and lots of times. I’m thrilled for you, especially for that, and also for your story sale, your coordinating, and your amazing strength!

    jone: Rock the pinata. Happy birthday to her.

    Adrienne: Enjoy the weather.

    Tarie: I’m glad to hear that the festival was as success!

    JES: I enjoyed Fforde’s Tuesday Next books, so Shades of Grey is on my radar but I have yet to read it. Bread rules.

  14. Hello all,

    Just like Gus, I have always had an odd fascination with chickens — my brother and I have exchanged chicken-related gag gifts for years. So, Wendy is my new favorite chicken.

    Glad you liked the gifts, Jules, but wish I could have given them to you in person. Someday, I hope. Congrats to Colleen on being skin-cancer free — WOOT! And JES, I am also a fan of Jasper Fforde, and love his literary detective series, Thursday Next.

    My kicks:
    1) Sam’s new EP, “Old Tin Pan”, per Jules link, above. SO good.
    2) Going to a wonderful independent book store (please support your local store!) in S.F. yesterday with my boyfriend — Bird & Beckett Books. Found two Robert Walser books (yay!) and was so impressed with their selection.
    3) Having a glass of very bad merlot last night at the famous Vesuvio Saloon in the North Beach neighborhood of S.F. — Jack Kerouac used to drink there, and it has a real Beat Poet vibe. Fun.
    4) Treasure hunting with a friend.
    5) Laughs and pizza with two old friends.
    6) Finding out about the poet Vera Pavlova from JES at his blog (this is the only way I know to link to it: http://johnesimpson.com/blog/2010/05/lucid-dreaming/). Vera’s husband is her translator, which I found fascinating.
    7) The generosity of strangers.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  15. LW, we just passed each other in Cyberland. Wow. Just wow. Your kicks are amazing! Margaret O’Brien?!? What an interesting life you lead!

  16. Little Willow, you’re one of my heroes. I’m so glad you got such raves for your work and that you got to meet Margaret and even get raves from her. WOO WOO! I’m crossing fingers for that callback, and I enjoyed watching that Pomplamoose drummer.

    Jill, I want to go to that saloon with you! ONE DAY….One day, we’ll have our wine and pancakes and a Jack Kerouac drink.

  17. I really hope the chicken on the bicycle comes to the United States. I wonder if Wendy will visit Minerva Louise and introduce her to the wild ways of the road.

    My kicks:

    1. Sunshine in Seattle (three days’ worth)
    2. The farmer’s market across the street just opened for the season.
    3. A new writing outlet.
    4. The annual Mother-Daughter tea.
    5. I’ve got a guitar DVD to help me learn some new fingerpicking techniques (taught by Happy Traum for Homespun Tapes, in case you’re interested). What cracked me up is that in the beginning, I stopped for a moment to examine the technique, and Traum said at that moment something to the effect of, “Keep playing with me here!”
    6. All the people, both grownups and children, who are willing to accommodate my daughter’s particular challenges and let her into their lives.
    7. Going to Mars! We’ll get there!

  18. P.S. Little Willow, I’m crossing my fingers for you.

  19. Jill: Hurrah for indie bookstores! Glad that you had fun with friends. Thank you. She was incredible. So genuine.

    Jules: That’s sweet of you to say. Dankeschoen. As for Pomplamoose, I knew you’d like them!

    Thanks, Farida! Hugs to your daughter and family. Enjoy the guitar.

  20. Dare-devil chicken. Love the oxymoron and Wendy.

    Jules – Thanks for intro to Gordon. RE: your Kick 3; may we both stay up and make some (fun) things.

    JES – as I was reading down the blog noting the things that especially spoke to me, I jotted down ‘sign, McGinty’s Tinned Roaches’ and ‘medical chart, broken wishbone’. Then I came to your comment and thought, “Hmmm. Me thinks John and I (and of course, Gordon) share the same bent sense of humor.) Ha!

    My Kicks (three this week):

    1. (a long one) I always get a Sunday kick out of Kicks:
    Cathy – Holding a wee baby (see my kick #3 below.)
    Colleen – Not having skin cancer (I relate; thank you California childhood).
    Jone – Outside critiques that confirm one’s reality.
    Adrienne – a blur (again, I relate.)
    Tari – “Kopi tarik” with condensed milk… sounds a bit like Thai iced tea (which I love) – so now I’m curious and have to try some (if I can find it.)
    John – My 14-year-old, Max, is big Miyazaki fan; we saw Ponyo in theater 3 times.
    Little Willow — Your Margaret O’Brien encounter is just too cool. I once had Cary Grant come backstage to visit with the 42nd STREET cast, which wowed me, but never a one-on-one like yours. Kudos.
    Jill – yea for indie bookstores. We’ve started a “support group” to help keep ours in Pacific Palisades afloat.
    S and S – Understanding folk who welcome challenging kids. Kindness is the ultimate virtue in my book.

    2. Went to Portland, Oregon to help my son, Paul, move from school-year college apartment to summer apartment. (He’s at Lewis & Clark.) I could not get over the amazing blossoming plants there (hey, I’m from Southern California, a virtual desert.) I mean, there were hydrangea bushes that were two stories high! And azaleas that were pruned into the most gorgeous flowering trees! (My mature azaleas are 1 foot tall.) My sons keep teasing me, “Mom is delirious over the foliage,” (eyes roll.) Well, I was.

    3. Because of Portland trip, missed Mother’s Day with my mom. So, today I’m taking her to see documentary film “The Babies”. I just ADORE its trailer.


    Have a wonderful week all.

  21. I have had a tough few weeks–emotionally draining. But today was great. We had a bridal shower for my daughter–and it was WONDERFUL! Family and close friends came together to celebrate a momentous day for my only child. The weather was perfect–so too the food…and the mimosas and bellinis and the gourmet cakes I brought. What fun! I’m just sorry my mother couldn’t be there. I hope she’ll be better and able to attend my daughter’s wedding in July.

  22. Farida, I hadn’t even THOUGHT of Minerva Louise. They would make a good pair, huh? I’m with Denise on kindness — and accommodating.

    Denise, glad you got to see Portland in the spring. Hope you had fun with your mom today.

    Elaine, here’s hoping your mom makes it in July. Congrats again to your daughter!

  23. Little Willow – MARGARET O’BRIEN??? WOW!!

    So cool – so utterly cool! How awesome for you!

  24. Denise Doyen: I would have loved to have met Cary Grant. I think the world of him as an actor. It breaks my heart that I’ll never be able to work with Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood, Audrey Hepburn… Enjoy your day with your mother!

    Elaine: Lots of positive, healthy vibes going out to your family. Glad that the bridal shower for your daughter was so wonderful.

    Colleen: I was over the moon.

  25. Denise, thanks for the tip about “The Babies” the trailer was great and I will try to take my daughter with me.

  26. Thanks, oh big thanks for sharing WENDY and her creator, such FUN!

    *A wonderful, peaceful weekend in the mountains where flowers and lots of shades of new green leaves and shoots appearing.
    *The big move for RIF is going well, unpacking well underway!
    *RIF’s gala is shaping up to be another great one!
    *Wonderful ceremony in Stamford, CT honoring RIF Board member Juanita James of Pitney Bowes; she gives so much to her community!
    *The final book distributions of this school year in DC were a great success as we highlight Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
    *I finished HALF THE SKY, a must-read for all persons.
    *I get to stay home for ten days!

    Happy Reading to all in this new week!

  27. Wow! Love Wendy, and can totally relate to the Evel Kneivel fascination. Growing up, several of my neighborhood friends and I used to play at being Evel with our bikes and homemade ramps. (Luckily, none of our crashes involved trips to the hospital!)

    Everyone has such happy kicks this week!

    Congrats Colleen on being skin-cancer free!

    And LW – congrats to you on meeting Margaret O’Brien! Especially getting to have that one-on-one time! Awesome!

    My kicks this week:

    1. Ran in and finished my first trail race yesterday. It was quite challenging, but ultimately fun. Spent the rest of the day recovering.
    2. Crawfish for dinner!
    3. Running errands with my dog in the car. She’s always so happy to feel the wind on her face, and it makes me happy to see that.
    4. Softball game with the dog. She loves people, so all the attention from old and new friends made her very happy. (Me too, always fun catching up with friends.)
    5.Kitty purring beside me right now. (and most mornings.)
    6. This website: http://phoebeallens.com/ Never seen a hummingbird’s nest or baby hummingbirds before, and this is so very sweet.
    7. Finally watched Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke. Hard to watch, but ultimately powerful storytelling.
    8. My awesome hairdresser, who’s salon is participating in this: http://www.matteroftrust.org/

    Have a great week everyone!

  28. Carol, glad the move is going well. And, hey, I’ve got a copy of Half the Sky, I’m pretty sure. I’ll have to take a look. Happy staying-home, too.

    Rachel, now, you had a good week. I haven’t seen that Spike Lee film. Sounds good. Seven cheers for your salon.

  29. […] those in the Wendy fan club, check out this great interview with her wrangler Gus Gordon on the 7Imp blog. Great background info from Gus plus heaps of […]

  30. […] a wonderful sense of humour. Wendy is a little package filled with all these elements. I read an interview with Gus recently where he said ‘I love collage’, and it shows in this book, he uses numerous […]

  31. […] Cat (Crown Books for Young Readers). This one is illustrated by Australian artist Gus Gordon (who visited 7-Imp way back in 2010 and whose art from 2013’s Herman and Rosie is here). Gus sent some spreads […]

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