7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #168: Featuring Eugenie Fernandes

h1 May 23rd, 2010 by jules


(Click to enlarge.)

Today I welcome a Canadian illustrator’s work to the blog. It’s been a while since I’ve featured these types of illustrations: For Kitten’s Spring (Kids Can Press, February 2010), Eugenie Fernandes created the world of the curious cat of the title using clay, acrylic, and mixed-media collage. I’ve had these illustrations for a while, too, and it’s high time I featured them — before Spring sneaks away and Summer arrives in all her unrelenting glory.

This is an engaging title for the wee’est of children, all about a kitten who romps through a farmyard at Spring-time, taking in all the sights and sounds. I love to see these clay artists at work in picture books. “{T}he self-hardening-clay-and-mixed-media collage spot and full-bleed illustrations are intricate and adorably three-dimensional,” writes Kirkus. Indeed, you want to reach out and touch them.

Evidently, this is the first book in a series of four. Kitten’s Autumn will be released in August.


(Click to enlarge.)


(Click to enlarge.)

Selection from Kitten’s Spring, written and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, reprinted by permission of Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto. Text and illustrations copyright ~ 2010 Eugenie Fernandes.

* * * * * * *

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 * * *

I’m keeping things brief today. I’ve been out of town to a children’s lit festival in Knoxville, and I’m simply worn out. But my kicks are all wrapped up in that. I got to see good friends and former colleagues, meet Chris Raschka, briefly catch up with Jack Gantos and hear him speak again, create a secret handshake with my friend’s punkin-head five-year-old (while hanging out with them for two days), and see how downtown Knoxville has absolutely TAKEN OFF since I last lived there. Amazing. Also amazing is how much the town clearly cares about literacy and children’s books and reading. Simply wonderful. Here are Raschka and Gantos…


…and I have to add that earlier in the week, here in Nashville, my girls and I had the opportunity to meet Jenni Holm. What a good week for meeting up with great minds and fun people. Lucky, lucky me to be in their presence, if only briefly.

So, that’s it for now, since I’m a) worn out, as I type this, and b) burnt to a crisp.

What are YOUR kicks this week?





24 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #168: Featuring Eugenie Fernandes”

  1. Jules, glad your week was so filled with cool book people and events! Eugenie Fernandes’s hatching duck is adorable, and I like the kitten’s whispering night. It was a quiet week here after some busy ones.

    1. Yesterday my husband, a friend and I hiked to see lady slippers on a mountaintop.

    2. Iris are coming out. I’m sorry to gush so much about spring, but sometimes it’s over in a few days in Massachusetts, while this year it actually almost earns its name as a season.

    3. Tomorrow I’m taking a laptop to visit a friend who’s been ill a long time, but now feels well enough to want to try to write with some company.

    4. Saw fluffy baby geese by the bike path.

    5. My husband started reading Little Women last night, for his first time. He cracked up when Jo says, “I hate affected, niminy pimminy chits.” So far, so good.

    6. The bunch of words I’ve been pushing around for the last two months showed a few hopeful shimmery spots.

    7. Just checked back, and the shimmer made it through the night.


  2. I am always in awe of artists who collage. They must have a tremendous amount of patience.
    Jules, oh how fun to be at that festival. I so love Jack Gantos’ work.
    Jeanine, I love the idea of words having shimmery spots.
    My kicks:
    1. Our day with Ralph Fletcher. Both with the kids and then in workshop with teachers. Lots of to chew on.
    2.Challenging a fifth grade girl to read Pride and Prejudice because she gobbles up the books I hand her and I think she might like to read Austen.
    3. Wed. play practice reminds me why I so the play each year. It has been tough, my co-direcotr is getting ready to retire and didn’t do the play with me this year. I swore this would be the last year. Yet I began thinking of new ways to do it for next year. Performances are this Tuesday.
    4. Knowing how much my nephew appreciated the art supplies I sent him. Still in the Navy but still dealing with complications of his condition.
    5. Our dogs are healthy at 10 and 14 Years old. Vet gave them clean bill of health this week.
    5. The peonies before the rain trounced them.
    6. The kinder who asked if I was worried that I would wake up as a book after reading A Bad Case of Stripes.
    7. Being given a copy of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.
    Have a great week.


  3. Jeannine, so happy for your shimmer that sticks. And who would complain about you going on about spring? A person I wouldn’t want to know, I tell ya. Lady slippers = lovely. Have a wonderful time seeing your friend tomorrow.

    Jone, kick #2 is particularly great, and keep us updated. I also love #6. Was he serious? That is great. When is the big show, too? And when is your school year over?


  4. Love Kitten’s Spring.

    Jules, Jealous, but so glad you had such a good week!

    Jeannine, We’re having the same spring in WNY, and I am likewise in love with it. The iris in my yard bloomed yesterday morning. Lovely, lovely!

    Jone, I read my first Austen in fifth grade, so it’s doable.

    My kicks:
    1. Three movies in one week!
    2. Movie #1: Babies. Not Important, as documentaries go, but really, really cute.
    3. Movie #2: Rollerball, the original, which I had never seen. They’re doing this dystopian sci-fi series at the local art theater, and I’m loving catching up on some of them that I haven’t seen. Nothing like a good dystopia to make one feel better about daily existence.
    4. Movie #3: Iron Man 2. I wished the writing equaled the performances.
    5. I went to a performance of Verdi’s Requiem last night that was pretty awesome.
    6. I also told stories at an event my godson’s preschool held yesterday, which was so much fun. The kids were a fantastic audience, and they really seemed to enjoy the stories. Score one for the godmother.
    7. Yard work. It’s work, but it’s satisfying. Today, though, I’m kind of planning on letting it go and spending a lot of time reading.


  5. Sounds like you had one of the good-but-exhausting sort of weeks, Jules. In a week (or however quickly you get over the crispiness) you’ll have forgotten all about the exhausting part, so I’ll just say: congratulations on such a good week!

    I like the not-really-2D look of the Kitten book! One question, which I’ve wondered about before here: when you feature two-page spreads, as you’ve done with Kitten’s Spring, do you have some sort of original extra-wide image to work with? Or do you actually scan the spreads to get the images? I don’t think I’ve ever been able to find a “seam” between left- and right-hand images! (Well, in the case of the Owl screeches/Owlet gobbles spread in this case, I can see where the seam probably lies.)

    And I hope at some point you have time to either blow up to full size or at least describe what the heck is on the easel behind Jack Gantos. It’s torturously alllllmoooooost-too-small for at least one details-minded reader.

    Jeannine, last Sunday evening — it was still light out — I was on my way out to the store. The route took me up a six-lane major highway. At one point nowhere near a traffic signal, I could see ahead of me that traffic was stopped in both directions. Oh no, I thought, not an accident… It wasn’t an accident, though. A mama goose and about a dozen of those fluffy baby geese were walking across the roadway, and all six lanes had come to a standstill to let them pass (and, I imagine, to cheer them on). A lot of smiles in cars on both sides of the road.

    (Oh, and the punchline: they were marching from a pond on one side of the road to, uh, well… there really was nothing but a big McDonald’s on the other side.)

    Love the shimmer!

    Jone, I’d never heard of A Bad Case of Stripes but just looked it up because of that hilarious waking-up-as-a-book question — it sounds like a hoot!

    (Hmm. Found 3-4 mentions of David Shannon — the Stripes book’s creator — here at 7-Imp, but no interview? can it be possible?!?)

    Kicks for me:

    * A funny little cluster of electronic miscommunications among my brother, a sister, and me a few days ago. Too complicated to explain, really — it involved Google Chat, missed voicemail messages, and cellphone texting in all three directions, and a failed practical joke — but I was laughing to myself about it for a couple days afterwards.

    * This xkcd comic, which in a single panel punctures the pretentiousness of (clueless) “social media consultants.”

    * This video: “LOST re-enacted by Cats in 1 minute.”

    * The Pooch’s new haircut. The Missus tells me it’s called a “puppy cut,” which on a miniature Yorkie makes her look something like, oh, say, the dummy for a wire-haired terrier who works as a ventriloquist.

    * Really good orange juice.

    * One of those automatic-playlist Internet-radio sites, stereomood.com, where you tell it what you’re interested in at the moment by selecting a mood. My first mood was “asleep on my feet” (hey, it was a work day) and I found a very cool assortment of artists, most new to me but some old favorites (Fleet Foxes juxtaposed with Allen Toussaint (the latter on “St. James Infirmary”)!).

    * Nerdly goodness: new operating-system version.


  6. Clay! I love clay! :o )

    Jules, what a great week you had! Seven woots for you! :o )

    Jeannine, I hope your friend gets better very soon. And awww, fluffy baby geese.

    Jone, hurray for fifth graders reading Austen! And I hope your nephew conquers those complications.

    Adrienne, yay for godmothers like you!

    JES, great story about the mama goose and the fluffy baby geese! Thanks for letting us know about stereomood.com. Mmm, orange juice.

    My kicks:

    1. Going clothes and accessories shopping

    2. Going book shopping when there is a sale (20% off graphic novels!)

    3. Spending some quality time with a dear friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer of the uterus

    4. Talking about children’s books with members of the National Book Development Board – Philippines and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People over cheese fondue, beef fondue, and chocolate fondue

    5. Eating at a Korean buffet with a very, very close cousin visiting from Bahrain

    6. Thai dinner (grilled prawns with garlic and basil sauce, jasmine rice, pad thai noodles, tom yum soup, and chicken and pork satay) with my family

    7. I’m reading the 2010 edition of From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Book by KT Horning. :o )

    Here’s to another kick-filled week!!!


  7. Tarie: thanks for those kicks, which are sending me straight downstairs to rummage in the refrigerator the second I hit the ‘Submit Comment’ button…


  8. [Jules, posted this earlier right after jone, but didn't show up for some reason... I'll try again, with additions.]

    My household is sick, including me (cough, cough) so just quick-kicks this week.

    Eugenie Fernandes – love the textures and really appreciated that the newborn duckling looks awkward (the way they really do).

    Jules the KidLit Fest in Knoxville sounds wonderful. The white board sketches behind Jack Gantos really makes me want to have heard his presentation!

    Jeannie – Oh, I completely get waking up and being so pleased that the words one has discovered are still shimmering (love that descriptor.)

    Jone – Letting your director-self get pulled into the school play every year. Ha!

    Adriennne — agree with you about Iron Man 2.

    JES — that blogging cartoon. : – )

    Tarie — am curious about the KT Horning book.

    My 3 kicks:

    1. Rediscovering the pomegranate (a stolen treat from my childhood.)

    2. Blog Blast tour Day 5 featured a writer-acquaintance of mine (Nancy Bo Flood at Finding Wonderland) and it was so good to hear about her research and reasoning behind her new novel about Saipan in WWII. (I did not know Saipan and the Marianas archipelago are part of the United States!)

    3. Every so often there is a commercial that transcends its commercialism. I think “Remember When You Were Five?” from the Pure Imagination series is one of those rare commercial gifts (especially for us children’s book folk.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOl4OzcyKK4&feature=related

    Have a wonderful week all.


  9. Your week sounds delicious, Jules.

    JES, that’s a great story about the goose and her babies!

    Tarie, I am drooling over #6 – I love Thai food, and miss it as there is no Thai restaurant near our place (British towns have more Indian restaurants).

    Like Denise, I’m not 100% well so have briefer kicks than normal! But I’ll be on holidays for the next couple of Sundays so didn’t want to miss out.

    1. I am in a sad enough state after living here for two and a half years to start by saying the warm weather of the last few days has put a smile on my face. I am definitely more relaxed in warm weather.
    2. Picnic at Houghton House yesterday – nice food overlooking a valley and a field of buttercups. We have driven past the turnoff to this house dozens of times but never realised how pretty it was.
    3. Last weekend we visited Bempton Cliffs where we had two lovely walks (one evening, one morning) along the clifs looking at kittiwakes, gannets, razorbills and cute little puffins. The sound and sight of so many birds was incredible. Highly recommended to anyone living in the UK.
    4. Then we went and visited Whitby, including the very atmospheric abbey.
    5. First poppies out this week!


  10. Adrienne, I also enjoyed Iran Man 2, and I’m always so proud of Robert Downey, Jr. every time I see him perform. You know, that he turned his career around so blazingly well. Way to rock godmama-hood, and enjoy your yard work.

    John, I get the spreads from the publisher or illustrator. Usually, they don’t have seams. Is that what you’re asking? ….And what Jack has behind him are quick sketches of his immediate world, growing up in Florida. He tells stories about his childhood that will make you laugh so hard you will think you’re going to soil your pants, and he encourages kids to journal their own experiences, etc. Really. If you ever have a chance to see him speak, don’t pass it by.

    What a great mama-goose story; that Lost video cracked me up; and the music site still blows me away. How do they DO that?

    Tarie, so sorry to hear about your friend’s cancer. But I love kick #4 a whole, whole bunch.

    Denise, so sorry that spam got the first message, but since you posted again, I just got rid of the first one. …I hope everyone in your household gets to feeling better soon. Thanks for the video, which I’m gonna go watch in a moment after I turn this addictive iPod off.

    Emmaco, hope you feel better soon, too. Boo. I wish I could make it so that none of my people got ill. ….Kittiwakes = the new thing I learned from you this week. What a beautiful week you had! How are your sister and the baby?


  11. Hello, Eugenie! Thanks for sharing your spring stories and cute critters with us. Good luck with the adorable series of books about Kitten.

    Jules: Glad that you had fun at the festival. Hope you have a restful day today. Yay, Jenni Holm!

    Jeannine: Sounds like you had some lovely encounters with nature. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your friend.

    jone: Yay, healthy puppies! Kudos to giving the 5th grader P&P.

    adrienne: Sounds like an entertaining week for you.

    JES: Mmm, orange juice.

    Tarie: What a fun board meeting.

    Denise: Hope you and yours feel better soon.

    emmaco: Glad that the sunshine cheered you up. Say hello to the poppies for me!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Offered a role in a new play
    2) Offered another role in another play; went to the table read and had a great time; then discovered that the two shows overlap and felt horrible because I can’t clone myself and be in two places at once. I spoke to the casting/directing personnel and am anxiously awaiting their decisions.
    3) Summer Blog Blast Tour (SBBT) – many thanks to Colleen and to all of the participants!
    4) Casting director seminar
    5) Festival of plays (with many pieces written by or featuring people I know)
    6) Planning
    7) Wishing, trying, and hoping


  12. Denise, I love pomegranates! Thanks for the link to the video. :o )

    Emmaco, I agree with Jules, what a beautiful week you’ve had! So many beautiful places in the UK. I hope to someday visit. *wistful sigh *

    Little Willow, that festival of plays sounds awesome! I hope things work out re: kick #2!


  13. Jules, my sister and niece are doing great. She is already smiling which has provided many lovely photos for me to show to everyone I meet!


  14. Jules, funny typo in this follow-up comment of yours. Personally, I was prouder of Downey when he was in Kurdistan. :)

    Yes, that’s what I was asking about the “seam” thing in the spreads. I pictured (but didn’t want to picture) you opening up these humongous picture books — breaking their spines — to lay them flat on a big scanner. The get-the-spreads-from-the-publisher option definitely more bibliophiliac.

    Denise: oooooh, love that AT&T commercial! And I know nothing about pomegranates except that (a) The Missus occasionally has me buy pomegranate juice for her mixed drinks, and (b) they are absolutely HIDEOUS in every photo I’ve seen of their innards. They look like zombie brains must look when zombie surgeons open their heads up.

    emmaco, I love the way your kicks are always full of these little UK-setting details. Having never been there, I don’t even know of half the things you describe — you could be making them up on the spot — but your kicks do transport me.

    Little Willow, your final kick is the best thing imaginable to focus on, in any week o’kicks!


  15. Little Willow, sorry about the overlapping plays. D’oh. I wish you could be two places at once, too.

    Emmaco, so good to hear!

    John, ha! Oops. And, right, I’ve never scanned a picture book. No way. I’d be afraid I’d get in trouble anyway. I always use these things with permissions.

    “Transporting us” is a good way to describe Emmaco’s kicks, too.


  16. JES: Yep, I get the zombie-brain imagery. Ha! Still you should try one: 600 seeds packed with tartly sweet little bursts of flavor. (Good on salads, kinda like cranberries.) There are sites with instructions on how to “properly” open and eat a pomegranate. But when we were kids we just threw one down hard on the street and then pulled the cracked husk apart and ate the seeds.


  17. Thanks, Tarie!

    Jules: I’d get even more done if I were in two places at once!

    JES: Thanks. I just am trying to keep that hope in check, trying to make sure that the “please please please” doesn’t come across needy or desperate.


  18. I am in love with that awkward baby duckling too, especially since I’ve been watching the hatchling hummingbirds at PhoebeAllen’s all week.

    Jules, what a sweet week!

    Jeannine – hooray for ladyslippers and fluffy baby geese.

    Jone – Yay for healthy older pups!

    Adrienne (and everyone else who saw it) I am in complete agreement on Iron Man 2. With such great chemistry, I found myself wanting dialogue more akin to The Thin Man. Sigh. But RDJ rocks.

    JES – love that comic.

    Tarie – shopping, friends and food – sounds like a perfect week.

    Emmaco – a picnic with buttercups = swoon.

    LW – Hope the best part and best play comes to you.

    My kicks are rolled into one big one this week. Cheyenne (my pup) has had a infected toenail for months, and when it wouldn’t heal we were worried about surgery because of her age (she is 12). She had the surgery for a toe-ectomy this past week (I don’t think that’s really what its called) and sailed through just fine. Big big big sigh of relief on my part.
    Now if it would just stop raining so we don’t have to keep putting saline drip bags over her bandages every time she goes outside!

    Actually, I don’t mind it too much, I am just happy this solves the health problem and that she is recovering nicely.

    Have a great week!


  19. Rachel, hugs to Cheyenne!!


  20. Rachel, great news about the toe-ectomy. I know you’re taking good care of her, too, as she recovers.


  21. Jules, sounds like an exhausting but inspiring weekend.

    Jeannine, I love that your husband is reading “Little Women”. He should try “March” by Geraldine Brookes (story of the father from “Little Women”)

    Emma, I was excited when you mentioned ‘atmospheric abbey’ in Whitby but then it dawned on my that you were in England and there are no such abbeys in my nearby Whitby. I guess I need to plan another trip!

    *The lines from Fernandes’ book, “Evening whispers, Moonlight beams.” perfectly describes my kayaking under the moonlight, listening to the spring peepers and other night sounds.

    *Hearing the loons calling across the bay.

    *Having a delicate yellow butterfly dance around us as we enjoyed our morning coffee on the beach. I was hoping it would kiss me like the one from Daisy Dawson so I could hear what the animals were saying.

    *watching my neighbour walk up the lane with her twins hand-in-hand and their dog trailing behind, off on another scavenger hunt.

    *the quiet that descends as the family enjoyed the Moroccan lamb.

    ***sea foam icing***

    *sitting in the shade under the cedars listening to the lapping of the water as I reread “My Family & Other Animals”


  22. Rachel (rm) – Sending lots of healing thoughts to Cheyenne the pup!

    Cath – What lovely observations.


  23. CATH! For real….those are some beautiful kicks. I’m kind of speechless here. Thanks for leaving them.


  24. p.s. I love that Daisy Dawson series.


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