7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #172: Featuring Marcellus Hall,
June 20th, 2010 by jules
J.D. Lester, and Hiroe Nakata
(Oh! And a Little Treat from Dan Santat)
And gaze up as the northern lights put on their brilliant show.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)
Yes, I’m purposely putting up this snowy spread as the first image in this post, in case it’s as hot where you are as it is here in Tennessee.
It’s also beautiful, yes? It comes from Marcellus Hall (whom I’ve mentioned previously at 7-Imp, seeing as how he did the wonderful illustrations for Lee Bennett Hopkins’ City I Love). That spread comes from Sherry North’s Because I Am Your Daddy (Abrams, May 2010). Sometimes here at 7-Imp, I’m actually organized and timely, and today would be one of those days: I have some Father’s-Day-related illustrations for you all. Happy Father’s Day to all you papas out there, including my own babies’ daddy (yes, I’m trying to sound all Southern and I’m saying that in my best East Tennessee accent, but I don’t think it’s translating well via cyberspace) and all 7-Imp readers who are daddies themselves.
Sherry released Because You Are My Baby, also illustrated by Hall, in 2008, that one all about powerful mamas. This new title is all about what one father would do for his daughter, as you can tell by the spreads I’m featuring today, Publishers Weekly calling it a “stylish depiction of fatherly devotion.” Kirkus writes, “Hall’s simply gorgeous retro-styled watercolors depicting a dad with his dark-haired daughter and her dolly go to town with each premise — the image of the three of them surfing is nothing short of breathtaking in its jewel-toned splashy motion.” (Don’t have the surfing one to share today. Sorry. But they’re right about that spread.)
Let’s take a look at a few more (the repeated “if I were”s so very much make me think of this wonderful song, but I digress), and then we’ll take a quick peek at another good title for Father’s Day — with a brief visit from the author, too.
And find the biggest dinosaur the world has ever known.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)
That pops open a tree house when you turn the secret key.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)
Wherever we decide to go, a book would take us there.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)
Lovely illustrations from Marcellus Hall. On to one more book…
In 2009, author J.D. Lester penned this board book. For today’s second featured book, Lester paired up with illustrator Hiroe Nakata (who will be visiting 7-Imp soon) again to create this follow-up title (Random House, April 2010):
Like the first book, it’s a sturdy board book and perfect for your weest of children. Here’s J.D. (who lives in Lexington, Kentucky, not far from me, y’all) to tell us a bit about it, along with a peek at some of Nakata’s light-filled watercolors (or what look to be watercolors to me). You can click on each of Nakata’s spreads to see them in more detail:
J.D.:“…When my daughter was a few months old and I was still a seriously sleep-deprived new mom, I remember calling her a series of bleary-eyed, sometimes comical love names. There was Sweetiepie, of course. And Sugar. And Little Angel. But, here’s where it got interesting: There was Puppy Pants and Boo and HoogieWoogie. (See? I wasn’t kidding about the sleep-deprivation.) My husband was about as bad. We’d laugh at each other’s spontaneous, hilarious, nonsensical endearments.
One night around 3 a.m., as I was collecting our infant daughter for a feeding, I shushed her with yet another improvisational love name and—WOW!—I suddenly had an epiphany about the experience of motherhood that felt urgent and beautiful and profound all at once.
And The Question I remember asking myself, as I literally froze in my tracks, was this:
‘I wonder if a mommy rhinocerous loves HER baby this much? What about a mommy firefly? And, in their languages, do they think of silly love names for their babies, like me, simply because they cannot help themselves?’
From that moment on, every time we’d see an animal or insect at the park, the zoo, an aquarium or pet store, I’d ask myself what its baby nickname might be. Since I started folding the nicknames into a rhythmic song for my daughter, I didn’t want them to be random or too-easy; I wanted them to relate to some aspect of the critter’s habitat, appearance, behaviors, or funny quirks. I wanted her to learn something new, and think, as we had fun together.
There is so much dazzling wonder everywhere in nature, and children especially help us stop and appreciate all of those things in a new, surprising way. I had a ball amusing us with our animal and insect ‘research,’ and it’s just plain good luck that it turned into a baby board book… and then another…
I’m sending a special Father’s Day wish to all the dads out there who know exactly what I’m talking about when I say children open our eyes AND our hearts! If you’d like a chance to win a custom-inscribed copy of Daddy Calls Doodlebug for your little buddyboo, courtesy of Robin Corey Books/Random House, please visit me on my Facebook author page and simply post your child’s nickname there. I promise I won’t laugh. (Okay… well… I might.)
Happy Father’s Day!“
BECAUSE I’M YOUR DADDY. Copyright © 2010 by Sherry North. Illustration copyright © 2010 by Marcellus Hall. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York, NY.
DADDY CALLS ME DOODLEBUG. Copyright © 2010 by J.D. Lester. Illustration copyright © 2010 by Hiroe Nakata. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Robin Corey Books, New York, NY.
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 had such a great time at my alma mater this week, volunteering and seeing friends, that I cannot even say. My task was to do help out with landscaping on that gorgeous campus and it was hotter than the surface of the sun outside, but it was still beyond great.
2). Here’s a little surprise from Dan Santat. It’s his caricature of Pau Gasol, which Dan posted on Facebook and I got his permission to re-print here. Dan says that his wife refers to Gasol as “Frankensol” and that he likes to call him “The Greasy Bee Gee.” I like to call him Inigo Montoya, and I say that with great respect. (Seriously, have you read about him? Dude is multi-faceted, to say the least.)
So, here’s the thing: I don’t really watch sports. I get way too worked up about competitive things. Not ’cause I’m competitive in a jealous, ugly way, but because the pressure just becomes so much for me — in a fun yet entirely too neurotic way. As Eisha has mentioned here before at 7-Imp, when we’re playing Pictionary and if you’re on my team, I’ll give you high-fives so hard, I will nearly break your wrist. I CANNOT SIT DOWN DURING THAT GAME. So, yeah. This is why I don’t watch sports. I get super invested and way too worked up. But I caught the end of the NBA finals in a sports bar in Knoxville when I was there this week, and I got all sucked into it (it was a sports bar: I had no choice but to get sucked in) and excited. And I liked watching Pau. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it. Now I’m this raving Lakers fan. Not really: I shouldn’t commit to any teams, given my over-excitement. But it was a fun game to watch.
3). I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS DOCUMENTARY IN ITS ENTIRETY. (Go, Steven Withrow!)…
(Go here to read more.)
4). Fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden.
5). I love this new-ish blog, We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie. This gives you more info, but as Ariel S. Winter, the author, put it, “the basic idea is children’s books by ‘adult’ authors who you never knew wrote children’s books.” (And, in the spirit of Father’s Day, I also love his Flickr site, Dad’s the One With the Pipe. Oh, and here’s even more writing from him over at McSweeney’s.)
6). This PW article isn’t exactly a kick, but I am glad to see this brainstorming happening, as someone who posts primarily about picture books and illustration anymore. I’d also have loved to have been in that room for that discussion.
7). My story time this week went fairly well, I think. It was fun. Kitten’s First Full Moon is always a champ with the kids.
What are YOUR kicks this week?