7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #173: Featuring Peter Hannan

h1 June 27th, 2010 by jules

Anyone around this week, or are you all at ALA? I’m so jealous of you ALA-go’ers, though not jealous in a stabby kind of way, which should go without saying, my dear readers: I shall never wield a dagger anywhere near you. ‘Cause I am smitten with you all. I’m jealous in a you-better-be-living-it-up-wish-I-could-be-there kind of way. And, as usual, I digress. Anyway.

So, I hope some folks are around, because I’m happy to feature writer, producer, and artist Peter Hannan this morning. And I generally love catching up with and featuring the cartoon-style author/illustrators new (or new-ish) to the field. See that image above from one of Peter’s forthcoming titles? I hope your breakfast this morning isn’t as messy (or alien-filled), but doesn’t it look fun anyway? Peter has a certain firecracker mania to his work that will WAKE YOU RIGHT UP, if you don’t already have your strong coffee in hand. It is strong, correct? Only way to drink it, my friends. This image below captures Peter’s…well, Peter-ness. It’s a little bit of something from several of Peter’s many projects:

Peter is the creator and executive producer of the Nickelodeon animated series, CatDog, “overseeing all aspects (writing, storyboarding, character design, art direction, post-production) of a hundred and twenty-something 11-minute episodes and holiday specials,” he told me. He also produced Fetch, the CatDog theatrical short, and a ninety-minute TV movie called CatDog and the Great Parent Mystery. He wrote and sang the CatDog theme song, and he says he will sing for you even if you don’t technically ask him to. Score! We’ll have to hold him to that, won’t we?

Peter is currently working on a variety of film, TV, game, and book projects, including a series of six middle-grade illustrated novels for HarperCollins, called Super Goofballs, starring—as Peter describes it—“a dysfunctional group of avenging lunatics.”

After that will be a picture book, also from HarperCollins, called The Greatest Snowman in the World, starring Charles Chinchilla.

Then comes another series of four middle-grade illustrated novels, called Freddy, King of Flurb. The image opening this post, in fact, comes from that series.

Peter is also working on two illustrated novels for older kids for Scholastic, the first of which is titled 10 Songs I Wrote That Almost Got Me Killed. (Pictured below is the rough cover.)

Peter also wrote and illustrated The Sillyville Saga: Sillyville or Bust, Escape from Camp Wannabarf, School After Dark: Lessons in Lunacy, and The Battle of Sillyville: Live Silly or Die! He contributed stories to the anthologies Speak! Children’s Illustrators Brag About Their Dogs and Purr! Children’s Illustrators Brag About Their Cats. He has done lots of illustrations for newspapers, magazines, books, and advertising; he has exhibited his paintings, illustrations, and cartoons; and his work has been transformed into everything from toys to tee shirts to cheese crackers.

Peter says he grew up on the Erie Canal in upstate New York, where he had “a three-legged dog, named Tipper, who once got his front paw caught in his collar and ran home using two legs on the same side of his body.” He now lives in sunny California with “his perfect wife and kids.”

Here, to close us out, are some paintings and a peek into Peter’s sketchbook. (Sorry about all the white space.) I thank him for stopping by, and I’m looking forward to seeing these forthcoming titles he’s sharing with us today…

All art work and sketches copyright © 2010 by Peter Hannan. 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 * * *

Well, everyone, I hate to disappoint without seven separate kicks, but I’ve just been trying to keep up this week — with work, blogging, writing. Hands down, my best kick this week is that I’m reading some good books with my girls, particularly Peter Pan. We’re having an extra-special hoot, reading that one.

Illustration from 'Peter and Wendy' by James Matthew Barrie, Published 1911 by C. Scribner's Sons, New York; image in the public domain

(1911 illustration, albeit hanging a bit crookedly,
Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie)

Oh, and this by HP Newquist, which showed up unsolicited as a review copy at my doorstep. I believe it is to be released by Houghton Mifflin in August. My rising first-grader, who adores reading about mythological creatures, thinks this book is fabulous in about seven different directions. And she’d be right. We’re enjoying it:

(That poor dude on the right. At least he’s well-dressed as he faces his demise.)

…as well as these two below. Oops. I don’t mean to turn this post into my reading list or, I dunno, recommended titles—when I’m supposed to be kicking, that is—but that has been My Best Kick this week, reading with my wee resident nonfiction lover:

YOU GUYS, these almanacs are the best. To see my six-year-old sit around with her head in this book for hours is somehow thrilling to me.

Now, I never saw the book that preceded this one. But when this one from Seven Footer Press showed (also unsolicited on my doorstep)…well, holy wow, these are fun. Yeah, all those animals or animal parts are life-sized. Kind of like this wonderful book on crack — and with gorgeous full-color photographs and eye-popping pull-out spreads and such.

Muddy Waters, Hoochie Coochie ManI’m glad Peter stopped by (both Pan and Hannan); I’m glad so many of you blogging peeps are out having a great time at ALA (did I mention I wish I could be there?); and oh! I’m thankful for this and this. Thanks to Katie and Kate for thinking of me, especially since these days I feel like a Very Scattered Blogger, Barely Keeping Up.

I guess I do have one more kick: Muddy Waters (pictured here).

Perhaps I could have listed seven after all.

What are YOUR kicks this week? Who’s around?

WAIT, FOLKS! How could I forget? Heavens, I had way more kicks than I thought:

First, I got to see a good friend this week, in town for a while. Here we are:

And…Thanks to John for pointing this out to me, the book trailer for Adam Rex’s forthcoming book, Fat Vampire. How spot-on perfect is Mac Barnett’s timing? I ask you. I found this quite hysterical:

I’m really leaving now. Goodbye.

24 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #173: Featuring Peter Hannan”

  1. Peter’s CatDog show was one of my oldest’s favorite shows way back. I found it really funny too once I got over myself. These illustrations are really amazing.

    My kicks:

    1. I am not at ALA right now, but I AM GOING TO BE!!! I can only get away for 24 hours so I had to pick carefully and I am going to get to the CSK breakfast!!! With Tanita S. Davis & co.!!!! And all those other amazing cool wonderful people!!! (this is my BEST kick eva!!)

    2. I only have 7 more weeks till I finish my MLS degree. Can you believe how fast that went? I can’t focus on doing any homework at all this week (see #1) but still – I have almost made it!

    3. Raspberries are ripe. We are picking as fast as we can. Freezer full and jam to come when I get back from ALA. (YES!!!)

    4. We are reading the Wizard of Oz at my house. The boys are really into it and we have other Baum volumes on deck. We watched the movie the other day and we are having great conversations about how the book is different from the movie. I am blown away by how smart these kids are! I’ll have to get a Peter Pan book for next.

    5. Camp starts next week. This Mom will be home alone for a couple morning hours…. alleluia!!

    6. My oldest son joined the Air Force. I’m not really kicking my heels up about that because I didn’t want him to do it, truth be told. But I am really proud of him & glad he made this bold move. A tiny little good thing for me is he gave me his refurbished MacBook. I am having fun with that even though it makes me miss him more.
    7. The Poetry Princesses are all going to ALA!! We are on staggered schedules so I will miss a couple of them, BUT hey several of us won awards!! I am so thrilled and amazed to be part of this company! Shout out to my girls!

  2. *wipes green liquid breakfast off face*

    Yes, Peter’s zany art woke me right up! I especially like the underpants guy and the thing with all the eyeballs on it.

    Great photo of you and your friend, Jules! Glad you’re having so much fun reading Peter Pan with the girls. 🙂

    Raspberries! Have fun at the CSK breakfast, Andi.


    1. Vermont College/Katherine Paterson Tea yesterday. Finally got to meet some people I’ve been wanting to for a long time, including Liz Scanlon, Laura Salas, Grace Lin, Alvina Ling, Lisa Madigan, and Carrie Jones.

    2. Wonderful to see Sara, Tricia, and Kelly again :). The Poetry Princesses are the best and SO cute.

    3. Rita Williams-Garcia. Her positive energy is phenomenal.

    4. Still vegged up about Tanita’s visit on Tuesday! Should I make blueberry cobbler?

    5. Air conditioning. Couldn’t survive without it during summers in D.C.

    6. Baby hawk practicing flying maneuvers in our back yard.

    7. Bing cherries.

    Happy Week, everyone!

  3. Good morning! Nice to be greeted by Peter Hannan zaniness! Jules, I’m with you, wishing I could be at ALA, but it is fun hearing reports. Glad the Poetry Princesses can have their presences felt, and sometimes be in the same room. Glad Jama and Andi can cheer for Tanita! And, Andi, congratulations on reaching the end of your MLS!

    1. Fun to hear about people reading Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz!
    2. My husband bought a new coffee machine and the coffee tastes a lot better.
    3. Day lilies.
    4. The pond is almost swimmable.
    5. The rewriting I’ve been tussling with is giving in a bit.
    6. At the moment, our dogs and neighborhood dogs are quiet. Squirrels and bunnies must be sleeping.
    7. Tap, tap, tap, goes the computer… onward in hopes revision stays kind of under my control.

  4. Thanks for the great posts! Love Peter Hannan’s work!

    My kicks:
    1. Spending a couple of hours chatting with Natalie Babbitt about writing, the universe, and childhood.
    2. Making new friends (and fans of Library of the Early Mind) across the country and around the world.
    3. Posting a new(ish) poem:
    4. Rereading THE GOLDEN COMPASS on full-cast audio.
    5. Meeting fairy-tale expert Jack Zipes by email.
    6. Thundery weather.
    7. Looking forward to meeting Jerry Pinkney in July.

  5. Looks like Peter Hannan’s 10 Songs I Wrote That Almost Got Me Killed is going to be AMAZING.

    Jules, I love your girls. 🙂

    Andi, hurray for kick #1 and congratulations on kick #2!

    Jama, so jealous that you got to hang out with so many wonderful people!

    Jeannine, mmmmmm, good coffee.

    Steven, wow. I envy ALL of your kicks.

    My kicks:

    Er, being alive and healthy.

    A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I were at the scene of a crime. We were eating at a restaurant and another customer was shot. 🙁 I won’t go into the gory details.

    Then the very next day I got mumps. My doctor was shocked because she swears she vaccinated me herself when I was a little girl.

    Yeah, being alive and healthy are two good kicks.

    And, oh! I am loving the sooper sekrit project I am currently working on. It feels like home. 🙂

  6. Peter Hannan’s work will rule with kids. Love the CATDOG.
    Jules, love that you are reading the classics to your girls. How fun to see your good friend.
    Andi, have fun at ALA. Good luck on the home stretch of your degree.
    Jama, reaspberries, yum!
    Jeannine, hope revising goes well.
    I love thundery weather, Steven,
    Well, last week I was a no show as I was away from the computer at the 40 yr. hs reunion. Was great fun.
    This week I am chillin’ in SoCal awaiting the arrival of my great nephew. He doesn’t want to be born on demand (9days late). Imay have to go home and return later this summer to see him.
    But I have spent the week reading, writing (a goal of at least one haiku a day this summer), see friends, and soaking up CA weather. A big change for the soggy PNW.
    Today I am going over to the Bottled Village to photograph it. Julie Paschkis illustrated a children’s book on it. We leaver for Oregon on Tuesday.
    Have a great week.

  7. Actually, this is one of the few times I can walk around in 7-Imp without feeling rather like a pretender, since I’m NOT library-affiliated and hence likewise not at ALA. (Although — ssshhh! — y’all HAVE, without trying, gotten me to subscribe to various ALA e-newsletters. I know. A pretender in your midst!)

    Peter Hannan’s work seems to fit right into a groove occupied by that of some others featured here: the mad genius (i.e., one who is a genius about his madness). The little stack of creatures — worm (snake?), bird, and I guess that’s the manic chinchilla at the top?: wow. Makes me want to watch a kid’s face the first time s/he sees that illustration. (Although the next two images — featuring those three in winter garb — appeals to my quirky side a little more. Love the separate watchcap over each of the chinchilla’s ears.)

    And the story of Tipper the dog? Instant spit-take!

    (Aside: on the Indiebound site, Hannan’s bio notes: “People have been known to faint when they see him.” Haha!)

    Jules, I totally know how busy you’ve been. So I’m very glad for your sake that you’ve gotten to revel in some bookery this past week. (But when I first read “…kind of like this wonderful book on crack,” I did a double-take. Like, I know your tastes run to the edgy and all, but I couldn’t imagine why you’d be recommending a book about crack…)

    Andromeda: loved your kicks, but especially the one about the Oz books. I sometimes wonder how widely they’d be read now if the movie hadn’t come along. But the movie did come along, and they still are widely read, and how cool is that?

    Jama: Funny, I was just thinking of making A/C a bonus kick. I’m in North Florida, and just found myself thinking “Gotta put socks on, my feet are cold…” And then caught myself and marveled that this was even remotely true.

    Good luck with the rewriting and other revisions, Jeannine! Every other writer on the planet is cheering you on!

    Bet The Golden Compass sounds WONDERFUL that way, Steven.

    Tarie: thumbs definitely up for alive and healthy!

    Congratulations on the haikuful-summer project, Jone. 🙂 You happy with it so far? (I guess you are, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a kick. Ha.)

    My kicks:

    1-2. I promise, I’m not going to go on at length about this… I know about Amazon’s depredations in the marketplace, with its partners, and many customers. Jeff Bezos is when it comes down to it merely a human being. I *love* indie bookstores. But oh, man, to have received a Kindle — as a gift! — has just blown open my reading world. (Maybe it’s just the novelty, I don’t know.) I haven’t read like this in years — sometimes for an hour at a clip, sometimes just grabbing a 15-minute bite here and there during the day… as opposed to waiting until I collapse into bed and reading two pages before the eyelids droop. I’m going out of town this week, and although I look forward to a long-distance blogging experiment, I have to say I’m really looking forward to the 3(ish) hours we’ll be in the air each way… and also not having to pick and pack books in advance, just on the off-chance that I might want to read Book A instead of B.

    3. Had a really nice birthday dinner a couple weeks ago — just The Missus and me. Made all the nicer by the tab. (We know the evening manager at the restaurant; even so, we didn’t expect free appetizers, free wine, and a 20% staff discount!)

    4. Suddenly realizing, in recounting a kick here, how much it makes me sound like any number of old men I’ve known (although I’m not old, d*mn it!). And leaving the kick there anyway.

    5. Experimenting with software I’ve been meaning to experiment with for, like, years.

    6. A couple of online articles: (a) “The bright side of wrong” — how our willingness to make mistakes makes us better humans (Boston Globe). (b) “Confirmation bias” — how our preconceptions and predispositions seem to lead us, without fail, to The Truth (the You Are Not So Smart blog). Even when (duh) it’s not The Truth.

    7. Missing a week of kickin’ here (as I did last week) is like missing a weekly family Sunday brunch. The absence itself is surely nothing to kick about — but oh my, how sweet the yearning awareness of it.

    BONUS: I’ve been meaning to mention this for, like, MONTHS. I don’t know how you (and/or Blaine?) do it, Jules, but for such a graphics-heavy site, 7-Imp has always been one of the fastest-loading Web sites on my Blackberry. Much, much appreciated — even if it’s not intentional at all!

  8. Tarie, we must have crossed in cyberspace. I hope you are feeling better.

  9. Andi, have so much fun at the CSK breakfast! That is going to be great, especially meeting Tanita and hearing her speech. And raspberries=mmm. My favorite fruit.

    Oh, and I read the first Baum Oz book to the girls (and part of the second one) when they were much younger, and they LOVED it. The oldest loved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I’ve got a little fantasy-lover on my hands. I’m glad that you all are enjoying it.

    Congrats to your oldest son, and I wish him the best. And CONGRATS on the MLS. Why did I think you were already done, though?

    Jama, lucky you! I saw your pics on FB, and I squealed. That had to be so much fun. Perhaps you’ve blogged about it; I need to go check. I love it when you all post these pics, for those of us who can’t be there. M.T. Anderson looks so HAPPY at that tea!

    And tell Tanita and her husband hello. Big hug from me. Hope your menu is coming together.

    Jeannine, day liles. Swoon. Best of luck with revisions, and stop and have some good coffee every now and then from your new coffee-maker.

    Steven, will you adopt me? Jerry Pinkney, Jack Zipes! Wow. Thanks for the link to the poem. I shall explore in a bit.

    Tarie! Oh no. How terrifying to have seen crime in action like that. And I hope you get over those mumps soon. You seem to be in remarkably good spirits, despite these things. I’m glad that super sekrit project is keeping your spirits up.

    Jone, Julie Paschkis art. Woot! I want to see that pic. Hope you get to meet your great-nephew before you leave. So glad the reunion was fun, and have a good time in Oregon.

    John, that’s funny about the crack. I wouldn’t know it if you threw it in my face. Edgy, indeed! Ha.

    Glad you’re enjoying the Kindle. I read Andersen’s Little Mermaid to the girls yesterday off my husband’s iPad. So wild. Things moved and made sounds and stuff.

    Your kick #7 is ever-so kind and just made my day. And HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! Oh, and I’m happy the site loads well. Amazing to me, but good to hear.

    Thanks for those links, too, John. I think I’m gonna go read right now. I love the very idea of the first one.

  10. Oregon is home. How can I not have a good time at home? Except I am now going to explore the fenced dog parks that I thought didn’t exist in Portland. The pooches liked the one in Simi.

  11. Fly by posting!

    Jules: What did the girls think of The Little Mermaid? What did they make of the ending?

    My kicks, quickly:
    1) Taking things day by day
    2) Remaining calm
    3) Lucy Woodward’s new album, Hooked (Get it! Get it now!)
    4) Holly Cupala’s debut novel, Tell Me a Secret, is now available! (I’ve been posting a series of people’s secrets at Bildungsroman to celebrate.)
    5) Trying so hard
    6) Welcoming the new folks
    7) Counting down

  12. Jone and Jules, I’ve had some time to get over the trauma. Whew!!!

  13. Jone, travel safely!

    Little Willow, we had read it before. Several times. They really had no comment about the ending, I guess. Anyway, we were just experiencing it yesterday in this new format — on a screen. It was wild.

    I’ll have to listen to Lucy. Thanks for the rec. I hope you’re counting down to something great, LW. Are you done being Tink? We’re reading about her now. She likes to call everyone “silly ass” a lot. It makes me and the girls laugh very hard. Of course, I stopped to explain to them how people don’t like to be called “asses” and not to repeat it, and they totally get it. But that’s also what makes it so funny.

    Tarie, glad you’re okay. And that you weren’t hurt when it happened.

  14. Tarie, I’m glad you’re okay.

    All the ALA-ers, I’m jealous but intensely happy for you all!

    My kicks:
    1. I’m within 5,000 words of being finished with my novel WIP.
    2. Working on a new poetry project and it just might be my favorite yet!
    3. Returned to our home in Brazil after being in the US for a whole year. SO glad to be back.
    4. Just had a wonderful lunch at our favorite salad restaurant. How can food be so restorative?
    5. Contemplating Masters programs and which Masters degree I want. MLS? MFA? M.Ed? MAT? They all have positives that I’m drawn to.
    6. Interest from an editor on one of my early reader PBs. WIll be tackling a small revision this week.
    7. The biggest one: 99% sure I’ll be working as a K-12 librarian in an international school in our city beginning in August. I’m so excited!

  15. Jules, I’m sure I read Peter Pan as a kid but can’t remember it at all. That’s great your family are adoring it!

    Jama, you and Tanita are catching up in real life? That’s great! The cobbler sounds delicious, though truth be told I can just gobble cherries at this time of year.

    Jeanine, you have a pond that you can swim in?! That’s fantastic!

    Tarie, wow. Thank goodness you’re OK.

    Jone, all the babies I know of recently have been a bit lazy about the whole being born thing. Hope he arrives soon!

    JES, after so much travel I’m jealous of your Kindle! Long trips away from home = realising how heavy paperbacks can be!

    Kristy, how nice to be home!

    My kicks:
    1. A relaxing weekend at home, sleeping, reading, cleaning and enjoying the warm weather
    2. I presented at a conference in Provence the week before last, which was harder than expected due a replacement interpreter not being organised in time for my session – harder because my fellow panel members spoke no English and I spoke no French. Fortunately they dug up some poor student to interpret halfway through, so it wasn’t boring for all of us.
    3. And although the conference was a bit strange at times, Provence was lovely. We also hired a car and drove around the area on the weekend, and had a great time – including seeing wild flamingoes for the first time!
    4. It had been over 3 weeks since I had last walked/rode to work, and I was amazed at how much all the plants had grown! It’s like a jungle on parts of the reserve!
    5. I won a bottle of wine at my work’s bike to work week raffle! And we had a successful week of it, with heaps of people cycling due to the lovely weather.
    6. Long chats catching up on all the goss with my sisters and mum this weekend
    7. Gingerbread cake cooling on the counter for a friend’s birthday tomorrow.

  16. Emma, gingerbread cake. Yum! And you went to PROVENCE? *swoon* Jealous.

    Congratulations on the library job, Kristy! Glad you’re safely back in Brazil, and enjoying it.

    Tarie, so sorry to hear about the trauma and the mumps! Take care and feel better soon!

    Jone, hope your great nephew arrives before you have to go home. Maybe tempt him out with a cookie?

    Jes, you’re making me want a Kindle. Sounds ideal especially for travel. And you’re right — 7-Imp always loads quite fast, doubles the pleasure. Last, we know you’re not old, but the cold feet and socks thing makes us wonder :).

    LW, good for you, trying hard and staying calm. Not always easy to do.

    Go, Jeannine!

    Steven: Jerry Pinkney and Natalie Babbit = SWOON.

    Jules, I was too intimidated to approach/talk to M.T. Anderson, but Kelly had a fine conversation with him. I think Tricia did too. The tea was such fun, and I was so busy talking, I didn’t even eat any dessert! That’s saying something.

  17. Sometimes a book TITLE just floors me. “10 Songs I Wrote That Almost Got Me Killed” did that this morning. Ha, ha! (Hannan’s illus.and whacky humor are sure to deliver inside the book as well.)

    Jules, your ALA envy is palpable. : – ) You sure have the knack for getting emotion onto the blog-page; tis a great gift (both your talent and to us.)

    I slept in and awoke to a slew of fine Sunday kicks:

    Jules – Ah, Peter Pan. My favorite era of children’s books.

    Andromeda – The Wizard of Oz, book and movie. (Lisa Yee recently did a facebook poll where dozens of kidlit folk confessed to being haunted by those flying monkeys. Ha!)

    Jama – Oh, the baby hawk! I watch hawks ride the bluff updraft near my house. (Dang gangs of crows always chase them off.)

    Jeannine – precariously tap, tap, taping for control of your revision. Perfect way to put it.

    Stephen – glad “Library of Early Mind” is finding lots of fans (including me.)

    Tarie – OMG. A wake-up call to me to appreciate Life and Health. Glad you’re alright.

    Jone – Bottle Village. I’m a native So. Cal gal and never heard of it. As a fan of Watts Towers, I’m sure Bottle Village will interest me as well. Funny how visitors often alert us to the local treasures we’ve been missing out on.

    JES – I just enjoy your take on things (manic chincilla, Tipper dog spit-take, not old d*mn it, + your thoughtful links).

    LW – trying so hard. You go girl.

    Kristy – being finished. Congrats.

    emmaco – Wild flamingoes in Provence? (Made me quote Monty Python in my head “Do coconuts migrate?”) I guess flamingoes do. Surreal and wonderful picture.

    After my slew of comments on comments, just 3 kicks this week:

    1. Speaking of great and funny book titles… My all-time favorite children’s book title continues to be “The Squishiness of Things” by Marc Kompaneyets. Review: http://www.curledupkids.com/squishin.htm
    And Jules, you’d love the art: http://web.mac.com/mkompan/iWeb/Site/The%20Squishiness.html

    2. Writing to soundtracks. Swelling emotional music that knows how to stay in the background. Some faves: “Series of Unfortunate Events” by Thomas Newman, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Elmer Berstein, “The Accidental Tourist” by John Williams, “Black Beauty” by Danny Elfman and “Cinema Paradiso” by Ennio Morricone. I think soundtrack composers are our era’s Bachs and Mozarts.

    3. Playing a long, laughing, fierce game of Hearts with my family (who are merciless cardplayers.)

  18. Kristy, congrats on the last kick! That’s very exciting. You will shine at that. In fact, all your kicks are great, especially your writing ones. Can you tell us which degrees you’re considering?

    Emmaco, gingerbread cake? GINGERBREAD CAKE. I mean, seriously. Can I live your life for just one day? I mean, there’s the Provence trip, too. I am about to literally almost drool over the gingerbread cake. I’ve never, ever even heard of someone making that. YUM. I love to put a bit of ginger in my coffee — or, better yet, steamed milk (though I don’t have a steamer and broke my milk-frother-thingy — I just sort of make the milk really hot and pretend).

    Jama, I’m having trouble imagining you passing up dessert. Must have been extra fun there. I can imagine how it would be.

    Denise, well, aw shucks, thanks for that opening compliment. You just made my day. Again.

    And yes HOLY CRAP those flying monkeys are nightmare-inducing.

    And, JOHN, I agree with Denise on enjoying your John Take on Things. It’s definitely like no other’s.

    Denise, the music in Cold Mountain is also quite good — both the score and the songs T-Bone Burnett pulled together. Also, The English Patient and The Mission! Oh, the latter is one of the best soundtracks in the history of the universe. I could keep going. I like your list, too.

    Thanks for the book link, Denise. Will look it up in a sec.

  19. Denise, just reserved a library copy of SQUISHINESS. Yes, I’m yelling that, ’cause it is, indeed, very fun to say and is, after all, a great title, as you said.

  20. Jules,
    Ooooo — the English Patient. I will get that. I already have your other two mentions (The Mission makes me cry. I save it for very saddest of scenes I’m writing.)

    RE” “The Squishness of Things” (look for, or better yet, have your girls look for the realistic bug crawling on pages through out the book. Fun.) And the spread about “the bounciness of sausage” cracks me up everytime. Enjoy.

  21. Will do, Denise!

  22. Denise, The Squishiness of Things looks brilliant. (And sounds so, too, from that review.)

    Love people like Hieronymus. I see that he at one point is chased by the Flintstones. (Row 4: the illustration between “The Joy of Discovery” and “”The Discovery.) [waits patiently for sound of thud]

  23. Jules, I’m home from eating the cake and it was delicious. I only made it because I had crystalised ginger given to me, and I don’t like eating it on its own, but it’s definitely a winner of a cake.

  24. John,
    Thud (with a smile.) Hieronymus is a Renaissance man… like yourself.

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