7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #177: Featuring Kevin Waldron

h1 July 25th, 2010 by jules

“‘Oh, woe is me! You’re getting very fat,’ Mr. Peek says to himself, noticing the bulge in his jacket. The hippo overhears and thinks the remark is intended for her!”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Last year, Candlewick Press debuted its first imprint, Templar Books, a partnership with Britain’s Templar Publishing. So far, I’ve been super pleased with what titles Templar/Candlewick has brought to the U.S. market — some really unusual (read: weird…you know I love my weird picture books) stuff and lesser-known author/illustrators. Er, lesser-known to me anyway. And one of those is being featured today: In 2008, Kevin Waldron debuted as an author/illustrator with Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo, and the first U.S. edition was released this May. I’ve got a couple spreads to show you today so that the art can speak for itself. Don’t you love the ’60s, sort of Inspector Clouseau vibe? Kirkus describes Waldron’s digitally-created art as “a delightful cross between Calef Brown and J. Otto Seibold.”

Every day Mr. Peek, the zookeeper, puts on his favorite jacket and gets ready to do his rounds. However, something isn’t quite right one morning, and one of the jacket’s buttons pops right off. As he self-deprecatingly mutters to himself on each spread—and while passing his beloved animals at the zoo—a misunderstanding of epic proportions brews: The animals assume he’s muttering to them. Subsequently, the hippo thinks he’s getting fat; the penguins, who just finished their breakfast, think all the terrible food they eat will be the end of them; the bear thinks he stinks; those poor giraffes…well, see for yourself:

“‘Would anybody even care?’ Mr. Peek asks himself aloud, surrounded by giraffes. ‘None of the animals even like you.'”
(Click to enlarge.)

I love it. I mutter insecurities to myself all day, too. How ’bout you guys? I know, I know. Unhealthy. But still. At least I’m not confusing any elephants.

Anyway. And on it goes. Eventually, Mr. Peek, who says things like “Oh, poop!” realizes his mistake and rights it with the animals, though I won’t give too much away in case you want to read it yourself and see more of Waldron’s distinctive art. I look forward to what he’ll bring us next.

(P.S. Kevin, who likes tea and cake very much, has a very fun site with even more art.)

MR. PEEK AND THE MISUNDERSTANDING AT THE ZOO. Copyright © 2008 Kevin Waldron. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

* * * * * * *

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). Getting in the mail this week the original art of the image on this page of the blog.

'Nothing important dies tonight, just a few ugly guys on a crappy ship. The only sadness tonight is that, in future years, there'll be so many fantastic songs that it will not be our privilege to play. But, believe you me, they will still be written, they will still be sung and they will be the wonder of the world.2). Pirate Radio!

3). This book shop, which regular Sunday kicker and my friend, Jill, got to visit — and told me all about. I WANNA GO.

4). Woo hoo! I know what I’m doing November 13th.

5). StoryCorps should have been a kick a long time ago. I love them and want them to hire me. The below video, one of the StoryCorps entries (and animated!), is one of my kicks this week. Thanks to Little Willow for the link.

6). At our local library’s summer reading program finale this week (a big, indoor festival), there was face painting. When my six-year-old requested a giant squid for her face, the teenage volunteer didn’t look at her like she was weird and didn’t say (which I rather expected), “I can’t paint a giant squid.” (Mind you, they’re used to lots of unicorn, kitty, and rainbow requests.) She looked at her and said, “you want a giant squid? I think you might be the coolest kid I’ve ever met.” I wanted to hug her.

Behold the art work:

7). Blueberry pickin’.

BONUS: This fabulousness.

* * *

NOTE: Charles Ghigna, a.k.a. Father Goose, has put together a new blog for teachers and librarians to use in their classrooms. There will be a new poem each week for teachers, librarians, parents and kids. It’s here. Enjoy.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

21 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #177: Featuring Kevin Waldron”

  1. Hello fellow kickers,

    I LOVE Mr. Peek! He somewhat reminds me of Jacques Tati’s M. Hulot character — a bit on the oblivious, bumbling side, but very loveable.

    Jules, other than seeing the previews, I know nothing about Pirate Radio, but your recommendation is enough to add it to the queue.

    My kicks:
    1) My dear friend Jules made me six, yes, SIX CD mixes for my B-day this past week!! I already knew that she had superior taste in music (since we are the world’s biggest Sam Phillips fans), but these are truly sublime: everything from Patty Griffin to The Heavy to Jeff Buckley. I am in musical heaven. Jules, you ROCK!
    2) Spending the afternoon in S.F. on my B-day with my boyfriend, which included a visit to the Museum of Modern Art and three antiquarian book stores (see Jules’ link to the lovely children’s book shop). My favorite kind of day.
    3) The Winsor McCay book that my brother gave me, which includes a preface written by Maurice Sendak (apparently, he is a huge fan of McCay’s)
    4) Connecting with great friends
    5) Pushing through resistance
    6) Summer peaches
    7) Cooking chicken outside on the BBQ without setting the house on fire.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  2. Oh deary me, I mutter to myself like Mr. Peek all the time (in fact, I say similar things.) I’ll have to check if my cat has gotten offended by my offhand remarks. The upset giraffes are a hoot. I’ll definitely look into this book. Thanks!

    Jules — I loved the squid-kid story. And you’ve really got me hankering for blueberry pancakes now.

    Jill — enjoy your birthday CDs.

    My 7 kicks this week:

    1. I added a new bookcase to my life. OMG all the books stacked in piles on my desk, side tables and atop rows of my other overstuffed bookcases suddenly have a home!

    2. My husband’s yearning face watching me in my bookshelving joy; he said, “I want one too.”

    3. the fullish moon with a foggy halo

    4. I was quite intrigued by Inception — especially the weightless scenes. I always like to see how things were shot. If anyone else is interested, here is some B-roll ‘behind the scenes’ footage (at 3:35 and 4:56 in, you can see the rotating rooms they built for the shifting gravity effects.)
    Pretty cool.

    5. Reminiscent of Fred Astaire’s rotating dance in Royal Wedding (here juxtaposed with Joan Crawford dancing to same music in a different MGM musical.) Interesting…

    6. Anticipating the SCBWI National Conference next weekend. Writer & illustrator friends gathering, coming to town. Yea.

    7. Just staring at my bookcase again. There are still two free shelves. : – )

    Have a wonderful summer week everyone!

  3. Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo looks hilarious!

    Awesome kicks, Jules! But are you SURE you aren’t confusing any animals when you mutter to yourself? =P

    Jules and Jill, I want to go to that book shop, too!!!

    Jill, Happy Belated Birthday. =)

    Denise, re: kick #2: LOL!

    I have seven million kicks this week, or at least they feel like seven million kicks:

    * Blue bumblebees.

    * Purple rice.

    * There is a taekwondo poomsae competition today. Every year, my brothers win the silver and the gold in this competition. So this year JP has decided to be a referee and Brian has decided to coach a kids team.

    * The very first Philippine National Children’s Book Awards!!!!!!!

    * I was a judge for the awards!!!!!!!

    * The winners of the awards were announced on Saturday. I posted the book covers and judges’ comments here: http://asiaintheheart.blogspot.com/2010/07/1st-philippine-national-childrens-book.html


  4. Jill! Happy birthday again! (A little Facebook birdy also told me it was Emmaco’s birthday this week!)

    I’d love to read that Sendak preface one day. Save it for when I get to visit who-knows-when and we have pancakes and wine…So glad you had a good week. Not setting the house on fire is always a kick.

    Denise, bookshelving joy is, indeed, a very real thing. Congrats! And thanks for the links. We’re hoping to get a date night to see Inception before it’s gone. Oh, and you’ll have to get back to us about your cats. (That made me laugh outloud.)

    Tarie, I’ll say it again: They were lucky to have you as a judge. And every time you tell a new story about your brothers, they get even more kicky and impressive to me. I hope they enjoy today.

  5. Happy Sunday!

    Squee! Thanks for the peek at Mr. Peek. Love the giant squid story, too! Jealous you’re going to see Billy Collins!

    Happy Belated Birthday, Jill!

    Denise, I totally understand your bookshelving joy. I need some, too, but don’t know where I’d put them. Hence, stacks of books on tables and on the floor . . .

    Tarie, great job as judge in the PNCBA! Loved your post featuring the winners. Yay for your brothers and purple rice :).


    Encouraging health news about my aunt.

    We have THREE fawns. SO cute.

    Saw “Paris Blues” with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward for the first time. Doesn’t everyone want to visit Paris and fall in love with a jazz musician?

    Bing cherries, juicy sweet honeydew melons.

    Homegrown tomatoes! Len’s little plant, which he planted in the only spot of sunlight we have in our woods, finally produced fruit! Yum, tomato sandwiches :).

    Loving Charlotte and Emily by Jude Morgan. Visited Bronte country twice and it takes me right back. The writing is exquisite.

    Handwritten letters from my niece and nephew.

    Ongoing kick: Air conditioning.

    Happy Week, everyone. Dont’ forget to watch Paul McCartney receive the Gershwin Prize Wednesday night on PBS!

  6. Mr Peek, oh my. That was me last night, muttering, to the point of my husband asking, “what?” and I had to ‘splain I was just talking to myself while working on a project. The art cracks me up.
    Jules, blueberries! I am getting one or two a day…and Billy Collins, oh yay!
    Jill, hope you had a great bday.
    Denise, I need bookcase too as well as thinning the collection.
    Tarie, what great news about the PNCBA and purple rice?
    Jama, I have written down the book by Jude Morgan. Sounds interesting.
    My kicks:
    1. One of my haikus was accepted into the Haiku Society’s Member Anthology. Will be published in the fall. Should be a great anthology on biodiversity.
    2. Making butterscotchies with my middle grand girl this week.
    3.Our book group meeting at the beach. Came back with a slew of book titles (and some more books).
    4. Pulled together a project for my college friends when I see them in a few weeks.
    5.Being able to read, hang outside, and nap.
    6.Got the potential photos for entry into the fair, got to narrow them down to 6 (3 B&W and 3 color) Will post on FB and you can weigh in if you want.
    7.Developing a walking routine.
    Have a great week.

  7. 1. earlier this week i finished up my duties as a graduate assistant at vermont college of fine arts where i had the awesomest of times helping incoming students get acclimated and watching friends graduate the program that i just finished back in january.

    2. seeing “inception” before i could hear anyone else’s opinions of it

    3. getting a great reaction on a work-in-progress from published authors

    4. having a great spouse who insists i still need more time to make my way as a writer and thinks getting a job would be a waste of my degree

    5. girls still @ camp = more adult time

    6. sometimes even a loud, obnoxious crowd in a pub cannot ruin a perfect burger, belgian fries with truffled ketchup, and a solid trappist ale.

    7. on order: my new stand-up desk for the soon-to-be newly reorganized office!

  8. That Mr. Peek book looks hilarious, and oh boy do I recognize the muttering-to-oneself-in-the-second-person syndrome. (Hasn’t someone come up with a name for that yet?) His dilemma — although much more inadvertent — made me think of this Monty Python skit, particularly the closing credits. (By the way, I see that skit now has its own Facebook page, ha!)

    I followed the link to Kevin Waldron’s Web site, which was pretty fabulous… including, about halfway down, his contribution to the terribleyelloweyes.com Where the Wild Things Are tribute site.

    Jules, you had some great kicks this week, especially the Billy Collins news. But that StoryCorps video was pretty awesome, and I loved the story about the face painting!

    Oh, I followed the link to that bookstore’s Web site, too. They’re not selling anything there at the moment, but I made my acquaintance with their stock by way of several PDF catalogues they’ve posted. Among other delights, I found a 1907 book title (no idea what the contents might be like) which made me wish I were writing (or reading) books in 1907: The Podgy Book of Tales.

    Jill, if I had to pick somebody who might’ve made a connection between Mr. Peek and M. Hulot, surely you’d have been among the top candidates. That’s a perfect pair of points to have drawn a line between!

    …and: summer peaches! (…and: happy birthday again!)

    Denise: I loved that your new bookcase popped up in so many of your kicks. (So, like, do you like books or anything? :)) Haven’t seen Inception yet, so didn’t want to view the behind-the-scenes thing yet, but your recommendation gets added to a bunch of others from people whose taste I respect. Thanks!

    Thanks for the update on your kickin’ brothers, Tarie, and the book award winners: wow! But, uh, blue bumblebees? (I really need to get out more.)

    Jama, I’m so glad to hear about your aunt. And I truly appreciate that “ongoing kick,” too, and will rip it off thank you very much for my own list this week.

    Congratulation on the haiku acceptance, Jone! But what are butterscotchies??? Am prepared to accept the possibility that they’re the favorite dessert of blue bumblebees.

    Hi, David! If I had a pub with a menu like that, with or without the crowd, anywhere within 25 miles, I would be THERE right now based on the meal description. (Must… stop… drooling on keyboard…)


    1. Some of you may remember my writer/artist friend Marta Pelrine-Bacon, from Jules’s interview with her a few months back. She told a great story at her blog this week which made me think of the 7-Imp folks immediately.

    2. …and, for those of you with grandkids (now or in your future), this might be a good time to introduce you to my friend Nance, too — whose recent post about having to split her time between East (home) and West (grandson) coasts slayed me, utterly.

    3. Figured a way out (I think!) of my months-long writing blockage.

    4. You may remember last week’s ambiguous kick about The Pooch, who had had an alarming, um, seizure of some kind (with no apparent lingering effects, which was the kick-ish bit). We still don’t know what it was, but she continued to be “normal” all this week. So we’re assuming it’s less ambiguously a kick this week :).

    5. Sea scallops, wrapped with prosciutto, skewered with rosemary sprigs, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, and grilled for just a few minutes: OMG.

    6. I do love the way friends rally to you and turn all into, like, snarling porcupines when you tell them about something even so “harmless” as an incivility you’ve encountered.

    7. Ongoing kick: air conditioning. (Thanks, Jama!)

  9. P.S. Jules, you have to see this video. If you and Eisha ever collaborated on a film, this might be it.

  10. What a nice bunch of kicks today!

    Happy Birthday, Jill!

    Denise I am envious of your spare shelves!

    Jama, tomato sandwiches, yum!

    JES, nicely cooked scallops (ie not overdone) are one of my favourite foods so my mouth watered at your description. I am planning a visit to a restaurant soon based solely on its dish of hand-dived scallops.

    You’re right, Jules, it was my 30th birthday yesterday! Afer breakfast in bed and converstations with family on the phone, we had a lovely afternoon and evening with friends visiting and the use of a loaned bbq.

  11. Welcome to 7-Imp, Kevin! Mr. Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo sounds and looks cute. Misunderstandings can be amusing in story form, yet so worrisome in real life! Best of luck with this and other works.

    Jules: Thumbs-up for StoryCorps, Sarah’s family, squids, and that cool face painter!

    Jill: Happy belated birthday! Enjoy the music. Keep pushing through.

    Denise: Hello to your new bookcase. 🙂

    Tarie: I love rice, but I’ve yet to sample the purple variety. Kudos to all involved in the event, and congrats to those who received awards.

    Jama: Please say hello to the fawns for me. Hurrah for your relatives penning letters.

    Jone: Congratulations on the acceptance of your haiku! Glad that you had time with your grand, your books, and your friends. Good luck with the photos.

    David E: Congratulations on finishing up your time there. Have fun with the new office/projects.

    JES: More and more healthy vibes being sent to the pup. The phrase “snarling porcupines” instantly brings to mind a 2-page picture book spread. Good luck with the writing!

    Emmaco: Happy belated birthday! Glad that you enjoyed your day.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Read-through
    2) Rehearsals
    3) Performance
    4) Release
    5) Care
    6) Calm
    7) Last Sunday’s episode of Leverage on TNT. It was well-written, well-cast, well-performed, and hilarious.

  12. Just wanted to say thanks to you all for the good wishes. And JES, can I just say that “snarling porcupines” is now one of my favorite descriptions of all time. You do have a way with words. And I was able to look at The Podgy Book of Tales in that lovely book shop, but was afraid to ask the very kind proprietress how much it cost. For the most part, I can only drool when visiting antiquarian book stores.

  13. Jes, glad your pooch is better. Butterscotchies are oat meal cookies with butterscotch chips…probably better than with chocolate ones.
    Emmaco, happy belated birthday.
    LW, I think I have to start watching Leverage. it is filmed in Portland.

  14. Jone: It’s a fun show. It combines some of my favorite themes: justice, spies, undercover work, and well-timed (and still clean) comedy!

  15. Jama, I’m with you with the stacks of books on floors. It’s getting BAD over here. Yay for home-grown tomatoes (ours have done well this year) and real snail mail. So glad your aunt got a good health report.

    Jone, congrats on the haiku AND the upcoming fair entry. You’re a creative juggernaut, you. (I like the word “juggernaut” and use it when I can.)

    David, kick #3 is pretty exciting. So are solid ales.

    John, thanks for the linkage—all of it, which I’ll explore soon (except, yes, I already saw Jane Austen’s Fight Club over at Facebook — funny stuff)—and I also am a fan of “snarling porcupines.”

    Emmaco, thirty? So young! Happy belated birthday!

    Little Willow, glad you had a good week. If you ever had a bad one, I’d have to kick some butt. I don’t know WHOSE butt, mind you…Aren’t read-throughs the best?

  16. Mr. Peek looks like a giggle-inducing book, and is added to my list of must-gets for some younger friends.

    Jules – love Pirate Radio! And sounds like your coolest kid ever met a pretty cool teenager – how fun for you to witness that exchange.

    Jill – sounds like your birthday was fabulous, sending you late birthday wishes for an ongoing fabulous year.

    Denise – bookcases can be such beautiful additions – congrats on yours. And the foggy halo around the moon sounds lovely.

    Tarie – your brothers are so cool! Blue bumblebees sound pretty cool too.

    Jama – so jealous of your having three fawns.

    Jone – congrats on the haiku!

    JES – glad the pup is still fine, sending good thoughts for him to stay that way.

    Emmaco – happy late birthday!

    LW – hooray for what sounds like another great week!

    I have to admit, I have not been feeling very kick-y of late, a week and a half ago I had to say goodbye to my sweet pup Cheyenne. After 12 and half years of her being my best friend, it was not easy.
    That said, coming here and reading everyone’s kicks puts a smile on my face, and makes me happy.
    So, my kicks this week:
    1. Cheyenne. So damn lucky to have such an awesome wolf-dog in my life for as long as I did. She improved my life a thousand-fold.
    2.All my good friends who loved and appreciated her too, and who have been so very very good and kind to me while I am being sad.
    3.The changeable Oregon coast. Hiking in rainy cold at Cape Lookout in the morning to enjoying the sun at the beach in Netarts in the afternoon. Beautiful extremes.
    4.Random little girl making a beeline for me while walking at the beach, “Can I just show you what I’ve found?” and she shared her finds with me and made me smile.
    5. Five little towheads waving at me from their porch this morning while I walked a friend’s dog. When I asked, they told me the names of the chickens in the yard, “Sweetie, Henny-Penny, & Sally.” Most excellent names for chickens.
    6.Soccer and softball.

    Thanks to Jules and all the kickers for being a place to come to for some sunshine. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  17. I’m chiming in late here because kicking is so much fun even a day late.
    Jules, Mr. Peek sounds like my kind of guy. I am going to look for that book. And the squid face painter is awesome! Hope you can stay in touch & nurture that friendship.
    Jill & Emmaco – Happy Birthdays!!
    Tarie – so cool about the book awards. You did a great job!
    Denise – new bookshelves are such a joy! Enjoy filling them…
    Jama – Nothing like home grown tomatoes! I am only getting a few this year and they are gold. Every bite of those sandwiches is precious!
    Jone – congratulations on the haiku! That will be a great collection.
    JES – yay for AC and getting past the writing block!

    My kicks –
    1. My 8yo earned a new electric guitar by faithfully practicing the piano for a year. I’m so proud of my musician! We have been listening to the greatest guitar players on YouTube, all recommended by my facebook friends. So cool what we can do these days!
    2. My 5yo has learned to play checkers & Parcheesi & he can beat me more than half the time. This super hot summer has me at home in the AC playing checkers and listening to music. No place I’d rather be!
    3. My oldest son is in the Air Force. We miss him so much but are so proud. Basic training restricts his communication so we get one 10 minute phone call a week. Yesterday he called when we weren’t home so we missed it, but his Training Instructor let him call again in the evening when we were home. Hearing his voice is such a kick! I am also rediscovering the joys of writing actual letters & printing photo cards to send him.
    4. I weeded my living room book shelves, donated a car load to a thrift store, and re-organized my living room around a new futon. (Gave away my really old couch.) I love my new living room! There is nothing like simplifying my space to make me feel expansive & creative.
    5. Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies. YUM.
    6. Gluten free, dairy free Mocha ice cream made from coconut milk. WOW. I learned how to make this from Tanita’s comment on one of Jama’s poetry friday posts. Totally cool & delicious!
    7. I am getting to the Y five or six days a week. Life is good!

  18. Rachel, oh no, I’m so sad to hear about Cheyenne. I think we grew to love her here, too, hearing about her as often as we did. I’m so sorry. If there’s anything I can do from Tennessee, let me know.

    Love that little girl on the beach.

    Andi, you sound so happy. I’m glad you got to talk to your soon in the Air Force. And #4 sounds so great and something I need to do. Here’s hoping this week is just as great for you. Woot!

  19. Rachel (rm): I am so sorry for your loss. I have experienced that loss now three times with my cats, and it hurts like nothing else, but remembering what joy and love they brought to my life helps.

    jules: Thank you for that. There were some trying moments last week, but it was better than the week prior!

    Andromeda Jazmon: Congrats to your kids! Thank you for donating.

  20. Jules & LW – thanks so much for your kind words, they help more than you know.

    It does hurt like nothing else, but it helps to know that she had a wonderful long life, full of love and adventures and friends,

  21. […] remember this post from July of this year? That was illustrator Kevin Waldron (originally from Ireland, studied […]

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