7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #180:
Featuring Marije and Ronald Tolman

h1 August 15th, 2010 by jules


(Click to enlarge spread.)

I’m so pleased to be featuring the illustrations this morning from one of my top-five favorite picture books of 2010. Oh yes, I have formed such a geek-tacular list in my head! The presentation I made weeks ago at The University of Tennessee’s Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature—about my favorite picture book titles thus far in 2010—forced me to really consider my very bestest favorites from the year, and this book is one of them. It was actually published in 2009 in Belgium as De Boomhut, but Lemniscaat, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, published the first U.S. edition this year.

The Tree House, illustrated by father-daughter team Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman, is a wordless picture book, breathtaking in its beauty, scope, and originality. This over-sized book tells the simple story of one rockin’ magical tree house in the middle of a body of water. One day, a polar bear swims up. The next day, a brown bear makes his way, as pictured in the spread opening this post. (Incidentally, you can click these spreads to super-size them, but I will warn fellow art-geeks that these are low-res images. Not that I’m complaining. I am happy to have any to show you today.)

The bears make themselves at home in this three-story tree house. After the water recedes (Publishers Weekly wrote, “It’s Noah’s Ark undone, with no traumatic flood, no tidy matched pairs, and no need for olive branches” — this I love!)…where was I? Yes, after the water recedes, more animals join the bears. Flamingos, pandas, owls, and much more:

There’s a rhino who rams himself into the tree (he’s desperate to get up there) in one of my favorite spreads. Look how the Tolmans vibrate the tall tree house home:

Cue even more magic when a small brown bear flies in in this lovely, light-filled, sunny spread:

Everyone has a grand time by finding their own ways to amuse themselves and then depart for home, the white and brown bears, the original inhabitants, opting to stay. I mean, hey: If I had a magical, three-story tree house, some toast, some hot cocoa, books, and an excellent companion, I think I’d do the same.

Publishers Weekly calls this a “treasure box of images,” and boy howdy are they right about that. It possesses a “quiet effervescence,” they add. Fellow illustration junkies, come to me now, and let me tell you that this book is a wonder. Gorgeous is what it is. The colors, the lines, the wide open spaces, the space the Tolmans give this book to breathe, the compositions…I could go on. There is also much humor and affection in this wordless story. It’s one of the most beautiful, winning picture books I’ve seen in a long while. Each spread is a wonder. I never tire of this one. I hear this one won the 2010 BolognaRagazzi Award (Bologna Children’s Book Fair) and was a USBBY Outstanding International Books nominee.

Marije studied illustration and graphic design at the Royal Academy for Visual Arts in The Hague and at the Edinburgh Class for Art in Scotland. Her father, Ronald, is a sculptor, painter, and graphic artist. I highly recommend visiting their sites, linked above.

Illustrations from THE TREE HOUSE © 2009 by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman. Illustrations from the first U.S. edition © 2010 used with the permission of Boyds Mills Press.

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.

* * * * * * *

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). My daughter had a good first week of first grade and has a teacher who loves books, loves to read, and doesn’t go berserk over Accelerated Reader. I told her that made me want to hug her, and she gave me an ACTUAL HUG. Another reason to love her.

2). As I learned recently over at Betsy’s site, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has a blog! Shop Talk. Me likey.

3). This new CD, pictured here, is so very, very good.

4). I was terrifically flattered when Anne Marie Pace told me that 7-Imp is the “blog of the month” in the August issue of the email kidlit newsletter, The 4:00 Book Hook. AW SHUCKS. Thanks, you guys… (Well, Jama told me first. Thanks, Jama!)

5). The latest edition of The Bluegrass Special is out, and they’ve included my feature with Ben Clanton.

6). I am seeing an old college friend this week, in town from Austin. In fact, I’m taking him to the bus station today and then heading out to see family, so if I’m sparse—and if spam tries to eat your kicks for breakfast—don’t worry. I shall return later.

7). This is going to sound hokey/cheesy/corny/fill in your adjective-of-choice here, but I’m grateful for all you blog readers. 2010 has been weird for me, in terms of not having as much time to blog and read others’ blogs, due to…well, my own writing, my job-that-pays, and having a four-year-old around at all times of the work day. Oh, and I miss reading in general. (I miss novels, and it’s a good thing I like picture books. I keep saying that maybe in 2011, I’ll get to read a novel again.) This week especially I took a good look around at what other bloggers are doing (when I had about one second to do so) and felt like SUCH A LAME-TASTIC BLOGGER. I mean, first I was impressed — and proud to be part of such a community. Not a new feeling at all, that one. But then, I felt lame. There are so many more books I want to cover at the blog — but just don’t have the time now. So, I’m amazed you all still stick with me. FOR REAL. I’m not just fishin’ for compliments here for fun or something…

That was a very rambly kick. Of sorts. Sorry.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

Last but oh-so far from least, Tuesday is Eisha’s birthday, y’all! (To any newbies: Eisha is the co-founder of this blog, and she’s my best friend.) Can you help me wish her a happy, happy birthday? Let’s do it. Woot!





37 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #180:
Featuring Marije and Ronald Tolman”

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EISHA!!!!!!!! Woot! I’m loving the color on the cake, there.

    (And congratulations, Mom of a First Grader. How awesome is that? It literally seems like yesterday that the kid was off to Kindergarten.)


  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EISHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From rainy Italy. C


  3. Happy B’day Eisha!!!!! From VERY hot Western Washington!

    (And big hugs to you Jules, for doing what you do! And so happy the first grader is having a good time!)


  4. Yay for awesome first grade teachers!!! (Oooh, now I wonder where my first grade teacher Mrs. Waxman is today…)

    And Jules, of course we stick with you. We love you and this is the best American blog on picture book illustrations. DUH. *swats Jules with a fluffy pillow – or throws some cake at her – can’t decide*

    Maligayang Kaarawan, Eisha. =D

    Kicks:

    1. My friends!!! (This includes all the kickers of course.)

    2. Encouragement. Motivation. Appreciation.

    3. Red toenails.

    4. Making the decision to be happy.

    5. Rain. Coffee. Books. Reading. Sleeping.

    6. Authors who give long and really engaged answers to interview questions.

    7. Being invited to tour an illustrator’s studio!!!


  5. Quick drive-by stop to wish Eisha a Happy Birthday!!

    Those bears in The Tree House make me very happy :) .


  6. I adore your blog!


  7. I’m going to have to do a driveby in Jama’s wake, too for a happy birthday wish to Eisha, and joy for a successful first week of school! Yay for teachers who hug.


  8. Fly by posting! Full day ahead. Here are my kicks for the past week, which was completely full.
    1) Sticking it out when others wouldn’t
    2) Auditioning & looking for signs
    3) Sourdough bread, (selfish) cheese, and (thoughtful) farfalle
    4) Opening night for show #3 went really well. We had a receptive audience and were close to being sold out.
    5) This morning: Rehearsal for show #1, which closes this weekend.
    6) This afternoon: Audition for a new play
    (All good luck and good thoughts will be gratefully accepted!)
    7) This evening: Closing performance of show #3

    Happy early birthday, Eisha!

    Jules: Hurrah to the great start for the first grade!


  9. My 7 kicks:
    1) fresh summer foods, especially tomatoes, corn, and peaches.
    2) my official back to my classroom day is this upcoming Wednesday and I can’t wait
    3) my half-marathon training is still on track and it is indeed getting easier and my mind and body are getting along better the longer I keep at it
    4) last year’s student teacher is brimming with contagious excitement and I get to visit her new classroom this week
    5) new principal, new hopes, lots of old but wonderful students (fifth graders who loop)
    6) a stack of books I can’t wait to share with my class
    7) quiet and relaxing time at home today with my best mate


  10. Happy Birthday, Eisha! Great post and kicks today!

    My 7 kicks:
    1. Conversations with Kathi Appelt, Deborah Sloan, and many other children’s book aficianados.
    2. Reconnecting with a few old friends and even older family members.
    3. The poems of Richard Wilbur: http://poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15487
    4. The art of Piet Grobler: http://www.pietgrobler.com/
    5. A pet-store visit, spying luminous, silver-dollar fish.
    6. Clouds that looked like manta rays playing tag.
    7. And a poem from my ignominious spelling-bee past:

    BEST OF A BAD SPELL
    By Steven Withrow

    Losing the Williams Junior High School
    spelling bee, on “eleemosynary,”
    was, I now see, an act of charity.
    Knowing the Latin root for “alms”
    (could you use it in a sentence?)
    guarantees no one a varsity letter.

    Although it burned me that I flubbed
    the double e’s, entreating the floor
    for the proper etymology
    before retreating to my seat
    to small applause, conciliatory
    (c-o-n-c-i-l-i-a-t-o-r-y, conciliatory),

    Worse by far would have been
    the booming backlash in homeroom
    next morning, hearing my name
    among the roster of brainiacs,
    “loo-zer” in any language, certain
    I’d perish (part of speech?) a virgin.


  11. And, of course, I spell “aficionados” wrong in the last post. Woe is me.


  12. Oh my, THE TREE HOUSE looks amazing. Thanks for alerting us to it – I think you just sold a book to me (and not for the first time…)!

    Happy Birthday!


  13. Happy, Happy, Eisha! And many more!


  14. Happy, happy, happy B-day to Eisha! Multiple woots to you!

    Let’s see, Jules: 7-imp is the blog of the month in the 4:00 Book Hook AND The Bluegrass Special has one of your interviews, but you are a lame-tastic blogger. Huh?? You rock!! No more lame-talk, my friend.

    Hello to all the drive-by kickers!

    Tarie, I love your kicks, especially making the decision to be happy — it really is a choice.
    LW, Congrats on show #3! I hope we will all get to see you in a performance some day. And please tell me what “(selfish) cheese and (thoughtful) farfalle” refers to? Very mysterious.
    Amy, YAY for teachers like you! Teachers are rock stars, in my book.
    Steven, fantastic poem!

    My kicks:
    1) This isn’t exactly a kick, but I have a dear friend who is very ill and I want to send love out to her and a steady stream of healing thoughts and prayers.
    2) My parents’ 50th anniversary was last weekend, and I got to spend it with them. Very grateful to be able to do that.
    3) The wild cat and her four kittens that my parents have been taking care of in their backyard. The kittens are so afraid of people that I had to watch their antics from inside the house, but they are adorable.
    4) Finding the perfect jewelry-making items at a peddler’s fair yesterday.
    5) Friendship (echoing Tarie’s kick)
    6) James Flora’s art: http://www.jimflora.com/
    7) Calmness

    Have a great week!


  15. JULES!!! YOU GUYS!!! You are all so sweet! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes (and that beYOOtiful cake!

    Lemme see if I can rustle up some kicks:

    1. Jules sent me 6 CD mixes for my b-day! And since you all know what great taste she has in music, you can imagine how excellent they are.

    2. My sister sent me a box full of doggie treats and toys and poop bags, because I’ve been looking to adopt one soon.

    3. She also emailed me the most amazingly comprehensive and detailed list on what I need to buy when I do get one, and why, and how, etc.

    4. I’ve been engaging in a little retail therapy lately, and have ordered a new pair of boots. There is very little that goes wrong in my life that can’t be improved with a new pair of boots.

    5. I went out Friday with a few friends from work. We got drinks at a new bar that I like very much because it has picnic tables and a grill outside. Then we went to a diner for PIE.

    6. This morning I met another friend for waffles at the new-ish waffle bar (mine was buttermilk with bananas, Nutella and maple syrup).

    7. Then we went browsing around in a few boutiques, and I got a super-cute and super-cheap silver necklace with a big tree on it. Pretty!


  16. Happy birthday, Eisha! I appreciate Tarie’s decision to be happy and send Little Willow good luck thoughts for this afternoon’s audition. Here are my kicks:

    1. Window-blinds are boring. My husband putting up all of the new window-blinds while I went out to breakfast with a friend is the kick. And now, after years of dealing with ratty, broken window-blinds (thanks, cats!), I feel as if I can invite folks over to my house without cringing. The dust bunnies still hop with abandon, but they can be vacuumed up before they proliferate.

    2. Thank you cards from Elisa Kleven. My daughter drew her a paper-doll based upon the Paper Princess stories.

    3. Butterfly fairy dolls.

    4. Henna tattoos.

    5. Adrienne took my rhubarb plants. They have a chance to thrive now.

    6. I realized I’m happiest when I’m creating something.

    7. All of you.


  17. Happy Birthday Eisha!! Good luck with the dog adopting.

    And a WAFFLE BAR?! The USA must truly be a wonderful place. (and aren’t new boots appropriate for a list of kicks?)

    Best wishes to your friend, Jill.

    Jules, you have some of the prettiest blog entries and interesting interviews in the blogosphere! I hope you have a great weekend with your friend.

    I’ve got brain drain today, so am two short on my list, but the others are goodies:

    1. Camping in the Peak District last weekend
    2. Voting at Australia House in London for our Federal election – apparently I’m one of 20,000 expat Aussies who will vote there!
    3. Then we checked out the Museum of London, very interesting
    4. Cycled to an outdoor performance of Much ado about nothing – fantastic fun!
    5. Wonderful supportive friends in the UK and Australia who understand about us moving home, and try to make the process easier


  18. First and foremost, I looooove The Tree House. No, more than that, I luuuuuurve De Boomhut (that original Flemish title! I mean “boomhut” is just a the most evocative word I’ve read in a while.) I’d seen the cover somewhere before (here?) and was intrigued, but now I’m totally sold. And that Jules is the very special thing you do here.

    Your unabashed enthusiasm for illustration art, the way you champion artists and with them, their writers — who we all should discover and support., and your ability to finagle gorgeous spreads from the books that you share with your readers for their enjoyment (and the illustrators’ exposure) it is just a magical mix. It’s what makes 7-Imp a joy to read; you help us discover new treasures every week. Thank you.

    In honor of De Boomhut, I’d like to wish Eisha a happy birthday in Flemish: “Prettige verjaardag!”

    Hmmm. Lots of kickers are flying by this week. Guess it’s the time of year to either squeeze in the last adventure of summer vacation or to swoop into to the new school year with gusto. I’m swamped too, so I’m gonna to have to do the same.

    Just a couple of kicks from me:

    – My college-age son is home for a few weeks. We’ve been going to coffee shops and writing for hours; he’s analyzing a Middle-English poem, Pearl; I’m knocking out my picture book poem, The Pomegranate Witch. Quite the poetic range there. Ha! But, just sitting at some corner table (near an eletrical plug for the laptops, of course) ordering the occasional latte and the quiet working comradery… it’s all kind of great.

    – Reading the blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. ; – )


  19. Happy birthday, Eisha! You don’t look a day older than you did yesterday, and yesterday of course was pretty much the same as the day before, etc., etc. — which if you follow it back logically, means you pretty much look like a newborn. With better footwear.

    The art this week rocks majorly. Love this sort of book, which is based on a completely “unreal” idea and just relies on readers’ common sense and suspension of disbelief to float the whole concept.

    I’d like to take a look at that rhino/tree collision image with a pair of red-green 3D glasses. Bet that thing just pops off the page!

    Everybody’s got such wonderful kicks today, flyby or otherwise…

    Jules, you keep talking about what a dodgy blogger you are but really — you provide THIS PLACE. To say that’s “all” you do is like the dry understatement of the (admittedly young) century.

    Lost in the Trees are somethin’ else, aren’t they?

    Jill, love this passage on that Jim Flora page you linked to: “[His] childlike exuberance was subverted by a tinge of the diabolic. Flora wreaked havoc with the laws of physics, conjuring flying musicians, levitating instruments, and wobbly dimensional perspectives. Taking liberties with human anatomy, he drew bonded bodies and misshapen heads, while inking ghoulish skin tints and grafting mutant appendages. He was not averse to pigmenting jazz legends Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa like bedspread patterns.” The art’s great!

    (And best wishes for your friend, too.)

    Little Willow: the shows you refer to — are these, like, little-theater type productions?

    Denise, can’t wait to find out more about The Pomegranate Witch!

    Some kicks from over thisaway:

    1. This “international bloggy gift swap.” (As opposed to, ha, all the other ones.) Because who doesn’t like getting unexpected things in the mail?

    2. This cartoon of the impact of dog ownership on the creative life. Not that I’m thinking of a particular dog or dog owner.

    3. (Think you’ll like this, Jules — also numerous others here.) The “Beat Surrender” blog about music, particularly the folk/country/singer-songwriter kind.

    4. Planning for a trip, even if it starts to seem the trip might be off after all. (The excitement of researching alien locations, all that.) (Er, not THAT kind of alien location.)

    5. The prospect of autumn.

    6. Unblockage. Of the metaphorical sort.

    7. The word “diminuendo.”


  20. Tanita: Yes, it does seem that way, indeed.

    Hi, Cristiana! Here’s hoping you get some sun.

    Hi, Colleen… and thanks!

    Tarie, you made me laugh outloud. Please throw cake at me. Your last three kicks made me nod my head a lot. Well, the last one made me squeal for you.

    Jama, I’m saying a quick HELLO for your quick drive-by.

    Rebecca, thanks!

    Jeannine, my husband told me we know all we need to know about the teacher, given that hug.

    Little Willow, break a leg on that audition! (Am I too late?)

    Amy, rich kicks. And your statement on reading-for-pleasure at the “about me” spot at your blog made me cheer.

    STEVEN! HA! I love that poem. A lot.

    Debbie, please please please do come back if you see it, and talk to me about it. I lurv it.

    Hi, Andrea!

    Thanks, Jill. I realize how pathetic I sounded, and I wasn’t fishing for compliments. Promise. There’s just so much more I want to do. But thanks for your cheering. I also want to know what selfish cheese is, by the way. …Glad you found the perfect items yesterday, Jill, and I love the phrase “peddler’s fair.”

    And I wish your friend the best, too, Jill.

    Eisha: Pie! Waffles! Boutiques! New boots! Good start to a birthday week, I say.

    Farida, boy, do I appreciate kick #1, especially the cat part. Congrats on sturdy, new blinds. And Elisa-mail.

    Thanks, emmaco. When is the Big Move? If you’ve already told me, I’ve got brain drain, too.

    Denise, thanks for the kind words. And I love your big one kick, involving your son, writing, and lattes.

    Thanks, everyone, for helping me wish Eisha a happy birthday.


  21. John, good thing I checked spam. It was SNACKING on your kicks—horreurs!—and I hadn’t even gotten notification of it.

    Oh thankyou thankyou for any and all music blogs you can send my way, ’cause, come to think of it, I don’t read any and could use some tips. I also am psyched about the prospect of autumn, and I’m gonna go read that cartoon now. Oh, and thanks for the blog compliments — to you and everyone. I really wasn’t fishin’, folks, though you’re nice to speak so kindly of the blog. I was thinking outloud there. Anyway, blah blah. Thank you!


  22. The Tree House is one of my favorite books of the year!


  23. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY EISHA!!! Hope those new boots help you kick off an awesome new year!

    I think I need to buy The Tree House. Love the concept, love the art.

    My kicks are flyby too, but hooray for teachers that hug, and good first week’s of school.

    Good luck LW!!!

    Jill, sending good healing thoughts for your friend.

    My kicks are brief this week, had a weekend visit from a good friend who I’ve known since high school, so its all wrapped up in that: hooray for old friends, shared meals, and shared stories, both old and new.

    Have a great weeke everyone!


  24. This is one of my favourite blogs. I never commented before but I always read. Great job, Jules. :)


  25. Yay, eisha! I can hear a smile in your “voice.” :) Please tell me you’re thinking of adopting a rescue. I’m going to be over your shoulder, whispering, “Rescue! Rescue!”

    Tarie: Happiness is wonderful. Stay happy. Seek and keep that motivation and joy.

    Thanks to all who sent good luck! I really appreciate it.

    Welcome, Marje and Ronald – and comment-poster Rebecca!

    Happy back-to-school and half-marathon training, Amy Lindsay. Kudos on your optimism.

    Steven Withrow: Those clouds sound inspirational.

    Jill: Sending healing thoughts + strength to your friend. Happy anniversary to your parents. Hugs to the cat and kittens. The cheese was not to be shared. The farfalle was a sweet surprise.

    Farida: Butterfly fairy dolls must be lovely. :)

    ROCK THE VOTE, emmaco!

    Denise Doyen: Enjoy his visit!

    JES: Theatrically, I seek out professional full-scale productions of classical pieces and contemporary works (musicals and straight plays alike, and comedies and dramas alike) as well as staged readings and workshops of new works.

    Jules: Never too late. :)


  26. I’m a day late, catching up on blogs today after returning from vacation late Saturday night. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I used it as a COVER STORY recently and then wrote a bit more about it (http://www.rascofromrif.org/?p=11292) after “reading it” which I don’t do before using it as a COVER STORY. As I had told you back when you mentioned it first, I sure hoped you would be able to feature it more fully…and you have, thank you, thank you! On my vacation to Switzerland I walked into one bookstore and there was this book in German (the title only of course)…the bookstore owner and I had a great discussion about the book. I wish I had her email address to send her this URL. This is truly one of the most gorgeous books ever, right up there in my list of “tops” with Pinkney’s recent Caldecott winner. Thanks again!

    My KICKS for this week:

    1. The aforementioned vacation in Switzerland, land of Heidi, my all-time favorite character in children’s literature since I first read about her as a child.

    2. Reading OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon Draper. As the parent of a young man with a disability, I was beyond excited to read this book, what a great one!

    3.


  27. So what happened, why did that comment “send”…I don’t even try to figure things like that out anymore. Continuing……..

    3. A more ready access to Teuscher champagne truffles in Switzerland, their homesite, than in US…oh, they are so good.

    4. My father continues to love his new living arrangement in the independent living apartment and wow, is that nice!

    5. RIF received the findings from a meta-analytical study we commissioned on children’s access to books and are so pleased with findings. Will be announced Sept. 21 at The National Press Club in DC.

    6. RIF had a highly successful Macy’s campaign, many thanks to all who donated!

    7. I get to spend Thursday through Monday with my grandson, can’t wait!

    Happy Birthday, Eisha, and many, many more!
    Carol Rasco


  28. Time for my monthly check-in with the wonderful 7-Imp crowd. I think the Tennessee heat has fried my brain, which is why I can’t seem to post on a weekly basis anymore. I do read every week though and have decided that when I win the lottery, I will buy every picture book featured on this blog, because there is never a poor choice. Hmm, I really should start buying some lottery tickets for that to happen.

    Happy Birthday Eisha!!!

    My latest kicks:

    1 – Just one more month until my due date. I think this baby is as ready to meet us as we are to meet her. I swear she is trying to exit my body via the Alien technique. I don’t remember Cy or Ruby poking at my belly like this.
    2 – Cy is 6!! He had an terrific birthday, made even better by his first grade teacher playing Johnny Cash for him (apparently, she asked him what his favorite music was – I wonder if she had a hard time finding a first grade appropriate song).
    3 – Our friends from England stayed with us for 5 days on their way home from Orlando. It was so much fun hanging out with them and their beautiful kids.
    4 – We are the proud owners of a new (to us) minivan paid for in cash. We worked hard to save up the money so we have room to drive 3 kids (and my parents) around and it paid off with a really good deal on a really good vehicle.
    5 – The Star Wars exhibit at the US Rocket and Space Center in Huntsville, AL. It had R2-D2 and a Han Solo costume (I love Harrison Ford, so I got a little silly over that one). Oh, and I discovered stormtroopers are really kind of scary.
    6 – Homemade lemon meringue pie.
    7 – Having everything we need for baby. We are ready!


  29. Hi, Erin! Isn’t it great?

    Rachel, I had a kick like that this weekend, too — except it was a college, not high school, friend. Glad you got to spend time together.

    Thanks, Shraddha!

    Little Willow, so how was that audition?

    Carol, sorry about the weirdness with the posting. I had almost forgotten you had that request (to cover this book more in-depth) … glad it worked out that way! It’s one of my “tops,” too. Obviously…Glad you had a great trip. Happy to hear about your dad. And congrats on the good research results. Will you come back and remind us when the findings are announced? Pretty please? In case we all get busy?! Oh, and have fun with your grandson.

    Zoë! One month? Wow. Happy birthday, Cy, and I LOVE that Johnny Cash story. And thanks for mentioning that exhibit, ’cause the girls just watched the last three Star Wars movies, and I bet they’d love that. I’m glad to hear you got to visit friends. I cannot wait to meet the new baby!


  30. Zoë, do you know which Johnny Cash song Cy’s teacher played? It’d be so fun to find out! That boy has such good taste.


  31. Jules, the reason you don’t know the date is that there isn’t one – we’re still dithering but probably November. Ish. Before Christmas. Probably. Eeek.

    Rascoe, yay for Switzerland!

    Zoe, congrats on the soon to arrive baby! And I really crave lemon meringue tart now, yum. And that is a great way to spend lottery money, perhaps I will start buying tickets too.


  32. Jules – Cy said she played “Jackson” for the class. It’s not one of his favorites but I’m not sure “Folsom Prison Blues” or “Cocaine Blues” are entirely appropriate for first grade, (although we play both at home). I was touched she did that for him. He was the first birthday in the class this year, so we didn’t know what to expect.

    emmaco – thank you! Lemon meringue is one of my favorite desserts. Good luck with the move. I’ll miss your posts about my home country. They always help when I have a bout of homesickness.


  33. That is pretty great, Zoë, that she did that. It’s pretty freakin’ great, in fact. Someone gave me a mix with Johnny Cash and Nick Cave singing the old bluegrass song, “Cindy.” It’s wondermous.

    Wow, emmaco, that’s soon!


  34. Rasco from RIF: I love when books echo and resonate. I’m pleaed to hear that your father is doing well. Congratulations on the recent RIF successes! Enjoy your visit.

    Zoë: Happy belated birthday to Cy. How cool of the teacher to play his favorite music. Congrats on earning & buying the new vehicle. Sending you & yours lots of healthy, happy thoughts.

    Jules: The audition was interesting and frustrating, because I could tell from the first beat, the first syllable of conversation that they didn’t think I was the proper age (which I am) so, though they were kind, didn’t seriously consider me for the role. It’s okay. I tried, I did my best, and the next thing that comes along will reward me for my efforts.


  35. Jules: Congratulations on 7Imp being named blog of the month! I regret that I didn’t mention that earlier. In my feeble defense, I am self-centered. Wait a minute, that’s not a defense, that’s an indictment! Phooey.

    Little Willow, I’m sorry that the audition was so frustrating. Here’s to the better role awaiting you.

    Here’s a kick I didn’t mention earlier: when I plunk my daughter in the bathtub in the afternoon, I have an hour to myself. As long as she’s singing and talking, I know she’s fine. I’ve been employing the bathtub a lot lately, though not more than once a day.


  36. beautiful, charming illustrations for the tree house.


  37. [...] to share some art from another delightful picture book title from the Netherlands. Those folks make the most interesting picture books on quite a regular basis, now don’t [...]


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