7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #186: Featuring Eric Rohmann

h1 September 26th, 2010 by jules

Today, I’m featuring illustrations from the tiny, square, and perfect Last Song, illustrated by Eric Rohmann (Roaring Brook, September 2010). This is a picture book adaptation of Scottish poet James Guthrie’s “spare ode to the heavens” (Publishers Weekly), which very simply goes like this:

To the sun
Who has shone
All day,
To the moon
Who has gone
To the milk-white
Lily-white star,
A fond goodnight
Wherever you are.

The very brilliant Rohmann has turned it into a short picture book, creating via watercolors an endearing family of squirrels, including some very rambunctious siblings who run and play all day at their home in the forest, all book-ended by some cozy, nestling-in with their parent. (In fact, the book’s cover is die-cut, the cut itself revealing the nest inside, which is so perfectly smart and cozy I can hardly stand it, and the book’s trim, square size screams for the smallest and youngest of hands to hold it.) As always, I’m amazed at what Eric Rohmann can do with his paintbrush, create such vivid worlds with layers of emotion. This title also exudes joy; it just glows right off the page, and the energy of it bursts forth in these sprawling spreads with no patience for white space. This book doesn’t apologize for its great happiness. (And I have Adrienne Furness to thank for first telling me about it.)

Here are some more of the illustrations from the book — not full spreads, but simply some zoomed-in peeks at some of those spreads. This is one of those books you really need to hold in your hands and appreciate. Nevertheless, enjoy:

LAST SONG. Copyright © 2010 by Eric Rohmann. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, 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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). Going out to eat for dinner and coffee with a friend on Friday night and laughing so hard, I nearly thought I’d burst an appendix. This was especially nice after being sick most of the week.

2). Air drums.

3). The laughs my first-grader got out of one of Dav Pilkey’s Dragon books, which she brought home from her school library.

4). A bunch of great new picture books, including some really funny ones, that I hope to cover here at 7-Imp in the near future.

5). I enjoyed this very much, and the second song in the set is a song I love these days. I’ve worn that CD out all summer.

6). I. love. this. video. I venture to guess that, even if you do not understand American Sign Language, it’s enjoyable — after he starts getting into his first-person narration of ninja’ing, that is. There’s no captioning. Sorry. But this man is discussing the origin of the phrase “deaf ninja,” how when he was a child he lived in his imagination and envisioned a Deaf Ninja after seeing his brothers wear those HUGE, old-skool, box-like hearing aids. Just give it some time, watch, and enjoy. It’s a hoot and reminds me why I fell in love with American Sign Language years ago and wanted to study it. (You know, I have a vague memory of linking to this before? Sorry if I’m being redundant.)

7). Also this, which Eisha shared with me:

What are YOUR kicks this week?

24 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #186: Featuring Eric Rohmann”

  1. Awww. Those little squirrels cuddled in their nest sent me on a total nostalgia trip. I had the Golden Book version of Perri the squirrel when I was little, based on the Disney film, based on the original book by Felix Salten (who also wrote Bambi.) (How’s that for a run-on reference! Sorry.) Mr. Rothmann’s squirrels capture that adorable, playful, tumbling quality.

    Jules – So glad you’re feeling better. Wow, that “We No Speak Americano” vid is something! It reminded me of how tap dancers practice when they can’t actually tap. Looked up the group and saw that Up & Over It were originally Irish clog dancers. Makes perfect sense.

    My Irish-clog kicks for this Sunday are:

    1. the subtle sweet-grass scented candle on my desk.

    2. buying books on sale at our local bookstore to help it clear inventory and stay afloat

    3. The twelve remarkable short stories of Breece D’J Pancake (bought the reprint to go with my old hardbound copy.)

    4. the raccoon I glimpsed washing his food in my fountain who gave me such attitude. What? I’m washing here.

    5. The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows TRAILER that came out this week: (looks good!)


    6. This filming of the forest-running sequence in that movie (the camera zipping along on cables is pretty cool.)


    7. getting back to work on my middle-grade novel.

    Have a great end-of-September everyone!

  2. Thanks for showing Last Song! Eric Rohmann is one of my faves. I’m most attached to his woodblock prints but the paintings are lovely, too. There is a great video interview of him here- http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/rohmann

    Denise your raccoon sounds really entertaining! And Jules, I loved We Speak No American.

    1. This bolg. For me it’s more like a dessert treat than a before breakfast one, but I always enjoy checking in here.
    2. My interview is posted on the Visual Storytellers Studio. http://vsschat2.blogspot.com/ It was fun to do!
    3. I got to print on my friend’s etching press yesterday. I don’t do that often and I always love it.
    4. I finally saw The Quiet Book at my library and it was as fabulous as you said, Jules.
    5. My mailing project is off the ground. http://artonthepage.blogspot.com/2010/09/colorado-to-world-and-back-again.html I couldn’t get 5 printmakers I know to play along, so I got brave and mailed 2 to people I don’t know including Mary Azarian! Hey, she lists her address right there on her website. I still have one book left- are there any printmakers out there?
    6. In trying to find people for the above project I wound up exchanging emails with some old friends- that was great!
    7. My dog ran over some barb wire a while ago and all his cuts are finally healing up completely. He has some battle scars but he’s still handsome!

    Have a great week everyone!

  3. Love Eric’s work! Glad you feel better, Jules.

    My kicks:
    1. Visiting Alexandria, Virginia, with my family, and enjoying a great film screening at Hooray for Books for Wright to Read and the Alexandria Story Festival
    2. Meeting folklore and fairy tale expert Maria Tatar at the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum
    3. Looking forward to speaking about comics this coming week at Roger Williams University — my alma mater
    4. Watching my five-year-old draw robots in perspective
    5. Reading the poems of Dana Gioia and Ted Kooser
    6. Listening to my favorite Francophone band, Grand Dérangement
    7. Completing this poem:

    By Steven Withrow

    The first one knew the body as a baby.
    She’d cradled him a quarter of his size.
    A circumspect and disconcerted lady,
    She couldn’t trust the wisdom of her eyes.

    The second mourner held a beaded rosary
    Dead-gripped in her fist, a whispered prayer
    Fumbled on her lips, her stance a pose she
    Used to test the grief-encumbered air.

    Paraded, close like cattle, past the casket,
    The third an uncle, fourth a high school friend.
    The fifth dropped her donation in a basket
    Before she met his parents at the end.

    The sixth pretended permanent confusion.
    His, the most unnerving pose of all.
    No one saw him enter, pale illusion
    Who gaped down at his powdered face
    Like a white wax doll.

  4. Now I want Last Song!

    Jules: Oh, now I also want to have dinner and coffee with a friend! It’s been a while . . .

    Denise: I can’t wait to read your middle grade novel!

    Jill: So glad your dog is better now.

    Steven: Steven! It’s the middle of the night here in the Philippines. Your poem scared me!

    My one big, bright kick for this week:

    My older brother Martin just got engaged. I met my future sister-in-law for the first time on Thursday. I love her! She’s kind, sweet, affectionate, open, friendly, and beautiful. And I’ve never seen Martin this happy.

    By the way, my future sister-in-law’s name is Mercylove. LOL!

  5. Jules, a dinner with lots of laughter is one of the best things in the world I think.

    Your racoon visitor sounds cute, Denise.

    Jill, you have a friend with an etching press? That’s cool in itself.

    Steven, I like your poem!

    Tarie, how exciting for your family! Congrats!

    My kicks:

    1. Autumn colours starting to appear on trees
    2. But I also loved the lovely random 25 degree (celcius) day in the middle of the week. After a meeting in London I sat in the sunshine outside St Pancras enjoying my flat white coffee (the UK has only recently acquired this drink from Australia).
    3. Our friends moved back from Bristol with their giant baby (OK, he’s a normal size baby, but 11 months is huge compared to 5 months) and we caught up after work on Friday as the baby systematically tried to eat everything in the room.
    4. Hula hooping class (for a hen party) yesterday was great fun. This is apparently the hot new thing in exercising, and it really was hard work, as my entire waist and lower back will testify today. But I think yesterday’s fun outweighs today’s aches.
    5. And a fun rest of the day/evening in London. Love being around so many people sometimes.
    6. Kale and barley soup and kale pizza are on the menu tonight – can you guess the veggie I haven’t used from this week’s box? But I have had the pizza before and YUM.

  6. Last Song looks and sounds wonderful. (Especially the diet-cut cover.) We’ve got squirrels galore around here and I’m pretty sure they’ve adopted those illustrations for their training manual.

    So glad you’re feeling better, Jules! Sounds like Friday night provided some much-needed therapy for the housebound…

    The Deaf Ninja video was awesome. I don’t know ASL, but was able to sort of pick up what was going on. Then I read through a lot of the comments and appreciated it much more as a story. (And I also was appalled, but perhaps shouldn’t have been, at the general level of intelligence of about half of the commenters.)

    My favorite thing aobut We No Speak Americano: the completely unresolved tension I kept feeling, y’know, like They have GOT to crack up at some point… just a grin… a SMILE even…! But nope. (And thanks for the clog-dancer background research, Denise — makes perfect sense!)

    I’m really looking forward to the final two HP films too, Denise. Steve Kloves, the guy who did — I think — all but one of the screenplays, must be some kind of genius in his own right, no?

    What a cool project, Jill! I know only one person I might consider a printmaker — I’m actually not sure how she does her work — and I’d send her your way, but if you’ve only got one more book…

    Steven, you’ve got excellent taste in poets (Gioa! Kooser!) and it’s obviously rubbing off on your own work. You need to set “Lines at a Wake” to a video!

    Congratulations on the impending sister-in-lawhood, Tarie! (But, oh — “Mercylove”????)

    “Flat white coffee,” emmaco? Hula hooping hen parties? And a giant baby trying to eat everything in the room?! I want Aardman Studios to tackle your life story!

    I showed up briefly last week for a flyover linkdropping, with a promise to return “later” to share kicks. Which I never did. (Boo, hiss. If I were a silent-film-serial hero, Pauline would have been run over by that damned train a half-dozen times by now.) I can’t even remember what I was going to kick about, it’s been that sort of couple of weeks. (By which I don’t mean, “too many to choose from,” but rather, “Huh? Did something ELSE just happen I meant to pay attention to?!?”) So I’ll just dump some now and hope that at least one of them is a couple weeks old:

    * Finally getting off the dime, almost literally, and deciding to spend some $ to have some household-maintenance projects taken care of. First up will probably be to have a bunch of ooooold carpet replaced with wood flooring. This is going to make The Pooch somewhat unhappy, what with the follow-on loss of traction, but we must all sacrifice.

    * Busy busy busy busy busy at work, rather unpleasantly so while in the midst of it but less so when you can see daylight peek through eventually.

    * Jon Stewart’s Million Moderate March campaign. Brilliant.

    * Terry Pratchett has made his own sword. Out of metal found on his own property. INCLUDING METEORITES.

    * The DVR, the gift of the gods to people whose television-viewing reach exceeds their clock’s grasp.

    * I’ve been watching (thanks to previous kick) a series called Through the Wormhole (with Morgan Freeman) on the Science Channel. If you’re looking for a fast cure for the “Everything in my life is all at the same time so IMPORTANT” blues, that right there is it: multiple parallel universes billions of light years across, what existed before the Big Bang, the Big Bang(s) to come, what aliens do or do not look like…

    * The sound, right this instant, of a light rainfall outside the window (accompanying the light music of The Missus’s laughter and exclamations from just a few feet away, as she looks at something or other online).

    Have a great week, everybody!

  7. Ha ha — that should be DIE-cut cover, not DIET-cut cover. Obviously revealing a certain literally deep-seated anxiety there…

  8. Thanks for visiting, you all. I’m dealing with a huge writing deadline right now, but I will be back soon to respond.

    Your kicks make me happy. Thanks, as always, for sharing them.

  9. Hi All,

    As a big fan of the squirrel species (I ignore the fact that they are a part of the rodent family), I love Eric’s illustrations! Makes me want to go out with a bag of peanuts and visit a few of my furry friends.

    Jules, I’m so glad you are feeling better. Love “We No Speak Americano”!

    Denise, thank you for buying books from your local book store. I will never stop promoting the independent book shop and fighting for the continued existence of the book as physical object.

    Jill, I love your art work! Good luck with the mailing project — it’s a great idea.

    Steven, Alexandria is a lovely town and a great place for a story festival.

    Tarie, big congrats to your brother and…Mercylove.

    Emmaco, I am also curious about flat white coffee (must Google it now) and loved your giant baby story!

    JES, although I managed to program my VCR without the manual (and felt very smug about it), I have not attempted to figure out my DVR, due to several meltdown-inducing battles with my AT&T DirectTV service. Don’t get me started on how much I wish I had stayed with my local cable company.

    My kicks:
    1) Going to my friend’s last-minute B-day party on Friday night. Despite her illness, she was upbeat and in characteristically good humor.
    2) Catching up with my college roommate by phone yesterday.
    3) Watching Tom Selleck’s new cop show, “Blue Bloods”. That man is aging extremely well and I remain a loyal fan with a long-time crush.
    4) Attending the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair. I still get an adrenalin rush just walking into the room full of beautiful books.
    5) Going to the Giants game with my boyfriend last Saturday night. They lost, but it was fun to sit in such a beautiful setting with the Bay Bridge in the background.
    6) Rest.
    7) This cute Andrew Bird video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HmkLu24w2o

    Have a great autumn week, everyone!

  10. Martin has been in love with Mercylove since he was 19. (He’s now 35.) I was 13 when he first told me about her, and I said, “If you and Mercylove get married, you will be Mr. and Mrs. Millado. You can name your daughter Miracle Millado.”

    Martin still remembers me saying that and I think they are really gonna use that name one day! Hahahahaha! Woot!

    Emmaco: Hula hooping class sounds like so much fun!

    JES: I love the sound of rainfall. :o)

    Jill: Love your second kick!

  11. I should have linked to the flat white wiki page – I didn’t realise it would create such interest. It’s like a latte in a normal cup. Or a cappuncino without foam. Perfect.

    JES, you always summarise my kicks in an interesting way

  12. My kicks
    1. This website. I hang out for the next instalment.
    2. Finding out here about Jill Bergman. I love linoprints.
    3. Just purchased ‘In the Wild’ and love Holly Meade’s illustrations.
    4. It is school holidays here and I have more time to read.
    5. Time to really peruse Jeannie Baker’s new book ‘Mirror’ and visit the exhibition of the original artwork.
    6. Time to catch up with a friend who has been in the States visiting all the children’s lit places.
    7. The weather is glorious!

  13. I’m beat! I did want to pop in and say hello to everyone, though. Next Sunday will be October. Time to start getting ready for the Halloween Fairy (who leaves a wonderful gift on November 1 in exchange for the candy you leave out for her on October 31).

  14. Denise, thanks for the links, and best of luck on that novel.

    Jill, your project sounds great, and thanks for all the links, too, which I shall explore later. Glad to hear your pet is okay.

    Steven, I’d be Maria Tatar’s lackey, if she needed one. SO GLAD the screening went well! Thanks for coming here to share poetry. I LOVE TODAY’S POEM.

    Tarie, congrats to Martin! Your future sister-in-law is lucky to be related to you.

    Emmaco, hula hooping for exercise = a brilliant idea! And the good thing about reading kicks late? I was about to ask about flat coffee, but I see you already answered. Mmm.

    John, I agree: PERFECT way to describe emmaco’s kicks. I love your last kick, and that Morgan Freeman series sounds great.

    Jill, you know I love me some Andrew Bird. So glad you liked the show and the book fair.

    Hi, Victoria! In the Wild is great, and author David Elliott is gonna stop by soon-ish. Love Mirror, too. (Man, there have been lots of great mirror-themed books lately.)

  15. Hi, Farida! We crossed cyber-paths.

  16. Eric Rohmann: I’ve been following your work for years. Your illustrations are truly delightful. I can’t wait to see your new book in person! I talk to squirrels whenever I see them.

    jules and eisha: Thank you for sharing that video! That inspired me to look up Up & Over It (suspicions confirmed: they are dancers! YES!) and then watch a few more of their videos, including this one. I love percussive challenges which depict arguments. I’m not kidding.

    jules: I like Dragon, and I like his cats.

    jules and Jill: I too read The Quiet Book this week and found it utterly precious. Thank you for the recommendation, jules. Thank you.

    Jill: Hugs to the pup!

    Denise: Thank you for supporting your local library. Hi, raccoon!

    Steve: Sounds like an artsy week there.

    emmaco: Yummy menu. Hurrah for hula hooping, and for the lovely colours found in nature.

    JES: Good times, good times.

    Farida: Sending you recuperative, healthy vibes.

    My kicklist is filled with acting and auditioning adventures:
    1) Vocal audition last Sunday
    2) Film audition last Tuesday
    3) Film audition last Thursday
    4) We wrapped principal photography on my current film on Friday night (technically Saturday morning – overnight shoot!) I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I cannot WAIT to see the final cut of this.
    5) I got a callback for the film I tried out for two Sundays ago. As I couldn’t be there when requested due to another gig, I was permitted to send in a video. I’m still in disbelief that they pursued me for this role – that they were so accommodating and understanding must mean that they’re truly considering me, you know?
    6) I auditioned for another film this afternoon.
    7) I was offered something I couldn’t accept, but still, that offer counts for something.

  17. Talking about The Quiet Book, if you haven’t seen the trailer on Youtube, it is such fun.

  18. Such lovely sweet warm squirrels!

    It was a work weekend, so I’m behind, so I’ll be brief.

    1. Work CLE held at the beach this weekend. (If you have to work, the beach is a great place to be.)
    2. Dinner at Local Ocean in Newport. It came highly recommended, and really lived up to that recommendation. Seared medium-rare ahi tuna – yum! Fresh crabmeat cocktail – double yum!
    3.Halfway through The Help by Kathryn Stockett, so far i really like it.
    4. Walking to the tide pools at the beach on Friday evening and seeing loads and loads of starfish and sea urchins on the rocks.
    5. Immersing myself in an old tv series, Once & Again, and loving it.
    6. Funny texts from my guy, and then even funnier phone calls.
    7. The purring happiness of my kitty when I got home.

    Jules – so glad you are feeling better!

    Denise – the candle and the raccoon sound awesome.

    Jill B – very happy your dog is better and still handsome.

    Tarie – Congrats to your brother, and to you for getting a cool sister-in-law – and thanks for your comments last week – they really made me smile.

    emmaco – the hula hooping sounds fun – what is a hen party?

    JES/John – got lost at your blog today, in a good way, and that commenter’s link to the Winterston story had me in tears – also in a good way.

    Jill – the Giants game with your bf sounds wonderful. Thanks for reminding me I need to dvr the new Tom Selleck series!

    Little Willow – Hooray you! So happy you are in such demand!

    Hi Victoria, welcome!

    Have a great week everyone!

  19. Rachel, I thought hen party was an American term, obv not! It’s a, um, bachelorette party? A party for the bride before the wedding for the women going to the wedding. Generally I dislike the whole “last night of freedom” stuff (why get married if you think like that?) but if it’s a chance to meet other women attending the wedding I like it. Never been to one that involved an exercise class before though!

  20. Rachel (rm) Thank you! 🙂 Goodness knows I’m trying.

    emmaco: I associate the term “hen party” with the UK, too.

  21. Little Willow, #5 is particularly exciting. Wheee!! Keep us updated.

    Victoria, I’ll have to find that book trailer. Thanks.

    Rachel, I want to work on the beach. So bad. Also: KITTIES!

    I’ve never heard the phrase hen party either.

  22. Jules: I shall!

    Everyone: I have an audition for a feature film tomorrow! HOPE HARD!

  23. LW,


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