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
To the moon
Who has gone
To the milk-white
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.
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?