What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week
(Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Too Many People to Count Before Breakfast)
{P.S. I’m Totally Naming My Next Cat “Flash Harry”}

h1 April 21st, 2011 by jules


From Barbara Lehman’s The Secret Box
(Click to enlarge and see entire spread from which this illustration comes.)

Friday morning over at Kirkus, I’ll have a Paul Galdone appreciation, given the re-release this Spring of some of his folk tale picture books in a series Houghton Mifflin is calling “Folk Tale Classics.” The link will be here then.

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If you missed last week’s column, I covered a whole handful of recent picture book titles that are wordless or nearly wordless, several of them overseas imports. That column is here if you want to read my very brief take on each book. Today here at 7-Imp, I have art from each book to share. That means a whole heapin’ TON of illustrations below for your eyes to take in. You will see (all those names I didn’t have room for up there in this post’s title) artwork from: Barbara Lehman (The Secret Box), who will be visiting 7-Imp in the near future; French graphic designer Cécile Boyer (Woof Meow Tweet-Tweet); Dutch illustrator Loes Riphagen (Animals Home Alone); Bruce Ingman (When Martha’s Away, briefly mentioned in the Kirkus column and the only book there not published this year—in this case, 1995, though Candlewick’s edition came out this year—and this would be the book with the cat named Flash Harry, which made me have to put down the book and laugh a bit); Béatrice Rodriguez (Fox and Hen Together, her sequel to last year’s The Chicken Thief); Arthur Geisert (Ice); Craig Frazier (Bee & Bird), who also will be visiting 7-Imp in the near future; and French author/illustrator Hervé Tullet (Press Here). Again, to read about them, visit last week’s link. To see the art, why, just stick around. It’s all below — some spreads from each title, followed by its cover.

Quick note, though: Just under the spreads from Fox and Hen Together are some words from the book’s author/illustrator, Béatrice Rodriguez. The publisher, Enchanted Lion Books, shared with me an interview Rodriguez has done (for them) about The Chicken Thief, Fox and Hen Together, and (evidently) one more sequel that is to-come. They gave me permission to quote a portion of the interview. So, fans of Rodriguez can catch that below. Enjoy.

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“The dog lives outside during the day. He protects the house.”
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“The cat prefers the comfort of a nice interior.”
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(Click each image to enlarge and see entire spread from which these two come.)


“Cats come from far and near to hear me play. They are very generous with their applause, and I usually do a couple of encores.”
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Béatrice Rodriguez: Having created The Chicken Thief, I felt completely satisfied and had no desire to continue with the story. But then I started going around to schools with The Chicken Thief and talking with children all over France, and I discovered that the children themselves had the desire to know more and to learn what happened after the end of the book. So I began recounting to them the marriage of Fox and Hen. And then I would tell them about their babies and the babies of their babies. At the start the children said, but that’s impossible! A fox-chicken is impossible! They had never seen such a relationship between a fox and a hen. (Children, as we all know, can be very conventional.) But the more we talked, the more they liked this new idea, and they became excited about it. They were so happy to discover that in our imaginations we are free to create such relationships even if they don’t exist precisely that way in the real world.

Thus it was that I began to imagine sequels to The Chicken Thief: one sequel to continue the story of Fox and Hen’s life together, and a sequel to recount the return home of Rabbit, Bear and Rooster.

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(Click to enlarge each spread from Ice)

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“There. Well done. Now tilt the page to the left…Just to see what happens.”
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“And then to the right…A little more.”
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“Excellent! Shake the book one more time just to get everything back in order.”
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“Hmmmm. Interesting. Try pressing down really hard on ALL the yellow dots.”
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(Want to see more of Press Here? Visit this link.)

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THE SECRET BOX. Copyright © by 2011 by Barbara Lehman. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.

WOOF MEOW TWEET-TWEET. Copyright © 2009 by Cécile Boyer. © 2011 by Seven Footer Kids. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Seven Footer Kids, New York.

ANIMALS HOME ALONE. Copyright © 2009 by Lois Riphagen. © 2011 by Seven Footer Kids. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Seven Footer Kids, New York.

WHEN MARTHA’S AWAY. Copyright © 1995 by Bruce Ingman. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. (First Candlewick Press Edition 2011.)

FOX AND HEN TOGETHER. First American Edition © 2011 by Béatrice Rodriguez. Published by Enchanted Lion Books, New York.

ICE. First American Edition © 2011 by Arthur Geisert. Published by Enchanted Lion Books, New York. (Originally published in France in 2009.)

BEE & BIRD. Copyright © by 2011 by Craig Frazier. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, New York.

PRESS HERE. First US Edition copyright © by 2011 by Hervé Tullet. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Handprint/Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA. (Originally published in France in 2010.)

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5 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week
(Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Too Many People to Count Before Breakfast)
{P.S. I’m Totally Naming My Next Cat “Flash Harry”}

  1. Love Barbara Lehman’s style. Also, Bruce Ingman’s art reminded me of Maira. :) Animals Home Alone looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the art show!


  2. We’ve been having such a lot of fun with Press Here at the library, passing it around and pressing buttons and shaking it and everything. It’s one of those where I bought one copy, got it in and read it, and then immediately ordered five more.

    Also, I jumped up and down in a big way when I found out about those Galdone reprints. His books are so good, and most of our library copies have just been read too many times, poor things.


  3. Adrienne, I read that Hervé Tullet is called something like “The Prince of Preschool” in France. Gotta see his other books.


  4. Kitties! Critters! :)


  5. Oh, how did I miss this post? (Well, there may be myriad reasons, but I’m just glad to be coming back to it.) I LOVE the wordless book – the diverse cast, the fact that it IS wordless, the whole adventure illustrations — gorgeous.


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