7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #227: Featuring
Pamela Dalton, Schereschnitte, and Coffee-Colored Art

h1 July 10th, 2011 by jules

“We praise you for our Brother Sun, who in his radiant dawning every day reminds us that it was you who brought forth light.”
(Click to enlarge)

Since I mention Katherine Paterson, the reigning National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, below in my kicks, it’s only fitting that I share some spreads today from her picture book adaptation of Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures, illustrated by Pamela Dalton. In Brother Sun, Sister Moon, released in March from Chronicle’s Handprint Books, Paterson reimagines the nearly 800-year-old hymn of praise from Saint Francis, originally written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian and also known as the Canticle of the Sun, which celebrates life — everything from Brother Sun to Sister Moon and “all our Sister Stars who clothe the night” to even the courage given us “in this world of hatred and war.”

“How do you ‘reimagine’ the words of the most beloved saint in the history of Christendom?” Paterson writes in a closing author’s note. “If I hadn’t been so taken with the samples I saw of Pamela Dalton’s art, I don’t think I’d have tried.” This has been a much-talked-about picture book for a while now, in large part due to the illustrations from this debut picture book artist. Well before its official release, there was buzz about Dalton’s beautiful intricate paper cuts. She uses the craft of Schereschnitte, which means simply “scissor cutting” in German, a method which was popular in early 19th-century Pennsylvania German communities. It involves paper-folding (lots), a heavy use of symmetry, and many craft knife blades. As I understand it, after cutting pieces for this book, Pamela laid her paper on large pieces of glass and completely covered them in coffee, which softens the contours and the watercolors she’s painted on the papercuts. The pieces are then ironed many times to smooth out wrinkles and paper-buckling.

The publisher says some of the pieces in this book took as many as 100 hours to design, draw, cut, stain and paint. Whew.

As for Paterson’s reimagining, I know little to nothing about this song of praise, but there is a translation by Bill Barrett at the book’s close. As the Publishers Weekly review of this one notes, Paterson “does a fine job of making the canticle more catholic than Catholic (no mention of mortal sin), while maintaining a traditional tone and hewing to the structure of the original.” I can’t help but notice that at the end she also makes a nod to womankind with “O Lord, the Father and Mother of all creation.” {Emphasis mine.} This is good.

The same review adds, “Young Germanic peasants work and play, harvesting, baking, and, in a solemn spread dedicated to Sister Death, mourning a deceased woodland animal. It’s only the absence of a more multicultural cast that keeps this from being a truly global paean to God’s creation.” These are cherubic-looking young children. Think Kate Greenaway-esque, but peasants. But the good thing about sharing art at 7-Imp is that I can let the art speak for itself, so I shall — with a few more spreads below from the book. The papercuts really are exquisite. Enjoy. (These spreads seem a bit blurry—and for that I apologize—but you can at least get the general idea of the papercuts here.)

“We praise you for Sister Moon and all our Sister Stars, who clothe the night with their beauty and, like you, watch over us while we sleep.”
(Click to enlarge)

“For all your gifts—for this wondrous universe in which we live, for family, for friends, for work and play, for this life and the life to come—we sing our praise to you.”
(Click to enlarge)

“For this life and the life to come, we sing our praise to you. O Lord, the Father and Mother of all creation. Give us, we pray, the grace to honor you this day
and forever more.”

(Click to enlarge)

BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON: SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI’S CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES. Text copyright © 2011 by Katherine Paterson. Illustrations © 2011 by Pamela Dalton. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Handprint Books, an imprint of Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 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) Best kick of all: What Jack Gantos said Friday about reading slowly was really and truly and madly wonderful, and I high-five the air again. Here’s what he wrote:

As for being a “Bluebird” reader when I was a child—which was the slow reading group—all I have to say is that I have not been underserved by being a slow reader, because the result of being slow is that I fully consume a book when I read it. I poke my head in the white space between the words, and in the horizontal space between the lines, and sniff all along the margins like a dog taking a walk. I love taking the time for the book to cook in my imagination. I feel in no rush to blast through a book, because how then could you possibly fully imagine every little fantastic detail which is taking place in a novel. Yes, everyone loves riding the plot line, but the true imaginative marrow of a book is found off the plot—for instance, when you read the description of a wicked character standing in a kitchen and how that character breathes and carves up a fist of cheese with a knife and swallows without chewing and moves his eyes in a mean way as he tears bread apart with small hands and thinks of someone he loathes–it is important to fully see this unfold in your mind as well as the thousands of other off-plot details which make up a true book—and by ‘true book’ I mean the book that you create in your own mind, the book that you keep in your mind long after you have finished running your eyes over the printed text. It is the imaginative imprint on the paper in your own mind that is the truth of that book to the reader. So if you read too fast and rush through the book like a trained monkey, you may be able to answer a few questions on a test—but that is not the same as being captured for life by the pleasure of a good book.

1½) My five-year-old makes a passionate, impromptu, and very lengthy song out of everything. She’s doing it as I type this. One of her lyrics for one particular recent ditty was “don’t kung-fu me down,” and I think “don’t kung-fu yourself down” is going to become my new bit of advice for friends in Low Self-Esteem Moments.

2) A new song from Blitzen Trapper:

3) A morning full of good friends on Friday. And, speaking of friends, part two of this kick is that I finally found an old high school friend via Facebook. (I’ve been looking for years. Her name is Winter, so I thought it’d be easy. I was wrong. In fact, it was one of my most impressive procrastination techniques when needing to write, so now that I’ve finally found her, there goes that one.)

3½) Finally saw True Grit. Hubba wow.

4) This transcript of a speech from Katherine Paterson. (“I have yet to meet the person who has tweeted her way to wisdom.” You have to laugh at that.) Okay, I’m just going to have to quote again. You gotta love this, no matter who you are or what your own particular religious orientation is:

I was once asked to speak to a group of public school teachers who would be taking their classes to see a production of the play, Bridge to Terabithia. I spent more than an hour telling about how the book came to be written and rewritten and then how Stephanie Tolan and I adapted it into the play their classes would see. There was the usual time of questions, at the end of which a young male teacher thanked me for my time and what I had told them that morning. “But I want to take something special back to my class. Can you give me some word to take back to them?”

I was momentarily silenced. After all I had been talking continuously for over an hour, surely he could pick out from that outpouring a word or two to take home to his students. Fortunately, I kept my mouth shut long enough to realize what I ought to say —

“I’m very Biblically oriented,” I said, “and so for me the most important thing is for the word to become flesh. I can write stories for children and young people, and in that sense I can offer them words, but you are the word become flesh in your classroom. Society has taught our children that they are nobodies unless their faces appear on television. But by your caring, by your showing them how important each one of them is, you become the word that I would like to share with each of them. You are that word become flesh.”

5) I can’t wait to see Matt Phelan’s new book:

6) So. I’d heard “Helplessness Blues” from Fleet Foxes a while back. Various web sites were playing that one track from the CD prior to the release of their newest CD. But it wasn’t till I read this Paste link that I sort of really slowed down and listened more closely, and I have to agree with the critic who wrote how he is WOW’ed at the opening line (not to mention the rest of the song): “I was raised up believing I was somehow unique / Like a snowflake, distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see. / And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be / a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me.” It really is an extraordinary song. You can hear it here:

7) I know a few of you noticed last week, as I did, that an agent came along for Sunday’s student-illustrator feature and left a comment that she loved the student’s work and would even like to represent her. I have no idea if there was follow-up on that, but I can tell you that the very one and only reason I blog is to connect people, so that made me super freakin’ happy to read.

7½) Oliver Jeffers shows you how to draw penguins. And don’t miss Shaun Tan’s interview without words.

BONUS: When I interviewed Kady MacDonald Denton this week, I realized her pearly-gates Pivot response is now tied with my other top-two favorites (Jack Gantos’s “Shaken or stirred?” and Barry Moser’s “Mornin’, Bubba”). Here was her response to “If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?”

Let me tell you about one afternoon when I was visiting with my Mother, and her younger sister came to say hello. It was a glorious summer afternoon, perfect, filled with sunlight and bird song. We sat outside near a lake. My aunt was younger than my Mother but already into senility. The two old sisters chatted on about past friends when suddenly my aunt said: “They say Heaven is a nice place to live.” My Mother thought this was hilarious. She laughed, just roaring away until tears rolled down. My aunt laughed also, and so did I, all of us laughing together. I remember thinking: This is heaven – such a day with such beauty, with loved ones and a cheering drink, at the meeting place between tears and laughter.

TWO NOTES OF INTEREST: (Wow, that’s huge font. I don’t mean to yell that.) First, I thought some of you might be interested in this. Here’s the low-down, straight from Lorrie McCullough, Underland Press’s Marketing Coordinator:

The project, authored and edited by Jeff VanderMeer, is called If You Lived Here: The Top 30 All Time Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds. It’s a compendium, of sorts, but also a travel guide to places like Dune, Ring World, Middle Earth, Lankhmar . . . and beyond . . . We’ve all lived in these places–in imagination if not in fact–and we’re all united by our common experiences of them. We wanted to collect the worlds together in one place as both a walk down memory lane and a place to start new dreams.

We’re reaching out to readers, writers, and booksellers to ask for nominations of worlds to include. We’ve set up a web form at www.ifyoulivedherebook.com, which takes the nominations and asks respondents to describe what they love about the world. (If things go according to plan, we’ll include some of the responses in the book itself.) We’re looking for as much community involvement as possible in this project…

Secondly, this is from Hilary Leung, the illustrator of this great book (and its predecessor) —

The Canadian Embassy in Tokyo has chosen to read The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear at a few elementary schools in the Sendai region of Japan. This was the region that was hit by the earthquake and tsunami in March. David {Bruins} and I are hoping to send them copies of the book to give to each child they visit — roughly 150. We’ve set up a page on our website with more information and to encourage ninja cowboy bear ‘fans’ to help us out.

Hilary added that their publisher, Kids Can Press, has decided to donate 120 copies. So, they’re pretty close to their 150-book target, which is good news, indeed.

I think it’s only fitting that we now close with this bad-ass image from Mr. Leung:

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Ninja illustration copyright © 2010 Hilary Leung. Reprinted from this post, which was originally used with permission of Kids Can Press.

36 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #227: Featuring
Pamela Dalton, Schereschnitte, and Coffee-Colored Art”

  1. Quite the BOUNTIFUL offering this morning, Jules! Fitting, I suppose, for a post that begins with a book that bravely celebrates “this wondrous universe in which we live”.

    I have a sounding-out question for some kicker whose grandmother emigrated from Heidelberg or thereabouts: “How does one pronounce ‘Schereschnitte’?” (I can imagine anywhere from 2 to 4 syllables.) And wow, the scissor-work in those weeping willow leaves, in those stalks of wheat– is amazing. (Surely, I’d go blind.)

    The Jack Gantos revelation about slow reading is wonderful. Phelan’s new graphic novel looks great. And I know I’ll be thinking all day about which sci fi or fantasy world to vote for. Hmmm.

    My kicks:
    1. fireworks
    2. the way folk unabashedly, oooo and aaaaah at them.
    3. a photograph I took of my neighbors silhouetted against the display.
    4. the beach in full swing of summer.
    5. the return of the brown pelican.
    6. Someone in my writing group sent out an e-mail searching for her lent-out copy of Ursula Nordstom’s “Dear Genius”. Turns out many of us are missing our copies as well–all lost somewhere in the world’s vast ‘literary lending circle.’ Is there a Dear Genius hoarder? Or does that book, like Houdini, have a will to escape? Where is your copy?
    7. the intriguing word: Schereschnitte.

    Have a wonderful summer week everyone.

  2. “You are that word made flesh.”

    I think I would have cried.

    I know you know I heart Ashley Bryan, so I’m all over the paper cutting, but WHOA, and MY WORD, and GOOD GRIEF. This book is going to be awesome.

    Also: I just love Katherine Paterson. Just. Love.
    And your daughter’s singing. I have honestly told myself not to kung-fu myself down twice this past week. Seriously. And then laughed. Go, A.

  3. Denise, I know! I just went on and on this week, when last week all I had in me was a poem.

    I have no idea how to pronounce it. Sorry. I can try to look it up later.

    Where would we all be without Dear Genius? It is tragic, indeed, to have lost one’s copy. Mine is on my shelf, to answer your question, begging to be re-read.

    Tanita, do you know that Ashley Bryan and Shadra Strickland were speaking together in Atlanta recently, but it was during a weekday and I couldn’t go? BUMMER. My big loss.

  4. Great post and kicks today, Jules! Hooray for songs by five-year-olds!

    Two poems in place of seven kicks today:

    By Steven Withrow

    For David Harrison’s word-of-the-month poetry contest for July (“sour”)

    Too tart today
    to grin—
    this sour mood
    I’m in
    tastes vinegar
    and bittersweet.

    I woke up late
    and tried
    to greet
    all with a smile—
    and faked it for
    a little while—

    but the tangy mango
    on my tongue
    that is my placid
    suffered acid

    and now life’s flavor’s
    how thin my lips
    are pursed—
    by coffee made
    with lemonade.

    By Steven Withrow

    We stall the car and climb the roadside hillock
    To the field, as the bugs hum down for our blood,
    And at the second flash—the first entrapped us
    With its bright and bursting spontaneity—
    You coo and ooh as though you’ve seen a dragon
    Or an arrow fletched with phoenix-feathers falling
    In a slowly effervescing arc of colors—
    Redwhitebluegreengold—before concussing
    Like a thunderclap from Odin’s son.
    Or maybe your imagination’s twined
    To a world less mythological than mine,
    And sky to you, although it gleams with flame,
    Is merely airy molecules at play
    With dusk’s near-summer-solstice looming light.

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  5. Brother Sun, Sister Moon looks wonderful and I like thinking about those tiny scissors. It’s a whole different way of paper cutting, but I believe Debra Frasier said her lovely picture book Out of the Ocean took about seven years to make. And it’s great to hear Jack Gantos laud slow reading. My favorite pace.

    Those are great kicks right there, along with my local blueberries and toast. Also “don’t kung-fu me down.” Denise, your summer sounds lovely – brown pelicans — and thank you for the kind words last week. Tanita, your happiness makes me smile. Steven, love poetry as kicks and, still and again, the last five lines of “Farmers’ Fireworks Display.

    1. Swimming in the lake.

    2. Every few days, our dog alerts us to a turkey family passing through the yard. Two devoted parents and twenty-three babies. It boggles the mind. Was there some sort of adoption plan going on? I hope so.

    3. Just read Maid as Muse by Aife Murray, a study of how the servants in Emily Dickinson’s life may have affected her work. Emily entrusted Maggie Maher, who helped manage the kitchen for 17 years, to keep her poems in her trunk and asked her to burn them when she died. Yay Maggie for both trust and rebellion.

    4. Completing a manuscript. Or liking to think that I’m finishing.

    5. Which means I get to read more just for fun. 6. In the hammock, perhaps. 7. And move into another manuscript.

  6. Those weeping willows are AMAZING. All of it is, so very gorgeous, but knowing it’s papercutting is blowing my mind this morning. Beautiful book.

    I’ve been MIA a couple of weeks and missed everyone!

    Jules – love “don’t kung fu me down,” that is so awesome in so many ways. I’ll have to come back and check out the music later.

    Denise – the beach in full swing, complete with fireworks are pretty wonderful.

    Steven – Sourpuss really resonated with me this morning, probably because I’ve been thinking about making Dean Martin’s burger recipe this weekend: http://squandrous.com/post/7410550782 (I know bourbon isn’t tart, but it makes my mouth/lips pucker.)

    My kicks:

    1) My birthday, which was a couple of weeks ago. I was not looking forward to this one, and it turned out quite wonderful, despite my dread.
    2) Spa days. Just Ahhhhh.
    3) Girls In Trucks, by Katie Crouch.
    4) Learning that you CAN really shut someone up in a Murphy bed, and here’s the proof: http://youtu.be/bvDYAMbsc0k
    5) This video, http://youtu.be/qokUtp1tzsA which introduced me to Jane Jensen and Luv Song. Gotta love it when a good show uses music and editing to make a scene perfection. Jane Jensen’s original video here: http://youtu.be/HrdnS4wYHxg
    That song is now a part of this summer’s soundtrack for me.
    6) Crusty, curmudgeonly friends with marshmallow centers – they are so often my favorites, for so many reasons, but mainly because when they are nice you know they really mean it.
    7) Having my eyes opened to some new possibilities.

    Have a wonderful week!

  7. Jeannine, just missed you in cyberspace. Hooray for finishing a manuscript and reading in a hammock!

  8. Fly-by posting on the way to an audition —

    Happy belated birthday, Rachel (rm)!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Wednesday, audition 1
    2) Thursday, audition 2
    3) Thursday night, offered roles in both!
    4) Current play – We close tonight 🙁 but they are keeping the original cast for the short film adaptation which is shooting later this summer
    5) Trusting my gut
    6) Staying true to who I am
    7) Looking forward to today’s audition!

  9. OMG, Pamela Dalton is DEDICATED. @_@

    And thank you so much for that link to Shaun Tan’s wordless interview!

  10. I am so in awe of Pamela Dalton’s work, this is the most exquisite book I have held, truly stunning. Thank you for this posting today; I also enjoyed hearing Pamela’s own voice here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wfyIQFYaao.

    7 Kicks:
    1. Finished Libba Bray’s BEAUTY QUEENS which is a book on two levels – a fun laugh and a serious thought provoking story about teen girls.
    2. Some of THE most incredible fresh vegetables I have ever found since moving to the DC area…wow, yummy!
    3. Great news about the progress in RIF’s annual Macy’s summer promotion which is so important to our operation and particularly this year with the loss of the federal grant. Super reports about spectators’ positive reactions to BeBookSmart car!

  11. That Schereschnitte stuff is awesome — in general, but right now I’m blown away by Pamela Dalton’s illustrations here.

    (We recently attended an art auction where an artist demonstrated it. I mean, my gosh, when you make a mistake in a Schereschnitte piece there’s no “unravel it to the last good point” or “paint over it” alternative. It’s do without whatever you just lopped off, or start the whole blessed thing all over. Schereschnitters (ha) must have nerves of steel and the eyesight of watchmakers.)

    [Aside to Denise: I seem to remember that German doesn’t — usually? ever? — have any silent vowels. So Schereschnitte would seem to be four-syllable word. At least if memory doesn’t fail me. :)]

    St. Francis is pretty much at the top of the list of old historical figures who make me wish, even dimly, that I had some bits of a capital-C Catholic background.

    Noticed that Oliver Jeffers’s “How to Draw a Penguin” feature was actually one of a series. It also includes “How to Draw a Yeti,” by Alex Milway. My favorite line in that one was, All yetis’ faces begin like this!, for three reasons: Because the apostrophe is in the right place (the punctuation-OCD reason). Because the exclamation point makes it plain, Do NOT screw this up. And especially because the whole thing implies, y’know, You can expect to be drawing many, many yetis in your lifetime.

    And I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE “IF YOU LIVED HERE” PROJECT! (You may have known that I would. :))

    Without going into specifics — I don’t want to make anyone self-conscious — one of my favorite 7-Imp activities on Kicks days* is to read the first few lines of each comment and try to guess, from the tone, diction, and so on, exactly which regular kicker has posted it. So far, today’s batch has been an especially richly enjoyable one to do play this game with. (And coincidentally, it now occurs to me, reading kicks here is kind of like seeing St. Francis’s gratitude made real.)


    * Apple fritters.

    * Scottish breakfast tea. Yes. SCOTTISH. The package describes the taste as “malty” — and so I knew it to be a package which would not remain long unopened.

    * I’m going to give Google+ a tentative kick, just for finally opening its doors. Still trying to “get” it, after a few days of, like, poking at its skin and wondering if it’ll breathe. But probably not a good day for FB to tell me my account would be unavailable for “just a few hours” for “routine site maintenance.”

    * Finally saw an oldish new movie, the 2002 Solaris. Gave me — possibly both of us — a very pleasurable sort of “I’m not sure what the hell I just saw, but I almost get it” buzz. (And Natascha McElhone looks like the love child of Jane Seymour and Meryl Streep. I kept forgetting George Clooney was onscreen with her.)

    * Neil Gaiman.

    * This poem, which I included in a blog post Friday but wanted to share here too. If nothing else, you have to do a Jack Gantos slow-read of the title: “A Local Doc, over Rocky Lunchtime Bourbon, Speaks of Barter and Hopeful Home Remedies.”

    * Speaking of local docs, here’s a kick for my eye doctor. I’ve never needed her for anything urgent or sight-threatening or anything like that. But I just love her demeanor and how she likes to talk about eyes, and vision, but at the same time always gets onto little side tracks about her kids and husband, what she’s reading now, etc.

    Have a great week, everybody!


    * Yes, I am aware that this is a very weird sort of “favorite activity.”

  12. LW – thanks for the bday wishes! Good luck on your audition!

    JES – That is an interesting favorite activity. : ) I agree that everyone here does have a distinct personality that comes through their kicks and kicks/style.
    Also, grew up very Catholic, and St Francis was a favorite saint in our house.

    Jules – That Fleet Foxes song is sublime. And I forgot to mention earlier how cool it is that you are such a connector.

  13. I have not a clue what happened, I saw a blink and the “Kicks” kicked on out of the computer! In the meantime, I had to take a break and watch carefully the finish of the US Girls Soccer team in the World Cup quarterfinals…GO USA!
    4. I read DJANGO which I will feature on Nonfiction Monday tomorrow; I was so taken by this book, such depth to the paintings, the spare words, the author’s notes in the concluding pages. I am always interested in appropriate, sensitively portrayed disability stories. This one more than meets my test!
    5. Discovering FATHER AND SON by Haitian poet, Professor in NY Denize Lauture and illustrated by Gullah country artist Jonathan Green. Have you seen this book?
    6. RIF had a great event in Holly Springs, MS with a Head Start program attended by U. S. Senator and Mrs. Wicker…hard working Head Start staff working in an area where programs like this sorely needed for children. Go Head Start, Go RIF Staff, Go Rust College, Thank you to the Wickers!
    7. I got my first bouquet of zinnias today at the Farmers’ Market – this child of the South dearly loves zinnias and I have no way to grow my own here. Happy, happy me!

  14. Back later, everyone, but a quick note about the video on the book (which I think someone mentioned above and which Monica Edinger just pointed out to me. … Thanks to Monica)….

  15. The featured book today looks lovely! And you have so many tempting links to look at too, Jules.

    Happy Birthday Rachel, glad you enjoyed it more than expected

    Hope the audition went well, Little Willow!

    Rasco, a bunch of zinnias sounds lovely. Jonquils have just started appearing in markets and florists here, but I haven’t bought a bunch yet, a lack I must remedy.

    JES, I like apple anything, but apple fritters sound particularly delicious. Especially with malty tea!

    My kicks:

    1. We had friends over for raclette Saturday night – raclette is a Swiss dish that is basically grilled cheese poured over baby potatoes and chopped up gherkins, with raclette spices, and any other grilled thing you like eg mushrooms. You cook it at the table with a little grill machine (ours was given to us by a Swiss friend). Yum!
    2. Lots of other social occasions this week
    3. We can walk to the excellent local farmer’s market, which makes a great Sunday morning activity. Unfortunately it’s only on once a month at the moment, though perhaps that’s a good thing for our budget seeing as there are lots of nice luxuries in addition to the cheap veggies
    4. Bright sunny winter days. I am still too chilly in this unheated-house-designed-for-hot-weather house in the mornings but sunny winter days are so much better than grey drizzly ones
    5. I am not a very confident driver, mostly due to the fact that I don’t actually have to drive a lot (have been fortunate in having lots of walking + public transport options as an adult) but have been trying to drive more and I’m definitely feeling better about it
    6. Almost drowning in good library books while still enjoying all the re-reading I can do after unpacking
    7. Baby passionfruit vine planted yesterday next to our fence

  16. I can’t stop looking! Such beautiful paper cuts – what an undertaking by Pamela Dalton. The full spread page illustrations make me think of Scandinavian and German window hangings. And the cover art! I could hug it. Thanks for posting about this beautiful book.
    Also – couldn’t agree more about TRUE GRIT – the Cohen Bros. really did justice to the book. And Hailee did justice to Mattie!

  17. Afternoon stop-in:
    Found a Pennsylvania-Dutch paper-art site that provided this answer: Scherenschnitte (pronounced shear’-en-schnit-tah). [JES your German recollection was right on. Thanks.]

    Enjoyed so many kicks today: MY WORD (ha), “an arrow fletched with phoenix-feathers falling”, a completed manuscript (congrats JA!!!!!!!! and yes, that deserves still a few more !!!!), madcap Murphy beds, roles landed, that adorable Be Book Smart car (!), a sudden inclination to start drawing my quota of yetis (as I ponder my writing’s ‘tell’) zinnia loyalty and baby passionfruit.

    Jules – my son’s favorite line from True Grit (after the body is cut down from the high, high branch) is: “I do not know this man.” Something about Bridges’ delivery cracks him up. : – D

  18. Thanks, Jules! It is so cool to be a kick. And thanks for the great Gantos interview!

  19. Back to catch up with all of you good folks!

    Hello to Pamela Dalton and her paper treasures.

    Jules: I encourage your budding songwriter to keep on doing what she’s doing. May she always, always have a song in her heart! That goes for you and your other munchkin and your spouse as well – and everyone reading this! 🙂

    Rock on, Ninja Cowboy Bear! Give those kids some kicks.

    Denise: Silhouette images can be so lovely. (Have you read The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando?)

    Steven: May poetry always keep your kicks coming.

    Jeannine: My goodness! What a large turkey family! I hope they all live long lives. (I’m a vegetarian and animal-rights girl.)

    Rasco: I enjoy Libba’s works and have Beauty Queens in my pile of books to read. Vegetables = yummy!

    JES: Yay for Neil. I enjoy his novels, especially Neverwhere and Coraline.

    Rachel: You are welcome! Thanks in return.

    emmaco: I freaked out when I read “Almost drowned” on your kicks, just for a half-second, then read, “…in good library books,” and I exhaled, relieved. Enjoy the farmer’s market!

    Hi there, Good Books for Young Souls!

    Hi, Denise!

    SBBT starts tomorrow, y’all!

  20. Thanks, Steven. I may or may not have been in a sourpuss mood this week, so I particularly like that one.

    Jeannine, congrats on finishing the manuscript! I think the hammock sounds like the best thing I’ve heard all day.

    Rachel, ooooh, I like kick #6. Ain’t that the truth. Thanks for the music. Am making a mental note to listen tomorrow. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!

    Little Willow, both roles! Congrats! Break a leg with today’s audition — or am I too late?

    Tarie, hi!

    Carol, so many wonderful kicks I don’t know where to begin. You are radiating cheer. It’s lovely. I have seen pics of the BeBookSmart car, and I LOVE IT. Keep up the good work.

    John, that thought crossed my mind too — about the kicks and this hymn of praise from Saint Francis, that is. I LOVE YOUR KICKS GAME. That is very cool to me. Not weird at all. Now I’m gonna try next week. Was there something in particular Gaiman did this week—or something you read—that makes him a kick? Just curious. Did you ever see this? Wanted to post about it, yet never did.

    Emmaco, raclette = What I Learned From You Today. Mmm, it sounds truly delicious. Enjoy those books, and stay safe behind the wheel. I wish we had more options for getting places by foot here.

    Well, hello to whomever is behind Good Books for Young Souls, and my pleasure…

    Denise, ah! Thanks for the low-down. I had fun saying that outloud. And, YES, that is a very funny moment in True Grit. Dang, now I wanna watch it again. Truly delightful, particularly after seeing a movie we didn’t enjoy AT ALL, which had been the case.

    Matt, my pleasure on both accounts.

    Little Willow, you’d get a real kick out of Ada’s songs, I think.

  21. Hi Jules and everyone else!
    This past week, I’ve been taking the girl to the park, doing stair-climbs, encouraging reading, and really only touch down in the evening after she’s in bed. We’re off to Orcas Island tomorrow (surprise last minute plans), which is great. The last time we were there, it was years ago and February. Now it will be scenic!

    1. The Orcas Island trip.
    2. Aebelskivers. Danish pancakes. Yum.
    3. Zombies vs. Unicorns.
    4. A new dress, on sale, that I’d been eyeing all summer.
    5. I just might finish Infinite Jest before mid-August.
    6. Lillet.
    7. Pippi Longstocking.

  22. Jules, now I know you probably mean that particular edition of “Instructions.” But I was sure that the first time I ever heard of the poem itself was here at 7-Imp…

    …And, as it turns out, it seems to be practically an epigraph for the place. Earliest mention seems to have been a post by Eisha (!), back in late November of ’06 (!!!).

    Er, anyway, yes, I think I did know about that particular edition, too. And I’m CERTAIN that any such knowledge would have come from 7-Imp. 🙂

  23. Farida! Have so much fun, and safe travels to you all. Gotta find out what this dress looks like. (I like a good dress.)

    John, the illustrations are LOVELY. I can’t believe I never featured it. Boo on me.

    And don’t you miss Eisha’s Poetry Friday posts, in particular?

  24. Well, it’s complicated. I think you know I could (without even trying) talk myself into sighing about Eisha’s absence for the rest of my days. All that o-for-the-snowfalls-of-yesteryear stuff. But d*mn, woman, on the other hand — now I’m all protective and territorial about the landscape that YOU’RE plowing. So no, I don’t want to give up YOUR Friday (or other) posts.

    Like I said, it’s not easy. 🙂

  25. So much warmth and goodness floating through this thread. Good for the soul to think about thankfulness; even the thankfulness of others.

    The papercut art is brilliant…just mesmerizing. Can’t believe the painstaking process of crafting it.


    1. Swimming in the lake (a #1 inspired by Jeannine way up at the top)
    2. Berries…we’ve got a good crop of raspberries this year, the wild saskatoons are plentiful, and Tannis picked 25 pounds of strawberries yesterday
    3. Percy Jackson…the girls talked me into starting a bedtime reading marathon through the series, and it’s been really fun.
    4. Hearing my compositions performed by a professional string quartet last week…super-thrill.
    5. The best photography assignment…taking photos of a local ecological reserve for the next few months, for a presentation/book in fall.
    6. Ivy turning 10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0xfmdbqcfs
    7. 15-year-anniversary…still glad to have married my best friend.

  26. Happy birthday again to beautiful Ivy, the birthday goddess. But I didn’t know it was your anniversary, too. Congrats, Jeremy! (Will that Percy Jackson series work for a seven-year-old obsessed with Greek mythology? I really need to look that up.)

    Congrats on #4, too! So lovely.

  27. As a writer with zero artistic talent, I enjoyed looking at these. The top illustration especially reminded me of some beautiful stitching work done by women in Southeast Asia….

  28. Hi, Jules!

    I’ve pretty much been out of the blogging loop of late. I admit to being a “slow reader” myself. I love to savor words. Maybe that’s why I love poetry so much.

    Countdown to grandmotherhood has begun. My daughter’s due date in July 29th. My husband and I spent Sunday with our daughter and son-in-law celebrating their first wedding anniversary. I made two of their favorite dishes–lobster rolls and Caesar salad. We had a wonderful day!

  29. Elaine, how exciting! Please keep us informed!

  30. Oh, and Shelley….almost missed you! Thanks for visiting. Gorgeous work, huh?

  31. Thanks for emmaco and Jules for the birthday wishes!

    Jeremy – happy birthday to Ivy and happy anniversary to you and your wife!

    Farida – Ohh, Orcas Island! Have a wonderful time!

    Emmaco – drowning in good books, love that.

    Jules, I forgot to mention, that first Luv Song video is from The Good Wife. It’s one of my favorite shows. I think they get the legal/attorney life stuff right, and a friend in politics thinks they get the political stuff right – it’s a smart, well done show.

    Anywho, hope everyone has a great week!

  32. Ooh, thanks, Rachel. I like hearing about new shows.

  33. […] from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, written by Josephine Nobisso. (Yes, since I posted about this picture book so recently, I figured I should mention this one sooner rather than later.) “Our story is set […]

  34. […] piece is sketched freehand and then cut, usually from a single sheet of paper. You should read this July post at 7-Impossible Things Before Breakfast about an earlier book Dalton illustrated; there is coffee […]

  35. […] you remember this July post, in which I featured Katherine Paterson’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon, illustrated by Pamela […]

  36. […] Katherine Paterson Illustration by Pamela Dalton Chronicle Books. 2011. Do not miss this column at 7-Imps regarding Dalton and her […]

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