What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Gerald McDermott and Ken Min

h1 August 5th, 2011 by jules

“Monkey! Chattering Monkey.
He lived high in a tree on the banks of the wide, flowing river.”

(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I have a brief tribute to Tim Egan’s very funny books — all in good time, seeing as how his latest beginning reader title for children, Dodsworth in Rome, is out this year. The Kirkus link is here, if you’re so inclined to head over there and find out why THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT CORN.

Oh! Note to fellow Egan fans: He will be visiting 7-Imp for a breakfast interview in the very near future.

* * * * * * *

Last week’s column highlighted two new picture books, one featuring Indian-American protagonists and another one that tells a story from Indian folklore. That link is here, if you’d like to read more about the books, but today I share some art from them. Pictured above is the opening spread from Gerald McDermott’s Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India (Harcourt), and a couple more spreads from that are at the close of this post. First up is some of the artwork (without the text) from F. Zia’s Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji (Lee & Low Books), illustrated by Ken Min.


“‘Who’s telling me a story?’ asked Aneel one day. No one answered. Sweet smoke snaked into his nose, and the tinkle of a tiny bell murmured in his ear. Dadi-ma’s eyes were closed. ‘Hari Om, Hari Om,‘ she chanted. Aneel turned to Dada-ji, who was standing on his head. ‘Will you tell me a story, Dada-ji?’ Aneel asked. ‘Hunh-ji, yes, sir, one minute,’ said upside-down Dada-ji. Then he flipped over, landing with a soft THUP, and became a serene lotus on the rug.
Aneel hopped on his grandfather’s lotus lap, and Dada-ji began.”

“Dada-ji looked at Aneel and rubbed his belly. A rumble grew into a mighty roar. He smacked his lips. ‘Does the lad still have the power, Dada-ji?’ Aneel asked. ‘There’s only one way to find out, baba,’ said his grandfather. ‘Does he want roti today?’ Aneel asked. ‘Hunh-ji. Hot, hot roti,’ Dada-ji said, his mouth beginning to water. ‘With salty grains to lick?’ said Aneel. ‘. . . and a bit of tongue-burning mango pickle!’
Dada-ji said, drooling a little.”

“At last all the roti were ready. Aneel piled them up in a high, high stack.
‘Hot, hot roti for Dada-ji!’ he announced in his biggest voice.”

* * *

“The next morning, Crocodile came swimming down the river, looking for Monkey. He heard Monkey chattering. He saw Monkey jump from tree to rock to island. ‘I shall pretend I’m a rock,’ said Crocodile. ‘When Monkey jumps on me, I will snap him up, heart and all!’ Crocodile lay low in the water all day long.”
(Click to enlarge)

“Laughing and chattering, Monkey scampered up a tree and swung from branch to branch. ‘Your teeth may be sharp,’ Monkey shouted to Crocodile.
‘But your mind is dull!'”

(Click to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

MONKEY: A TRICKSTER TALE FROM INDIA. Copyright © 2011 by Gerald McDermott. Published by Harcourt Children’s Books, New York. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher.

HOT, HOT ROTI FOR DADA-JI. Copyright © 2011 by F. Zia. Illustration © 2011 by Ken Min. Published by Lee & Low Books, New York. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher.

2 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Gerald McDermott and Ken Min”

  1. hey jules

    to take a cue from your copyright material, but i just got a “kick” out of finding my name and art featured here. i was minding my own business this morning, reading my usual assortment of blogs, when i came to yours and nearly spat out my orange juice at the screen.

    can i say what a thrill it is? don’t mean to blubber on, but i do enjoy your site and i always get such great recommendations here.

    you certainly made my day. i’m about to drive off to the SCBWI summer conference, but i don’t think i need to take the car, i can just float on over there on a cloud.

    thanks 🙂

  2. So gratifying to see your coverage of my picture book, Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji. Ken’s illustrations capture the rhythm of the story so well.

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