Today, I’m featuring an illustrator whose latest picture book title I haven’t seen yet. It comes out in October, and I don’t have an early copy, but a) I like what I see and b) it’s written by Phyllis Root, and boy howdy and howdy boy does she have a great track record with picture books. So, it’s with confidence that I say: I bet this book is goooood. If I’m wrong, one of my readers can come back later and scold me. I guess.
The book I speak of is called Scrawny Cat (Candlewick), and its illustrations come from Alison Friend, who lives and works in Sheffield, England. Alison, who previously worked in greeting cards, illustrated her first picture book in 2010, Maxine Kumin’s What Color Is Caesar?, also published by Candlewick.
Evidently, Scrawny Cat is about a feline who used to belong to someone who loved him, but who now just hears a lot of “get out of here!”s. As you can see from the post’s opening illustration, the cat becomes a sailor cat, and I hear he finds a kindred soul at the end of his journey. (As you can also see below, a big, growl’y dog chases Scrawny Cat, poor thing. Looks like he’s got it rough for a while there, so I’m glad to hear about that kindred soul.) The book’s trailer is here.
Alison’s here today to share some illustrations from the book, as well as some early sketches and roughs. She tells me that Phyllis’s manuscript was a pleasure to illustrate. I thank her for visiting, and those of you wanting to see more from Alison can do so here at her site or here at her blog.
(Click each to enlarge)
(Click each to enlarge)
SCRAWNY CAT. Text copyright © 2011 by Phyllis Root. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Alison Friend. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
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.
1) I really could just stop here with this kick, as in this could be kicks one through seven: Laura Marling’s new CD, A Creature I Don’t Know, is absolutely stunning. Sweetmotherofmary, I marvel at these songs and at Marling’s abundant talent. I really would just like to stop time, like with one of those gold Twilight Zone sundial pendant thingies, and only listen to this CD over and over and over and have nothing else to do. Here she is performing “Sophia” live in WNYC’s studios for Spinning on Air:
But it was really hard to pick, so here are the other ones she sang.
3) But for some good old-fashioned indie garage rock, I discovered the band Girls, too.
4) The September issue of The Bluegrass Special is up!
5) I got to chaperone a field trip for my kindergartner’s class this week. I was assigned to a group of staggeringly adorable children. I also got to read to my kindergartner’s class recently, as well as talk to them about what liberrrrrrians do. I am super kicky-grateful my job allows me the flexible scheduling to do this kind of stuff.
6) I made mixed CDs for friends who moved into a new home. I went a little crazy and made them a pack ‘o’ four mixed CDs. I was inspired by the theme, songs about home. I had fun making the songlists. Here’s one song I put on the mix (“Just a one-room country shack / Gonna lie here on my back…”), Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch with some folks from Old Crow Medicine Show:
I wish I’d been in that room, but I WILL SEE THEM IN DECEMBER. And I am yelling that in happiness.
7) Last but not least, I’m glad Alison stopped by today. Incidentally, she is a Laura Marling fan, too. This means she is one of my people.
What are YOUR kicks this week?