7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #264: Featuring
Bob Barner and Bob Kolar

h1 January 15th, 2012 by jules

“Pigs wallow over itches in a muddy pool.”
(Click to enlarge)

“Puffins have two legs, too! Not another thing that’s something like a puffin. . . .
Look out for the goldfish! Of course, a goldfish is nothing like a puffin.
A gold fish has scales and fins. A goldfish swims.”

(Click to enlarge)

This morning, I’m featuring the last two 2011 titles I had planned to feature last Fall in a very short series of posts highlighting some good picture books for the wee’est of readers.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many of Bob Barner’s picture books for very young children. Last September, he released Animal Baths (Chronicle Books). Using cut paper, ribbons, and pastels, he very colorfully shows the various ways different animals get themselves clean. His rhymes are appealing for the youngest of listeners, and the cut paper and ribbons in his artwork make for very textured spreads, which also cover every inch, these animals ready to burst forth from the pages. It all works. Bob’s pig spread opens this post, and even more spreads are included below.

In September, Candlewick released Sue Soltis’s Nothing Like a Puffin, illustrated by Bob Kolar, which Kirkus gave a starred review. “Look, a puffin! What a marvelous creature, one of a kind and amazing,” the book opens. “Indeed, there is nothing like a puffin.” Bob’s friendly puffin is here to greet us readers at the start, and he makes his presence known to many, usually wreaking havoc. Soltis, giving readers a subtle lesson in comparisons and inferencing (all disguised in great fun), pairs this puffin up with a ladder, a house, a newspaper, a pair of jeans, a goldfish, a penguin, and just about everything in between, asking whether or not they really are that different. Barner’s digital illustrations give clues to young readers, and the energy and movement in the illustrations really propel the book along with a brisk, happy pace. There’s lots of humor here, too, given that the puffin usually leaves confusion and slight chaos in his wake.

This is a great one for teachers about to cover comparing and contrasting, making inferences, etc. It’s very fun. A spread from this one is featured above, too, and below is some more art from Bob. (Well, both Bobs. We’re seeing double here at 7-Imp today with Bob-squared.)


From Animal Baths:
“Bats keep wings soft and neat with lots of little licks.”

(Click to enlarge)

From Animal Baths:
“Bears scratch against tall trees to rub off mud and ticks.”

(Click to enlarge)

* * *

From Nothing Like a Puffin:
“…a puffin is black and white, too! What are the chances?
A newspaper is something like a puffin, after all.”

(Click to enlarge)

From Nothing Like a Puffin:
“But look—a penguin can’t fly! A penguin is more than a little like a puffin —
more than, say, a newspaper or a goldfish. But it’s not
exactly like a puffin.”
(Click to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

ANIMAL BATHS. Copyright © 2011 by Bob Barner. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

NOTHING LIKE A PUFFIN. Text copyright © 2011 by Sue Soltis. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Bob Kolar. 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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) Snow Days (even if it’s laughable here in the South — really, we barely got a dusting, and by 9AM all snow had disappeared), which means more time to cuddle up with my children and read …

2) … but also having time to have coffee with a good friend on said Snow Day.

3) The way a kind word from a friend can turn a bad day on its head (and shake its fist at the bad day).

4) I feel like lately I’ve been doing this, even if only in my own little neurotic ways. And I’m still in one piece.

5) Laura Veirs’ CD of folk songs for children, Tumble Bee, is very, very good. The last song is this tiny gorgeous, soft piano number that stops me in my tracks every time. (Recognize the style of the cover art? Yup, it’s Carson Ellis, who visited here last year.)

6) I look forward to the Steadbery and Phildecott Awards every year. Here was this year’s announcement from earlier this week.

7) When author/illustrator Elisha Cooper ponders beauty, as he does here

What are YOUR kicks this week?

20 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #264: Featuring
Bob Barner and Bob Kolar”

  1. It has been so long – much too long! – since I kicked with all the fine folk here. We have been entertaining like mad but things are quieter now.

    And how nice to be greeted by gorgeous pigs and puffins!

    Congrats on being brave, Jules. Neil Gaiman wrote that he wished people would make glorious, amazing mistakes in the coming year, as it shows you are Doing Something.

    1. A wonderful Christmas period with lots of sitting around with family and friends
    2. We organised some wedding stuff (even low key weddings still need some organising such as LETTING PEOPLE KNOW IT IS ON) and are looking forward to it in March
    3. Lots of entertaining, and over time I am getting better at realising having people over in a less than perfectly tidy house does not matter when that home is warm and welcoming
    4. Drowning in gorgeous fruit like mangoes
    5. Lifeline bookfest (an ENORMOUS secondhand booksale for charity) was fantastic today! Good books at good prices – and all for a good cause 🙂
    6. Had a yummy lunch (well brunch food but in the afternoon) at a laid back café nearby
    7. Caterpillars turning into chrysalises on the plant outside the front door

  2. Those books are so much fun. You’re right, teachers are always looking for good books for compare/contrast.
    Jules, aren’t friends great, the ones who can turn your day around?
    Emmaco, happy weeding plans. Missed you here.
    My kicks:
    1. It’s snowing (a bit) but it’s snowing.
    2. Crocheting a hat to be felted. Hope it turns out,I tried several years ago and it was more like a bowl.
    3. The Poety Ambassadors yahoo group is growing.
    4. Gave a talk about my writing life which went well.
    5. Found out that I will be a presenter at the Oregon SCBWI Conference.
    6. Finished Goliath by Westerfeld.
    7. Three day weekend.
    Have a great week.

  3. I, too, have been absent a while and miss this reflection time even when hurried as I look back on a week! Hi, Jone, I miss not working with you on CYBILS this year but am having fun reading a bit older NF this year. Emmaco, wish I were drowning in those mangoes you mention. Jules, I loved earlier in week your tweet and now your mention of a “southern snow day” which brings back wonderful memories of southern Arkansas on “snow days”! Gracious we came up with some weird versions of sleds when the snow day would hit with NO warning! Kicks this week:
    1. Savoring this long weekend both for reflection on Dr. King’s work and how we strengthen our resolve in this area as well as getting myself organized for weeks ahead which I haven’t done since the holidays.
    2. In New York City for meetings that were productive! I find it is so rare where people sit and think and come out with stronger ideas, new energy!
    3. Held MIGRANT in my hands this week and so love the story AND the illustration…wow. Enjoyed going back and reading your Arsenault piece from 2008 or so, Jules.
    4. Ironically, I earlier this week discovered the ELIZABETH book noted as a Phildecott Winner and it reminds me of my daughter Mary-Margaret in her emphatic way as soon as she could talk and say that name reminding people her name was BOTH words with a dash between them!
    5. I also discovered the Steadberry Peter Sis awarded book and I treasure it as I turn each page the many times I have looked at it already.
    6. Oldest grandson’s voice on phone message: GiGi, where ARE you? (Less than two weeks, William, and I’ll be there for my monthly visit!)
    7. I turned 64 and didn’t feel older…got to spend part of day sitting at U of Virginia, a very favorite place of mine!

  4. Good morning, Imps!

    Hello there, Bob & Bob! Thanks for sharing your work with us. I especially like the smiling puffin.

    Jules: Hope the rest of the month is filled with nothing but good days!

    emmaco: Please whisper hello to the caterpillars for me. Congrats on the bookfest!

    jone: Congratulations on your upcoming presentation!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Rehearsals for the show going on Monday night!
    2) I have an audition for a film Monday afternoon. Any and all good thoughts will be felt and appreciated. Thank you.
    3) Leverage, my favorite currently airing TV show. It’s a wonderful blend of drama and comedy. I love the way it makes me laugh. The season finale is tonight, and I’ll miss it due to rehearsal.
    4) Theatre audition
    5) Daring to ask
    6) Trusting my gut
    7) Knowing what’s right and what’s wrong for me

  5. The two Bobs: a fun way to Kick on Sunday!

    Jules, I’m with emmaco: congrats on the scary sh!t. I mean, don’t go overboard (especially literally). But stepping over boundaries we’ve set for ourselves is almost ALWAYS good!

    And I’d very happily borrow a few grains of that light snow-dusting. Can’t imagine the whoop-di-do it’d trigger around here — probably not just school cancellations and rock-salt hoarding, but sirens and fireworks. Which may have more to do with the fact of this being a college town than, y’know, the event’s actual “event” status.

    Good to see you, emmaco. That’s a low-key wedding indeed if no one knows about it :).

    jone, I’ve never crocheted a thing (let alone one suitable for felting — or for feeling, come to that). But I was working a word puzzle the other day and came across a clue something like “bell-shaped hat” and was so proud of myself for getting “cloche.” I bet you could’ve passed that bowl-shaped thing off as a cloche.

    Some kicks from thisaway…

    1. Whoa. That word “thisaway.”
    2. Jules, your link to information about the Tumble Bee CD led me down a fun little side path. I landed at a Web site, new to me, called Zooglobble, whose slogan seems to be “Kids’ Music Worth Sharing.” (Sort of a 7-Imp for the CD player instead of the Web browser.) There, in a post a few days ago, I found something that’d be kick-worthy on pretty much any day, a video from somebody called Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band, for a song called “Say What?”: a little girl learns to SCAT-SING from a ZEBRA, during a TRAIN RIDE (sorry, a bit of well-deserved all-caps exuberance there). Cool for illustration junkies, I’d imagine, as well as kid- and music-junkies (in the event that any of them might, y’know, be around).
    3. For some reason, this side of town — which just doesn’t seem to support enough restaurants and movie theaters and such for The Missus’s and my taste — suddenly, in the last few weeks, has sprouted two new brick-and-mortar BOOK resources: a Goodwill used bookstore, and (hold onto your seats) a BRAND-NEW BRANCH LIBRARY. And both seem to be very popular. The mind reels.
    4. One of The Missus’s surprise Christmas gifts to me was the latest CD by Loreena McKennitt, The Wind that Shakes the Barley. (“Surprise” in the sense that I usually buy LMcK’s music for The Missus… and then immediately glom onto it myself.) Beautiful, especially her rendition of “Down by the Sally Gardens.” (I’d throw in some links — especially to a live performance video — but fear I may have already maxed out my I-am-not-a-sp*mbot quota.)
    5. An odd kick, maybe: the push-pull fear of doing nothing in particular, and pleasure of having nothing in particular to do.
    6. A night of long and complicated and extremely weird dreams. (Thank you, late heavy dinner!)
    7. Watching good people succeed, even in ways that are important only to them.

    Have a great week, everybody!

  6. Emmaco, happy wedding-planning! I think going simple sounds like the way to do it. (That’s what we did, and so your comment about how even that takes work resonates with me.) … The Lifeline bookfest sounds wonderful. But kick #3 speaks the biggest truth of all.

    Jone, SCBWI! WOOT! Happy snow, too, and let us know how both the hat and presentation turn out.

    Carol, I have yet to read Migrant, but I so super bad want to. Must find a copy. I love Arsenault’s work. …. What a rich week you had, and happy belated birthday to you! Have so much fun with your grandson in a couple of weeks.

    Little Willow, a film audition! Fingers crossed, and as always, break a leg. What channel is Leverage on again?

    John, I will go looking for the McKennitt links anyway. Take that, spam. … “Say What?” is cracking. me. up. and I can hear the girls laughing in my head. Can’t wait to show ’em. Thanks. You are the king, you know, of zigzag web-searching. … Speaking of … [TIME INTERLUDE — GIANT ONE] … I just spent lots of time at Zooglobble, and WOW. Definitely one for bookmarking. … Congrats on the new library, always a beautiful thing, and here’s hoping you get *some* snow? Soon? Maybe?

  7. Jules: TNT. Leverage

  8. Ok. Just have to say that I did not know about the Steadbery and Phildecott awards until right now. How fun and what a great list!!

  9. Had a feeling you’d like Zooglobble, which is why I went ahead and burned two whole links in a single kick. 🙂

  10. Adding these to my list! Love the idea of comparing and contrasting – what a fun way to do that concept! Great Steadbery and Phildecott list! May make a bookstore run today….

  11. John, the bowl shaped crochet thing would have fit a head the size of Godzilla.
    Little Willow, Leverage as well as Grimm are both shot in Portland.

  12. Normally I don’t like pigs. But those baby pigs are seriously cute.

  13. Thanks for a sparkling post. I love the idea of a book about animal baths (and Bob’s work in general!) And that puffin sure looks great as well.

  14. Pigs and Puffins = perfect! So darn charming.

    Late kicks this week, yesterday’s snow day in Portland was a busy one.

    Jules – love that you’re doing scary things, and love even more that a good friend turned around a bady day.

    emmaco – I love your kick #3. Love. And happy wedding planning.

    Jone – congrats on your upcoming presentation, wasn’t the snow fun? and 3 day weekends are awesome.

    Rasco – love your grandson’s message – so sweet!

    LW – good vibes for that audition heading your way!

    John – love your kick #7, and I agree, it is always nice to see good people succeed. I’m going to check out your links later on.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Portland weathermen freaking out over the possibility of snow. Snowpacalypse was just a dusting, but they are funny about it.
    2) Playing in the sprinkling of snow with Cole.
    3) Getting a last minute invite to play kickball with a friend’s team.
    4) Beer and pub food at Hopworks afterwards.
    5) Making new friends.
    6) Soccer game later that same day.
    7) Three day weekend & sleeping in today.

    Have a great week everyone!

  15. I love the books you shared! And yes… these southern snow days make me chuckle too!

  16. Looking forward to your visit with my students tomorrow evening. That will also give them a kick!

  17. Nothing Like a Puffin! What a fantastic title! And illustrations! I can’t believe my library doesn’t own this. Must rectify that immediately.

  18. Thanks, all. Rachel, how is Cole settling in?! Sounds like he’s happy.

  19. Jules, he is settling in so smoothly considering all he’s been through. He is a bit of a worrier, moreso than Ingrid – she knew from the first day she was home. Its taken him a little longer, and that’s ok. He is not destructive at all, no accidents, and every day last week when I got home from work I’d peek in the window and see him happily snoring on one of his dog beds. He and Skittle are now on easy sniffing and cohabiting terms, which is great too. He is really a great dog. I feel so lucky that I always seem to adopt awesome dogs. More pics soon!

  20. Go, Skittle, go! What a trooper that cat is.

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.