What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring LeUyen Pham

h1 February 16th, 2012 by jules


“A stick is an excellent thing. / If you find the perfect one, /
it’s a scepter for a king. /A stick is an excellent thing…”
(Click to enlarge spread)


Early thumbnail for above spread
(Click to enlarge)

For this week’s Kirkus column, which will be here tomorrow, I take a look at Maira Kalman’s latest picture book, Looking at Lincoln. (You can also head over here to Jama Rattigan’s side to read about it.)

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If you missed last week’s column, I wrote about Marilyn Singer’s latest poetry collection, A Stick Is an Excellent Thing, to be released by Clarion at the end of the month and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. That link is here.

Today I feature some spreads and early thumbnails from the book, courtesy of Ms. Pham. Enjoy.


“This bubble I’m blowing, / this bubble is growing— /
this bubble of ginormous size…”
(Click to enlarge)


Thumbnail for above spread
(Click to enlarge)


Spread (without the text) for the “Hide-and-Seek” poem:
“One, two, three, uh-uh, you can’t see me / behind this willow tree…”

(Click to enlarge)


Thumbnail for above spread
(Click to enlarge)


“Fireflies don’t bother me. / Fireflies don’t scare me. /
They never bite; they just make light. / I’ll catch some, if you dare me!”

(Click to enlarge)


Thumbnail for above spread
(Click to enlarge)


Early thumbnail for another spread in the book:
“…I’m the boss of the toss / so you cannot relax /
When you play with me, / I’m the queen of the jacks.”

(Click to enlarge)


Early thumbnail—with an entirely different layout—for another spread in the book:
“Hey, hey, diddle, diddle! / There’s no time to twiddle /
your thumbs or twirl your hair / when you’re the Monkey in the Middle.”

(Click to enlarge)



Cover and early thumbnail of cover
(Click each to enlarge)

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A STICK IS AN EXCELLENT THING: POEMS CELEBRATING OUTDOOR PLAY. Copyright © 2012 by Marilyn Singer. Illustrations © 2012 by LeUyen Pham. Published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York. All images here used with permission of Ms. Pham.





6 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring LeUyen Pham”

  1. This does look lovely. Ordering a copy for my library now.


  2. I love books like these which highlight and celebrate a gift that a child might not even know that they have. Outside! Hey! I do that!


  3. This book looks great. I love LeUyen, and the poems are excellent as well!


  4. Love, love, love.


  5. This looks like such a lovely book! And its great to see the early stages of the illustrations. I can’t wait to see this in person!


  6. Seeing LeUyen Pham’s prelims are hugely insightful to the picture book creation process. Subtle changes in clothing and hairstyles to more drastic changes in setting are all familiar territory to those of us who illustrate picture books. This post is a lovely example of the strength that lies in collaboration- the gorgeous thumbnails are made even more successful with great art direction. Thanks for this terrific post!


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