7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #269: Featuring Shane W. Evans

h1 February 19th, 2012 by jules

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I know that tomorrow we celebrate President’s Day and that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has already passed, so forgive my blatant disregard of the calendar here. But I wanted to show a few illustrations from a book I meant to highlight in January. (Not to mention we should celebrate King any day of the year. For a more presidential post, should that be your desire today, see my Kirkus column from yesterday.)

Shane W. Evans’ We March, released last month by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, is the simple and elegantly-told account of one family’s march in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Filled with just nine short sentences (and I mean some as short as “We sing”), Evans lets the focus here be on the people involved, shining a spotlight on their determination and spirit. I love what Evans does with lines (what the Publishers Weekly review calls his “angular characters”) and how you can see his very brushstrokes on the characters’ faces — and even in the textured backgrounds. (The art I’ve got here today, though not a lot and not full spreads, speaks way better than I, so be sure to take a look.)

With a palette getting progressively warmer as the story unfolds, it culminates in a luminescent spread of King himself giving his historic speech, the sun rising in shimmering yellows behind his head. It’s lovely.

Last month, Evans received the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award for Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom (covered here at Calling Caldecott in mid-December), released in January of last year. If I were organized, I’d have art from that to show you, too, but do you know I haven’t even read that one yet? Egads, it is true. I will certainly look for it.

Here’s a bit more art from We March. Enjoy.

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* * * * * * *

WE MARCH. Copyright © 2012 by Shane W. Evans. Published by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, New York. Images used with permission of publisher.

* * * * * * *

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 * * *

Before I get to kicks, let me mention that the 2011 Cybils Awards were announced this week. If you missed it, the winners are here.

1) As mentioned earlier and briefly this week, I had the pleasure of jurying the 2012 BolognaRagazzi Award for the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy last weekend. I’m very grateful to have had the chance to see all that international children’s book art. Just fascinating.

The winners will be announced soon.

2) Lucky me, I got to meet Cristiana Clerici in person. Looky here!

That is us having lunch. I would just like to point out the following comments I made previously at 7-Imp:

  • From this November 2010 post: “I may not be able to fly to Italy and have coffee with the ebullient and very smart children’s-lit blogger Cristiana Clerici…but every once in a blue moon I pull myself together and have something that might resemble a clever idea. And in September of this year, it was to invite Cristiana to 7-Imp, whenever the mood strikes her, to help me shine the spotlight on international picture book titles…”
  • From this December 2010 post: “It’s some eye-popping stuff, and I love that Cris (I’m gonna call her Cris, as if we’re best friends way over in Italy who have cappuccinos and, I dunno, hazel cinnamon rolls and mini frittatas every morning while gabbing about picture books in a small, rustic cafe in some remote Italian town) … Where was I? Oh, I love that Cris stops by here to show us what unpredictable and peculiar (this is a compliment) stuff is happening in contemporary picture books over in Europe…”

Well, amazingly enough, I finally got to meet her, though hazel cinnamon rolls and mini frittatas were not involved. And Cris is just as generous and kind as she is online, and I could have talked to her all day. I’m so grateful I got to meet her in person.

3) This book shop in Bologna, called Giannino Stoppani, is simply incredible. I’d like to move in. Pictured below is the owner, Grazia Gotti, along with my fellow jury member for the awards, French book designer Raymond Stoffel. (Raymond and I had time on Sunday to sightsee, so of course we went there first — and spent most of the day there with the wonderful bookshop owners.) Below that are a few more pics of the shop.

4) Sightseeing in Bologna. Here is but one picture — from inside Basilica di San Petronio.

5) There was record snow while I was there. Folks kept apologizing, which made me giggle. AS IF I wouldn’t take Italy in the snow any ‘ol day. This is how much snow there was: Below is my leg after having stepped into a snowdrift.

6) The good, good food in Bologna: The cappuccinos (and, generally, the coffee culture in Italy), the wine, the tortellini, the tiramisu. Mmm. Did I mention I feel so lucky I got to go?

7) The lovely people I met. I had no idea what to expect when I got there. And everyone was kind, it went really well, I learned an awful lot, and as mentioned, I got to see a lot of beautiful illustrated books from all over the world. What more could a girl want?

Here’s a group shot. Pictured below, from left to right, are the following people: Professor Antonio Faeti, jury chair and all-around brilliant person (and to whom I promised a cowboy hat from Nashville); Stephanie Johnson, our interpreter; Roberta Chinni, Project Manager for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; Manuela Capraro, international fair organizer extraordinaire; Raymond Stoffel, fellow jury member; and myself. Seated is children’s lit critic, researcher, art expert, journalist, and consultant to the Fair, Carla Poesio. (Think Jack Zipes, but in Italy. Carla is also brilliant, by the way. Remarkably so.)

[Note the interpreter’s snow boots. It was VERY snowy. She is wise to have brought those.]

I already miss hearing Italian (and French) and still hear them in my head as I fall asleep each night.

I might have said “grateful” or “lucky” a whole bunch of times in this post, but that’s how I feel for this opportunity.

BONUS KICK, QUICKLY: Darrell Scott (pictured below, ’cause he’s a bad-ass) released a new CD. He has one of my favorite voices in all the world. If you go to this page of his site, you can hear some tune-age (old and new). If you scroll down and listen to “Long Time Gone,” your day will get better. PROMISE.

Also, my mother gave me a stack of Hot Rize CDs. Score.

(Photo credit:Rodney Bursiel. Click on image to see the site from where I stole it.)

QUICK NOTE for interested folks, which I promised to pass along: Francesca Simon, the author of the Horrid Henry books, will be speaking at an Authors Live event. You can hear all about her life as a writer and her anti-hero, Henry. The event is geared to ages ages 5-12 and fans of the series. It will be streamed live to audiences across the UK at 11am on World Book Day (Thursday, March 1st). It will then become available to watch again for free by Thursday, March 8th, for everyone across the world. You can see the event live by following this link. If you can’t make the live broadcast, the entire event can be downloaded or streamed for free from next Thursday, following the same link.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

21 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #269: Featuring Shane W. Evans”

  1. Mr. Evans, I love sparse text!

    Jules. . . Sigh. . .


    1. Valentine’s Day lunch with my mother and brother at a Korean restaurant.

    2. Friends saying I make them proud.

    3. Inspiration. Motivation. Encouragement. Role models.

    4. Blogs. Blogging. The blogosphere.

    5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret – the book and the movie.

    6. New York Fashion Week.

    7. Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: A Reflection on Critical Issues by Mingshui Cai.

    Have a lovely and delightful week, everyone!

  2. A poem for one of my high school teachers:

    Mr. Flangheddy
    By Steven Withrow

    Chess prodigies and gifted violinists
    Abandoned to a happenstance instruction
    Can only long for common compensation
    As hobbyists or musicologists.
    And so it was for me in Honors English:
    Teenage playwright, thin, incipient poet,
    No one’s idea of Baudelaire-in-training,
    Not even mine, and how might I have known
    Me otherwise, how differently foreseen
    My green and patternless existence? I glimpsed
    Your missive, red, in slim proofreader’s cursive:
    “Writing is not a substitute for thinking.
    Your sentences extend, but they don’t resolve.
    An ailment we can remedy. See me.”
    But I didn’t. No. Instead I took a C
    And twenty years to trust your invitation.

    Copyright 2012 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  3. Jules,
    One word comes to mind after reading this post-glow. Evans new title and your marvelous trip, yes, I can feel it in the words and pictures complimenting the sun that finally is shining in my loft windows. Glad to you have back safe and sound filled with all those wonderful memories.

  4. Love Evans work. I agree w/ Taire, the sparse text.
    Jules, what an extraordinary week you had in Bologna. Thanks for taking us there this morning.
    Tarie, Hugo truly wonderful.
    Steven, your poem reminds me of a former teacher.
    My kicks:
    1. The Cybils
    2. Paul B. Janeczko’s book Requiem Poems of the Terezin Ghetto winning the poetry award for the Cybils.
    3. Signed up for a writing workshop with Oregon’s poet laureate in March.
    4. Time w/ middle and youngest grand girls. They came up for a visit.
    5. A four day weekend so time to hang out: read, write, nap.
    6. Teaching.
    7. Audiobooks.
    Have a great week.

  5. Tarie, I’m one of those friends you make proud.

    Steven, that gave me chills.

    Margie, thanks. Glad you’ve got some glow yourself (in the way of the sun in your windows).

    Jone, I saw on Facebook that Chuck is ill, right? Hope you don’t get it. Congrats on the writing workshop. Ooh, that sounds great! Enjoy the long weekend.

  6. There is definitely a warmth and strength emanating from Shane Evans’s illustrations – very powerful.

    Oh Jules – your trip sounds so so wonderful! Thanks for sharing it with us! Love that book shop – it looks like a wonderful place to get lost in. Glad you got meet Cristina Clerici too!

    Tarie – what a lovely week! I especially love your kicks 1,2, & 3. And I love New York Fashion week too, but mainly because I love to read the Fug Girls coverage of it. : )

    Jone – that writing workshop sounds lovely. Hope you enjoy the 4 day weekend! (And we get some sun during it too.)

    My kicks this week:
    1) Read “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate. Love, love, loved it.
    2) Finished “The Family Fang” as well. Jules, I have to confess I had a hunch about some of the ending, but not the way it tied up. Odd book, but parts made me laugh out loud, so in general I liked it. Thanks for mentioning it here, and for mentioning Ivan as well.
    3) Currently reading “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead,” by Jerry Weintraub. He’s a producer with a long history in the entertainment industry – I am a sucker for those types of autobiographies, and his stories are good ones. (I also really really love his title.)
    4) Taking a couple extra days off to make the long weekend even longer.
    5) Dog-sitting for Bella this weekend, a Chesapeake Bay retriever who was a friend of Cheyenne’s. She and Cole don’t exactly play, but they at least hang-out well together. Luckily they walk together really well too, otherwise I’d be in trouble trying to manage to 100lb pups!
    6) Last night I ate Haagen-Dazs five milk chocolate ice cream for dinner. Yum!
    7) Baked Valentine raspberry lindzer torte cookies for my whole office for V-Day. I know some people get down about that day, so I like to make everyone my Valentine so no one feels left out.
    Super Bonus Kick: The Love Competition held by Stanford neuroscientists. If you haven’t seen it, the scientists had competitors spend 5 minutes in an MRI and concentrate on loving the people they love, while their brain activity was being measured. Its a 15 minute short that will certainly make you smile. Its up at my place, and here’s a link to the vimeo site as well: http://vimeo.com/33698394

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of joy, love and happiness!

  7. Oh my goodness Jules, I went and listened to Darrell Scott and the song Willow Creek just knifed through me (in a good way). Oh my.

    “The good news and the bad news is I love with all my heart.”

    Damn. Just damn.

  8. Rachel! So glad you liked it. Isn’t it beautiful? Again, his voice. HUBBA WHOA, do I love his voice. It’s one of my best, most favorite things ever.

    I am very eager to read Ivan. So glad to hear you are giving it a thumbs-up. And, yes, The Family Fang is one-of-a-kind, huh? Can’t you just see The Coen Brothers or Wes Anderson getting their grubs on it? Not that all books need to be adapted to film, but you know what I mean… And, yes, that Weintraub title *is* pretty great. … Thanks for The Love Competition. I’m going to save that for when I’m done working on manuscript edits, but I look forward to watching it later this evening.

    Your idea of dinner, by the way, sounds good to me.

  9. Jules!
    I love those spreads!!!
    Aaaaaargh, was it already one week ago????? I can’t believe it! So sad you’re back 🙁 Even if the year has just begun, I’m not afraid to say that last sunday was the best day of the year!!! xo, C

  10. How nice: lots of blue and yellow sun rays and shine rises on this Sunday morning (I know Jules has a soft spot for sun images. Me too.)
    One might think that “angular characters” would not capture body language so well, but the praying folk look so solemn, and Dr. King so dignified and stalwart..

    Jules – Oh, Balogna, bookstores, and basilicas; enjoyed it all by proxy.
    Darrell Scott’s voice reminds me of my grandfather’s (singin’ Texan with a well-worn guitar) – the way their higher tenor suddenly drops down into that LOW, rich register and kind of rumbles there a while.

    Wow, we’re really kicking it high today!
    Tarie — #7 sounds really interesting.
    Steven – Writing students will (eventually) recognize themselves in that poem. Writing teachers will sigh.
    Margie – lovely sun image. thanks.
    jone – I’m suddenly into audiobooks. Any recommendations? (I’ll share that: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, World War Z and The Hobbit were all great ‘audio reads’.)
    Rachel – Wow. The Love Competition was fascinating! I love how it played out—the 1st and 2nd place winners: surprising and yet…
    Christiana – Buon giorno!

    Just sharing one good kick this week:

  11. [cut myself short somehow, ugh!]

    Just sharing one good kick this week:

  12. Cris: I wholeheartedly agree.

    Denise, your one kick didn’t make it, unless it’s invisible. Or a mystery? Oooh, tantalizing!

  13. (Third time the charm?)

    Just sharing one good kick this week:
    1. Valentine’s Day with my hubby at Cirque Soleil’s “OVO” show, in the blue and yellow striped tents by the Santa Monica pier. : – )
    The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkeUegWsNkA

    Have a good week everyone.

  14. (P.S. If you’re trying to share an image or something otherwise too stubborn to post, feel free to mail it to me, and I’ll make sure it gets up there.)

  15. I see it now!

    AMAZING. I wanna be that springy.

  16. We March by Shane W. Evans looks awesome. Thanks for sharing it, Jules. I love how the kid on cover is looking over to the adult, walking in step with him. I also dig the sun-streaks peppered with stars on the cover of Underground.

    Congratulations again to all of the Cybils nominees and winners!

    Jules: I’m so happy that you had the offer, the opportunity, and the joy. I’m glad that you met up with Cristiana. Hi, Cristiana! *waving to the bloggers, panelists, and personnel that Jules encountered while in Italy* That looks like a lovely bookstore. True, I tend to like bookstores, but I like the sight of those characters peeking out from the top level, and the mix of shelves and tables, all neat and tidy.

    Tarie: I love it when I can read the first few lines of someone’s comments here and identify the speaker. Three cheers for all of the motiviational, wonderful items in your kicklist this week. You sound so happy.

    Steven: So glad that you had a cool English teacher.

    Margie & Jules: The song Glow by Katy Rose includes the lyrics:
    Nobody seems to hear
    ‘Til I scream and shout
    Even if you tie me down
    And you blow my candle out
    I’ll still glow

    Listen to the song.

    Rachel: The One and Only Ivan is in my to-read pile. Enjoy the books and your vacation! Hugs to the pups, who outweigh me.

    Denise: Glad that you two had fun at the show!

    1. Baltimore: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Awards! Congrats to all of the nominees.
    2. The Kickstarter fundraiser for Moon Cycles: Season Two! Every dollar counts. They need to raise $1200 in the next 13 days to meet their goal. If you can’t donate money, that’s okay. If you want to show your support for inventive & independent webseries, if you like mockumentaries and/or werewolves, please post/tweet/share the link on your social networks/blogs/media-related sites.
    3. What actor Ioan Gruffudd had to say about perserverance. (It’s the final paragraph of the interview.)
    4. A film I was in has been declared an official selection of ÉCU, The European Independent Film Festival.
    5. Singing.
    6. Making the right decisions.
    7. Knowing when to turn things down, and when to accept.

  17. My kicks:

    1. You got to drink coffee in Bologna! Yes, yes, the art is lovely, and so is the architecture and so is the COFFEE. Yeah!

    2. I made two knights for my shop this week, and at the risk of being boastful, they are charming. In fact, one of them is courting the Magenta Princess as I write this. (The Magenta Princess may sound silly because of her title, but she’s okay in real life. Rumor Has It that she just wears the tiara for kicks.)

    3. While most of Seattle is on mid-winter break, my daughter has only two days off from school. It’s nice to have a little break from the routine without figuring out what to do in the face of the midwinter blahs.

    4. We now have shelves in our bedroom. This is progress.

    5. My daughter made a fort from the boxes in which the shelf pieces came. One of the signs says, “No boys allowed.” I suspect she got that idea from a book.

    6. My daughter wants to earn money to pay off her Pinkalicious sticker book. I need to garden. I see much opportunity for exploitation, I mean work opportunities.

    7. Tomorrow, there will be more coffee.

  18. Hello!
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    We would like to republish your content on our site. Our visitors would love to read it, and find out more about you as a blogger/author/reviwer.

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    Both are great opportunities to spread the word about your work and reach new readers.

    We will be featuring and promoting books, excerpts, and reviews on our homepage, on Twitter, Facebook, in our newsletter and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to get fantastic exposure.

    Also, we don’t censor or edit work.

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  19. Thanks for letting us have a look at snowy, book filled Bologna, and for sharing Mr. Evans’ moving art.

  20. LW – Thanks! Dog-sitting is going well.

    Jules – Wes Anderson would be PERFECT to direct The Family Fang. (And I think it would actually be great as a quirky film.) Thanks again for turning me on to Darrell Scott, I’ve been sharing him with lots of friends since yesterday.

    Denise – so glad you liked The Love Competition! I just love how uplifting it is and how joyous! Been sharing it with everyone.

  21. Little Willow, congrats on the film festival selection. That is very exciting! … That perseverance quote could have been written by you, easily.

    Farida, you don’t sound boastful at all. Your dolls are perpetually charming. I hope you got that coffee…

    Hi, Elisa! My pleasure. Wish I could have fit you all into my luggage.

    Rachel: YAY, DARRELL! I got to see him live in December with Tim O’Brien, who is also exceedingly talented (and they made one of my top-ten desert-island discs in someone’s living room in something like one day — http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/obrienscott). … Just realized I never watched The Love Competition the other night. DAG. Will do so today… Thanks for the reminder.

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