Anyone else seen Jeanette Winter’s newest picture book? My, it’s lovely.
Kali’s Song, released by Schwartz & Wade Books just last week (and already met with starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly), is rendered in acrylics and pen and ink, using handmade paper. As always, I’ve got more art from it to share with you below, since the art says it all.
I don’t want to give too much away about this minimalist story, but I’ll summarize by saying that it’s about a boy, who lived “thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago,” who grows up to be a shaman. His mother is an artist, painting on the cave walls. But, seeing as how our characters here are cave people, she’s also a hunter, along with his father.
After being told to go practice shooting arrows, Kali heads out to do so, but at night, when resting, he plucks the strings on his bows to create music. “That night, the sounds from Kali’s bow filled his dreams with peace.”
And, again, I don’t want to give it all away, but what I’ve summarized so far captures the book’s major themes — peace and the power of art to bring it about.
This is a tidy, trim-sized book. “Winter’s friendly folk-art illustrations offer an appealingly uncomplicated visual narrative,” writes Kirkus, “one as effortlessly expressive as the cave paintings Kali’s mother creates on their rock walls. … Each spread’s warmth, accessibility and kindliness make visiting a far-away century immensely pleasurable. Muted blues, browns and ruddy reds soften Kali’s world of hunting, caves and manly expectations, bringing him close to children as they lean close to listen.”
Winter’s lines and handmade papers make for such richly-textured art, and young readers will be drawn to this story of non-conformity. There’s such a clarity to these images, no wasted lines and no wasted space.
Before I ramble more and give away the entire story, here’s more art. Enjoy.
(Click to enlarge)
They heard the sounds from his bow, and came to listen.”
(Click to enlarge)
‘Only a shaman can do this.’ ‘ Kali must be a shaman.’”
(Click to enlarge)
KALI’S SONG. Copyright © 2012 by Jeannette Winter. Published by Schwartz & Wade Books, New York. All images used with permission of the 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. New kickers are always welcome.
1) One of my very best friends from way back in high school has moved back to Tennessee with her family (after a few years in another state). This is gloriously happy news. As I type this, my friend’s daughter, who was born about two months after my own eight-year-old, is sleeping over. It’s so wonderful to have them back. (This friend of mine is a midwife, which has nothing to do with anything. But I find it very fun to say I have a friend who is a midwife.)
2) I recently made a mix for a family member, and while making it, I re-discovered a brilliant live version of “Something to Believe In” by Shawn Colvin. (And by “re-discovered” I mean that it’s a song very dear to my heart and brain, and when I hear this particular live number again, since every note is PERFECT, I listen to it repeatedly for DAYS.) It’s on this CD of hers from 1988. At the end of the song—when she sings it live, that is—she starts singing portions of “I Got the Sun in the Mornin’” from Annie Get Your Gun: “I got no diamonds, I got no pearls, but still I think I’m a lucky girl. I’ve got the sun in the morning and the moon at night. I got no checkbook. I got no bank, but still I’d like to express my thanks … I got no silver. I got no gold. But what I got can’t be bought or sold … With the sun in the morning and in the moon in the evening, I’m alright.” I love this.
And each time we hear that portion of the song, I turn to my girls and say, best advice you’ll ever hear. They need to know these things, you see, in case, say, an airplane part falls on my head tomorrow or something.
I found another moment of her doing this here, though I don’t like this performance as much as the one captured on the live-in-’88 CD:
3) This is, in spots, snort-laugh funny, even if very off in other spots. It’s not for the weak of heart or those who are turned off by cursing.
The thing is: He manages to wear them without annoyingly snarky irony.
5) But Jemaine is my favorite, and this picture makes me laugh, ’cause I saw that episode the other night, in which he’s bustin’ some serious dance moves:
6) I love this top image, in particular, from Amy June Bates.
7) Those who shower my children with love.
BONUS: Oliver-Jeffers bling. Who knew?
What are YOUR kicks this week?