7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #273: Featuring Jeanette Winter

h1 March 18th, 2012 by jules

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.

“…a boy watched his mother paint animals on a cave wall. To the boy, the painted animals were beautiful—just like the animals he saw on the plains.”
(Click to enlarge)

“When Kali opened his eyes, the mammoths were close enough to touch.
They heard the sounds from his bow, and came to listen.”

(Click to enlarge)

“The hunters followed the herd to the hill where Kali played. All was quiet. The only sound was the thrum of the bow. The hunters laid down their arrows and bows and listened. ‘Kali uses his weapon to charm the mammoths, not kill them.’
‘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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

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.

4) Season Two of Flight of the Conchords. Also, I’ve finally realized one of the most endearing things about Bret: the tee shirts he wears. Exhibits A – F:


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?

27 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #273: Featuring Jeanette Winter”

  1. The dark blues and burnt oranges of Kali’s Song are so appealing, as is the text, “The stars came close to listen.” And I just have to note Cavemom’s scaffolding. Ha-ha!

    Jules – I so like to hear the lessons you teach (got the sun in the mornin’ and the moon at night) just in case a plane part falls on your head (heaven forbid!) When I share that sort of stuff, my son asks “Mom? Whyyyy are you telling me this?” I usually say, “It’s part of my job description.” But next time I’m gonna try the plummeting plane-part explanation. THX

    And RE: kick #3? Snort-laugh, indeed!

    In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll share an Irish folksong to ‘kick’ up our heels to:

    1. This is from a CD “Dance to Your Daddy” of traditional Celtic folk songs and maritime chanties that I used to play in my car all the time when my boys were little; song’s called “Home by Barna” sung by Canadian singer, Teresa Doyle. I like all the spooky references in it. My mom’s side of the family is Irish and very fond of folk songs.

    Just a bit of the lyrics for flavor:

    “In Scarletta Glen there lived a lass and every morning, after mass, she would go and have a glass, afore goin’ home by Barna.” The song then lists all the reasons she can’t take any other route home because she must avoid: a rogue, thorn needles, being seen, the tinkers’ camp, the swoogh (swamp ghost), the banchee’s roar and the fairy band. Clearly, the only safe way for the poor lass to get home is via the TAVERN in Barna. : – )


    That’s it for me this week. “May the roof above us never fall in, and friends beneath it never fall out.”

  2. Having a hard time leaving messages with new computer so sending a test before I type for a long time 🙂

  3. Phew… can leave comments here-there are quite a few blogs that aren’t taking my comments with the new computer- will figure out today but glad it’s not happening here!


    Love it when you read about the same book in two places within minutes- 100 Scope Notes has a great review up today too! And the snort laugh funny piece is so funny- who are those people! I alternated between loving and hating them!


    1. Warm, warm weather!
    2. As Jama noted this morning, the first robin of spring!
    3. New computer (when I understand it!)
    4. Wonder
    5. Girl Scout cookies
    6. My big girl’s love of soccer- she came home from her first practice this week so… happy! Makes all the craziness of carpooling etc worth it!
    7. The Amy June Bates image above…

  4. I have been a Jeanette Winter fan for years. Her artwork is so distinctive. I love the size of her books and the spare text, perfect for the intended audience. Her choices of ideas to express, stories to share, are another outstanding quality of her work. I just received my copy of Kali’s Song two days ago. I’ve read it again and again and again.

  5. Jules, I would shower your children with love, cause they are so much like you. ~^_^~

    Denise, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    Stacey, mmm, Girl Scout cookies.

    Margie, hi!


    1. My brother Martin is in town. It was a surprise! I walked into my living room and he was there laughing! He’s an artist, by the way, and is in town because he has meetings with some people from Marvel and DC Comics. Wow.

    2. Girlie gifts from my brother JP’s girlfriend.

    3. I started facilitating a blogging workshop on Wednesday. This coming week I will be working with the participants (nine ladies) online. Next week we will meet for our last session. I think things are going well??? (Hoping and praying.)

    4. My cousin Bobby is visiting too.

    5. Quality time with my daddy. I’m still such a Daddy’s girl.

  6. 6. Friends at church. Church activities.

    7. Watched The Lorax with a friend and was reminded of how much of a genius Dr. Seuss really was. Said friend also announced he was going to write a YA novel. Yay!

    Bonus kick: New shoes! Maroon pumps with bows! Very lady-like!

    I could really use some ice cream right now. . .

  7. Great post, Jules! I’m grateful for so much today, but simply sharing a short poem:

    Apple Seeds
    By Steven Withrow

    Six pips
    from a Granny Smith
    on a cracked blue dish:
    already the force
    that will make orchards
    of green apples of them
    rages in their seed skins,
    almost volcanic—
    tiny vesuvian kernels—
    or looked at
    from another distance,
    the hard rinds
    of white hart hoofprints.

    ©2012 by Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  8. What wonderful pictures from KALI’S SONG. I must get this book. Especially love the scene of the mother painting…ah.

  9. Denise, we know that wonderful song, as it’s on an Irish lullaby CD we have, but I have to say I’d never considered the lyrics till now.

    I’m going to embed it here to make it easier for folks to see/hear. What a great idea to share today. “We might disturb the fairy band.” I love it.

    More in a minute …

  10. I love Jeanette Winter. Thanks for sharing her latest.
    Jules, I too love what you teach your girls. So much love.
    Number 3 is hilarious.
    Denise, love Celtic music.
    Stacy, wonder…love it.
    Tarie, good luck with the blogging conference.
    My kicks:
    1. At the coast this weekend.
    2. My interview with Paul B. Janeczko on Wed.
    3. March Madness Poetry at Think Kid Think.
    4. Seventeen slices of life written for Slice of Life Story Challenge.
    5. Buster, my dog, who’s in my lap as I write and looking at me with sweet eyes.
    6. Getting ready for a poetry workshop next Saturday with Oregon’s Poet Laureate.
    7. Student poetry submissions for the Young Poet Digest.
    Have a great week.

  11. Steve, love….”6 pips”
    Jules, thanks for the link to Denise’s song.

  12. I’m back.

    Stacey, good luck with that computer. I like “wonder” as a kick. I like it a lot. … So glad your daughter is loving soccer. It does wonders to get out and run around. I, personally, wish there were a kickball league near me. I should start one.

    Margie, isn’t it just great? You make great points about her work.

    Tarie, that. is. so. kicky. Your brother surprising you like that. And I would bet oodles of money that your students are learning a ton from you. Also, I think we need pics of those shoes. Also, I hope you found ICE CREAM. I’m yelling that in enthusiasm, even if I had so much cake this week (from birthdays and celebrating them) that I feel perpetually full.

    Steven, that is beautiful.

    Hi, Elisa!

  13. Jone, passed you in cyberspace.

    Enjoy the coast! Thanks for the heads-up about your interview, too. Pet Buster for me.

  14. Here is Travis’ post today, everyone: http://100scopenotes.com/2012/03/18/review-kalis-song-by-jeanette-winter/

  15. When I saw the title of this post the first time, it was in my smartphone’s Google Reader app. I could see, like “…Featuring Jeanette Winte—” and half of the “r.” So, being the total kids’-books ignoramus that I am, I thought to myself: Whoa. When Jules decides she needs to write about adult books, she gets SERIOUS! Because, see, I figured the Sunday Kicks post was about Jeanette Winterson.

    All of which said, I think I love the story of Kali the shaman. And I really, really hope that the last two-page spread you feature points to a reasonably happy ending. I may have to look this one up for myself!

    Shawn Colvin: in a way, I think she may have been born 10 years too soon — if she’d “hit” around the turn of the century, with the rich singer-songwriter landscape since then, she could be ginormous. But like I said, that’s only in a way. Shawn Colvin is about as right-sized an artist as I think just about anybody in music. Thanks for the taste of her on video. (And if you can figure out how to get that live ’88 performance of the song in a little audio-player thing here, well…)

    The Mouse/Cookie thing was hilarious!

    There’s almost too much good TV to catch up on. The Missus gave me Season 1 of The Wire for my birthday… TWO YEARS AGO… and we still haven’t slit the cellophane. (Hope the box isn’t empty. :)) We keep finding new stuff to watch instead. Everything started falling apart when Arrested Development came on. Everybody kept telling me I had to see it. But I could never squeeze it in. And I still haven’t seen a single episode. So, like, Portlandia, …Conchords, et al. — probably in the next iteration of the universe. Sigh.

    Did you read the “About” page on that Oliver Jeffers-bling site? Ha!

    Denise, I’d never before heard that good-enough-to-be-true Irish prayer/toast you closed your kicks with. Thank you!

    Stacey, kick #4: my favorite!

    Hi, Margie! Hi, elisa!

    Tarie: from many of your previous kicks about your brothers, whenever I see one mentioned here I expect it will be something martial-arts-related. So glad that when you walked into your living room, he wasn’t, like, practicing kicks and chops on your knickknacks.

    Thanks for the poem, Steven!

    jone, I can’t imagine holding The Pooch in my lap as I type, not without breaking the keyboard or, well, HER. But you paint a peaceful picture of you and Buster!

    My kicks:

    1. I’ll steal Stacey’s #4 if she doesn’t mind. (Or hell, even if she does. Ha.)

    2. Remembering in the morning this great idea you had just before falling asleep, and discovering it wasn’t among the four or five stupidest ideas you’ve ever had.

    3. Closed-captioned streaming Netflix. Think I might’ve mentioned this before. But man, it KICKS to have it.

    4. Suspense.

    5. When things work out that you couldn’t possibly have imagined working out, ever, under any circumstances.

    6. A good Cuban sandwich. With good potato chips. And, oh, heck, throw in a Cuba Libre (er, alongside, please) too.

    7. Calm under pressure. Feeling it, and/or seeing it in someone else.

    Have a great week, everybody!

  16. Good morning, Imps! Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day to you all.

    Hello, Jeanette! Thank you for the story, the stars, and the music.

    Jules: Hi to your friend and her family! What a fun reunion.

    Denise and Jules: Thanks for sharing that song. One of my favorite traditional folk songs to perform is The Gypsy Rover.

    Stacey: Three cheers for wonder. Glad that she’s enjoying soccer from the get-go!

    Hi Margie. Hi Elisa.

    Tarie: Best of luck to your brother, and to your writer friend. Have fun with the workshops!

    Steven: Apples are delicious.

    Jone: Yay for the writing, the dialogues, the poems, and the pup!

    JES: I watch TV with close captioning as well. I like words.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Feeling better
    2) Participating in a reading of a new play
    3) Announcing Rock the Drop 2012 – mark your calendars and donate books anywhere in the world on Thursday, April 12th!
    4) Leverage: The Office Job. I watched it again last night and I still find it hilarious. I laughed out loud very loudly many times.
    5) Attending a film festival
    6) Good causes: Christina is participating in the 3-Day Race for the Cure, and –
    7) – Anna is running in the 2012 Hot Chocolate 15K/5K. Anna is only $20 short of her goal right now. Christina has to raise $2,000 more just to participate. I hope they both reach their goals and have fun at the events!

  17. Also, in case any of the Imps are Judy Moody fans, I just posted my interview with Megan McDonald!

    I’ll be interviewing Peter H. Reynolds in the fall.


  18. Jules, I meant interview was this past Wed.
    Jes, buster is a miniature doxie so not huge and am writing w/ IPad.
    LW, thanks for heads up on Drop the Rock.

  19. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig! (Happy St. Paddy’s Day!) from Wicklow.

    Just wondering, – if Kali convinces them to stop killing Mammoths, what do they eat? Potatoes? :0)

  20. John, OH, BUT YOU’D LOVE Arrested Development! Can’t you drop what you’re watching now to see that one?

    Many of your kicks this week are cryptic — in a good way.

    I’ve never read a Jeanette Winterson book. Should I?

    Little Willow, so glad you’re feeling better. Thanks for all the links. Will read after I get the girls into bed.

    Thanks, Jone. Will go look for that, too.

    Hi, Michael!

  21. Oh Jules, in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeannette Winterson tells what happened to the 12 dancing princesses AFTER they married their princes – and it’s not pretty, but its certainly some incredible storytelling, some are funny and some are dark, dark, dark. Gorgeous writing, she can be dark and intense and passionate, I’m a fan of hers from way back,…

    Love the browns and blues, and adore this story of a young shaman who charms the stars and the mammoths.

    My kicks are quick this week since I’ve been doing trial prep all weekend:
    1)Getting things done, and then
    2) the fun and much needed balance of a soccer game tonight to de-stress.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

    Oh, and loved the Shawn song and the If You give a mouse a cookie link – had me cracking up!

  22. Rachel, I love hearing about your soccer games. I wanna come play! Okay, I’d be horrible at soccer, but I’d get to hang out with you.

    Thanks for the recommendation re Jeanette Winterson. That sounds really intriguing. Adding it to my to-be-read stack.

  23. Second Rachel’s recommendation about Oranges…!

    Arrested Development: I know, I know. EVERYBODY keeps saying that. Bums stop me on the street to tell me that. Mechanics suddenly stop inventorying the things they did to my car without asking, and ask me if I’ve seen it. I get tweets from bimbos and himbos with multiple numeric digits in their names, promising me a good time if I’ll just watch it. I know. I know.



  24. John: Thanks for that laugh!

  25. Jeanette Winter jinx! Thanks for sharing more of the artwork from Kali’s Song – very cool stuff.

  26. I’m way late for Kicking, but I’ve been rewatching season one of Flight of the Conchords, and that show is just so darned funny.

  27. Hey Jules, you may know this… but Brett did the music for the recent Muppets movie and it.is.awesome! Highlighly recommended. 🙂

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