What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Rebecca Cool and Marie Lafrance

h1 April 20th, 2012 by jules


“This is the sun that kisses the clouds / that cried the rain that soaked the seeds /
that slept in the soil, all dark and deep, / in Isabella’s garden. /
These are the shoots that seek the sun / that kissed the clouds that cried the rain / that soaked the seeds that slept in the soil, / all dark and deep, in Isabella’s garden.”

(Click to enlarge slightly)


“‘Mama, can I keep her until Izzy Pippik returns?’
‘Who says he’s coming back, Shaina?’
‘He has to, Mama. She’s so beautiful.’
Winking at Shaina, Grandpa took Mama’s hand. ‘What’s it going to hurt?’ he asked.
Mama sighed. ‘For a few days, maybe.’”

(Click to enlarge and see entire spread)


 

This morning over at Kirkus, I suggest some good picture books for Earth Day — new titles, that is.

Here at 7-Imp today, I’m showing you some illustrations from one of the books I had intended to include in that column, the very beautiful Isabella’s Garden (Candlewick, March 2012), written by Glenda Millard and illustrated by Rebecca Cool, both from Australia. You may be wondering why I didn’t include that book in the column, if I had intended to do so. What can I say? My brain took a wee nap. I like Isabella’s Garden so much that it was going to lead off my column, in fact. For real. But then, since I have an excess of picture books in my home, I was all, oh! But look over here at this one! Ooh, look at THAT one! Hold up, here’s another …. And pretty soon I was just spinning in circles and had forgotten about my beloved Isabella’s Garden, which all resulted in my hand meeting my forehead.

But I share it with you today — just over here at 7-Imp, instead of at Kirkus. Below is a bit more about the book, as well as one more beautiful spread from it.

The Earth Day Kirkus column is here this morning.

 

* * *

Last week, I wrote about Aubrey Davis’s A Hen for Izzy Pippik—that link is here—illustrated by Marie Lafrance (Kids Can Press, March 2012). Both author and illustrator are Canadian. Below are some more illustrations from the book. (And you can see a few more spreads from the book here at Lafrance’s blog.)

Enjoy.


“Mama stormed to the cupboard and snatched a broom. ‘This is not a henhouse!’ she hollered. ‘These birds have got to go!’ ‘Please, Mama!’ Shaina begged. ‘Let them stay!’ But Mama was in a foul mood. She raised her broom and charged.
Squawking chickens flew out the door and onto the road.”

(Click to enlarge)


“‘You’re a hard-headed nuisance, Shaina,’ they hissed. ‘Your Pippik will never come.’ ‘Yes, he will!’ she shouted.”


“‘Move aside!’ shouted the driver. ‘You’re blocking the road!’ ‘Just who do you think you are?’ someone yelled. The man pointed to the sign on his truck. ‘You can read for yourself, maybe?’ The people gasped. ‘It’s Izzy Pippik!’
‘He’s come at last!’ cried Shaina.”

(Click to enlarge)


“…’Everyone knows it but me! You belong right here!’ BEEYAWWK!
The hen fluttered into her arms. ‘Welcome home, Yevka,’ she cooed.
Bawwwk.”


 

* * *

Here’s one more spread from Glenda Millard’s and Rebecca Cool’s Isabella’s Garden. Evidently, this was written and illustrated a few years ago, and this is the first U.S. edition.

This is the story of one girl’s garden and what can come from tiny seeds “that sleep in the soil, all dark and deep….” Millard takes us through the seasons to show us the seeds’ bounty, using the framework of the popular nursery rhyme and cumulative tale, “This is the House That Jack Built.” Cool’s colorful illustrations—with all the children looking straight at the reader, as if on a stage—are stunning. As you can see in the two spreads here today, they shimmer with color. Her perspective is often slightly askew and her figures flat, giving her artwork a classic folk-art feel. It’s much like Giselle Potter in some ways, but with a much brighter palette — perhaps like Julie Paschkis meets Giselle Potter.

It’s a beautiful book, but then I think I’ve already said that.

Here’s one more spread.


“These are the leaves, turning crimson and gold, / that brighten the branches as evenings grow cold / that cling to the tree that was once green and appled /
that speckled the garden with shade, deep and dappled, / that sheltered the fledgling, in feathers now dressed / that was hatched by the bird with the scarlet breast /
that sang while the buttercups waltzed with the wind / that ruffled the buds, all velvety skinned / that swelled the shoots that sought the sun / that kissed the clouds that cried the rain / that soaked the seeds that slept in the soil, /
all dark and deep, in Isabella’s garden.”

(Click to enlarge slightly)

Don’t you want to see the cover one more time, this time a bit bigger? I knew you did.



 

* * * * * * *

ISABELLA’S GARDEN. Text copyright © 2009 by Glenda Millard. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Cool. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, Australia.

A HEN FOR IZZY PIPPIK. Copyright 2012 by Aubrey Davis. Illustrations copyright 2012 by Marie Lafrance. Published by Kids Can Press. Images reproduced with permission of publisher.

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3 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Rebecca Cool and Marie Lafrance”

  1. You’re so right about the Pashkis/Potter feel of Rebecca Cool’s art. I haven’t seen this but I sure want to.


  2. Great post as always Jules! Rebecca Cool is from my homelands of West Australia and her work is amazing – so bright, different, and beautiful. I’m sure you are all over this but a second book in the series has recently been released – hopefully will also make it to the US! http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/Books/FOR-ALL-CREATURES-9781921529818


  3. No, I did not know that, Jess, but thanks for the info! I just love her work.


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