7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #283: Featuring Marianne Dubuc

h1 June 10th, 2012 by jules

“The wiener dog went disguised as … A zebra.”

I’m going to keep short the introduction to today’s featured picture book, Animal Masquerade (published by Kids Can Press in March and originally published under the title Au carnaval des animaux), ’cause it’s just so fun that I want to get right to it.

Anyone, by any chance, remember this 2010 book from Canadian illustrator Marianne Dubuc? (That was her first picture book to be translated into English.)

Well, she’s back with a similar book. Similar, that is, in terms of format — it’s another small, square, snug book. But it’s also similar in that, once again, there’s really no dramatic action or complicated narrative thread to speak of here. This time there’s an animal masquerade—“Disguises are a must!”—and each animal chooses a disguise, as you can see below in the art featured here today. As with the last book, page turns are the stars here; each animal’s disguise is revealed after each turn. This propels the book forward with a brisk energy. There’s occasional funny commentary, such as: “The hen didn’t dress up. She didn’t understand a thing. (She isn’t very smart.)” But, for the most part, the child reader can kick back to enjoy the surprises and costume-reveals. And revel in the deliciousness of an animal masquerade. (To be clear, some human animals are involved, too, as well as chocolate cake — perhaps even one disguised as another, as you can see below.)

“For kids who never tire of driving one joke into the ground,” writes K.T. Horning in The Horn Book review, “this is the perfect book—and for their adults, there are enough surprises to make that one joke tolerable for repeated readings.” Here’s that review in its entirety.

And here’s some art (rendered in pencil crayon). Enjoy.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Selections from ANIMAL MASQUERADE, written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc, reprinted by permission of Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto. Text and illustrations copyright © 2012 (English translation) Marianne Dubuc.

* * * * * * *

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) Seeing good friends yesterday.

2) Seeing an old Hayao Miyazaki film at a great Nashville theater with said friends and all our kids.

3) Seeing more good friends, who ended up cooking us delicious food, ’cause they’re kind and talented like that.

4) Wait. Seeing a good friend on Friday, who surprised me with a belated birthday cake.

(Life is really all about good friends, good family, and good food, yes? Throw in some music, art, and books, and you’re just SET.)

5) According to the people who live with me, I go through this musician is a genius and do not SPEAK while the music is playing phases with my music (I guess it’s true), and I currently dwell in that phase with Rufus Wainwright’s new Mark Ronson-produced CD. It’s a pop gem is what it is — a little bit of 1970s’ Elton John here, a little bit of Young Americans there, a bit of funk, some R & B, some doo-wop, some soul, and some strong occasional channeling of Harry Nilsson to top it all off. But still all Rufus, all the time. If that makes sense.

The smart Ann Powers over at NPR really nailed his genius with this:

Great melodicists aren’t as common as you’d think. With so much music already out there, it’s easier for songwriters to simply weave together old earworms, rather than going somewhere new. Wainwright has never done that. As historically minded as he may be, steeped in the traditions of both the symphony hall and the Montreal nightclub, Wainwright has formed a language of his own by constantly pushing against conventional song structures, building new forms that seemed to mirror his own complex interior monologues.

I wish he’d come with his big ‘ol, beautiful piano and play at the Ryman in Nashville. I really do. Come on, Rufus. Come to Nashville. COME TO NASHVILLE.

‘Cause, you see, if Rufus came to Nashville, I could enjoy goodness like this below. (I like this so much. It’s what first turned me on to his music. I feel like SURELY I’ve posted this previously at 7-Imp, but ah well…)

“I’m just a little bit heiress, a little bit Irish / a little bit Tower of Pisa whenever I see you / So please be kind if I’m a mess…”

THAT VOICE. Also, if I played piano like that, I don’t know if I could stand my own awesome-ness.

6) I really enjoyed listening to this conversation and these songs.

This makes me laugh:

I’ve always said green chalk tastes like hippies.

7) I really love this from Gillian Welch (from this interview at American Songwriter):

We have four microphones, two voices and two guitars. That’s how we make records and it freaks people out. I’ve come to believe that there’s this other element, which is the sum of its parts which are things like the air, the room, the atmosphere. These things enable us to make these little landscapes and soundscapes, which is interesting to us.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

15 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #283: Featuring Marianne Dubuc”

  1. Excellent post, Jules! As for me — besides saying farewell to Ray Bradbury, and still hurting from the loss of Peter Sieruta — I have much to be thankful for this week. This includes learning that a friend’s child has come home from the hospital after a two-week stay and having the chance to visit beautiful Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, Rhode Island. I also finished this poem, inspired by what seemed to be a simple find:

    A Conch Shell
    By Steven Withrow

    Some sculptor’s left a mask
    Constructed to endure
    Wave-breaks in spate that cudgel
    Its curvature.

    A plaster of a pure
    And alabaster gloss—
    It is a visage creased
    With copper dross.

    Ridges of nodules cross
    From its upper spire, down
    In nautilus rotations
    To its under-crown.

    Heft it, turn it frowning
    Toward you, as though the snail
    Who lately helmed this ship
    Were still at sail

    In the belly of a whale,
    A pearled concavity
    Where, body swirled, she slept,
    And formerly

    Dreamt of depths unplumbed by any sea.

    © 2012 by Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  2. So much to say!

    First, I love the look of Animal Masquerade. I literally just went and ordered it. And I just went downstairs to find In Front of My House again. You know how I love Read Together Books (books that new readers can read almost independently with a little help from a grown up)? Well, these can be Read Togethers! I love, love, love finding new ones! I really think they are key to getting little ones reading!!!

    Second, Steven- I grew up in RI and Beavertail was my father’s most favorite place place on the planet. Thanks for bringing back happy memories.

    Third, Jules- How in the world do you find time to love books and music in equal measure!? I must admit to not being too musical so listening and learning from you is fun!

    Fourth- Kicks:

    1. A big one… I have finally decide to put all my ‘other’ work on hold for a year so I can focus on writing. And my family of course 🙂 but no more consulting, tutoring, presenting until I find a way to get serious about all the writing that I have always wanted to do. This is scary and big so I thought I would put it out there, here, to make it real.

    2. I got my gum stitches out after surgery last week. Still not totally normal eating but getting there…

    3. My little one graduates from kindergarten this week. Gulp.

    4. A fun night with kids and friends on Friday.

    5. Finally a summery, sunny ten day forecast.

    6. My little one’s ballet recital today. She is so excited!

    7. Time to sit and drink coffee this morning.

  3. The wiener dog as a zebra. I love it. What a fun book. Just spent the last of my book money for the year but will put my ls.
    Jules, I love your musc kicks each week.i wondered how close you are to Boneroo.
    Steven, aren’t conch she’ll wonderful? I am sad about Bradbury too.
    Stacey, congrats on your decision to focus on your writing.
    My kicks:
    1. The play was a success. I posted on my blog.
    2. Ordered Something Wicked This Way Comes from the library to re-read.
    3. 48 Hours Reading Challenge
    4. Blooming roses. They were transplanted from my friend’s mother’s garden.
    5. Cinnamon
    6. Attended the opening of an art show of a friend’s daughter.
    7. Writing group.
    Have a great week.

  4. Hello, have been somewhat buried of late with RIF changes, family matters but am digging to the surface I think or balancing better one! I have just ordred this fun book you lead with today, my grandson William is going to love it!
    My kicks:
    1. Finished up a great visit with William and baby brother Charlie!
    2. SLJ Day of Dialogue preceding BEA12. I am always inspired by Walter Dean Myers and the picture book panel led by Betsy Bird was great.
    3. Participating on a panel for Children’s Day at BEA12 where private nonprofits and Indie Bookstores talked about how we can work together even more.
    4. TWO Boardway plays in two nights! I thought I was in heaven. Porgy and Bess was powerful and I hope Audra McDonald wins tonight on the Tony’s. And oh, my…One Man and Two Guvnors from Great Britain is the funniest thing I have seen in years and years. I had forgotten how therapeutic it is to laugh and laugh and laugh!
    5. Train ride back to DC, I do love the train; oh my, I love train rides.
    6. Looks like RIF is about to find smaller space for our downsized staff, wa-hoo!
    7. Took a walk yesterday and photographed lovely summer flowers, another therapeutic task for me!
    Have a super duper week to all! Book People Unite!

  5. Jules, love those illustrations and the progression of the animals’ costumes.

    And that video made us howl. “Salsa cookies! Windmill cookies!”

    1. Movie with friends!
    2. Cherry Lambic Sorbet after movie!
    3. Fun new books and music!
    4. International Snuggle Day (invented by 8 yo son for today).
    5. Getting some revisions done. Struggling and gaining ground.
    6. Cool weather, with a little bit of wind.
    7. Updating kids’ journal which is now 228 pages long and will probably be the longest thing I ever write. Now on to organizing the art portfolios. That is, after International Snuggle Day winds down….

    Steven, your poem reminds me of the beach (my favorite place!) We saw an amazing treehouse/fort last week in the shape of a conch shell. You would have loved it!

    Stacey, that is scary and big, and I’m so happy for you!

  6. Good morning, Imps! I hope you’ve had weeks worth celebrating! 🙂

    Hi Marianne! I bet the characters in Animal Masquerade would enjoy The Wuzzles.

    Jules: Sounds like a fun belated birthday celebration. I read The One and Only Ivan week before last. Good times.

    Steven: Conch shells are so beautiful.

    Stacey: Congratulations on your decision, and kudos on your focus! I’m glad that you are healing steadily. Congratulations to your little graduate and to your little dancer! Give each of them a thumbs-up from me.

    Jone: Congratulations on the success of your play! Huzzah! Enjoy your re-read of Something Wicked. I am watching a Gene Kelly movie as I type this. Points to the person(s) who know the connection between Gene Kelly and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.

    Carol: Awesome on all counts, for your work, visits, photos, and events! I envy the Broadway attendance. Watch the Tonys tonight, everyone! (I’ll be at rehearsal at the time. This is how my life works. I’ll be rehearsing musicals while the world is celebrating musicals. And no, I don’t have TiVo or anything like that, so I can’t record the awards and watch them later. I will instead be reading the list of winners online when I get home tonight, then scouring YouTube for clips of performances and acceptance speeches tomorrow.)

    Jessica: Wowza! Keep on writing. Yay for new books and music.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Rehearsals for the musicals
    2) Singing my heart out
    3) Filming (I think some of you will dig the fact that we shot on location at a real comic book shop! If you want to see pictures, I posted some on my FB page.)
    3) Unexpected TV audition
    4) Nice walks
    5) Kind words
    6) Comfortable environments
    7) Staying busy

  7. Oh, boy — I’ve missed kickin’ with you folks. Still playing catch-up after a couple-three weeks of craziness (following the previous round of catch-up) (raise your hand if you’re hearing Carly Simon singing “Anticipation” yet)… Hoping to return sooner rather than later!

  8. What a fun book. I keep coming up with kids in my roledex that need a book when I read your posts. I know just the girl for this one.

    Jules – Windmill cookies, ha ha.
    My friend does a cover of the Rufus song you posted. Love that tune, great lyrics.

    Steve- I especially love the last five lines of your poem.

    Stacey- Big news! Good for you. I wish you all the best.

    Jone- Congrats on the play!

    Carol- Book People Unite!

    Jessica- Snuggling is the best.

    Little Willow- You sound very busy in a good way, keep it up.

    Here are my kicks:


    It is a beautiful, sunny, 80 degree day here on Cape Cod.
    Happy to be here.

    Have a great week imps.

    I will have more specific kicks after this busy week coming up but for now I am going out into the sunshine. 🙂

  9. Gene Kelly was in the movie version of Something Wicked This Way Comes.

  10. Jules, My Neighbour Totoro is one of my favourite movies.

    Animal Masquerade looks lovely!

    Stacey, congrats on deciding to focus on your writing, and best wishes with it.

    Carol, so many lovely things! I love train journeys too.

    I think you should propose an international snuggle day to the UN, Jessica.

    LW, you pack a lot of kick into a few words. I like “comfortable environments” today.

    I have spent the weekend away (it’s a long weekend here so am typing this in my PJs) so a shortened list of kicks:

    1. obv, going away. Went to stay at a small cottage on a farm, which meant a nice walk around the property looking at the gorgeous creek and cute cows. And a cute pig.
    2. we are having tough times at work at the moment. We thought the contract of a fellow staff member wasn’t getting extended, and I had already sadly organised a goodbye lunch for her. But late on Friday we got the news she was extended! Clearly one week notice is a bit rubbish, but still, such good news.
    3. two spontaneous family dinners in one week. Love living close to my sisters.

  11. Thanks for the poem, Steven, and that’s such good news about your friend’s child.

    STACEY! That is exciting news. I’m gonna so totally email you in a second here. … Best of luck this week with the graduation (oh, sniff already!), and I hope that recital went well.

    Jone, congrats on the play’s success! Yes, I’m very close to Bonnaroo, but I’ve never been. I have an eight-year-old who sort of loathes hot, summer weather, so it’d not be the best thing, but maybe some year, I can line up child care and go sans kids.

    Carol! Walter Dean AND a picture book panel. Awesome. I had the opportunity to host a particularly great-sounding picture book panel (sounds like there were many), but I couldn’t make the trip this year. Maybe next year …. I’ve actually never been to a BEA. And you had your own panel and saw great theatre, too? You had one especially slammin’ week, I think.

    Jessica, International Snuggle Day is a brilliant idea. I love that you journal about your children AND keep maintaining it. (Lots of people start — and never keep it up.)

    Little Willow, NO! You should be able to watch the Tonys. … Good luck on that audition, and it sounds like you had a great week, but I am still all, “Little Willow is on Facebook?” I didn’t know this. Must find you. … Okay. TIME INTERLUDE. Found you. “Liked” your page. All is better in the world now.

    John, no worries. I’m so behind on your blog, too, and I HATE THAT. It’s just not not not right when I’m *this* behind on your blog. Always love your kicks more than I can say, but no worries.

    Moira, OH! I wanna hear your friend cover that song. … Hope you enjoyed the beautiful day and sunshine.

    Hi, Emmaco! Great news about your co-worker, and your weekend away trip sounds lovely. … as well as time with your sisters.

    Hope everyone has a great week….

  12. Riotous – this book is riotous. Thank you so much.

    Thanks, Imps for all your good news and kind & supportive comments to each other. I enjoyed it all.

    And I loved the poem – thanks.
    Interesting music as usual.

    My Kicks:
    1. relearning rules for capitalization and spelling in my online editing course. I promise to ignore some of those rules in my kicks.

    2. my son’s graduation from preschool – so sweet.

    3. rearranging the living room back to my favorite setup except for one modification for lamp safety around a very active 6 year old. Plus there are improvements that I like a lot.

    4. having my 6 year old son, who has heard boys at school talking about Star Wars, say: “Mommy, let’s make a star war.” Then he built an amazing R2D2 out of legos after seeing a picture of R2D2 just once. But I’m not bragging – promise. Just delighted.

    5. playing a friends house today we discovered the dad’s authentic 1980s Star Wars toys including several small R2D2s – pure joy

    6. chalk on the sidewalk with 2 of the 6 year old’s dearest friends

    7. making plans to buy extra books from Children’s Book World as I got a 10% off summer celebration coupon

    Take care everyone and have a wonderful week.

    I’m with Carol – Book People Unite!

  13. Fly – by just to say hi! Love that zebra weiner dog and the whimsy and fun of these illustrations!

    Have a great week everyone!

  14. Allison: Congrats to your son! And it’s okay to brag here. …. Enjoy your new books. And you have a good week, too.

    Hi, Rachel!

  15. […] previously featured the work of Canadian author-illustrator Marianne Dubuc at 7-Imp — here and here. Her newest book, The Lion and the Bird (Enchanted Lion, May 2014), is a tender and moving […]

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