playing at being someone else, someone we’d like to be.”
–From Roberto Aliaga’s A Night Time Story
I fly between the clouds of the country I love: Afghanistan.”
–From Ana A. de Eulate’s The Sky of Afghanistan
This morning, I’ve got the illustrations of Sonja Wimmer, and these illustrations come from two different picture book releases. Now, I’m sorry to say that I’m having trouble determining where Sonja is from exactly, but I think perhaps the answer to that is Germany. Just don’t quote me on that.
I missed this earlier 2012 picture book title from Sonja, which I should really remedy right away at my nearest bookstore or library. (Doesn’t it sound great?) But today I’ve got artwork from Roberto Aliaga’s A Night Time Story, released in September from Cuento de Luz, originally released in Spain as Cuento de Noche, and translated into English by Jon Brokenbrow. I’ve also got some illustrations from Ana A. de Eulate’s The Sky of Afghanistan, also released in September by Cuento de Luz, originally released in Spain as El cielo de Afganistán, and also translated by Brokenbrow. All artwork is all Sonja.
The Sky of Afghanistan is about a young Afghan girl’s dream for peace. Likening her dreams to a kite soaring in the sky, she shows readers much of the country and people (“my dream spreads to all of the different regions”), and she speaks highly of her people and their children, whose smiles, “despite being hidden, [are] full of sweetness and serenity.” One spread shows an army tank with a giant flower reaching to the sky, blooming: “In this eternity silence reigns, and the sound of war has truly gone forever.”
It’s a simple, inspirational, earnest vision of hope from the girl, even ending on a slightly maudlin note. Wimmer’s illustrations, on a primarily brown, Earth-toned palette, play with perspective and delight with strong lines and movement, as you can see in the following spreads:
in my hand as it struggles against the wind.”
from where I can steer my kite high into the sky,
heading towards the stars, towards the dawn.”
In Roberto Aliaga’s A Night Time Story, Wimmer gets even more dream-like with her illustrations. This one opens with: “Every night, before I go to sleep, she sits down on my bed with heaps of stories in her hands. She’s got them all.” Technically, this “she” isn’t revealed until the final spread, and she is “the night.” In between, the child shows us her night-time visions (“in her stories, I’m always the main character”) — from sweet stories to chilly stories to scary ones and mysterious ones. Even perfect ones. Perfect, that is, “until I wake up.” Wimmer shows us the night magically morphing into whatever fantastical creature is necessary for the dream, and her artwork here is beguiling and surreal. This one evidently won the Lazarillo Award, the prize in Spain for children’s literature. Here are a couple more spreads:
NIGHT TIME STORY. Copyright © 2012 by Roberto Aliaga. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Sonja Wimmer. Published by Cuento de Luz. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher.
THE SKY OF AFGHANISTAN. Copyright © 2012 by Ana A. de Eulate. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Sonja Wimmer. Published by Cuento de Luz. Spreads reproduced by 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.
Hey, everyone. I’m feeling under the weather this week, so I’ll be brief today.
I think my biggest kick this week is the beautiful artwork of Sonja Wimmer, but also Friday night was the Rufus Wainwright show at the Ryman. Armed with lots of Tylenol, cough drops, and cough meds was the only way I could go, but fortunately I only had one coughing fit during which I momentarily excused myself, lest I ruin it for the fans around me.
Rufus’ show was fun. He is clearly an immensely talented musician (I don’t know how his voice holds up during these tours), and he was also a very generous performer, giving the stage over to many other musicians all night. (His sister, Lucy Wainwright Roche, has a beautiful voice AND is a hoot.) He’s also, heaven bless him, not afraid to be 100% his total Rufus self. See this picture here, which I just lifted from the Web? He didn’t wear that, which is kind of what you expect, but he came out in a pair of turquoise pants, a cowboy shirt, and some boots—an outfit he said he bought that day in Nashville—as well as a daisy in his hair. I wish I had a photo, but my iPhone from up in the Ryman balcony just didn’t do well enough. It’s all blurry. And I can’t find anyone else online who is sharing pics.
For the encore, he came back out dressed in a blonde wig as Apollo, the god of the sun and music. And he romped around with a scantily-clad man dressed as Cupid. A giant salami sandwich was involved, too. That’s Rufus for you. Fans in the front were invited onstage with him. You’d think I’d be jealous, in the balcony as I was, but I probably would have just coughed on him anyway.
What are YOUR kicks this week?