What I Did at Kirkus Last Week,
Featuring Suzy Lee and Adam Rex

h1 January 3rd, 2013 by jules

(Click on image to see entire spread from which it comes)

Squeak. Grunt. Stumble. That’s how I feel my words are today, since I took a sort of holiday blog break there, didn’t I? (That is, with the exception of my ginormously nerdy 2012 recap, but I think those are fun.)

But here I am, and fortunately today I don’t have to compose that many words, since this is a follow-up post to last week’s Kirkus column. It was over there last Friday that I wrote about the good thing that happened when author Neil Gaiman and author/illustrator Adam Rex collaborated. I’m talking specifically about Chu’s Day, released by HarperCollins in early January. Chu is pictured right, mid-sneeze. I know what you’re thinking: THE PRECIOUS. Yes, he appears adorable. But no, my dear imps, keep outta the way of that boy’s sneeze, I tell you. (As a reminder, we got a sneak-peek of this book back in July of 2012.)

I also weighed in on debut author (and editor) Jesse Klausmeier’s Open This Little Book, illustrated by Suzy Lee and released by Chronicle. (An illustration from it is pictured at the tippy-top of this post.) That column is here, if you missed it last week and are so inclined to read.

Today, I’m here to share art, since I start to get twitchy if I don’t get to showcase picture book art from the books about which I write.

Also, there are two special treats today: Adam shares early sketches from Chu’s Day, and for Open This Little Book … well, you’ll see the treat below.


One of the book’s final spreads, sans text:
“There was a lot of pepper in the air. …
‘Are you going to sneeze?’ asked his father.”

(Click to enlarge)

One of the book’s final spreads
(Click to enlarge)


And some of Adam’s early sketches from the book:

* * *

Here are some images from Open This Little Book. First up, I’m very grateful for this image …

(Click to enlarge)

… given that in my Kirkus column last week, I sort of struggled to describe how there are books nested within books in this picture book. Voilà. Disregard my rambling, and just check out the image.

Here are some more:

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

So, here’s the Open This Little Book treat …

These are what you could call the book’s “original” illustrations. Author Jesse Klausmeier made these for the book when she first came up with the idea — at age five. That’s right. I said age five.

Say it with me now: Awwwwww. Freakin’ aw! I love it. Here they are:

* * * * * * *

CHU’S DAY. Copyright © 2013 by Neil Gaiman. Illustrations © 2013 by Adam Rex. Published by HarperCollins, New York. All images reproduced by permission of both the publisher and Adam Rex.

OPEN THIS LITTLE BOOK. Copyright © 2013 by Jesse Klausmeier. Illustrations © 2013 by Suzy Lee. Published by Chronicle, San Francisco. All images reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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7 comments to “What I Did at Kirkus Last Week,
Featuring Suzy Lee and Adam Rex”

  1. OH OH!!! I Love seeing Adam’s sketches!

  2. Dear Adam (and Neil): Thank you for the pandas.

    Dear Jesse (and Suzy): Thank for the book-in-book-in-book. Not only am I fascinated by it, but I absolutely LOVE the fact that this was first written in childhood. Kudos, kudos, kudos.

  3. Must. Get. Both. Books!!! Thanks, Jules!!!

  4. I am a big fan of Suzy Lee–can’t wait to see this one.

  5. Thank you for such a wonderful post, Jules. Ed, I too, am a HUGE Suzy Lee fan, it was an absolute pleasure working with her. What a dream come true to have OPEN THIS LITTLE BOOK come out 25 years after I first conceived of it! Thanks Lori, Little Willow, Nina and Ed for your excitement and support.

    To Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex, what an honor to share this post with you both! I can’t wait to buy CHU’S DAY!

  6. […] book’ at age five that became published 25 years later for all of us to enjoy. You must see the absolutely adorable ‘original work’ here! (Scroll down to the second part of the article after enjoying ‘Chu’s Day’ by […]

  7. […] Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by (the amazing) Isabelle Arsenault; and Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier and illustrated by Suzy Lee. And I can’t wait to read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild […]

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