7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #318: Featuring Stacy Innerst

h1 February 17th, 2013 by jules

I’m shining the spotlight this morning on a nonfiction picture book chock full o’ charm. It’s called The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny), written by husband-and-wife writing team Kathleen Krull (who, evidently, was once such a ginormous Beatles fan that she owned pieces of the sheets the lads slept on) and Paul Brewer, to released next month by Harcourt. It’s illustrated by Stacy Innerst (featured previously at 7-Imp in 2011), who wanted to grow up to be Ringo Starr, and I’ve got some more of his illustrations below.

So, let’s get to it. But not till you wave first at George up there.

This book opens with a Kurt Vonnegut quote, even before we get to the title page, which pretty much lays out the book’s goal of showing readers how fun, full of life, and … well, wonderfully goofy the Fab Four were:

A plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. [When] asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off, I reply, “The Beatles did.”

The book’s first spread treats us to this below. (Click to enlarge it and see George.)

“Music was everywhere in Liverpool, where John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr grew up. … From the time they got together as lads until they became superstars, the Fab Four made music, made history, and made people laugh.”

Right away, we see that Krull and Brewer aren’t going to give us a dry biography of the band and account of their rise to fame. As the parenthetical portion of the book’s title indicates, they’re giving readers a glimpse of the band’s collective joy. As they tell the story of the band’s path to great success and popularity, laying out all the necessary facts, they sprinkle the narrative with many of John’s, Paul’s, Ringo’s, or George’s jokes and their compelling joie de vivre. (“They used silliness to help keep their spirits up. John would shout, ‘Where are we going, lads?’ ‘To the top, Johnny!’ ‘And where is that?’ ‘The toppermost of the poppermost!’ the others would yell. …”) They also share little-known fun facts to humanize the iconic band members:

Beatlemania was so intense that the screaming of the fans often drowned out the songs. The lads found it hilarious that the less their music could be heard, the more popular they became and the more money they were paid.

Krull and Brewer do an impressive job of capturing personalities here, and Innerst’s caricatures of the Fab Four, rendered in acrylic and ink, are full of reverence, mischief, and affection, all at once.

“Every fan had a favorite Beatle. …”
(Click either image to see spread in its entirety and see the text)

Krull and Brewer bring readers all the way to the end of Beatlemania and close out the book with “Important Dates in Beatles History,” as well as a list of the sources they consulted when writing.

It’s an entertaining tribute, from start to finish.

“…One night in 1964, their manager burst into their hotel rooms at three a.m.,
waving a telegram from New York in their sleepy faces. Their newest song, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ had hit number on in America. The lads stayed awake for hours, stunned that Beatlemania had crossed the Atlantic Ocean. But John still had to joke.
He liked to call the song ‘I Want to Hold Your Nose.'”

(Click image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)

THE BEATLES WERE FAB (AND THEY WERE FUNNY). Copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Stacy Innerst. Published by Harcourt Children’s Books, Boston. Spreads 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 * * *

My kicks ONE to SEVEN this week are that I conquered the stomach flu and am feeling better and back to work. I know that this dastardly flu is going around, and I hope each of you imps have managed to avoid it.

My bonus kick is that this movie arrived in my mailbox—evidently, I added it to the ‘ol Netflix queueueueueueueue without a memory of doing so—and I very much enjoyed it. I have been thinking and thinking about this movie.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

29 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #318: Featuring Stacy Innerst”

  1. This post WOULD cause me to start singing I Want to Hold Your Hand in my mind, but I’m already singing the North by Northwest score music – and now it’s the scene with Cary Grant whistling Singin’ in the Rain!

    Hi Stacy. Welcome to Seven Imp. Isn’t Jules a fantastic host? Thanks for sharing your artwork with us. What’s your favorite Beatles song?

    Jules: Sending you another stream of healthy vibes.

    Here’s what was kicking this past week:

    1) Offers
    2) Acceptance
    3) Outreach
    4) Reading
    5) Choices
    6) Writing
    7) Releasing

    Some cool things are happening this weekend. I’m psyched. I hope each and every Imp has a lovely weekend.

  2. I love the artwork and the idea of featuring the fun the Beatles had with one another. Looking forward to this title.
    Jules: So very glad you are feeling better.
    Little Willow: Your week looks wonderful. Hope the weekend is going well too.

    My kicks:
    1. Good pictures of snowy scenes
    2. New book releases
    3. Walks with Xena
    4. International Book Giving Day
    5. Roses and daffodils
    6. Friends
    7. Deadlines met

  3. Love the Beatles so this looks jolly fun.
    Jules, so glad to hear you are better.
    LW, congrats on offers and acceptances.
    Marge, we aren’t quite to roses and daffodils but its felt like spring.
    My kicks:
    1. CYBILS announced.
    2. Greg Pincus interview on my blog on Wed.
    3. Greg Pincus poem on Friday.
    4. The Late Bird by Pincus on my blog.
    5. Smell of spring.
    6. Writing projects
    7. Chatted with dear friend yesterday.
    Have a great week.

  4. This book looks awesome! My kids love the Beatles, so I’ll definitely be looking for this when it comes out.

    I’m new to this kicks thing, but I’ll try it!

    My kicks:
    1. Surprise guests
    2. Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles
    3. pink mashed potatoes on Valentine’s day
    4. finished a fifth draft of a manuscript
    5. sunset on a beautiful beach
    6. saw elephant seals up close
    7. mint chocolate chip ice cream

  5. Little Willow, Cool Things Happening! Excellent. I hope they deliver. … Also, for the record, sometimes I get art from publishers, not the illustrators themselves, so Stacy will probably not stop by or even read this perhaps, but if he does stop by and report on his favorite Beatles song, I’ll be happy. … I am going to listen to “Twist and Shout” really loudly today and dance with my girls. I am.

    Margie, International Book Giving Day is a great thing, now isn’t it? Do you have roses and daffodils on your table? I assume no flowers have bloomed there yet, but perhaps I’m wrong. Sometimes, here in Tennessee, you might see a daffodil bloom late February, ’cause we’re warm like that. It’s always a nice thing when that happens.

    Jone: Pincus is a national treasure.

    Welcome, Megan! Pink mashed potatoes? You will fit in swimmingly here. Congrats on finishing a draft. That is always a good feeling.

  6. Hi Everyone!

    Jules: So sorry about the stomach flu. Our whole family had it last spring and it was terrible!!
    Little Willow: Love the way you wrote your kicks this week…
    Margie: I am also loving snowy picture scenes.
    Jone: Can’t wait to read all things Greg Pincus this week!
    Megan: Welcome! I love coming to Seven Imp each week!


    1. An early morning ski lesson today for the girls. We are already home and thawing out.
    2. A Valentine’s Day lunch with my hubby.
    3. My new website. Still a few tweaks to go but I have been so happy with the designer!
    4. Getting into a writing rhythm finally!
    5. An almost spring-like day earlier in the week.
    6. Sweet potatoes.
    7. Putting pictures in albums.

  7. Great-looking book on a perfect topic. (Rule of thumb: your playlist dragging? probably needs a Beatles track right there.) Thanks for featuring it, Jules!

    And of course you know your own Kicks this week are pretty darned good. The previous week it was weird not seeing [almost] anything by you online… It was kinda like one of the opening titles sequence for The Walking Dead [Season 1]: all washed-out and sepia-tinted, empty buildings, abandoned vehicles littering the roadside, and a faint breeze through the treetops — a breeze on which were carried the groans of hideous unseen creatures.

    (Sorry, got a little carried away. I’m sure you weren’t THAT bad! But it was eerie.)

    That Argentinian film’s not (yet) available via Netflix streaming but I’ll keep my (ahem) eyes open for it. Sounds right up our alley.

    LW, your monoverbal Kicks of the week would be great ones in any order. But I especially like the story they apparently tell in THAT order.

    Hi, jone — thanks for introducing me to Greg Pincus. That was a really nice interview!

    megan: FIVE drafts! I know from the outside many people may see that and think, Oh boy, that book’s in trouble… But I also know that that bodes very, very well for it. Congratulations!

    That’s a really classy new Web site, Stacey. And I really like your choices of quotes over in the right sidebar of the pages.

    Okay, let’s see, kicks…

    1. Valentine’s Day a big kick. Annual mix CD a hit; really nice dinner-date; relaxed schedule.
    2. New story.
    3. Susan Cain’s book Quiet, which I’m currently reading. Oh lordy, I do love this book.
    4. Last weekend I watched Primer, from my own queueue. I’d heard and read so much about this film (“best movie about time travel ever made,” “budget of $7,000,” etc.) and I still can’t believe it surpassed the hype. Very absorbing and a real brain-bender and thought-provoker in retrospect (as well as while watching it).
    5. Finally figured out a user-interface thing which had been bugging the bejeezus out of me in this new version of the operating system I use at home — slowed, it… DOWN… con…sid, er, ab……ly. Amazing how much difference a few seconds here and there makes in your satisfaction with using the computer.
    6. Sunday Italian dinner (chicken Parmesan) cooked on Saturday, just waiting to be reheated. Yum!
    7. Laugh-out-loud: the “WTF, Evolution?” site on Tumblr.

    BONUS: Jules shared with me a video of Kyle MacLachlan doing a Twin Peaks-inspired “Harlem Shake.” Afraid of including the link here, lest it bump my comment over the too-many-links sp!m threshold, but I will say that those whom it doesn’t disturb may enjoy seeing how KM tweaks his most famous role. It’s on the Paste Magazine site and, of course, YouTube. (But I have to admit — finding out about this “Harlem Shakes” thing has kinda given me the willies.)

    Have a great week, Kickers and others!

  8. The Beatles WERE fab and funny… and it looks like this book is too. Thanks for sharing. At the time, my fave Beatle was George (and you HAD to have an answer to that question in the 60s.) Now, I think I’d choose John.

    Coincidentally, just yesterday I looked up archival photos of John and Yoko’s bedbound sit-in for peace. We are hosting a young couple in our guest room—new to town (he, an actor, they, scouting for an apartment.) Every time I visit the guest room they are busy at work, laptops on pillows, want-ads spread out over blankets, leaning up against the headboard—the bed their current home/office space. I showed them the archive pics and told them we have to take a “John & Yoko pose” photo before they move out. : – )

    Jules – It’s been a while since I watched “The Secret in their Eyes”; my older son is a fan of lead actor, Ricardo Darin. I recall a sort of LA Confidential feeling about it; haunting, complicated, passionate and sad. Will have to re-cue. So GLAD you are feeling better.

    LW – Busy as always; you go girl. Speaking of outreach… expect an e-mail.
    Margie – congrats on meeting your deadlines.
    jone – enjoyed Greg’s interview. Happy to hear Fibs novel in final stage. Yes, smell of spring.
    meganwll — ooo, I second awesomeness of pink mashed potatoes (and will steal this idea.)
    Stacey – congrats on website’s new design. I love that CS Lewis quote.
    JES – your Walking Dead ode to Jule’s absence cracked me up. I could hear the repeating-arpeggio soundtrack in my head. Ha. And that WTF Evo site is both hilarious and scary.

    Valentine week kicks:

    1. Saw Oscar nominated animated shorts last night with younger son. Hmmm. He picks “Paperman” as the probable winner. I think I’m gonna bet on “Adam & Dog”.
    SEE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo-qZzOKAnw

    2. Just finished “The One and Only Ivan”; I’m a big ASPCA supporter. Made me quite teary.

    3. The organizing dent in my office chaos was helpful/spirit lifting. Continuing the assault.

    4. Made a matching keychain for my extra car key out of its model matchbox car. : – )

    5. Writer/illustrator buddy sent in her final drawings this week. She, we, pleased and happy.

    6. Hubby’s valentine’s gift to me was thoughtful and lovely (a small bronze sculpture.)

    7. This music video. omg – to fully appreciate it you have to realize that it is ALL ONE LONG UNCUT SHOT. (!) And you have to imagine the 9 supporting cast members running behind the camera and finding their mark so that they are still and in place to sing their la-la-las as the moving camera tracks past them again. And then, the whole group must be either be ducking under the camera or circling around while changing outfits (black coats to 4 white coats) when the camera pans round and round. The song is good as well. I love this:

    Elephants and Little Girls by Loch Lomond

    (Look at all the thousands of footprints in the sand and you realize how much they must have practiced the timing and choreography and how many takes they must have done to get the perfect one. This appeals to the choreographer in me immensely.)

    Have a good week all.

  9. What a fun book – love the illustrations of John and Paul with the Q & A.

    Jules – so glad you defeated that nasty flu! Wasn’t that movie intense? I waffled back & forth over who I thought really committed the murder, and then the ending, just wow.

    LW – congrats on the offers that you received this week! I hope we’ll be hearing about them soon!

    Margie – walks with Xena, deadlines met & roses & daffodils sounds like you had a great week!

    Jone- hurrah for writing projects & the smell of spring! I dug up ground for a garden project this morning, and hoping the rain stays away another day for me.

    Welcome Megan! Your sunsets on the beach and elephant seals up close sound pretty perfect.

    Stacey – early morning skiing lessons sound like they aren’t for the faint of heart. Glad you’re thawed out. Sweet potatoes = yum!

    JES – glad you had a good v- day dinner date. I’ll have to check out the tumblr later, as I’m sure it’ll suck me in.

    My kicks this week are all one big kick rolled up – the Portland premiere of the documentary film Alien Boy was Friday night, and I got to go, and got to see my super talented friend Matthew Charles Davis, who lives in England now. He is the writer of the film and of many local newspaper stories regarding the incident in Portland in 2006 that spurred the documentary as well as Portland’s call for reform of how the police interact with the mentally ill.

    It’s going to be in other cities soon, & it’s in Portland until March 7th, so if you’re here & so inclined, go see it. It will make you cry, & make you mad , but it’s so well done & so important.

    A review is here :


    I hope everyone has a week full of love!

  10. Denise – missed you in cyberspace!

    I loved The One and Only Ivan – made me Geary too. A sculpture for V-day is incredibly thoughtful, wow.

    I’ll check out your links later – curious about the Oscar shorts and the music video but off to soccer first!

  11. Rachel — Alien Boy looks shocking and revealing; just what a doc should be. I hope it’s destined for a film festival near me.

    Jules — I think this vimeo site is a better link to view the video:


  12. Jules, I’m glad you’re feeling better. I have put that movie in our movie queue – thanks for the recommendation!

    I will return after work to savour everyone’s kicks. Mine for this week:

    1. A work meeting held over breakfast in a cafe. Brilliant idea. Not sure why I hadn’t thought of this before…though I imagine some non-morning people might not enjoy it
    2. Lunch with a friend
    3. We got cute valentine’s day cards from the kids next door (whose mum is from the US – Valentine’s Day isn’t a huge holiday here)
    4. As we are off camping next week again this weekend we tried to get some stuff done around the house. And it certainly looks marginally better including less piles of paper waiting to be filed!
    5. I made a sponge cake with passionfruit curd between the layers and managed to walk to the station and get it to work without anything happening to it (only after I left did I think I should have just assembled it AT work)
    6. Roosters are not allowed in our city’s suburbs, and for good reason – they are very noisy! But there is definitely one in our suburb somewhere. While I feel sorry for the near neighbours, for us it is far enough away that it is just a nice sound that makes one think a farm is around the corner.

  13. I want to share this book with my dad – the biggest Beetles fan ever (although I’m sure many lay claim to that title).

    I watched the movie Happy this evening. It cites a study that found that college students who spent time on Sunday night counting their blessings were happier than those who didn’t. Thus, I had to kick tonight!

    1. Uplifting Int’l Book Giving Day stories filling my inbox
    2. getting back into running
    3. time to reflect
    4. snuggles with my kids this evening
    5. nice college students spent the night at our house last night
    6. showers
    7. sleep…and more sleep in the very near future

    Have a great week all!

  14. Stacey, happy to read about writing rhythms. Also, congrats again on the really great web site!

    John, HA to the Walking Dead notion! That stomach flu DID sorta make me feel like a zombie … Let me know what you think of the film after you see it. Boy oh boy, I couldn’t sleep after seeing it — just from thinking about it. I’ll have to look for Primer (and maybe even the Susan Cain book). Oh, and I can share the link here for you. Here it is, folks: http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/awesome_of_the_day/2013/02/watch-kyle-kyle-maclachlan-do-a-twin-peaks-style-harlem-shake.html. But, John, I still don’t know what the Harlem Shake is, ’cause I’m a pop culture moron sometimes, but I’ll look it up in a second here.

    Denise: Thanks for sharing that video. I’ve not even heard of that band before. And, yes, wow. A lot of running and ducking must have been involved.

    Rachel, it was the love story that really got me, but then all the other themes — retribution, memory, etc. — were intense, too. And the ending, YES. Haunting. … Congrats to your friend! I hope the film makes it to Nashville.

    Emmaco, so glad you got valentines from the neighboring American! I’m also glad the rooster isn’t too, too close to you all. … I wholeheartedly approve of the meeting-at-a-cafe idea, ’cause breakfast … yum. The best meal of the day.

    Amy, sleep, snuggles, reflection. All good things. Sweet dreams, always!

  15. Greetings All!

    Happy Sunday – mine was made much happier by the posting about Gossie, Gertie and All’s creator Olivier Dunrea that Jules just posted!

    Kicks include a visit today from a life-long friend along with his lovely wife and their sweet daughter who discovered my son’s love of accents. They left eachother shouting out silly phrases in various accents.

    Jules – glad you are better! My hubby has influenza and it is NOT fun.

    Have a great week everyone.

  16. Allison, I love that Olivier post, too, and it’s ALL thanks to him.

    Hope your husband feels better soon. The faux accent of choice around here is British, as my eight-year-old likes to pretend to be Hermione.

  17. Denise – I meant “teary” of course, not “Geary”. sigh

    Jules – the love story made me a bit crazy – I wanted to thump him on the head so desperately and make him just “GO GET HER!” (Sorry, I have issues around unrequited love stories – sure, they’re full of dramatic tension, but so sad.)

    emmaco – I think any meeting is 1000 times better with breakfast.

    Amy – Happy sounds like a film I should check out, and I’m not at all surprised by the conclusions.

    Allison – the image of two kids shouting nonsense in accents sounds hysterically funny & something from a Wes Anderson movie.

    Oh, & Jules, it wouldn’t be a complete weekend if I didn’t tell you we won our soccer game again!
    Hope you’re week is great!

  18. Of course you all won. You all kick ass. WOOT!

  19. Can you hear us crooning “Hey Jules” to you? Thanks so much for this review that totally “gets” our book.
    Do you have a favorite Beatle or Beatle song?
    Kathy Krull & Paul Brewer

  20. The weekend was wonderful. Let’s make this week just as fantastic!

  21. Yes, Kathy and Paul, I concur! Thanks, Jules!!
    Here are my top 7 favorite Beatles songs: I Dig a Pony, Cry Baby Cry, Revolution, Here Comes the Sun, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, I’ve Got a Feeling, Hello Goodbye…

  22. I luv your choices, Stacy. I’d be very hard pressed to pick a fave. But I’m with Denise above – my fave Beatle at the time was George, then I switched allegiance to John, & this was a very big deal. Paul’s fave at the time was Paul, then he switched over to John too.

  23. Hi, Kathleen and Paul! Kathleen, so hard to pick. Wow. Let’s see.

    Most people don’t pick this as their favorite Beatles song, but I love it so:

    Hi, Stacy! Good choices. Thanks to you both, I’m listening to them now, as I type. Excellent.

  24. I’d be remiss for not posting the song as it was recorded:

  25. (Well, that is the re-mastered version, but you get the idea.)

  26. Psychic, Jules! If I was forced to pick, it would be something from Revolver. (Love this song – when I listened to your first version I unknowingly had Michael Moore talking in another window & thought it was the lads clowning around.)

  27. Well, THAT had to be surreal!

    Seven cheers for Revolver. You should listen to Sam Phillips’ Martinis & Bikinis, circa 1994. She IS the fifth Beatle and that CD is very Revolver-esque, while still being all Sam all the time, if that makes any sense.

  28. […] 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #318: Featuring Stacy Innerst February 17th, 2013 &nbsp&nbsp by jules […]

  29. Okay, I should probably be Kicking on THIS week’s post, but couldn’t resist adding my choices. I’m a big fan of Rubber Soul and the [quote-unquote] White Album… probably “In My Life,” “Girl,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” being the songs I want to listen to again, soonest — for now. But gosh it’s so difficult to select. (How could I not mention “Here Comes the Sun” and “I Saw Her Standing There”!?!?)

    I read somewhere that the Beatles officially released oeuvre totaled up to something like only ten hours of music. That just blows my mind.

    P.S. One of my favorite Beatles covers: this recording by a group named Big Daddy, of “Lovely Rita Meter Maid”… a la Elvis (and Bo Diddley).

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