What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Eva Eriksson

h1 February 22nd, 2013 by jules

“At exactly the same moment, they looked at each other. Dani got up the courage to go and ask, ‘Shall we play on the swings?’ Ella nodded. That was her name.”


Yesterday over at Kirkus, I chatted briefly with author/illustrator Sergio Ruzzier about his two new picture books and what’s next for him. That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have art and early sketches from each book.

Today, I’ve got some thoughts on a new historical fiction picture book, Deborah Hopkinson’s Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story, illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia. That link is here.

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Pictured here today are illustrations from Swedish illustrator Eva Eriksson from Rose Lagercrantz’s My Happy Life (Lagercrantz is also Swedish), a chapter book release from Gecko Press, a New Zealand-based publisher of English versions of award-winning international children’s books. Originally published in Sweden in 2010, this book was released here in the U.S. last month. I wrote about it here last week at Kirkus and am following up this week with a bit of art from Eriksson.


“During the second recess, she noticed another girl by herself.
She was just watching, too.”

“They played on the swings until the bell rang.
They played on them through all the other recesses, too.”

“That happened sometimes. Not being friends.”

“But not for long. They usually made up after a minute or two. You couldn’t find a better friend than Ella. She and Dani stuck together through wet and dry,
sun and rain, thick and thin.”

“Dani drew a red cow with big horns. Ella didn’t draw anything. She sat with her hands over her eyes. ‘What’s the matter?’ whispered Dani. ‘Are you crying?’
Ella didn’t answer.”

“The teacher had to explain. Ella was moving away. When Dani heard that,
she started to cry, too. She cried and cried. But what could she do?”

“…They took them to the recycling center and bought chewing gum with the money.”

“Dani and Jonathan started a competition to see who had the most stickers, the ones you find on apples and bananas. They put them under the red mat in the cozy room.”

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MY HAPPY LIFE. First American edition copyright © 2013 by Gecko Press. Illustrations used with permission of the publisher.

2 comments to “What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Eva Eriksson”

  1. When they both fall out on their desks is so poignant and sweet. And when they’re mad – they look REALLY grumpy. But so hilarious!

    This book is kind of the essence of …childhood. And the illustration on the cover shows it – their colors pop, against the drab background of the rest of the world. I love it.

  2. Love the simplistic language and the way it works together with the illustrations. It tells a really powerful story!

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