7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #327: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 April 21st, 2013 by jules

Julie Paschkis: “This picture of the two kids was the first painting that I did for the book, even before drawing the dummy. I often start a book with one finished piece
of art that sets the tone for all of the subsequent art.”
Julie Paschkis’ opening illustration from George Shannon’s

Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar?


What a week. (Caveat: That is not a hyperlink to launch and bring into your life if you are offended by rampant cursing.)

Here is part of what Camille Guthrie wrote at the Poetry Foundation’s web site about this unforgettable week we’ve had here in the U.S.:

“This week I want to believe Elaine Scarry, who argues that Beauty is a compact, or contract, between the beautiful being and its perceiver: ‘As the beautiful being confers on the perceiver the gift of life, so the perceiver confers on the beautiful being the gift of life.’ This week in which a marathon was bombed, senators refused to pass a commonsensical gun law, a plant exploded on a small town, a week in which beauty feels irrelevant and the gift of life feels utterly vulnerable.”

And in this poem, Wislawa Szymborska captures what went through my mind when I saw the bombing footage on television.

Now, more than ever, do we need to gather and list some kicks and look for some beauty, for crying out loud. To be clear, it’s always good to find the slivers of sunlight, even in happier times, and let us also not forget those people overseas who experience on a daily basis the violence Boston experienced this week. (See here.)

But, well. Yes. This week. Wow.

And I feel like George Shannon’s Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? (Henry Holt, March 2013), illustrated by Julie Paschkis (who is visiting this morning), is just the fitting, life-affirming picture book to feature today. As Julie has already written about it—here, which I highly recommend reading—“I was drawn to the underlying meaning of the book: that every person’s contributions matter. As George put it, the book is an ode to the widest sense of community. … George’s text shows the joy that comes through doing work and being part of something bigger than yourself.”

Many of you may recognize the popular sing-along for children, “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?” In this picture book, George Shannon gives the song a twist, showing how a community of people work together to feed a community (in this case, cookies … mmm, THE PRECIOUS cookies): “Hands that clothe and feed them all. Heal and teach. Large and small. Hands that help the hands that help are what the world’s about …”

“One hand in the cookie jar takes a cookie out,” the book opens. That’s the illustration you see opening this post. “How many hands put the cookie in is what the world’s about.” Shannon goes on to show a family baking the cookies; workers making cookie sheets and oven mitts; farmers milking cows, churning butter, and plowing fields; people grinding wheat; and much, much more. Paschkis takes us all over the world with her vibrant, truly multicultural, folk-art illustrations, laid out in white space, each piece of her paintings bordered, as you can see below, in thick pastel blue lines. They almost look like paper dolls in spots, and the action is close to the reader (almost as if we could reach out and join in the preparations), the illustrations vibrant and warm.

As the Horn Book review notes, this book “provides a thought-provoking and positive global concept of product development that can be explored on a variety of levels.” But, as Paschkis notes below, it’s about more than that — and about more than cookies.

Let’s get right to Julie’s notes and art. Incidentally, you’ll see her mention WIP art below. The Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote about this one, “Paschkis’s…mural-like spreads, with their warm colors and characters who exemplify a rock-solid work ethic and optimistic outlook, bring to mind a WPA aesthetic, with a little Lois Lenski and Virginia Lee Burton for good measure.” I love those comparisons. It’s true, though Julie’s work, I think, always retains her very singular Julie-vibe.

Here she is, and I thank her for visiting.

* * *

Julie: The last piece of art that I do is always the cover.

I love the way that the text celebrates community and interconnectedness. I didn’t see it as a literal description of cookie-making. (Plowing and milking probably aren’t done by hand anymore.) But the fact that many people work together to make ANYTHING happen couldn’t be more true. Here are a couple of sketches and spreads.

“Hands that feed and milk the cow.”

“Churn the butter. Guide the plow.”

“Hands that tend and feed the hens. Gather eggs. Build the pens.”


The truck driver in this is modeled on my mother, and the dog is my dog, Lily.


“Hands that load the trucks and drive.”


I noticed that in WPA art the workers often have defined and beautiful butts, so I did that, too.


“Stock the shelves when things arrive.”


I ended the illustrations with a party. This isn’t in the text, but the whole book felt like a celebration, so it seemed like a natural thing to include.



In the final, the cow got a cookie, too. Everyone needs cookies.


WHO PUT THE COOKIES IN THE COOKIE JAR? Copyright © 2013 by George Shannon. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Julie Paschkis. Published by Henry Holt, New York. All images here reproduced with permission of Julie Paschkis.

* * * * * * *

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) Julie Paschkis’ art is (as Adrienne Furness would say) one of my Best Things Ever.

2) Beautiful, thoughtful surprises in the mail.

3) I couldn’t wait for Villagers’ new CD so ordered it from the UK. It is most excellent, particularly moment 1:28 in the song “Passing a Message,” where the piano and bass kick in heavy.

4) A great new song from Laura Marling.

5) A great new song from Patty Griffin, with a little assist from Robert Plant:

6) Watching Hitchcock, followed by Psycho. The kickiest part was seeing Psycho, since I’d never seen it in its entirety before. No, really.

7) The resilience of the human spirit. No less.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

16 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #327: Featuring Julie Paschkis”

  1. What a week this has been indeed. I have been away from all my favorite on line places as my life as has been consumed by our move and this week I missed you all more than ever. This place to connect and read beautiful words and see gorgeous artwork. This is what we need to make time for in this crazy, crazy world. Hugs to Jules and all my fellow kickers. I am so glad to be here today, enjoying all this beauty with you.

    1. Such stunning illustrations! I can’t wait to see this book!
    2. Sunshine despite the near frost we had last night.
    3. A big birthday for me tomorrow.
    4. Dinner: A Love Story. Part cook book. Part memoir. All good.
    5. A daughter who has found that she loves playing softball.
    6. Fast walks with friends.
    7. The beauty of the human spirit that has shone through in so many memorable ways during this crazy week.

  2. Oh my word, this week! My thoughts were on those in Boston and those in Texas. Julie’s artwork lifts my mood.
    Thank you, Jules for having her at this moment.
    Jules, I have been a Robert Plant fan since the days of Led Zeppelin. Need to see Hitchcock.
    Stacey, glad your move went well. And yes for the hymn spirit.
    My kicks:
    1. Julie Paschkis’ art.
    2. Elizabeth Rusch, author visit on Friday.
    3. Oldest grandgirl at school with me on Thursday.
    4. Oldest grandgirl sharing her jaguar report to second graders. They were surprised that she, a second grader as well, had a thorough report and kicky diorama.
    5. Creating poem in your pockets with student poetry Tuesday night for Family Library Night.
    6. Play tryout for The Anansi Stories on Monday.
    7 leaving on a jet plane the Wednesday night for Highlights Foundation workshop.
    I may be without Internet next Sunday due to the workshop., consider 1-7 the poetry novel workshop my kicks for next Sunday.
    Have a great week.
    Bonus kick: send poetry postcards out, batch one.

  3. As everyone said, this was a hard week to have kicks. But life rolls along – beauty and tragedy, big events and mundane happiness.
    My kicks this week –
    1. Being a kick on Seven-Imp.
    2.Tulips blooming all over our yard.
    3. Sewing – I was working on a quilt all week while listening to the news – it helped to be doing something that was creative but also sort of mechanical.
    3. Getting greens from the farmer’s market.
    4. Cooking them with recipes from Deborah Madison’s new book, Vegetable Literacy. This cookbook could be all 7 kicks.
    5.Learning there is a new bio about Maud and Miska Petersham – Under the North Light. Looking forward to reading it.

    Thanks so much for featuring Cookie Jar, and for your blog in general.

  4. Good morning, Imps! I hope that you and yours are safe and sound.

    Hello, Julie! Thanks for visiting. Very cool to see the sketches in various stages.

    My kicks for the past week:

    1) Operation Teen Book Drop! Big thanks to everyone who participated in the event this year. Check out the string of #rockthedrop tweets, posts, and pictures on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook via readergirlz.
    2) Good causes
    3) Red ribbons
    4) Orphan Black – Are any of you Imps watching this show?
    5) Read a great script
    6) Singing, always, and especially.
    7) Safety

    Jules: The film Hitchcock was okay in my opinion. I prefer Hitchcock’s actual films.

    Stacey: Happy early birthday to you! Hope your daughter enjoys the game.

    Jone: High-five for your grandgirl! Good luck at the tryout if that’s tomorrow as opposed to last Monday, and good luck at the workshop!

  5. LW, the tryouts are for students. I direct the play.

  6. Stacey: My Imp readers (and long-time kickers) know that I only break out the marquee tag for very special occasions, so here we go:


    Also, I hope moving has been going as well as humanly possible. Also, hugs right back atcha.

    Jone, how cool that your granddaughter got to see you in action. Also, have so much fun at the Highlights workshop. You are gonna eat well there. Everyone says that, first thing, but it’s true. They have the best chefs there. And I hope you learn a lot! Safe travels.

    Julie: I’ve got that Petersham book. It’s in my to-be-read stack. Thank you again for visiting, and here’s to tulips. And soup. And farmers’ markets and greens.

    Little Willow: I also thought Hitchcock was okay, though I always like seeing Helen Mirren in action. I thought it was uneven, but what saved the night is watching Psycho afterwards. Also, Scarlet Johansen (sp?) was fine in the movie, but after watching Psycho and seeing Janet Leigh, I was struck by how much this actress looks like her. (I only know her from one season of Mad Men, though she’s in some new show now, I think. Abigail Spencer is her name.) They should have cast *her* in that role in Hitchcock. …. I haven’t heard of that show, LW. Is it a cable show? … Congrats on Operation Teen Book Drop!

  7. Jone: Excellent! I hope you have a wonderful turnout at tryouts.

    Jules: My favorite Hitchcock film is North by Northwest. Orphan Black is on BBC America.

  8. Hello Kickers! Late start today, so will be abnormally brief… Heck of a week indeed, and I loved that Onion piece you linked to, Jules, from the very first sentence. 🙂

    Thanks to Julie Paschkis for the wonderfully colorful art!


    1. The Onion piece, still laughing here.
    2. I got moved to a new office this week. I wasn’t crazy about relocating — I’d been in the same office for 18 years, which suited me fine. But I did like two things about it. The first was how the floor looked once they removed my furniture and cubicle walls. The most obvious feature is the spot where my chair was located for that whole time. Ha!
    3. …and the second was that my new office HAS A DOOR. It’s still a cubicle, with 7- or 8-ft walls, so there’s still a gap at the top, below the ceiling: it’s not completely soundproofed. But it’s, uh, soundbaffling, maybe: an improvement!
    4. Watched some school kids test-launch 2-liter-soda-bottle rockets at a park downtown, obviously for a school project. They applauded and cheered insanely every time a new one took off.
    5. Jules’s relentless attachment, not to say fetish, for the marquee effect.
    6. PB&J. With a big glass of milk.
    7. *whispering* Blogiversary.

    Have a great week, all!

    P.S. to Little Willow: I thought Orphan Black looked very interesting, so DVRed the first two eps. Then I read a bunch of commentary which made me thing, like, Ergh. Our DVR was near full, so I deleted what we already had and canceled the rest. Then Paste named it their favorite new show of 2013 so far — #2 is The Americans, MY favorite — and now here’s this kick from you. So, Ergh again…

  9. P.P.S. (Sorry) I love that catalogue of WPA posters which Julie linked to! They don’t go with our decor at all, but who knew how much variety they covered?!?

  10. Love the illustrations, especially the feel of them – so bright and happy that you cannot help but smile when looking at them. I do love that the cow got a cookie too.

    Jules – I love that so many of your kicks this week are songs. And I am looking forward, as usual, to checking out the music links later – I almost always get hooked by several of your faves.

    Stacey – Happy Birthday! Hope the move continues to go well, and softball is awesome.

    Jone – love that your grandgirl impressed your students – have a wonderful time at the workshop!

    Julie – thank you for sharing your gorgeous illustrations. And Farmers Market greens, yum.

    LW – Hooray for the bookdrop! And singing.

    JES – congrats on the door – it’s nice to be able to shut the door at work. Those soda-bottle rockets sound like a fun thing to watch.

    My kicks:
    1) That a friend who ran the Boston Marathon is ok. He posted his time on fb, so we were all able to see that he’d already finished the race an hour before the explosions.
    2) Social media – for allowing people to let friends and loved ones know they were ok, and for providing helpful info and places to stay for people who needed it. (Never thought I’d say this, but seriously loved fb for that.)
    3) Beasts of the Southern Wild and Quvenzhané Wallis. Parts were slow, but overall, what a fairy tale, and what an incredible kid.
    4) Laughing. Especially at silly, ridiculous things, like Ryan Lochte: Need a laugh? Ryan Lochte can help
    5) Participating in the Ballou High School Book Fair. Amazing how clicking on a link to send a book can make you feel so good.
    6) Go Mighty’s 500 acts of kindness campaign – more good stuff in the world.
    7) This place. The simple exercise of listing 7 good things every week never fails to make me smile, and remember how lucky I am. And reading everyone else’s kicks makes me happy too.

    Hope all of you and yours are safe, and here’s wishes for a safer, calmer, happier week….

  11. Happy blogiversary, John! Still one of the best places in cyberspace. And congrats on the sound-baffling door!

    (And I linked to the WPA posters, ’cause I’m link-happy. That’s to say that I hope Julie was okay with me linking to that particular page.)

    Rachel, yes, Julie is right when she says we all need cookies. … Thank goodness your friend is okay. … I saw that Lochte interview this week and laughed, too. I know nothing about him, but I laughed at the laughing in the video. … So happy to read kick #7.

    Happy week, all.

  12. p.s. Little Willow, thanks for the link!

  13. I’m still trying to get my head around the bizarre events of last week. The truth is, I don’t want to get my head around it. I want it to be the weird dream that it feels like as a look out the window at another beautiful Monday in April here in peaceful Massachusetts.
    Jules – Aren’t you glad Patty Griffin and Robert Plant found each other? Their voices together make me happy.
    Stacey – Happy Birthday!
    Jone- Poem in your pocket sounds lovely.
    Julie – Thanks for sharing your lovely, bright work with us. Enjoy your cookbook. I am a big fan of Deborah Madison.
    LW- Just keep singing, just keep singing.
    JES – Here’s to a new comfort zone!
    Rachel – Yes, seven times for #7!
    1. That teachers and children in Massachusetts public schools had last week off for Spring Break.
    2. Meeting my new nephew. I am an aunt for the 17th time.
    3. My smartphone. I could keep up with the news while minimizing my children’s exposure to scary events close to home.
    4. I’ve said it before, kind words. Sometimes a single sentence can be enough to keep on keepin’ on.
    5. My new brush pen.
    6. Family and friends who help piece together daycare coverage during vacation.
    7. All the helpers.
    Have a lovely week Imps!

  14. Glad you all are safe, Moira. A lot of my co-workers live up there and were away for Spring Break. I was wondering if they’d even be able to get to their homes when they returned.

    Happy aunt-hood. 17? Dang. You are an expert by now.

  15. ah, that poem…

  16. Oh my goodness! Just coming back to check in. I love the marquee!! I feel honored 🙂 And reading about Jone’s trip to Highlights makes my mouth water! I was just thinking about the delicious oatmeal with the poached apricots the other day…

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.