7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #339: Featuring Kevin Cornell

h1 July 14th, 2013 by jules

Final spread from Count the Monkeys
(Click to enlarge)

I’m going to be ever-so brief in my explanation of these images today, only because I have already written about this book over in another location. I recently reviewed for BookPage Mac Barnett’s latest book, Count the Monkeys (Disney/Hyperion, June 2013), illustrated by Kevin Cornell. And I could just send you to my review and stop there, but you all know I start to get downright twitchy unless I also share picture book art, so today I’m following that review up with some art from Cornell, as well as some sketches he sent along.

Kevin Cornell is a UK illustrator (and unitasker). Don’t let the “mediocre” bit fool you.

So, at the risk of looking lazy today, here are my thoughts on the book (which will also give you a sense of what it’s about, of course), but today here in 7-Imp Land is some art — before my kicks, that is.


Concept Sketches
(click each to enlarge and see in more detail):

Early sketch: Monkeys and Mac Barnett


Some Final Art
(click each to enlarge and see in more detail):


(These last two images are details from various spreads throughout the book)

COUNT THE MONKEYS. Copyright © 2013 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Kevin Cornell. Published by Disney/Hyperion, New York. Spreads used with permission of Kevin Cornell.

* * * * * * *

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) Last week I shared some ALA kicks. Here’s another:

I went to a lovely dinner the first night of ALA, a wonderful gathering of folks from the Dutch publisher Lemniscaat (who, on the whole, make beautiful books). Illustrators Charlotte Dematons and Ingrid & Dieter Schubert were there, all the way from Holland, as well as Jean Christophe Boele van Hensbroek and Jesse Goossens.

Also in attendance was the legendary musician Janis Ian. This Fall, Lemniscaat will release her first picture book, The Tiny Mouse, illustrated by the Schuberts. Here I am pictured with Janis, happy to be in her presence. (So, she’s had this amazing career, yes? But you all know I’m also an SNL Geek, right? Fun Fact: She was the first musical guest ever on SNL. She performend “At Seventeen” on the show’s debut on October 11, 1975.)

It really was a wonderful evening of good company, and Janis made me teary-eyed when she talked about her favorite childhood librarian and how important books were to her. She also sang, guitar in hand. It was really special.

2) I’ve had way more work this summer than I normally do, but I can start to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

3) I’m reading The Princess Bride with my girls, and it’s just as funny as I remember. The nine-year-old thinks the Sicilian is HYSTERICAL.

4) The girls are being very patient with me saying stupid things in my best Inigo Montoya voice, such as: “Hello. My name is Julie Danielson. It is now bed-time. Prepare to snuggle.”

5) Okay, while we’re on the subject: Every time I see the scene in the movie adaptation where Inigo finally corners Count Rugen—EVERY single time—I get the good kind of goosebumps, as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it:

Inigo: Offer me money.
Count Rugen: Yes!
Inigo: Power, too, promise me that.
Count Rugen: All that I have and more. Please…
Inigo: Offer me anything I ask for.
Count Rugen: Anything you want…
Inigo: I want my father back, you son of a bitch.


BOO to the YAH, my friends.

6) Sunshine.

7) Not much longer till Sam Phillip’s brand-new album will be mailed to those of us fans who pre-ordered it. In celebration, I share what is, arguably, her most beautiful song EVER:

Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips on Grooveshark

What are YOUR kicks this week?

20 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #339: Featuring Kevin Cornell”

  1. So, I just lurve the idea that a book called Count the Monkeys turns out to have no monkeys to count in its story pages. Too funny. (Note: I am moving my computer mouse in a zig-zag manner to confuse the crocodiles.) Also, why does it make me smile to see that Mr. Cornell named all his lumberjack character sketches. “Lumber Kathy.” ha-ha! Thanks for sharing, Mac, Kevin (and Jules.)

    Jules – your dinner sounds fab; lucky you. Your Princess Bride quote reminds me of one of the more interesting live newscasts I’ve ever seen:

    One morning I was watching KTLA (our local new station) and someone made an offhand remark about names. Taking that slight cue, one of the anchors, Carlos Amesqua, suddenly looks straight into camera and says “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” Then he laughs and looks to the other two newscasters for jovial support… but both look shocked and give him no acknowledgement what so ever. And he’s like, “Come on! You know… Princess Bride? Count Rugen? Inigo Montoya?” And they’re still blank-faced (and clearly think that he’s lost it and is due to be fired any minute.) Poor Carlos looked a bit worried too. The news cast goes on… traffic, weather, whatever. Twenty minutes later the news director’s voice comes on live in the studio and announces, “We just want to tell the hundreds of viewers who are calling in that we at KTLA understand that Inigo Montoya is an important cultural icon. Our lines are jammed, you can stop calling the station now.” ; – )

    My kicks:
    1. dancing/practicing/muscle memory
    2. cold pressed juice
    3. movies you can watch again and again (My Cousin Vinny, Galaxy Quest and the like.)
    4. telemarketers who take “no” for an answer.
    5. my critique group working hard with me to polish an important chapter (artistic trust.)
    6. my son e-mailing me from Burma to remind me to send his college health forms in. ha! (the tables of responsibility are turning…)
    7. an Edward Gorey pin my hubby got me called “Pom-Pom Cat”.

    Have a nice summery week all.

  2. Count the Monkeys sounds so funny! I’ll have to find it soon…

    And it’s so funny- we were at a cookout a few weeks and were just talking about The Princess Bride- I hadn’t thought of it in ages and here it is again! Perhaps it should be our next read aloud!

    Denise- What a funny story you shared! A perfect giggle for a Sunday morning!

    My kicks:
    1. Dinner with new neighbors. Adults and girls all had a blast.
    2. A break in the heat before it returns again today.
    3. A rainy Saturday trip to the library with the girls.
    4. A delicious new salad dressing recipe. Can’t get enough!
    5. Plans to travel with old friends next weekend.
    6. The beach.
    7. A fabulous new book club.

  3. Jules, Denise: Have you seen the Hello My Name is… shirt with that quote? Hilarious. Also, look on YouTube for the Games of Thrones Red Wedding Princess Bride mash-up. Hilarious.

    Jules: Always look for the light. Always.

    Denise: Yay, dancing!

    Stacey: Enjoy the book club.

    Hi, Kevin. I cannot see the artwork on this page on my current device but will check it out later, I promise.

    My kicks for the past week:

    1) Filming
    2) Fearless
    3) New pathways
    4) Rehearsals
    5) and 6) Auditions
    7) Happiness

    It has been a very kicking week.

  4. Brilliant cartooning by Kevin! And I can’t wait to share The Princess Bride with my seven-year-old.

    Recently, said seven-year-old, her mum, and I visited Crescent Park Carousel in Riverside, Rhode Island. It was hand-carved by Charles Looff in 1895 and is still revolving with joy. My poem is modeled in structure after Richard Wilbur’s “June Light”:

    At Crescent Park Carousel

    Your choice, in passing by a bridled face
    Belonging to a stationary roan,
    Was pitched to pick a jumper, she of bone-
    White shoulders, a statue of a steeplechase
    Which you had claimed as yours, and yours alone.

    Then your grip tightened on that golden pole
    Some master carver set within your horse
    For permanent ascent. How close our course
    Circled, and how constricted our control,
    Meant little locked in radiating force.

    And you leaned out—if I could only sing
    Over the Wurlitzer, I might still be
    Accordant with that same calliope—
    To grasp the brassy medal of a ring.

    © 2013 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  5. Kevin’s images are fantastic. They remind me of Mad Magazine illos. Of my youth.
    My son would like Mac to get back to working on new Brixton Brother books, please.
    Jules- I’m glad you had such a great experience at ALA. You pick a great year to go.
    I’ve never read the Princess Bride book, now I want to.
    Denise- That story about the newscaster is hilarious.
    Stacey- The Beach!!!
    LW- I love all of your kicks. #7 is so precious.
    Steven-I’ve always loved the beauty of carved carousel animals, thank for the great imagery.
    My kicks:
    1. My wonderful, supportive family, especially my parents.
    2. My awesome kids for going with the flow.
    3. Swimming
    4. Salt Water
    5. Fresh Water
    6. Watching Breaking Bad with my husband
    7. The beautiful flowers in my yard that attract all kinds of wildlife including hummingbirds and honeybees.
    It’s still July, live it up.

  6. Denise, I love that anchorman story. Finally, an anchorman with some personality! … Hurrah for your critique group and your husband AND your son. I hope he’s enjoying Burma?

    Stacey, if you do read it to your girls, a tip: We skipped over the fake intro. This is something I pretty much never do, but we started it and it’s long and very clearly written for adults. And I don’t say that in an it-will-tarnish-their-innocent-young-minds way. I say that, because it really is a book written for grown-ups. And they were lost and bored, and I was losing them. Instead, I skipped straight to chapter one and Buttercup, and now they’re having a blast. … Also, dang, your kicks are good. New friends, the beach, old friends, too. Ah, I hope to get to the beach later. This summer has been too work-filled, but soon … I hope.

    Little Willow: Yes, I own that shirt, though it’s starting to fade. I get people cracking up over it, and then I also get very strange looks. And it makes me happy to hear, LW, that your week’s been “very” kicking!

    Steven, thanks for sharing. That poem is so … precise. I can see it all vividly in my head.

    Moira: Good kicks, too. Everyone seems to be having a good July. … I’m VERY ready for the last eps of Breaking Bad.

  7. I’ve loved Kevin’s drawings on A List Apart for years, so I was happily surprised to see him here this morning. That’ll have to be Kick #1:

    My Kicks
    1. Kevin Cornell here!
    2. Got a sci-fi anthology (The Lowest Heaven) that is a collab between the Royal Observatory Greenwich and a small press I follow.
    3. Built a new platform bed this morning.
    4. Cleaned around the house and it is spick and span in preparation for my mom coming back from India.
    5. I get to write for a blog
    6. I finalized plans to come up to NYC to visit a friend next Wednesday.
    7. First vegetables out of the garden. (Tomatoes, green chilies, serrano peppers, cucumbers, and more!)

  8. Flying by today. Missed last week out of town and company. Today at beach w/ grandgirl…loving summer….hi to all kickers amd such fab kicks.

  9. Love this book – oh my! Where was it when I was growing up? : ) Next best thing – I’ll be purchasing it for several kids I know who will enjoy it.

    Jules – Your time at ALA sounds like an incredible experience.The book The Princess Bride is one of my favorites (as is the movie). So glad your kids are loving it too. And yes, just yes, to that scene in the movie. (I just picked up a dvd copy of the movie this week because I didn’t have it in my collection.)

    Denise – what an awesome newscaster story! yes to dancing and muscle memory. Burma & New Orleans – you have well-traveled adventurous sons! And totally agree on kick #3.

    Stacey – what a lovely week – dinner with neighbors, a rainy day at the library & then a trip to the beach? Sounds perfect.

    LW – your kick #2 Fearless is wonderful- & how I imagine you must be to do all that you do. Hooray for a great week!

    Steven – old carousels are a treasure – so lovely you got to share that with your family. Lovely poem.

    Moira – love kicks #1 & 2. And your garden sounds like a perfect place for summer – yay hummingbirds!

    Sharat – first vegetables from the garden are such a delight – enjoy! And NYC trips – yay!

    Hi jone! Have fun at the beach!

    My quick kicks this week:
    1)Friends who make me laugh til I’m almost crying at the ridiculousness of things.
    2) Summer cakes project – 2 more cakes – a sheet cake & a strawberry chocolate icebox cake.Now I need to decide what to make next.
    3) Watched The Driver, the Walter Hill movie Drive was based on (loosely, but still, it was first.) Ryan O’Neal was quite the hunk back in the day.
    4) Read “Torch” by Cheryl Strayed. She captured the out-of-bodiness feeling of being young & watching a parent lose the battle with cancer.
    5) Crawfish boil yesterday. Yum, yum, and yum!
    6) Cole. This dog cracks me up.
    7) Getting my hair done. Its been super busy at work, carving out time for me has been hard, so it was nice to have an end of the week break for 2 hours of spoiling before heading back to work.
    7.5) Summer! Love summer here in the pacific northwest, when it finally gets here its glorious.

    Have a great week everyone!

  10. I. Hate. Monkeys. But Count the Monkeys looks like a good book. :o)

    Jules, OMG. You had a mighty fangirl night with Janis Ian.

    Hi, Denise, Little Willow, Steven, Rachel, Jone, Sharat B., Moira, and Stacey!

    My kicks:

    1. It’s National Children’s Book Month in the Philippines.

    2. And it’s National Children’s Book Day on Tuesday.

    3. I’m the admin of the official Facebook page of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People. Please like the page if you’re curious about Philippine children’s and young adult literature!

    4. I’m taking a class entitled “Memory and the American Text” under a visiting professor from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and I literally feel my mind expanding every class meeting.

    5. I’m flying out to another city next weekend to facilitate a workshop on reviewing children’s books.

    6. EXO, my favorite K-pop group, is performing in the Philippines again in September.

    7. Friends, friends, friends.

  11. Count the Monkeys is on the top of the stack next to my computer. It’s hilarious. It’s very nice to see all the sketches. Thanks for sharing these with us Kevin and Jules.

    I loved the movie The Princess Bride even before I loved the book; both outstanding and enduring classics.

    Jules: Glad you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t wait to see your new book. I’ll bet your students are really enjoying the class.

    Denise: Thanks for sharing that story. I can taste the juice now (sigh).

    Stacey: I would love to find a new book club. Enjoy.

    Little Willow: Glad you are filming…

    Steven: Your poem captures exactly how I remember the carousel so beautifully.

    Moira: Love the hummingbirds especially when the buzz close by if you are still.

    Sharat: Have fun writing for the blog.

    Rachael: I know what you mean about the pure bliss of sitting for an hour or two having your hair done. I look forward to it.

    Tarie: Have fun with the book celebrations!

    My kicks:
    1. Sunlight streaming through the tree leaves first thing in the morning.
    2. Flower boxes on the deck brimming with color
    3. The symphony of bird song all day long
    4. A breeze to beat the heat
    5. Wandering in my favorite book store; getting to see the F & G of Battle Bunny
    6. Books, books and more books
    7. Walking the neighborhood with my sweet Xena.

  12. Oops, the second half of the day got away from me, but I’ll be back in the a.m. to read the rest of the kicks. Hope everyone had a good Sunday.

  13. I’m here. I’m here. Promise.

    Hi, Sharat. Which blog will you be writing for?

    Hi, Jone! Happy beach-with-granddaughter!

    Rachel, summer in the Northwest does sound grand. We were hoping to make it to Seattle this year, but now I just don’t know. …. Glad you took time for yourself. … Also, I didn’t realize it was a whole SUMMER CAKES project! Why aren’t you my neighbor?

    Tarie, congrats on all the wonderful professional stuff you’re doing! I’m so proud to know you. I gotta go find that page on Facebook.

    Marie: I do hope they’re enjoying the class! I love your first kick so much. #5 is just as good.

    Have a great week, all!

  14. Portland is just 3 hours from Seattle, Jules

  15. Jules – if you were my neighbor I would definitely share my baking with you. : )

  16. […] Last week I said I’ve had more work than normal this summer, yet I can see the light at the end of the […]

  17. Kevin Cornell has a new fan. I adore these illustrations! Thank you for pointing him and Counting The Monkeys out to us!

    My seven kicks:

    1. An early morning walk with my husband in our new, first home together neighborhood!

    2. When a stranger smiles and says hello back to me.

    3. The sound of a happy baby.

    4. Drawing something I haven’t in a long while and remembering how much I love drawing it.

    5. Listening to a book with my husband.

    6. An unexpected outing. Most recently this was a screening of Labrynth, which turned out to be a Rocky Horror style show! We bought prop kits that had bubbles, a clear and giant super ball, clapping hands, and a miniature whoopsie cushion for The Bog of Eternal Stench! And the kick within a kick: Although the audience commentary was hilarious, the best part was the entire audience going quiet for Ambrosias crossing the river!

    7. A trip to Hicklebee’s (our indie children’s book store), or a library.

  18. Hi, Susan! Not sure if you meant to post in *this* week’s post, but hi anyway!

    Kick #6 sounds truly wonderful. Wow just wow. Congrats on your new home, too!

  19. […] Barnett below, which makes me think of his new book, co-written with Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell and which also happens to be about conning (and practical jokes and all-things-mischief). […]

  20. I would like to subscribe to seven impossible things before breakfast. Thank you. Linda

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