What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Isabelle Arsenault

h1 August 2nd, 2013 by jules


Spread from Jean E. Pendziwol’s Once Upon a Northern Night,
illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault:
“Once upon a northern night / I sent the frost / to dance on your window /
and make a frame. / It twirled and twisted, / curled and coiled, / spiraled and spun, / climbing around the edges of the glass / but leaving the middle /
as smooth and clear as the frozen pond.”

(Click to see spread in its entirety)


Spread from Fanny Britt’s Jane, The Fox & Me,
also illustrated by Arsenault

(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Bruce Eric Kaplan’s Cousin Irv from Mars, which makes me laugh. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Jean E. Pendziwol’s Once Upon a Northern Night, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault and released this month from Groundwood Books.

Pictured above is an illustration from this beautiful picture book, but also pictured there is a spread from Fanny Britt’s new graphic novel, Jane, The Fox & Me, also illustrated by Arsenault, translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou, and to be released next month from Groundwood. This is the tenderly-wrought story, originally published in French in 2012, of a girl named Hélène, who doesn’t fit in at school and whose former friends now shun her. Hélène finds solace in her copy of Jane Eyre, as well as her Kate and Anna McGarrigle records. Hélène is none too pleased to find out she’ll have to attend a required nature camp with her classmates, “four nights, forty students, our whole class.”

Betsy Bird has a detailed review here of this deeply-felt story of despair and loneliness, which turns toward the light at its close and ends on a note of hope and friendship.

Below is one more spread from each book. Enjoy.


“Once upon a northern night / a great gray owl gazed down / with his great yellow eyes / on the milky-white bowl of your yard. / Without a sound, / not even the quietest whisper, / his great silent wings lifted and / down, / down, / down / he drifted, / leaving a feathery sketch / of his passing / in the snow.”
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


(Click to enlarge cover)


 

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(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge cover)

* * * * * * *

ONCE UPON A NORTHERN NIGHT. Copyright © 2013 by Jean E. Pendziwol. Illustrations © 2013 by Isabelle Arsenault. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Groundwood Books, Toronto.

JANE, THE FOX & ME. Copyright © 2012 by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault. English translation copyright © 2013 by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher, Groundwood Books, Toronto.





6 comments to “What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Isabelle Arsenault”

  1. Northern Night almost…almost…makes me yearn for silvery winter!


  2. DITTO what Tricia said. That artwork is flat out beautiful.


  3. Putting both of these on the to-read list. So beautiful. Isabelle Arsenault is one of my favorites!


  4. Oh so beautiful – making me both cold and intrigued looking at those amazing illustrations.


  5. This art is just so beautiful and haunting. I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since I first saw it on your Kirkus (was it?) posting. Thanks for sharing.


  6. […] Gollie: Best Friends Forever by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile; Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by (the amazing) Isabelle Arsenault; and Open This Little Book by […]


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