7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #360: Featuring Brian Biggs

h1 December 8th, 2013 by jules

Sketch and final cover art
(Click each to enlarge)

Santa gets around any way he can, y’all.

And author-illustrator Brian Biggs proves this point in the newest entry in his Everything Goes series, called Everything Goes: Santa Goes Everywhere!, published by Balzer & Bray this September. This is actually a board book, and it’s good stuff. In fact, I did story time yesterday morning at Parnassus Books here in Nashville, and I brought this one along. The children there loved the book. There were many laughs, in particular, to see Santa on a speedboat. (And how much do I love the book’s cover? A whole heapin’ lot. Opening this post is the cover art.)

(By the way, that’s Brian pictured above and right. He painted himself into his new book about what goes on the sea, but more on that book below.)

I’ve posted before here at 7-Imp about this wonderful series (see this 2012 post in which I chat with Brian), which is perfect for the vehicle- and transportation-obsessed child in your life (or even growns-ups). I think it’d be unfortunate, though, to write about these books in such a way to imply they should be limited to only those who like moving vehicles of any sort. They’re such well-crafted books on many other levels, and they’re full of rewarding details. You will often hear Biggs compared to Richard Scarry when folks write about these books, and there’s a reason: They are spreads to pore over and take one’s time with, spreads full of many stories and running jokes and visual treats. Oh, and they’re educational too. Clearly. But, most importantly, they’re very fun.

So far in the series, we’ve been treated to these picture books:

Covers for Everything Goes: On Land and In the Air
(Click to enlarge)

Out in October was a third one, Everything Goes: By Sea, and Brian shares some art and sketches below from that one. (Bonus!) There have also been board books, as well as I Can Read beginning readers. His newest board book, released in October, is Everything Goes: What Flies in the Air? We’re also treated below to some art and sketches from that one. (Bonus again!)

But first up is more from Santa himself. Let’s get to it, and I thank Brian for sharing.


Art & Sketches from Everything Goes:
Santa Goes Everywhere!


(Click to enlarge)

“Bicycle” (sketch and final art)
(Click second image to enlarge)

“Helicopter” (sketches)
(Click second image to enlarge)

“Helicopter” (final art)
(Click to enlarge)

“Sailboat” (sketches)
(Click second image to enlarge)

“Speedboat” (sketch)
(Click to enlarge)

“Speedboat” (thumbnail)
(Click to enlarge)

“Speedboat” (final art)
(Click to enlarge)

Cover sketch

Final cover


Art & Sketches from Everything Goes: By Sea


(Click each to enlarge)


Sketches: Ferries (before and after)
(Click to enlarge)

Final art
(Click to enlarge)

Sketch and final art
(Click each image to enlarge)

Final art
(Click to enlarge)

Final art
(Click to enlarge)

Final art
(Click to enlarge)

Final art (the book’s gatefold)
(Click to enlarge)

Cover template
(Click to enlarge)

Cover thumbnails
(Click second image to enlarge)

Cover as a work-in-progress
(Click first image to enlarge)


Art & Sketches from Everything Goes:
What Flies in the Air?


Jet sketch
(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Cover art (early and final)
(Click second image to enlarge)

Final cover

All images are used with permission of Brian Biggs.

* * * * * * *

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) Have I mentioned that I love the cover of Santa Goes Everywhere! somethin’ fierce?

2) My daughters and I have been reading aloud Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and thank goodness for the protagonist, Cimorene. She’s the kind of princess that my girls can stand. (No, really, they seem to have lost all patience for the helpless types. I didn’t even drill this into them). She is bold and fearless and can take care of herself.

3) I love seeing music best-of lists at this time of year, like this one. So much music to explore. (Oh, and look at this. They wrote, “If Laura Marling’s fourth album, Once I Was An Eagle, ended after only five tracks, it would still be one of the strongest pieces of music to be released in 2013.” Why, yes! I happen to agree with that.)

4) When I saw Laura Marling live a few weeks ago, she sang all five of those songs.

5) I love this. It’s “Bjork Explaining Television Is Everything You’d Imagine Bjork Explaining Television to Be,” and it makes me laugh. (P.S.: “You shouldn’t let poets lie to you.”) (Thanks to Jonathan Bean for the link.)

6) This is also totally wild (there are unicorns in the Bible?), and I’d like to see Bob Shea or Bob Staake illustrate it, wouldn’t you? Also, I kinda want a copy.

7) Last week, I mentioned that my girls sang back-up on this CD, released by a Nashville musician/puppeteer/children’s storyteller. Now there’s a video of the song. You might even spot my girls in there. One might even have facial hair.


That’s all I’ve got this week, but I want to close with this book cover:

“No one is born hating…” — Nelson Mandela

May he rest in peace.

(Note: The book is Kadir Nelson’s Nelson Mandela, published earlier this year. More art is here at 7-Imp.)

What are YOUR kicks this week?

20 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #360: Featuring Brian Biggs”

  1. Ooh, best of lists, good for lazy people like me 🙂

    That video is super cute. I even recognised your daughter with that impressive mo.

    1. Today we hired a ute (pick up in American I think) and took lots of garden waste to the tip (where it is composted). Good to have so much done!
    2. I didn’t visit 7 imp last week as I was sick – toncillitus for the first time in my life! (I rarely get ill but suspect sleep deprivation is taking its toll) Fortunately I recovered pretty quickly (this is the kick!)
    3. Rowan and I went to a babes in arms movie session this week as I thought a movie was a good way to make sure I relaxed for a couple of hours! It was indeed a good break.
    4. I was non-infectious in time to go to a mother’s group lunch
    5. Our Christmas tree is up & decorated! (unlike many of your trees it is artificial – it’s pretty rare to have an alive tree here seeing as it’s summer)
    6. A run of good books recently
    7. Which reminds me, I have to say the book reviews on 7 imp are the biggest kick ever! Having now had a couple of months of random book choices from the picture books at the library, I can say there are many boring or just bad children’s books around. (not that the baby notices yet, but I do!) Having a resource with ideas on beautiful & interesting picture books is so useful! Like today’s! Thanks, Jules!

  2. Hey there Imps!

    These Santa images are so darn cute. I might have to get this for my nephew who is full of Santa questions.

    Jules -OMG #6 what a riot. I might need that one for myself. My son and I are reading, “A Wrinkle in Time”. Now the Avengers movies make a lot more sense.
    emmaco -It’s going to be so fun discovering all the good and great picture books out there to share with your family. I love #3.

    1. Celebrated my sister’s last radiation treatment with her, my mom, her friend and one other sister. Outlook is good. Woo!
    2. Survived and enjoyed a five day, nine state Thanksgiving trip with a good percentage of my family.
    3. Youth basketball season has started.
    4. Mike Napoli re-signed with the Red Sox. I was inspired to make this picture: http://moiraswiatkowski.com/2013/12/07/something-for-everyone/
    5. People have bought things from my shops.
    6.Mark Mulcahy was on Fresh Air. It was like a ghost in my radio. I am so happy he has made a new album. I was a big Miracle Legion fan back in the day. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/04/248802299/mark-mulcahy-is-the-moving-forward-type
    7. I have one more link for those that want to get a deal at my Society6 shop before midnight tonight (Dec. 8, 2013) http://www.npr.org/2013/12/04/248802299/mark-mulcahy-is-the-moving-forward-type

    I am going to try to get as much Holiday prep. done today so I can enjoy my studio day tomorrow.

  3. Doh!
    Wrong link for the sale. Here it is: http://society6.com/atlanticmo?promo=d18694

  4. Emmaco, so glad you’re feeling better and sorry you were under the weather. Does “babes in arms” mean you can bring a wee babe and watch a film? Do we have that in the States? I don’t think so. Or it could be that I’ve just never seen one …. And THANK YOU for your last kick. That means so much! Yes, there are lots of really crappy books for kids out there. I see so many picture books. The worst are the ones that condescend to children. Yiggedy.

    Moira: Kick #1 is a beautiful thing. And thanks for the links.

    I don’t know why I didn’t name this post, given the opening image, “Move Over, Jax Teller.”

  5. Good morning, Imps! Happy Sunday to you!

    Greetings to Brian and his creations. I am now simultaneously singing Brand New Key (I rode my bicycle past your window last night – lyrics specifically) and the song Bicycle by the fantastic band Hey Ocean!

    I wonder what kind of transportation is preferred by most of the Imps here. Train, plane, automobile? Teleportation device? Seven-league boots? (If you have either of those last two things, please, share, please.)

    Jules: Sounds like your girls have good taste. Though we knew that already. Yay for Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Give them some more high-fives for me, for rocking that song/video!

    emmaco: Glad that you are feeling better! Wishing you and yours well.

    Moira: Lots of celebratory whoops for your sister! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks for sharing your art, as always. Yay for A Wrinkle in Time!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Rehearsals
    2) Costume fittings
    3) Free breakfast
    4) Movies
    5) Getting work done
    6) Working it out
    7) Making it work

  6. What a fun series especially since I am needing books for PreK. Want and the speedboat cracks me up.
    Jules, I love the video with your girls. So dang fun.
    Emmaco, the good thing about artificial trees is they can stay up longer. Enjoy.
    Moira, your number 1 kick is the best. How great for your sis. And A Wrinkle in Time rocks.
    LW, I wish I could time travel. Sounds like you had a busy week.
    My kicks:
    1. Love and support from the online community and friends due to the passing of my former co-worker and friend.
    2. Family Night Showcase. This was a fabulous school event. A concert and time for families to see the school work in the classrooms.
    3. Having a friend spend the day with me at school on Wednesday. We student taught together.
    4. A yearly gathering at a former librarian’s house. Food and festivities abounded.
    5. Maya Angelo’s tribute to Nelson Mandela.
    6. A co-worker lent his Game of Thrones series to me so I don’t need to borrow from the library (and have to wait or watch within a week)
    7. Friends and family.
    Have a great week.

  7. Well, I must have this Santa book. It looks hilarious. I don’t have the By Sea title either. Yikes! I must be slipping. Thanks for sharing all of the art.
    Jules: I loved the Patrica Wrede series. She is my kind of princess too.
    Emmaco: So glad you are feeling better and were able to enjoy a few hours respite
    Moira: I agree with Jone; your number 1 kick is the best thing ever.
    Little Willow: I love movies too. I’m trying to watch more of them.
    Jone: Glad your Family Night Showcase was a terrific celebration.

    My kicks:
    1. Joined the #nerdlution on Twitter; so far so good.
    2. Mock Caldecott at school
    3. A day without wind
    4. Animal tracks in the snow
    5. Decorated Christmas tree
    6. Shelves full of books
    7. Snowy walks with Xena

  8. Hey there Jules and fellow Imps! I’ve missed kicking for a bit due to travel and work, but have enjoyed stopping by and reading everyone’s kicks in the meantime.

    Love the artwork in these books, and of course now they are on my list for some holiday presents.

    Jules – Woot woot to your girls for being adorable backup singers, and for not having patience for helpless princesses!
    Wow, glad you got see Laura Marling live – how awesome!

    LW – costume fittings can be so fun, likewise breakfast and movies. Go you.

    emmaco – so glad you are feeling better, that class with Rowan sounds fun.

    Moira – hip hip hooray for your Kick #1! Sending good thoughts to you and your sister.

    Jone – so sorry for your loss. The Family Night sounds pretty great, and friends and family are so awesome.

    Margie – jealous of your snowy walks with Xena, its cold here but we only had a light dusting of snow on Friday. Snow, animal tracks, full bookshelves and a tree sounds a lot like the makings of a great Christmas.

    My kicks this week are a little bittersweet, but than that’s life, isn’t it?
    1. Cole. Having him for almost 2 years was such a blessing, had to say goodby before Thanksgiving, it was unexpected and quick, but we packed a lot of love and fun together in that almost 2 years. I do miss him, but he was a gift.
    2. Thanksgiving with good friends. We were surrounded by the grad student friends of my friend’s daughter, and they were a delight. Very fun group.
    3. Thanksgiving brunch with one of my favorite friends from law school. Mimosas and pastry – yum!
    5. Shrimp etoufee that came out perfectly.
    6. Helpful co-workers in a very busy trial month for me.
    7. Saw “Enough Said” last night. Really good movie that was very funny, but also bittersweet, like life. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini were really really good together.
    7.5 Holiday Season! I am definitely getting swept up into the spirit of things – I love this time of year. The light dusting of snow we had on Friday was very fun.

    Have a wonderful week everyone! Stay warm!

  9. This Imp prefers the bicycle kind. In the snow. Uphill. And I’m an expert… http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_biggs/sets/72157638487149095/

  10. Little Willow, glad your week was good. I’d say I prefer bicycle, but it’s not like I a) currently own one or b) live in a place where I can bike places. Yeesh, I should fix that.

    See, I got nuthin’, compared to the photos Brian shared.

    Jone, oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Big hug. And I will have to look for Angelou’s tribute.

    Margie: I am looking forward to hearing the results of your mock Caldecott!

    Rachel: NO. No. No. Cole? I am so, so sorry. Oh, I had no idea. …. Big hug to you too.

  11. Margie, I love the thought of seeing animals tracks in the snow and walks with Xena.
    Rachel, I am so sorry about cole. Our four legged children are the best.
    LW: I love train travel.

  12. I’m going to try to get this in QUICK before time to board my plane home (don’t we love airport wifi?)
    That dirty look the raindeer is giving Santa as he rows the innertu¬¬be made me lol. And I’m very intrigued by the containers in the hull of Gigantesca (that’s one BIG box of shoes!) Thanks for sharing Brian (and Jules.)
    Jules — #6 is going on my purchase list; wild indeed. Love the music you share (esp. la-la-la girls.)
    emmaco – “took waste to the tip” (like that so much better than ‘the dump’.) ha!
    Moira—I drinking coffee in a mighty special yellow umbrella-girl coffee cup. : – )
    LW – I’m going to try to emulate your energetic 5, 6 & 7 this week. You are an inspiration.
    jone – thanks for the Maya/Mandela tribute heads up. Concert & classroom visit sounds fun.
    Margie – I’m curious about MockCaldy results too. #6 is one of fave things too.
    Rachel – “Enough Said” just moved up my list. THX (shrimp etoufee ? mm-mmm. And fun to say.)
    I’ve spent the last three days at the Big Sur Writing Workshop and it was very kicky.
    1. wildlife: turkeys on my cabin roof, deer grazing on lawn and even a osprey perch atop a redwood!
    2. my two critique groups gathered in front of my cabin fire, reading and sharing and rewriting.
    3. faculty sing-a-long in Andrea Brown’s cabin until 12:30am. (A little wine, a lot of Beatles!)
    4. – 7. won’t have time for. Calling my flight.
    Have a good week!

  13. this is absolutely fantastic stuff! Brian’s illustrations hold so much character and interest. I just love the “happy” feeling you get looking at all of them. You can’t help but smile, and I REALLY love the expressions on that reindeer’s face throughout. Hilarious! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    And thanks, Nelson…

  14. Glad you like it, Donna Marie. It’s such a great series.

  15. Hi, Denise! Spam tried to eat your kicks for a late-night snack, but I just saved them.

    Your retreat/workshop sounds wonderful. Safe travels!

  16. Brian’s latest book reminds me of one of my very favorite christmas books by John Burningham “Harvey Slumfenberger’s Christmas Present” which also shows Santa traveling in numerous forms of transportation just to deliver one boy’s present. Unfortunately the book is currently out of print.

  17. Diane, that is one of my favorite picture books EVER.

  18. Thanks Jules and Jone. He was a good boy, he had a good life, and he is missed.

  19. Thanks for the Brian Biggs posting. As usual, I love seeing an artist’s rough sketches because they get beneath the finished art to reveal pure, energetic draftsmanship, which Brian has in spades. I also admire his use of isometric perspective, where you can see everything equally in a wide scene because it’s on a tilted, flat plane with no vanishing points – a device I’ve borrowed from him more than once!

  20. […] The publisher recommends this book for children ages 4-8. My personal opinion is that the upper range is probably accurate, but that you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to teach your toddler to say “VW Bus!” Not convinced? Read more about Brian Biggs. […]

Leave a Comment

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