7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #384:
Featuring Cece Bell, Eric Rohmann, & Philip C. Stead
(and a Kick’y Moment with Jody Hewgill, Too)

h1 June 1st, 2014 by jules

— From Cece Bell’s El Deafo (2014)


— From Candace Fleming’s Bulldozer’s Big Day,
illustrated by Eric Rohmann (2015)


— From Philip C. Stead’s Sebastian and the Balloon (2014)
(Click to enlarge)


Good morning, all. I dropped my plans for today to do something a little bit different. (Normally, on the first Sunday of each month, I feature the work of a student illustrator, but I’ll get back to that next month, promise.)

Philip and Erin Stead have created a new website, called Number Five Bus Presents: Conversations with Book People. The why of the whole endeavor is here, and you’ll see over on the main page the line-up of people they’ll be talking to in this, their first season. Here’s a clue as to the blog’s title, which is from the 2011 Caldecott winner, Phil and Erin’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee:

(Click to enlarge)

(Of course, I’m just guessing here, but I figured that must be where the five and the bus and all that goodness comes from.)

The other day, I mentioned this new site (a lovely place to visit, especially for picture book lovers) at places like Facebook and Twitter, but then I realized that I hadn’t actually mentioned it here at my own site. And let me tell you what, folks: The first interview with Eric Rohmann? It is very enjoyable, especially if you love picture books. (I keep saying that, don’t I?) Eric’s interview is here. It’s got decapitation and exploding pigs, to name but two highly entertaining moments. But it’s much, more more, and it’ll really get you thinking about picture books in many directions.

I thought I’d see if both Eric and Phil could give us a sneak-peek at upcoming books — in honor of this new site. They agreed! Phil added that author-illustrator Cece Bell’s interview will be posted on Monday, so I asked her if she wanted to play along today, and she said yes, too. She includes some pages from her upcoming graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, all about her hearing loss and childhood experiences with her hearing aid, the Phonic Ear.

Oh, and in my kicks, I have a new piece of fan-girl art from Jody Hewgill. (“Fan-girl” here means that I love the music of the subject of her piece, and I really love Jody’s art, too.)

So, let’s get right to it — some art sneak-peeks from each of them. I thank them for playing along.


From Cece: Images from El Deafo
(Amulet Books, September 2014)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click to enlarge)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click to enlarge cover)


From Cece: Images from I Yam a Donkey (Clarion, Spring 2015)


(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)


From Eric: Images from
Candace Fleming’s Bulldozer’s Big Day
(Atheneum, Spring 2015)


Eric: The book’s a play on a traditional story form that Candy has altered and enhanced. I tried for jaunty, young, and simple. The artwork is relief printing, using three plates. Like Oh, No!, each plate is used to print multiple colors.


Thumbnail watercolor sketch
(Click to enlarge slightly)


Cut “Key” image (to be printed black)
(Click to enlarge slightly)


Close-up of the cut plate
(Click to enlarge slightly)


Two color plates
(Click to enlarge slightly)


Finished plate
(Click to enlarge slightly)


(Click each to enlarge slightly)


From Phil: Images from
Sebastian and the Balloon
(Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, October 2014)


(Click to enlarge)


“Three sisters called out, ‘What are you doing up there, up on the roof of our house?’ ‘Our balloon has sprung a leak,’ answered Sebastian. ‘Oh, dear,’ said the sisters.
‘If only we could find our knitting needles …’
Luckily, Sebastian had all the things he would ever need.”

(Click to enlarge)


“So the sisters could start their mending.
‘You must be having such fun,’ they said, making loops and tying careful knots of yarn. ‘It’s been so long since we’ve traveled. When we were very young we’d pack strawberry sandwiches and climb up over the mountain.
On the other side is the most perfect roller coaster you will ever see.’
Soon the knitting was done.
And when the wind picked up, everyone knew it was time to go …”

(Click to enlarge)


“And when night fell, Sebastian boarded the balloon he’d built from Grandma’s afghans and patchwork quilts. He charted a course. He checked the breeze.
He cut the strings …”

(Click to enlarge)


“And for the rest of the day and into the night they rode …”
(Click to enlarge)


Book jacket
(Click to enlarge)


The image from A Sick Day for Amos McGee was originally posted in this 2010 blog entry.

All other images are used with permission of Cece Bell, Eric Rohmann, Philip C. Stead, and Jody Hewgill.

* * * * * * *

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) School’s out for the summer!

2) As I wrote here on Friday, I’m looking forward to the extra reading-aloud I can do with my daughters, now that we’ll have a bit more time. (Still taking suggestions, too!)

3) “Every time a person uses Folgers coffee, a baby whale dies.” Dan Santat’s visit to 7-Imp this week was a kick.

4) I read Dan’s The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend to a group of fourth-graders a couple weeks back, and one boy wanted to borrow my galley of the book. I told him I was happy to loan it to him, but I needed it for this interview I was doing with Dan. I told him I’d get him a copy, come hell or high water (though I didn’t actually curse in front of the poor kid). So, this week Dan sent a copy of the book autographed to this boy. Is that kicky or what? I can’t wait to see his face when I give it to him.

5) And when he mailed the book, Dan threw in a bag of the “Workaholic” blend from the Surly Asian Guy Roasting Company — just for the Danielsons. It’s very good, and I can see for myself that the coffee bean’s butt crack is wheat-like. Score! (You’ll have to read Dan’s interview for this to make sense.)

6) I really like the cover of “She” (a song originally released in 1974) that is in the trailer for the movie Gone Girl, which I stumbled upon the other day. The cover is by Richard Butler of The Psychadelic Furs. You can hear it below. I don’t know any other way to share it (I can’t even seem to find the cover on iTunes), so I apologize if you don’t want to watch a trailer for (what may or may not be?) a murder mystery.

(And now I’m reading the book, which evidently most of the rest of the world has already read, ’cause I’m curious. I mean, that is a good trailer, and it’s DAVID FINCHER. I just yelled his name, ’cause I think he’s talented.)

6½) The Boston-Globe Horn Book winners were announced yesterday!

7) Illustrator Jody Hewgill created this portrait of St. Vincent for Rolling Stone’s Playlist Special. (I mentioned in last week’s kicks that I am wearing out St. Vincent’s new CD.) Special thanks to Jody for letting me share it here.


What are YOUR kicks this week?

20 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #384:
Featuring Cece Bell, Eric Rohmann, & Philip C. Stead
(and a Kick’y Moment with Jody Hewgill, Too)”

  1. Jules, thanks for introducing us to the Stead’s new website. What a rich resource. Congrats to being out do school and summer reading. I love the books you share on Facebook not annoying at all.
    My kicks:
    1. Organizing used books for the used books sale this week. Paperbacks $.25 and hardbacks $.50.
    2. Finding out I get an increase in my budget for next year.
    3. Identifying library books that support our Lucy Calkins writing frameworks.
    4. A conversation with a soon to be retired librarian about my gratitude for the work and service she has provided our district (she’s not excited about out celebration for her coming up this week).
    5. I have a Fitbit to track my walking steps. My daily goal is 10,000 but I don’t always make it. This week I reached that goal two times.
    6. Applied to attend the Darcy Pattison Revision Retreat in January 15. Fingers crossed that I will be accepted. Only twenty are allowed.
    7. Pulling weeds.
    Have a great week.

  2. I don’t know whether you’ve mentioned this in past posts, but how about reading the Betsy Tacy series with your girls. I read them myself recently, and plan to read them with my 12 year old daughter this summer.

  3. Good morning, Imps! Hello to Cece and the bunnies, Eric, Philip and that adorable bear, and Jody.

    Jules, you’ll have to tell us when your bookmaker chat is up! 🙂 I’m pretty sure your girls have already tackled the Sideways Stories books, but if you haven’t, try those for a read-aloud. Switch narrators every chapter – pass around the book and let each person read one short chapter aloud.

    Julia: The Betsy-Tacy books are great!

    Jone: Yay for used book sales, yay for hitting and exceeding your walking goal, and yay for your budget increase!

    My kicks for the past week:

    1) Freedom for the mouse
    2) Art imitiating art: Mere hours after I finished writing a new play yesterday, a new episode of Orphan Black aired, and there was a parallel between the two that made me crack up. This is how my life works.
    3) World premiere
    4) Coming up
    5) International
    6) Concert performance
    7) Spin test

  4. Oh my goodness! All this artwork is fantastic Jules.
    Enjoy the summer with the girls and your new reading adventures.
    Jone: A budget increase? That’s such good news for you and your students.
    Little Willow: Hooray for the concert performance.

    My kicks:
    1. Yard work is complete and it looks great.
    2. Support of friends
    3. Lilacs nearly ready to bloom. You can smell them already.
    4. Hummingbirds at feeder and flowers
    5. Baby robins in my hanging ivy are almost ready to fly
    6. Children’s literature
    7. Walks with Xena

  5. Hi there Imps!

    I am so excited for El Deafo. Thanks for the sneak peak.

    Jules – I just watched the St. Vincent sing Nirvana on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction show, pretty darn good although Kim Gordon was my favorite part of that bit.
    My kids have four more weeks of school, which is fine by me since I haven’t signed up for any camps yet.
    Jone – Walking is the best, good for mind and body.
    Hi Julia
    LW – Sounds exciting
    Margie – I am hoping to smell lilacs soon too. I haven’t seen any humming birds yet.

    1. I spent an exhausting, hot, fun, did I mention hot five days in Florida at the Kingdom of Magic with my parents, husband and kids.
    2. I feel so lucky that my kids got to have this experience with my folks.
    3. baseball
    4. ballet
    5. Getting psyched for my trip to Portland for the ICON conf.
    6. Getting back in my studio
    7. Seeing pics and posts from my friends at BEA this week. I am so proud of them all. I love to see the book love.

    Keep cool!

  6. Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction of the Steads’ website/interviews. The discussion about page turns (their importance, plus the way good writers begin to feel the page-turn rhythm) is just spot on. Ditto the back and forth about the Myth of the All-Knowing Adult, and picture books that involve decapitation (have to check those out!) etc.

    My kicks this week:

    1. Walked Lincoln Park beach in the not-quite-rain-yet. Perfect.
    2. Noticed peonies blooming all over the neighborhood.
    3. Finalized rental of an apartment in Oaxaca for next September.
    4. Signed up for a free online poetry course this summer with Christopher Merrill.
    5. Marathon-watched Australian TV series called Rake, starring the brilliant Richard Roxburgh (not the bland American version which flopped.)
    6. Heard that one if my poems was accepted for Floating Bridge Press anthology.
    7. While waiting BEHIND 250+ other people for a library copy of Anthony Doerr’s ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, found my way to his lovely FOUR SEASONS IN ROME.

  7. LW: loved your kicks #2&3.
    Margie: hummingbirds. Yay!
    Moira: when will you be in Portland?
    Julie: congrats on your poem acceptance.

  8. Jone, congrats on the good budget news, and my fingers are crossed for you and the retreat.

    Julia: Thanks for the tip. Haven’t done that yet. I’ll add it to the list. Today, we started book one of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, and it’s a hoot.

    Little Willow: Glad you saved a mouse’s life. Also, I’m about to watch that Orphan Black ep!

    Margie: I’ve been sending good thoughts your way lately. Big hug.

    Moira: Did you get to go to the Harry Potter world thingy? … I saw a PORTION of St. Vincent singing the Nirvana cover, but I haven’t seen the whole thing yet.

    Hi, Julie! Don’t you love the serendipity that is stumbling upon a book you weren’t looking for (assuming it’s a good book, that is)? Congrats on the poem being accepted, as well as the apartment rental. … I’ll have to check out Rake.

    Have a sunny week, all!

  9. I’ve missed coming by on Sundays to catch up with all the wonderful Kickers! Hope all are well! Things have been a little crazy busy, but should slow down or be busy in a different way soon.
    Love the website, love this book El Deafo – good grief – just fantastic.
    Hope to have Kicks to share next week.

  10. I will be in Portland 7/9-7/13. I’m free most of Sunday. I’d love a Portland Imp get together.

    We stayed on campus the whole time so we didn’t get to see Harry’s world.

  11. Hi Allison!

    Wah, wish I were going to Portland.

  12. Did you know Jody Hewgill did the illustration for the hardback of MARE’S WAR???

    I consider her close to godlike. LOVE her St. V pic.

  13. Yes, of course, I linked to that old post, Tanita (the first time Jody’s name appears in this post). I remember it fondly!

  14. I really enjoyed seeing all these books and am very much looking forward to “El Deafo.” My major kick has to be that my son is finished with his diorama (it was a week of hot glue gun torture for all at Casa Vamos). Quick note – do you remember”She” in “Notting Hill”? Elvis Costello rendition?

  15. Oh, dioramas!

    I heard Costello’s cover recently, Samantha, not till after I heard this Richard Butler one. I’ve actually never seen Notting Hill.

  16. There are certain scenes I really liked, and now, if you are a fan of “Downton Abbey” you may enjoy seeing a young Lord Grantham. That aside, Costello’s cover is memorable.

  17. Costello can usually do no wrong!

  18. Costello receives extra credit for marrying Diana Krall!

  19. […] may remember that a while back here at 7-Imp, I mentioned Philip and Erin Stead’s brand-new site, Number Five Bus Presents …. […]

  20. […] Also, yesterday at BookPage my interview with author-illustrator Cece Bell went up, as well as my review of El Deafo, her graphic novel. That is all linked here. And remember: I featured art from El Deafo back in June. That’s here. […]

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