What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Deirdre Gill and John Hendrix

h1 January 2nd, 2015 by jules

Illustration from Deirdre Gill’s Outside
(Click to enlarge)


Illustration from John Hendrix’s
Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914


Today over at Kirkus, I write about some good things that happened in 2014 in the realm of picture books. That link is here.

* * *

Since last week I chatted with John Hendrix (here) about Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Abrams, October 2014), I’ve got some art from the book today. I also wrote last week about some snow books (here), so I’ve also got some art from Deirdre Gill’s Outside (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2014).

Enjoy the art, and until Sunday …


From Deirdre Gill’s Outside:


“Inside, a boy has nothing to do.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“… and bigger …”
(Click to enlarge spread)



From John Hendrix’s Shooting at the Stars:
The Christmas Truce of 1914


The book’s first spread, which accompanies the introduction
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


“… After the sun went down, we decided to chance a fire outside the bunker, but when we stepped outdoors we heard the sounds of singing! …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Not only were they singing as loud as they could—it sounded like ‘Silent Night’—but all along their line, tiny Christmas trees lit with candles and lanterns had appeared. Several of our boys suggested taking shots at the trees, but most of us
were just glad the Germans weren’t busy trying to shoot us.
We all wondered where they got all those little trees!”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“… One of their officers poked his head up, saw the jam,
and then stood right up, waving at us! …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“We all met along a small ditch in the center of No Man’s Land. The first thing we did was bury our fellow soldiers who had been killed. They were everywhere at our feet.
It took some time to finish the grim task. …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“I can hardly describe to you what it was like here. We were talking with men we were trying to kill just the day before! A few of the lads had brought pocket cameras from home, so they took pictures together. I traded buttons off of my field coat with a German soldier named Karl for his belt buckle.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“There was also much trading of biscuits and puddings — we had our fill. There were two Germans in such a good mood they started kicking around an old biscuit tin like a football, using two battered tree stumps as a goal. Karl said to me,
‘Why can’t we just go home — and have peace?'”

(Click top image to see spread in its entirety)


“We spent most of the afternoon out there. It was such a beautiful day. As the evening came, we made our way back to the trenches. Many returned with souvenirs like I did. Everyone was jealous of Bruce Coy, who traded his helmet for a German one with a pointy top — they call them “Pickelhaubes.” We sat up on the edge of our trench and laughed together. It felt like I was back at school.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge spread)



* * * * * * *

OUTSIDE. Copyright © 2014 by Deirdre Gill. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston.

SHOOTING AT THE STARS: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914. Copyright © 2014 by John Hendrix. Published by Abrams Books, New York. Illustrations reproduced by permission of John Hendrix.

Leave a Comment

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