7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #423: Featuring Ed Young

h1 March 15th, 2015 by jules

— From Gary Golio’s Bird & Diz
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Should you be a vaporous smoke, I’ll lift you to touch the heavens.”
— From
Should You Be a River
(Click to enlarge spread)

It’s an Ed Young kind of day here at 7-Imp.

Over at BookPage, I have a review of Gary Golio’s Bird & Diz (Candlewick, March 2015), which Ed illustrated. That review is here. I’ve got some spreads from it here at 7-Imp today.

To boot, I’ve got some spreads from Ed’s Should You Be a River, which will be on shelves in mid-April from Little, Brown. This is a poem that, as he explains in the closing Author’s Note, Ed wrote two years after the death of his daughters’ mother, his late wife. Ed’s friend, photographer Sean Kernan, contributed his photography to the project, and the book is a series of collages with these photos as a base. Calligrapher Barbara Bash also contributed to the book (hand-lettered calligraphy).

The poem is, at turns, intense (“Should you be a waterfall, I’ll scream when you plunge”) and poignant (“Should you be a rain shower, I’ll be a gentle valley to receive you”). The Kirkus review describes it as “mystifying and ultimately uplifting.” It’s quite possibly a book that will appeal more to adults, but people of all ages should see Ed’s cut-paper collages in this one, breathtaking in spots.

I’ll just let the art speak for itself. Below are some more spreads. Enjoy.


“Two hearts—one heartbeat. You can’t even tell whose notes are whose!
But then Diz’s cheeks swell up, like a frog with glasses.
He points his trumpet and shoots out fireworks. Tag, Bird—you’re it!”
— From Gary Golio’s
Bird & Diz
(Click to enlarge spread)



“Should you be a great forest, I’ll caress your branches and make you sway.”
— From
Should You Be a River
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Should you be a breeze, I’ll be ripples dancing to your tunes.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Should you be a beach, I’ll build a fire to keep you warm.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Should you be a flame, I’ll hold you snugly in my hearth.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge cover)


BIRD & DIZ. Text copyright © 2015 by Gary Golio. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Ed Young. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

SHOULD YOU BE A RIVER. Copyright © 2015 by Ed Young. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, New York.

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) My oldest daughter turned eleven this week!

2) She is sweet and kind and clever and pretty much wonderful. She really loves the magnet I got her that says “YAY WEIRD,” if that gives you any idea how great she is. (Of course, I had to grab this one for myself.)

3) New music from Lowland Hum:

4) I visited Asheville last weekend to speak at Malaprop’s Bookstore, which was lovely. Asheville was where my late brother was living when he died, and it was wonderful to be there (and to see his best friend for the first time after about fifteen years). But it was also hard in some ways to be there again. That said, I’m grateful to have been once again in the city he loved.

5) Speaking of music, I bought a copy of a CD that I wore OUT back in high school (but hadn’t listened to since then), and it’s really wild to hear again and to still know all the words.

6) Playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for my girls as we read the end of this book:

7) The way Jon Snow smiles at Ygritte when he sees her again (despite what happens afterwards) in Game of Thrones, season four.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

12 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #423: Featuring Ed Young”

  1. Good morning , Jules! I have not opened my copy of Bird & Diz. I’ve just been looking at the cover and closure. After your background information about Should You Be A River along with Ed Young’s artwork, I think I need to read that one too. I would like to start Echo as soon as I finish Roller Girl today.
    Rhapsody in Blue is a favorite of mine. Perhaps it’s a good time to give it a listen again. Thank you for sharing your week with us.

    My kicks:
    1. Booktalking and reading aloud with a fifth grade class in our school.
    2. Reading aloud with two other classrooms via Skype this week in celebration of reading during March
    3. Fresh cut flowers
    4. Warmer weather
    5. Sunshine
    6. Seeing green shoots from some of my bulbs coming up through the leaves
    7. Spending time walking with Xena and hugging her whenever I can
    Have a great week everyone.

  2. Gorgeous illustrations as always!

    Jules- Happy Birthday to your big girl!

    Margie- Green shoots are the best. We don’t have any here yet and I can’t wait!!!

    My kicks:

    1. Finally some warmer weather this week. It was glorious!
    2. We are going to grill tonight after seeing the snow melt from around our grill this week.
    3. Spring clothes. I’ve been cold all week but I am promising that I won’t wear my boots again!
    4. Reading Special Delivery with my little girl. I love anything Phillip Stead and Matthew Cordell do so it was fun to see what they created together.
    5. Classes are filling up for the The Writers Circle- a group I helped to form. We are super excited for our spring session to begin!
    6. Oranges and grapefruits from our town’s band fundraiser. They arrived yesterday and they are yummy.
    7. House of Cards- still have a few shows left and while I don’t love season 3 as much as seasons 1 and 2, it is still awfully good tv!

    Have a great week kickers!

  3. I love Ed Young’s work. These are fabulous especially Should You Be the River, what a tribute to love.
    Jules, happy birthday to oldest. I love the magnets. And will have to read Echo.
    Margie, I love the idea of Skyping with other classrooms and reading aloud. Hug Xena lots.
    Stacey, nothing better than fresh oranges and grapefruit.
    My kicks:
    1. The Poetry Friday Anthology: Celebrations arrived. I have a poem in it.
    2. Fifty plus people have signed up for poetry postcards.
    3. Poetry Rocks after school group is beginning to come together.
    4. Seeing a local children’s production of Mulan.
    5. Oldest grandgirl swimming in relay races.
    6. Honoring our classified personnel for Classified Week.
    7. Tulips and rain.
    Have a great week.

  4. Ed Young’s work makes me feel so grateful to be part of the children’s lit community. It reaffirms that I’ve followed my best bliss. Thank you for this post, Jules!

    My daughter and I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this morning — and instead of kicks I will simply ask you to visit my Crackles of Speech blog to read a new poem of mine about children in war:


  5. Good morning, Imps!

    Hello, Ed Young. What a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing.

    Jules: Happy birthday to your wonderful daughter! Hope she has a wonderful, wondrous day. Kudos for sharing Gershwin with your girls. Thank you for sharing Lowland Hum with us. I was not familiar with them before, and I enjoyed the storytelling in the video and the striking arrangement of the song. It reminded me of a pinch of Over the Rhine, a dash of Denmark + Winter, and a little of Nickel Creek.

    Margie: Lots of beautiful, elemental kicks for you this week! Thanks for sharing and appreciating nature as you do.

    Stacey: Enjoy reading with her, and good luck with your spring session for writers!

    Jone: Congratulations on being included in the anthology! That’s fantastic! Enjoy the poetry all around you.

    Steven: What a powerful poem. Wow.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Words
    2) Plays
    3) Performances
    4) Photographs
    5) Auditions
    6) Offers
    7) Coffers

  6. Should You Be A River looks simply beautiful.

    Jules – Happy birthday to your girl! What great magnets! Echo looks like a great read, its going on my list. And thanks for the music, its playing now while I write this!

    Margie – hooray for fresh cut flowers, sunshine, and hugging Xena.

    Stacey – have fun grilling in the melted snow!

    Jone – is it too late to get in on the poetry postcards this year? Congrats on being included in the Poetry Friday Anthology!

    My kicks this week:
    1) Lunch with a good friend.
    2) Busy work week.
    3) Beautiful weather, sunshine and warm (60’s).
    4) March Madness (I really don’t care about basketball much, but compete in the brackets with friends every year for the fun of the trash talking.)
    5) Reading Amy Poehler’s “Yes, Please”. I like Amy a lot.
    6) A much needed spa day.
    7) I cooked dinner for a friend last night, broiled salmon and a big salad with greens, tomato, avocado and mozzarella, with good red wine and then gelato for dessert. She made and tended the fire, and we talked and laughed for hours.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  7. LW – passed you in cyberspace! I like your kicks 5-7 – I hope the coffers in kick 7 are yours and they are being filled!

  8. Rachel and anyone else…signup here for postcards: https://deowriter.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/time-for-poetry-postcards/

  9. Ed Young’s art is always sublime! I want a copy of Bird&Diz. 🙂

    *hugs everyone* I miss all of you.

  10. Margie: Do you love Roller Girl? I do. … I wish I could hear you booktalk. In person.

    Stacey, congrats on the warmer weather and the boots’ retirement. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the very end of HOC.

    Jone, I didn’t know about that anthology. Neat! Thanks for the link to sign up for a postcard, too.

    Steven, hope she enjoyed the book.

    Little Willow, the Lowland Hum song is based on a famous artist, but I’m going to have to look up who again. I completely forgot. Their last CD, Native Air (which was their debut), is so good. … I think that’s the first time “coffers” has ever been a kick!

    Rachel, your last kick sounds so lovely. And I keep meaning to read Amy’s book too. Thanks for the reminder.

    TARIE! Hi!

  11. Greetings All,
    lovely art – amazing poem, gracious! Can’t wait to see these in person.

    Good kicks too. I always appreciate the sharing. Congratulations to everyone for something wonderful happening in your lives.

    I miss stopping by each week to write, but have been coming to see the art and read the Kicks.

    This week my kicks are:
    1. slightly too warm weather in LA – 90 today – worrying for the environment and our drought, but lovely for children playing in water. Mine had SO much fun.
    2. took my mother to see “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” yesterday. Having grown up in India, it was a delight to immerse in the music and sights – even if the streets are WAY emptier and cleaner in the movie than in real life.
    3. working my way through a lovely mystery series I just discovered set in a hamlet outside Montreal.
    4. reading all the Newbery award winners – just finished El Deafo.
    5. raised a large sum of money on Friday in a before and after school cafe with a group of hard working moms at my Little’s school, which has no budget for new aquisitions for our library. ALL the money gets to go for books. Let the ordering begin!
    6. learned from the kind Chinese vegitable vendor at our neighborhood farmer’s market how to prepare eggplant so it doesn’t get mushy when cooked. Tested today on eggplant for ratatouille – it works. Want to know? Peel, if desired, eggplant. Then slice or cut in chunks and soak in cold, salted water for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occationally with a spoon on hands. Water will turn dark gray. Rinse and squeeze the pieces. Cook!
    7.Getting back here for art and inspiration.


  12. Hi Allison! Kick #5 is especially triumphant, and ordering books will be a blast, I’m sure. Good for you all … What’s the name of the mystery series. … Enjoy your eggplant!

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