7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #433: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 May 24th, 2015 by jules

Julie: “P. Zonka is a Friesian Bantam.”


If I were really organized, you would have read this post months ago at the dawn of Spring. It’s a very Spring’y book, and it also has a lot to do with eggs, which are also very Spring’y. But sometimes I’m just slow. Better late than never, though. Right?

There is a closing note in Julie Paschkis’ new picture book about how she and her family have an annual party where they gather together with friends to decorate eggs and eat yummy food. She makes particular mention of pysanky, Ukrainian decorated eggs, and a brilliant, decorated egg is an integral part of the story in this bright and beautiful book, P. Zonka Lays an Egg (Peachtree, March 2015). When I say bright, I’m talking a primarily sunny yellow palette, punctuated by other warm and lovely colors.

The story itself is about a chicken who doesn’t lay her eggs on time, nor does she lay enough of them to suit all the other chickens. (Rebel, nonconforming chickens are my favorite kinds of chickens, even if I can’t start my day without scrambled eggs.) P. Zonka is too busy taking in her surroundings, observing all the world’s wonders and details, to lay her eggs. But never fear: She has a big surprise for everyone in the end. “Every page turn,” writes the Kirkus review, “reveals a stunning new composition of fowls with personality, baskets of eggs and floral design elements evocative of … the beautiful folk art found on a Ukrainian decorated egg.”

It’s technically still Spring, so let’s take a look at some art from the book. (Most spreads are sans text.) I thank Julie for sharing; she also sent some early sketches. Oh, and we’ll close with some of Julie’s decorated eggs.

Enjoy … (p.s. Don’t miss Jama Rattigan’s March post on this book.)

Julie: “I painted this test sheet of all the dyes in two strengths, but the printer couldn’t match the colors, so I did the book with watercolor and gouache.”


Julie: “Originally, I wanted to paint the book with Ukrainian dyes. This was a sample.”


“Maud laid one egg every day. Dora laid an egg every other day.
Nadine always laid exactly five eggs a week.”


“Gloria never laid an egg because he turned out to be a rooster.
It was his job and he did it well.”


“All the other chickens laid eggs regularly.
All of them except P. Zonka.”


“‘I will tell you why,’ said P. Zonka. ‘Because of the pale mornings, the soft dark moss, the stripes on the crocuses, the orange cat with one blue eye,
the shining center of a dandelion, the sky at midnight.'”


“‘I don’t get it,’ said Maud. ‘P. Zonka is just plain lazy,’ said Nadine.
‘Come on, P. Zonka,’ urged Dora. ‘You might like laying an egg.’
‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’ ‘Can’t you at least try?’ they all asked.”


…spectacular! There were patterns of sun yellow, grass green, tulip red. There were blues as bright as day and blues as dark as midnight.”


“After that, P. Zonka went back to wandering around the farmyard. She looked down and she gazed up. She clucked in wonder at all the colors she saw.
She didn’t lay very many eggs…”


P. ZONKA LAYS AN EGG. Copyright © 2015 by Julie Paschkis. Published by Peachtree, Atlanta, Georgia. All images here reproduced by permission of Julie Paschkis.

* * *

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) A night out.

1½) With raspberry torte.

2) Letterman’s farewell on Wednesday night. One of my oldest friends and I had on our bucket list to see him live one day, and well … we missed out on that. [She was, however, on the show years ago, handing an animal to Jack Hanna (since she works with zoos), and she brought me some surprises from the green room. I still have them.]

3) Last weekend’s children’s reading festival in Knoxville was wonderful, as always. Pictured here is the good discussion we had about picture books. I moderated, and weighing in with great responses were: R. Gregory Christie, Phil Stead, Erin Stead, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and Dan Santat.



4) New bikes!

5) I finally wrote about my trip to Wyoming here. Maybe next week I’ll share more photos from the day (here at 7-Imp).

6) I went from the Tetons to the Appalachians in the span of one week.

7) School is over! The girls and I have a huge stack of books we can’t wait to read. Summer time = more time to read. (And swim.)

BONUS #1: This. Kyle Mooney makes me laugh.

BONUS #2: Game of Thrones, The Musical.

BONUS #3: Reading lots of picture books this week at my daughters’ school. I also got a third-grade class turned on to Dory Fantasmagory and left them my copy. Since I’m a Dory Evangelist, my work there is done.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #433: Featuring Julie Paschkis”

  1. I love Julie’s work. Just got a discarded library copy of Bottle Houses, she did the artwork its a story about the woman who created bottle houses in Simi where I grew up.
    It’s perfect that you didn’t share this book sooner but on P. Zonka’s time frame. The eggs are gorgeous and I know how labor intensive the are to make. Thank you for sharing.
    Jules, such great kicks but my favorite is learning about Dory Fantasmagory.
    My kicks:
    1. We accepted an offer on our house. Hoping all goes well.
    2. A first grader brought me a poem she wrote I featured it for Poetry Friday.
    3. My daughter’s birthday.
    4. Seussical the Musical put on by a local theater group a student was in it.
    5. Blooming roses.
    6. Sophie, our almost 19 YO doxie.
    7. Time to write.
    Have a good week.

  2. now I want this book!

  3. Jone, GOOD LUCK with the moving, and happy birthday to your daughter! I’m gonna have to go look up that poem now.

    Hi, Kelly!

    Here’s a little treat — a sneak-peek of Julie’s new book, coming out in August:

  4. Good morning, chickens and Imps!
    Hello, Jules, Julie, Jama, and really cool colour swatches!

    Jules: Glad that the panel went well and travels. What’s on the top of the to-read pile?

    Jone: Happy birthday to your daughter! Break-a-leg wishes to the Seussical cast and crew. Hola, Sophie.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Start
    2) Similar
    3) Thoughtful
    4) Harmonies
    5) Calendar
    6) Clear
    7) Recent

  5. “Clear” sounds like a really good kick to have, LW.

    To answer your question: Right now, we’re reading Liz Garton Scanlon’s new middle-grade novel, Jonathan Auxier’s first book, and Little Women. That’s right: I’ve never read it. Library degree should probably be revoked.

    And picture books. We’re always reading picture books.

  6. P. Zonka Lays an Egg is one of my favorite books of 2015. I just love it!!! The artwork is amazing.

  7. Such happy joyful artwork this week! P Zonka is my kind of chicken.

    Jules – Hooray for summer, new bikes, and time to read with your girls. That GoT musical was pretty funny stuff.

    Jone – good luck with the house and moving, and hugs to Miss Sophie the Doxie.

    LW – I love how your kicks 3 & 4 go together – Thoughtful Harmonies – just sounds lovely.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Busy and rewarding work week.
    2) Was in a small car accident a week ago – no one was hurt thank goodness! – but my car was a loss. Loved that car, so found another just like it yesterday and bought it. Very happy to find what I wanted, and so quickly too!
    3) Having such good friends who are always willing to jump in and help me out when I need it.
    4) Time to work in the garden this weekend.
    5) Friday HH catch-up with two friends. Good drinks, good food, good conversation.
    6) Fun house projects.
    7) Snuggles with Daisy.
    7.5) Feeling very grateful (and lucky!) for all of the good in my life.

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend Imps!

  8. Rachel: So glad that you were not injured. Sending good thoughts your way.

    Jules: Let me know what you think of Little Women.

  9. Hi Penny!

    Rachel: THANK GOODNESS YOU’RE OKAY. Oh my. Congrats on finding a replacement car you like so much. Be safe!

    That goes for EVERYone … AND I hope you all have a good week. Rachel’s 7.5 kick says it all, huh?

    Little Willow: Will do!

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