7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #459: Featuring Csil

h1 November 22nd, 2015 by jules

“Yes, but how? Traveling is out of the question!
Cathy is much too weak to go on an expedition.
What to do …? What to do …?
Cathy tries to laugh and tells Eiffel with a wink,
‘You could build us a railway that takes us up to the clouds in a blink.'”

(Click to enlarge)


When the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015 were recently announced, I noticed Alice Brière-Haquet’s Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower, illustrated by Csil, on the list. Published for English readers this year by Little Gestalten but originally published in French, this book has been sitting in one of many giant stacks of new picture books in my home for a while now, but there’s nothing like the NYT list to make you sit up and pay attention and go pull a book out of its pile.

I can see the pull the book must have had on this year’s judges, especially since the award is given for illustration — and the artwork is elegant, graceful. It’s the story of engineer Gustave Eiffel and his wife, Cathy, “the prettiest girl in Paris.” As the sub-title tells you, it’s a love story. Cathy gets ill, and Eiffel builds the tower in her honor. “Rumor has it that sometimes at night you can see their shadow appear in the street light.”

Here’s what the judges wrote about Csil’s artwork:

With a strict palette of black and white with dabs of light rosy red, Csil’s intricate, lacy pen-and-ink illustrations convey Eiffel’s keen attention to detail, along with the allure of Paris and the high-flying ambition of his tower. The effect is romantic and utterly charming, inviting you to look and look at the pages.

Here are a couple more spreads from the book so that you can see for yourself. …


“Eiffel runs to his workshop and stays there all day, all night, and all week,
only going home to hold Cathy, kiss her, and eat.”

(Click to enlarge)


“Oh let her fight a bit longer! She must make it through, she must grow stronger.
But Cathy grows skinny and pale, and one day she feels it’s the end of her tale:
Soon there will be nothing left of the wonderful life that brought her
such joy, such peace, and so little strife.”

(Click to enlarge)


MADAME EIFFEL: THE LOVE STORY OF THE EIFFEL TOWER. The French original edition was published by Éditions Frimousse © 2015. English edition published by Little Gestalten, Berlin. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

* * *

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 ten-year-old’s piano recital. She plays so beautifully.

2) What Colbert said. In this video.

3) Reading some really great F&Gs of 2016 picture books. I mean, I have a giant stack of them, but a couple of these are extra special.

4) I forgot to say last week that author-illustrator-graphic novelist Gareth Hinds did sketches during the Politics & Prose picture book panel I moderated. Neat.

5) MST3K is coming back!

6) Seeing great live music this week.

7) Baby steps on huge projects. Sometimes that’s all you can get, but it’s something.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

17 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #459: Featuring Csil”

  1. Hello! I miss everyone!

    Big kick: My sister-in-law gave birth to a very healthy baby boy just a couple days ago. It’s going to be a very merry Christmas indeed!

  2. TARIE! Congrats! Aunt-hood. Now it’s your job to corrupt the child, as aunts must must do. Have so much fun!

  3. Jules, I look forward to reading Madame Eiffel. The artwork.looks.div8ne.
    Jules, enjoy tour daughter’s music and picture books.
    Tarie, hi. Congrats on the arrival of you nephew.
    My kicks:
    1. Brilliant sun after days of rain.
    2. The wind has left the trees in their winter style.
    3. Finished No Ordinary Time about the Roosevelts. Fascinating. It’s for book club tonight.
    4. Poetry books are arriving for the CYBILs.
    5. Submitted three poems for publication. Fingers crossed.
    6. Celebrated the 11th bday of oldest grandgirl. Shes such a gift.
    7. Looking forward to Thanksgiving.
    Have a great week.

  4. 1. My fiber art is evolving, which means good things will happen in the writing and illustration, too.

    2. The migraine beast seems to be tamed for now. Huzzah.

  5. Jone, your part of the country must be so gorgeous this time of year. … Crossing fingers with you on those poems. Good luck! Keep us updated? … Happy birthday to your granddaughter, and I should have already said: Happy Thanksgiving to all kickers. Woot!

  6. Kate, I passed you in cyberspace. … Migraines are the devil. Here’s hoping they stay away.

    Fiber art! Oooooohhhhhhh …. Can you share a picture, by chance?

  7. Hi, Jules! Here’s my seven kicks for the past week.
    1. Hamilton! I haven’t seen it, but bought & listened to the original cast recording. Phenomenal. “I’m just like my country. I’m young, scrappy, and hungry. And I’m not throwin’ away my shot!”
    2. Proofread proofs for Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Volume Three: 1946-1947, & returned them to Fantagraphics. (The book is expected in Spring ’16.)
    3. N.K. Jesmin’s The Fifth Season. Nearly finished it — it’s excellent. I need to read more of her work.
    4. Had a good chat with my friend & co-author Nina — we’re collaborating on an MLA paper on weird children’s books. As you may remember, I queried you & Betsy on this subject some months ago.
    5. Really enjoying the new Squeeze album — yes, I said “new Squeeze album”! Their first in nearly two decades. Standout tracks: “From the Cradle to the Grave,” “Happy Days,” “Open,” “Sunny.”
    6. 17-minute version of “Take the A-Train,” by Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy, on Cornell 1964. (I got this album this week, too.)
    7. The knowledge of upcoming week, which we have off. I’ve been overwhelmed. Once upon a time, we had a Fall Break (2 days) and Thanksgiving (2 days). That changed, giving us a week at Thanksgiving — this is welcome, but it means that, by the time it comes, I and my students are exhausted. So, though I will nonetheless be doing some work during the coming week, there’ll be a bit of a breather — & travel (visiting family).

    ALSO: totally agree on the Colbert piece. I was trying to stick to good stuff (these are kicks, after all), but, yeah, the fascist musings of Herr Trump, other “presidential” candidates, alleged governors (including my own), have been alarming. I don’t want to end on such a dark note, and so instead let me thank you for the interesting stuff you send my way — via this blog, and via links posted on my FB page (the Bob Boilen book, this week)! Looking forward to seeing you in January!

  8. Good Morning
    Love seeing Csil’s pretty, little lines.
    Jules – There are a lot of books I’m looking forward to next year. Baby steps on a big project can be tough. I can be a pouty toddler when I feel overwhelmed. I know the best thing to do is to keep moving forward and to trust the process.
    Tarie – Congratulations, Auntie
    Jone – I loved that book.
    Kate -Evolution is good.
    Phil – The A Train usted to be my mantra when I lived in New York.

    1. I finished my promo piece and sent it off to the printer.
    2. I picked a good week to stay off social media.
    3. Caring teachers
    4. My wonderful husband
    5. Sneaking a bird drawing in to a non bird project.
    6. Knowing the truth that there is more good than bad in the world.
    7. Being grateful for the abundance of food, shelter, clothing and love in my life.

    Some say pie day is March 14th but we know it’s really this Thursday.

  9. Good morning, Imps! Bonjour, Csil! Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone!

    Jules: Kudos to your awesome young pianist! Gladd that her recital went well. And yes, baby steps should be celebrated. All forward movement counts.

    Tarie: Hi Tarie! Happy birthday to your nephew!

    Jone: Happpy birthday to your granddaughter! Fingers crossed for your poetry to be published.

    Kate: Yay for creative endeavors! Feel better. Migraines are evil.

    Philip: High-five for Hamilton quote. Enjoy your time off.

    Moira: Congrats on finishing the piece. May the print make you smile. I think birds are to you as cats are to me. Three cheers for gratitude.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Here
    2) There
    3) Everywhere
    4) Writing
    5) Acting
    6) Senses
    7) Purpose

    ALSO: Sara Bareilles’s new book is so good. Check out my blog for my review. If you like her music or essays or biographies about creative folks in general, pick it up.

  10. Thank you for showcasing Madame Eiffel, Jules. The line work is beautiful. I need to get a copy of this. So excited to hear about 2016 outstanding picture books although I have stacks to read from this year. Glad you are making baby steps on projects.
    Congratulations on the birth of the baby, Tarie!
    Good luck on the poetry submissions, Jone.
    Kate–Glad to read your migraine is getting better and hooray for the fiber art work.
    Hooray for the vacation time Phil.
    I really like kicks 6 and 7 Moira. ♥
    I love senses too Little Willow; so wonderful to enjoy life using them all.

    My kicks this week all go to Xena resting comfortably by my side. Not sure how much longer she will be with me so every minute is pure joy.

    Have a good week everyone.

  11. Congratulations on project baby steps and a baby! I am always glad when health returns, gone migraine, hooray for every creative activity listed here in kicks.
    1. seeing those wonderful illustrations above, Jules is doing my holiday shopping – specially wonderful to see when we are still thinking of Paris.
    2.painting pears.. all the varieties –
    3. food gathering for all family coming – cousin granddaughters nearly 4 years and 7 months – I love to watch the 7 month’s besotted gaze at nearly 4
    4. electricity! after wind storms an two long power outages
    5. getting ready for the season of light – candles and twinkle lights
    6. this is probably two kicks also 7., I hope this ok to insert, so funny and bonus of Adele:. http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/snl-has-the-perfect-answer-for-how-to-silence-the-crazy-right-wing-talk-from-family-at-thanksgiving-dinner/

  12. 1. Good friends who talk me down when I’m in a tizzy over Facebook arguments.
    2. Reading Luke 6:32-36 to remind myself of my purpose on earth.
    3. Celebrating my sweet Mama’s birthday this weekend and visiting with family in Alabama.
    4. Listening to Christmas music in November because I’m a grown adult and I reject your judgement of this particular choice.
    5. A great professional development day for my school system’s librarians that gave me lots of great ideas for STEM projects with my students!
    6. My funny dog Noelle hiding her treats under her toy basket, bed, and my laundry.
    7. Looking forward to a three-day break to spend with family this week!

  13. Phil, I have GOTTA hear this Hamilton music. My Facebook news feed is usually all about Hamilton. … Kick #4 is exciting. I look forward to reading that one day. … Yes, Colbert nails it, huh? The xenophobia now is very discouraging. …. Hope you have a restful week this week, Phil, and I look forward to seeing you in January too.

    Moira, your last two kicks say it all.

    Little Willow, if I haven’t already said it, I’m excited for all the screenplay writing you’re doing.

    Margie Margie sweet Margie, I send much love your way. To Xena too.

    Katy: I saw that Adele skit last night live (I rarely miss SNL, unless STUPID DUMP TRUMP IS ON THERE), and it was very, very funny. … I like how you call it “the season of light.” It’s true, and it’s a splendid thing about the holidays. Have fun with your family!

    Angela! Happy birthday to your Mama. And have fun with your family this week. (I’m partial to kick #5 too.)

    Have a good Thanksgiving, all!

  14. Jules thank you for sharing this lovely book. Hooray for your pianist! And hooray for great live music!

    Tarie – Congrats on being an Aunt!

    Jone – glad you’ve been enjoying the sun too – spectacular weather! Sounds like you had a full week!

    Kate – glad the migraine went away.

    Philip – Charles Mingus is awesome. Enjoy your time off.

    Moira – Love your kicks 6 & 7. So lovely to see people reaching out to help in rough times. Kindness prevails.

    LW – your first 3 kicks totally caused me to think of the Beatles song. Yay for Sara Bareilles!

    Margie – Daisy and I send love and hugs to you and sweet Xena.

    Katy – great kicks, I especially love that you call this the season of light!

    Angela – good friends are priceless. Funny dogs are worth their weight in gold.

    Late kicks today, busy week and weekend.
    1) Sunshine.
    2) Busy work week – always a good thing.
    3) Moments spent looking at gorgeous scenery.
    4) Naked Lady party tonight. I did not stick to my goal of not getting any new clothes, but am happy with the new additions to my closet. And all the leftover clothes are being donated.
    5) Invited to be part of a fun cookie exchange next month.
    6 and 7) Had a birthday breakfast for a friend. Super fun and we wound up binge-watching John Prine videos, which was an education for me as I only knew his more famous songs. Such an incredible lyricist.
    7.5) Grateful for all my many blessings this week.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

  15. Rachel, what is a Naked Lady party? If I knew this once, I’ve clearly forgotten.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  16. Jules – its where everyone brings clothes from their closet that are still nice but they don’t wear anymore. You look at each others’ stuff and take what you want (lots of trying clothes on happens, hence the Naked Lady title) What’s not claimed gets donated, in this case to Dress for Success. Its a win-win all around.

  17. Well, I’ve never heard of such a thing. Sounds productive, indeed!

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