7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #496:
Featuring Jean Jullien and Mathieu Lavoie

h1 August 14th, 2016 by jules

Pictured above: Illustration from Mathieu Lavoie’s Toto’s Apple
and Jean Jullien’s
This Is Not a Book


I’ve got a bit of an international spin here at 7-Imp today with art from French graphic designer and illustrator Jean Jullien, as well as author and illustrator Mathieu Lavoie, who lives in Montreal.

Lavoie’s Toto’s Apple, which will be on shelves in October from Phaidon Press and was originally published last year in French, is the story of a determined worm. He spots an apple up high, though he is down low on the ground. He brainstorms various ways to get the apple, and in the end he succeeds (in a rather unexpected manner), but it’s his arduous trip there that makes the book entertaining. There’s a tragic, lamentable helplessness to some of these spreads that made me laugh aloud. (Note the “Toto is devastated” spread below.) There are also leaps in logic that are quite funny to me; you’ll see below that the worm can use a paintbrush. How he can do so without any appendages doesn’t really seem to matter. Children will run with the absurdity of it all. Kirkus calls this one a “madcap miniodyssey.”

Jean Jullien’s This Is Not a Book (Phaidon, March 2016) is a board book — and a playful, wordless exploration of objects and places that makes effective use of the book’s gutter. There’s no narrative here — just the promise of the book’s title. Instead of a book, there’s a piano, the inside of a fridge, a tennis court, a tool box, and even (pictured below) a tent, which will make young readers want to instantly prop up the board book on its side. (Note the flowers on the right side of the tent spread; that’s because, at that point, the book opens into a gatefold.)

There’s also this. I’ll leave it here without comment, except to say it could be a tree, but I doubt it (given the aforementioned clever use of gutters):



(I love this. Wait, I said “without comment.” Oh well. I do love it.)

Here are some more spreads from each book. Enjoy!


From This Is Not a Book:



From Toto’s Apple:


(Click each spread to enlarge)



TOTO’S APPLE. This edition copyright © 2016 Phaidon Press Limited. Illustrations used by their permission.

THIS IS NOT A BOOK. Published copyright © 2016 Phaidon Press Limited. Illustrations used by their permission.

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 friend shared Naomi Shihab Nye’s “So Much Happiness” with me this week.

2) Getting to spend time with this friend.

3) Progress on unpacking.

4) The house we moved from should go on the market this week. (Whew.)

5) The cat is speaking to us again. (He wasn’t happy about the move.)

6) The girls are excited that we’re reading aloud the new Harry Potter book (er, screenplay).

7) Meeting a neighbor.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

10 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #496:
Featuring Jean Jullien and Mathieu Lavoie”

  1. Thank you! This is marvelous!

  2. Good morning, Imps!

    Good morning, Jean Jullien and Mathieu Lavoie and Toto and everyone and everything!

    Jules: Hugs to the cat. Glad that you all are settling in.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Air conditioning
    2) Absorbing
    3) Containing
    4) Compelling
    5) Manners
    6) Strong
    7) Steady

  3. Love that poem by Naomi Shihab Nye!

  4. Toto’s Apple is my favorite kind of kid’s book, ridiculous and funny. I love Toto is devastated.

    Jules – glad kitty is adjusting. Love that poem! Hooray for unpacking, & I just got the HP book too – can’t wait to start it.

    LW – I love all your kicks, wish we had AC too, yesterday was HOT here. Your last 5 kicks speak to me, especially Containing, Compelling & Strong.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Kickball game yesterday, we lost but it was really fun.
    2) Daisy has discovered she likes ice cubes.
    3) Spicy chicken omelet.
    4) Morning breezes.
    5) Late night walks in the moonlight.
    6) A friend who’d been in an accident was well enough to go home from the hospital.
    7) Feeling really grateful to have good work & good friends & a good life.

    Have a great week everyone!

  5. Hi Elizabeth. Glad you enjoyed it.

    LW: Manners are under-rated, aren’t they?

    Corinna: It’s lovely, yes. First time I’d heard it.

    Rachel: Love your last kick: What it’s all about. Glad your friend is healing. JEALOUS of your kickball game. I want to get in a good kickball game.

    Have a good week, all!

  6. Jules: Yes, yes, they are.

    Rachel: Indeed. My home lacks air conditioning. Healing thoughts for your friend. Hi Daisy! 🙂

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