7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #497: Featuring B. B. Cronin

h1 August 21st, 2016 by jules

“In his green living room are seats, saucers, statues, and two socks.
Where are Grandad’s socks?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


This morning here at 7-Imp, I’m highlighting some spreads from Brian Cronin’s The Lost House: A Seek and Find Book, coming to shelves at the end of September from Viking. The book was just given the Gold Medal by the Society of Illustrator’s Original Art 2016 jury. (Read here for more information.)

In this story, readers enter a world of electric, saturated hues, meeting two grandchildren who are ready to head to the playground with their grandfather, but they can’t quite get out of the house. Grandad is forgetful and keeps asking them to help him find what he needs — his socks, his teeth, his umbrella, his bow tie, his cloth tote bag, etc. (though I like how the Publishers Weekly review notes: “To call this a seek-and-find book doesn’t come close to conveying the eccentricity of newcomer Cronin’s creation”).

Calling Grandad’s house cluttered is an understatement, and readers have to work hard to find the hidden objects on each spread. Cronin’s use of color is playful, going beyond mere one-color dedications to each spread (the green spread, the magenta spread, etc.), which certainly makes the seeking-and-finding more challenging; readers will also see occasional splashes of other colors that draw the eye, mostly on our characters. It’s great fun and a book to pore over, and reviewers have described it as clever, visually engaging, elegant, and more. This one definitely stands out on crowded bookshelves.

Cronin is originally from Ireland and now lives in Brookyln, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times. Let’s take a look at some more spreads from this book.


“In his shiny red kitchen, there are shelves full of dishes, a salt shaker,
and a tin full of sugar. But where are Grandad’s shoes?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“In the pink drawing room, there are pairs of galoshes and plenty of glass lamps.
There should also be a pair of Grandad’s glasses in here. Where are they?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“Grandad sees that it may start to rain. He will need an umbrella. It’s in this blue hallway—maybe by that pair of underwear or under that unstable table?”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“In the purple reading room, time is ticking.
It’s getting late, but where is Grandad’s old pocket watch?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“Grandad is sure he left his house keys up in the brown attic
with some kite string and a kettle. Where could they be?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“In the magenta mezzanine, there are mirrors, mugs, and a mouse.
Grandad has two telephones. Where is his mobile phone?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge spread)



THE LOST HOUSE. Copyright © 2016 by Brian Cronin. Illustrations used by permission of the publisher, Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 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) Time with my friend.

2) Almost getting all my picture books unpacked.

3) Giving away books.

4) Story time at Parnassus Books this weekend. I had some super clever, adorable children listening.

5) Pool.

6) Naps.

7) Q&As.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

10 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #497: Featuring B. B. Cronin”

  1. Hello Imps! Always funny to catch this before I go to sleep, rather than first thing when I wake up. 🙂

    Hi Brian Cronin! May you always find what you seek. 🙂

    Jules: Yay for donating books. Yay for time with a friend. Yay for clever.

    My kicks from this past week:
    1) Listening
    2) Bearing
    3) Sharing
    4) Creating
    5) Developing
    6) Healing
    7) Calming

  2. Jules,

    This looks like an interesting book. I think my granddaughter Julia would enjoy it.


    1) I recently received an advance copy of my book THINGS TO DO. Julia was with me when the package arrived…so I read it to her. It was a great experience!

    2) THINGS TO DO has been accepted into The Original Art exhibit thanks to Catia Chien’s beautiful illustrations.

    3) I just sold two of my poems to Paul Janeczko for an anthology he is compiling for Candlewick. It is scheduled for publication in 2019.

    4) On Friday, a group of my oldest friends and I celebrated the retirement of one of our group at a new–and beautiful–waterfront hotel in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The food was delicious!

    5) Last Sunday, I had a little get-together at my house with the same friends.

    6) I had a week free of nanny granny duties while my daughter and son-in-law were away on vacation with my “grand girls.” It gave me a chance to do some writing.

    7) The “grand girls” arrived home early yesterday afternoon. Although I had enjoyed my free time, I was SO happy to see them again.

  3. Hello there Imps
    It’s been a while since I’ve had a Sunday morning to myself to read and post here.
    Picture me with my coffee in my rocker on the porch. The sky is a clear blue and the light breeze is making the 72 degrees feel oh so nice.
    This book looks like so much fun and I bet it was fun to draw. Well done, Brian.
    Jules – I’m glad the move is going well. A friend from NY who is on vacation was in your book store a couple hours after your story time.
    LW – I love all of your kicks as usual. Healing is an important one though.
    Elaine – Sounds like you had a great week. Enjoy

    1. I had a successful Open Studio
    2. Non stop cousins visiting
    3. Sunny days
    4. Swimming
    5. Finished Rainbow Birds series
    6. Olympics
    7. My supportive friends and family

    Have a great week all.

  4. Hey there, I understand Grandpa’s dilemma at times with my keys, phone and glasses. I think kids will love it.
    Jules, yay for unpacking. I think whoever received the books are lucky. Do you have a pool now?
    LW, creating and calming. I like that.
    Elaine, aren’t grand girls the best? Congrats on selling two poems.
    My kicks:
    1. Being here, I can’t believe I totally forgot last week. I lost track of.time.
    2. Being at the coast two weeks ago w/ grandgirl who wanted to investigate antique shops. She wants a rotary phone. Almost 12, I wonder what century she was born in.
    3. Finished two great books: Nine…Ten and Between the World and Me.
    4. The Tualatin Wildlife Refuge.
    5. Supporting the bargaining team with colleagues.
    6. Watching 2 former students compete in the Masters swimming meet. I can’t believe they are 30 and 27.
    7. When former student’services daughter said it was cool that I still knew her mom and asked for advice for 3rd grade.
    Have a great week.

  5. Hello, Kickers!

    Wow, Brian Cronin’s illustrations… Kirkus says “eccentricity,” but I say “perversity” (as in “twistedness”). I love the way he seems to sort of imagine the idealized generic shape of the thing being sought… and then scatters DOZENS of that shape throughout the frame. Like in the eyeglasses one: two ellipses side-by-side: check!

    And I confess to having cheated — once I realized that Grandpa was shown in later spreads wearing or carrying the things searched for in earlier ones, I started working backwards. I couldn’t help it! It was too HARD!!!

    So good to know the Danielsons are settling in the new digs (sort of like volcanic ash, eh?).

    Kicks here, let’s see…

    1. A nice piece in today’s Washington Post on Norm McDonald.
    2. Bridge of Spies was a very good film on multiple levels. And anybody who watches it thinks, “This is a movie about events from 50-60 years ago,” with nothing to say about events NOW — well, they’re not really paying attention (to the film, to current events, or to both). Also, I was boggled to learn that the Coens (with a third guy) had done the screenplay.
    3. We’re getting ready to paint and refloor our home offices. When I say we ARE getting ready, I mean we HAVE BEEN getting ready for about a year and a half. (This involves boxing everything up as if we were moving.) Within another couple of months, we may actually be able to see 75% of the walls and floor.
    4. The Pooch keeps on rolling along.
    5. Had time on Friday to spend doing some things actually programmer-ish instead of administrivial. Felt like a secret indulgence.
    6. Part of packing up the offices has been to get rid of all the old computers. We could’ve done it earlier, but I kept postponing removing the hard drives for future use (and for looking back at the past, once we can read them again). We’ve now got 4 spare hard drives stacked up here, plus a ZIP drive (and about a bazillion ZIP disks). Ooooohhh… anticipation!
    7. Y’all probably have talked about it already, but: Stranger Things!!!

    Bonus kick: the reCaptcha images/pheases here are getting cleverer. When I first got here today, the option offered was “VIA VENEDETTO.” Then it was something like “BOQUES 5-4-3-2-1.” Now it just reads “2061,” but the “0” in what is obviously a house number is leaning drunkenly to the right.

    Have a great week, everybody!

  6. Wow! I know two kids who will LOVE this book, so of course this goes on my list of future gifts. And having rooms of different colors, didn’t you ever wish your house were that way when you were kid? (I did.)

    Jules – hooray for giving away books, time with a friend, and a pool in summer.

    LW – healing, bearing, sharing and creating are my favorites of yours this week.

    Elaine – congrats on selling the poems and yay for fun times with friends, alone time, and time with grand girls.

    Moira – what a lovely way to have your Sunday coffee. Congrats on the successful Open Studio!

    Jone – yay for the coast. Your grand girl has good taste – rotary phones are cool – I have one I scored years ago at a yard sale in Venice, CA that is prominently displayed in my living room. Hope you’ve been keeping cool in this heat!

    JES – home office organizing and redecorating is impressive. Hi to the pooch!

    My quick kicks:
    1) Busy work week & should be that way for weeks to come – this is a very good thing.
    2) Was in a small fender-bender Friday & no one was hurt. (Yay for that!) And yay for insurance that got me into a rental car quickly, as I need to be mobile while my car gets repaired.
    3) Hair cut & color yesterday – always makes me feel amazing & happy.
    4) Sharing my chicken & avocado omelet with Dais this morning.
    5) In the interest of paring down, another trip to Goodwill to donate things I no longer need/use.
    6) Making tentative travel plans for Christmas/New Year’s. Anticipation is such fun.
    7) Read “Never Let You Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro & it was, well, odd.

    Have a great week Imps! Hope you get to enjoy summer weather while its still here!

  7. Little Willow: Somehow, it’s healing and calming just to read those kicks.

    Elaine, congrats on the book and (to you AND Catia) on the Original Art exhibit!

    Moira: What was Open Studio? And do you mean your friend was in Parnassus?

    Jone, I haven’t even heard the *phrase* rotary phone in a long, long while. … No pool, nope. But we do live right across from one of two neighborhood pools. I like being in the water. And this one is a small, lovely, quiet pool.

    John: How impish of the house to lean drunkenly to the right. …. I love reading, as always, your astute observations of the artwork. … I love that you cheated too. (I also did. It’s part of the fun, huh?) … Good luck with kick #3, and I also had no idea the Coen Brothers wrote that script.

    Rachel: OOF. Thank goodness you are okay and that it was just a fender-bender. Whew. Hope you get your car back soon.

    Have a good week, all!

  8. An Open Studio is when you open your art studio to guests and there is usually original art and prints for sale.
    My daughter helped me with the signage and was my cashier. My son and my husband helped me turn the garage into a pleasant lobby for the studio above.
    My Facebook page has all of the pictures and links.
    Yes! My friend Lisa was took a picture in Parnassus the same day you had story time. I picture you two passing each other at the entrance.

  9. I wish I could have been at that, Moira.

    I’ll be at story time NEXT Saturday too. Tell her to come back!

  10. What a gorgeous book and concept!

Leave a Comment

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