7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #517: Featuring Anne Hunter

h1 January 8th, 2017 by jules


Dear Imps, I know it’s 2017 and all that, but let’s look back one more time to 2016 and the publication (in March) of author-illustrator Anne Hunter’s Cricket Song (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). It’s a lovely book, and it need not go by unblogged about.

Via warm and textured watercolors and ink, Hunter brings us the story of the cricket-song through the grass and other sounds you hear in the evening as you fall asleep. (Her use of second-person is quite effective here, pulling in the reader with a sense of immediacy.) The breeze may carry the cricket-song and the songs of frogs into your room, but it also carries it to fox and its footfalls, the rabbit in her hole, the owl watching over the bay, and the sea otters on the tide. It is carried far — to another continent, where another child sleeps.

The story is book-ended by two sleeping children, who live across the world from another, and on each spread, as you can see immediately below, Hunter shows readers a panoramic landscape so wide-reaching that we see the boy’s house on the left and the girl’s on the right. We watch with each page turn, as the sun moves through the sky and people live their lives.


“… who dozes, like you, to the song of crickets.”
(Click to enlarge)


Below, Anne shares some more paintings from the book, as well as peek at Possum and the Summer Storm, coming in Spring 2018 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “It’s the third Possum book,” Anne says, “the first being 20 years old!” (You can read about both previous books here and here at her site.) She also shares a couple of images from an as-yet-unpublished manuscript.

I thank her for sharing.


Picture in-progress (ballpoint pen), followed by a portion of a final spread:
“The breeze carries the song of crickets into your room.”

(Click each to enlarge)


Portion of a final spread:
“Out in the yard, cricket-song mingles with the
kreck kreck kreck
of frogs in the stream.”

(Click to enlarge)


Picture in-progress (ballpoint pen)
(Click each to enlarge)


Portion of a final spread:
“… that grows in the yard of a child.”

(Click to enlarge)



From Possum and the Summer Storm:


An early ballpoint spread, followed by final art
(Click each to enlarge)


From an Unpublished Dummy:


(Click each to enlarge)


CRICKET SONG. Copyright © 2016 by Anne Hunter. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. All images here reproduced by permission of Anne Hunter.

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) When my 11-year-old told me she thinks the word “ya’ll” is lime-green.

2) New music coming from Elbow. Thanks for the video, Little Willow:



3) You know what else? 2017 will also bring new music from Sam Phillips, Lowland Hum, Laura Marling, Tift Merritt, and Hurray for the Riff Raff. I’m looking forward to all of that.

4) I love how in this NYT Q&A, the author says: “I treat my books like I treat my shoes: The more I love them, the shoddier they become.” Yep, that’s me.

5) What Lin-Manuel Miranda says about mixed tapes in this Fresh Air interview.

6) This low-budget commercial from this animal shelter. I can’t possibly pick my favorite part:



7) I love a lot of what Ruby Tandoh has to say here.

BONUS #1) A Snow Day!

BONUS #2) Anniversaries.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

6 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #517: Featuring Anne Hunter”

  1. Thank you, Jules! Such an honor!!

  2. Jules, thank you for sharing the art and books of Anne Hunter. I think these are fabulous. Kids will love Unusual Underwear.
    Jules, yay for great music, snow,and anniversaries.

    My kicks:
    1. The kindness of friends who gave me a plane ticket to be with my friend in Arizona last weekend. Her husband was suddenly on hospice from a massive stroke.
    2. A stormy weekend.
    3. Changing my mind as I read A Song for Bijou. I didn’t like it at first but the story grew on me. It’s a WA state reader award nomination.
    4. The CYBILS Finalists were announced.
    5. The variety in our CYBILS Poetry finLists.
    6. Putting away Christmas and condensing storage boxes.
    7. The #haikuforhealing community.
    Have a great week.

  3. Happy Sunday, Imps!

    Thanks for the touch of Cricket Song. Bonus points for kitty in the window.

    Jules: You are welcome. It’s such a good song. Happy anniversary!

    Jone: Sending strength to your friends.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Progress
    2) Participation
    3) Picks
    4) Premise
    5) Films
    6) Simplicity
    7) Seen

  4. Hi!
    beautiful book. I remember seeing Cricket Song and loving it. Should have paid more attention to it sooner. Such color. Such sweetness. Congrats to Ms. Hunter for ongoing beauty and creativity!

    Jules – your kicks are amazing. Happy Anniversary, etc. And the Furkids Kitty Kommercial – well, it just leaves me speechless. Except for 2 words: Brilliant + Hilarious!

    Little Willow – wish my kicks were more like yours – wonderfully mysterious and satisfying to see your creativity and gratitude every week!

    Jone: will be keeping your friend in my thoughts. And how lovely to have such generous friends.

    My Kicks:
    1. starting to feel better after surgery – amazing how fast the body can heal.
    2. lots of rain in Los Angeles with more forecast
    3. new washer and drier
    4. exciting picture book workshops booked
    5. the kindness of friends looking after my Caldecott reading program at my son’s school while I recuperate
    6. Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe – I know I’m mentioning it late, but I’ve revisited it this week, and am wowed all over again.
    7. anticipation building as Caldecott and other YMA awards are announced on 1/23.

    Have a lovely week.

  5. I’m here! Sorry for my delay, dear Imps.

    Anne: Thanks again!

    Jone: I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s troubles, but I’m glad you could be with her. … Looking forward to hearing Cybils winners, as always.

    Little Willow: It’s a WONDERFUL song, but then I’m not surprised. That Guy Garvey. Such a talented lyricist.

    Allison: I’m glad you’re recuperating quickly AND that your friends took over your Caldecott program. Who’s the big winner? … I also love Radiant Child. One of my favorites this year.

    Have a good week, all!

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    It makes a great bed time story with characters that kids can relate to and grow to love because the already love them. Every kid and adult has heard the rhyme of how he fell from the wall but with this they can see a beautiful world with lots of egg people and it just something that jumps out at the imagination. Thank You for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank You,
    Benjamin Boyd

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