7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #522: Featuring
Jason Carter Eaton, Mark Fearing, and Gus Gordon

h1 February 19th, 2017 by jules

— From Jason Carter Eaton’s The Catawampus Cat,
illustrated by Gus Gordon


“Vlad and Törr couldn’t agree on whose horde got the popcorn kernels and whose got the half-eaten sandwiches. So they each declared crumb war on the other.
Their battles raged all night long.”
— From Jason Carter Eaton’s
Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians!,
illustrated by Mark Fearing
(Click to enlarge spread)


Author Jason Carter Eaton is a funny guy. Case in point is his newest picture book, Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians! (Candlewick, February 2017). I’ve got a review over at BookPage—that review is here—and, because you know I get twitchy if I can’t show you art, this morning I’ve got a couple of spreads from the book right here at 7-Imp. The book was illustrated by Mark Fearing.

But THERE’S MORE. While we have Jason on the mind, I thought I’d also show some illustrations from his next book, on shelves in March, The Catawampus Cat (Crown Books for Young Readers). This one is illustrated by Australian artist Gus Gordon (who visited 7-Imp way back in 2010 and whose art from 2013’s Herman and Rosie is here). Gus sent some spreads (sans text) from the book. I love this book, which has a lot to say about seeing the world from one’s own unique angle, and I think that pretty much Gus was the perfect illustrator for this one. It is filled with laugh-outloud details for those who look closely enough. (In fact, I’m opening this post with a tiny detail from one of the spreads, though it’s hard not to open with an image of the catawampus cat himself. Anyway, in this spread, which you’ll see below, a whole bunch of townfolks appear, but this little moment—which you’ll miss if you blink—made me laugh out loud. I think that both Jason and Gus must understand what a funny word “pants” is.)

p.s. This Fall in the U.S., we’ll see Gus’s Somewhere Else (Neal Porter Books), which is about a non-flying duck named George Laurent. But more on that later!

Enjoy the art!


From Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians!,
illustrated by Mark Fearing:


“Things quickly got worse. My sister found two shaggy barbarians on her bed,
watching TV and finishing off a bag of chips I’d started earlier in the week.”

(Click to enlarge spread)



From The Catawampus Cat,
illustrated by Gus Gordon:


“The Catawampus Cat arrived early on a Tuesday morning …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“… slightly askew. At first no one noticed. The town was a busy town,
and the people were busy people.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


Tick, tick, tick, went the town. Tock, tock, tock, went the people.
This is how it was every day, even Tuesday.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The first to see him was Mr. Grouse, the grocer, who tried to straighten him. To no avail. ‘What’s with that cat?’ asked his wife, Lydia, who hadn’t said a kind word to him in almost twenty years. ‘You’re asking me?’ he said. ‘He must be hurt or curious or noticing something.’ So they both tilted their heads. And noticed something.”
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)


“‘That’s where my wedding ring has been!’ cried Lydia.
‘I haven’t seen it in twenty years.’
‘Y’know,’ said Mr. Grouse sweetly, ‘from this angle you look exactly like you did the day we first met.’ They kissed, and on walked the catawampus cat, still askew …”
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)

“Even Bushy Brows Billiam, who always sat in the back of the classroom and never noticed anything, like what time it was or when class was over, noticed the catawampus cat. And discovered that he could see better than anyone if he just looked at the right angle. And Bushy Brows Billiam set off a chain reaction.”
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)



THE CATAWAMPUS CAT. Text copyright © 2017 by Just Small Enough Films, Inc. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Gus Gordon. Published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, New York. Illustrations reproduced by permission of Gus Gordon.

GREAT, NOW WE’VE GOT BARBARIANS! Text copyright © 2017 by Jason Carter Eaton. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Mark Fearing. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

* * *

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) I visited Michigan this week (my first time) — specifically, Ann Arbor. It’s a charming town.

2) I got to meet some of the folks at the Children’s Literacy Network, who invited me, and learn about their good and important work.

3) I visited a lower-income elementary school and witnessed third-graders picking out three brand-new books each, thanks to the Children’s Literacy Network. (And this school’s librarian was dynamite-good at her job.) I met a volunteer for the Children’s Literacy Network, who visits prisons with brand-new books for the inmates to read (onto CD) to their children. (I want to do a Q&A with her about this, because it sounds like a really powerful program, so more on that later, I hope.)

4) I was in Ann Arbor to talk about picture books (and why they are such wonderful things) at Literati Bookstore. It’s a lovely bookstore, and it was a good turn-out and a good conversation.

5) Making new friends and seeing old ones (and meeting Wednesday).

6) I figure you’re sick of me talking about Laura Marling’s upcoming CD, so I won’t post here the video of the third song she’s released from it (though we have to wait till March for the whole album). But I can link to it, right? It’s here — and another FABULOUS song.

7) A friend found at Paste Sam Phillips (my favorite) performing one of her songs, “Flame,” circa 1991. (And I’ve been a fan for even longer than that.) It’s here. It’s a brilliant song. Still. After all these years.

BONUS #1) Speaking of Sam, I love this collage she made. (I hope that link works when I’m not even on Instagram myself.)

BONUS #2) During my travel this week, I devoured Emily Fridlund’s History of Wolves. Such good writing.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #522: Featuring
Jason Carter Eaton, Mark Fearing, and Gus Gordon”

  1. Both books look like they’ll make kids and adults laugh out loud. Jules, went and read the review of Barbarians. Do you know I always point out end papers to students. They so make the book.
    Jules, loved Sam Phillips collage. Love your school experience and watching kids get books.
    My kicks:
    1. CYBILS winners were announced Tuesday! Laura Shovan’s The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary won the poetry division.
    2. Hosting Poetry Friday.
    3.. I have 5 copies of HERE WE GO by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell to give away…comment at Check It Out. It’s a fabulous poetry book and so relevant to our current social climate.
    4. My students in Poetry Rocks.
    5. Early morning birdsong.
    6. Sunrise
    7. Conversations with oldest grandgirl.
    Have a great week.

  2. Jone, definitely can’t ignore those endpapers. … Thanks for the Cybils reminder. I must go look. … How old is your oldest grandgirl now?

  3. Good evening, Imps!

    Hello Jason & Mark & Gus & Vlad & Törr & George the duck & the Catawampus Cat!

    Congrats to all of the Cybils winners, nominees, readers, and wranglers.

    Jules: That sounds like a lovely trip. Glad that you had fun. Yay, yay, yay for kids and books and librarians and volunteers. Yay for new music, and music that moves people to dance.

    Jone: I am now singing “Sunrise, Sunset.” Sunrise is a beautiful time, indeed.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Making things happen
    2) Visit
    3) Sleep
    4) Water
    5) Indulgence
    6) Plans
    7) Auditions

  4. Little Willow: Knowing how little sleep you usually get, I’m happy to see sleep as a kick!

    And, as always, break a leg at auditions.

  5. LW: Sleep and water, love.
    Jules: She’s 12. Hard to believe.

  6. I know I’m late, but just wanted to say a quick ‘Hi’.

    Great Kicks and experiences, everyone. Jules – very cool trip from the sounds.

    My Kicks:
    1. great workshop in a library this past week. LOVED reading with the kids and the librarian is off the charts!
    2. Moana – finally saw it
    3. 1-day visit with my brother who flew in to LA for a meeting
    4. My Tiny is now 4 – great birthday day yesterday
    5. Shepard’s Pie – just love it
    6. rain, rain, rain
    7. long 4-day weekend, much needed home time, especially for my 10-year old Little

    Have a great week!

  7. Happy birthday to Tiny! How was Moana? Recommend it?

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