7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #526:
Featuring Lemniscates and Isabelle Simler

h1 March 19th, 2017 by jules

“Trees have their heads in the clouds …”
— From Lemniscates’s
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The wings of blue morpho butterflies sparkle against the morning glories.”
— From Isabelle Simler’s
The Blue Hour
(Click to enlarge spread)


This post today is brought to you by my love for the color blue.

Today, I’ve got some illustrations from Isabelle Simler’s The Blue Hour, which was originally released in France in 2015 but arrived on U.S. shelves last month (Eerdmans). Trees (Candlewick Studio, March 2017), written and illustrated by Lemniscates, has a 2015 copyright date, but I’m unsure if it was previously published elsewhere. You can read here all about the artist behind the name Lemniscates. (Please note that some of the colors in some of these illustrations from The Blue Hour today appear a bit brighter than they do in the book. I tried to fix that but was unable to. It’s all the more reason to go find a copy of the book for yourself, right?)

The Blue Hour is about the hour between when day ends and night falls. Simler brings readers eloquent, detailed paintings of the creatures of this hour. The book’s final endpapers show that the creatures we meet—a blue jay, a blue fox, songbirds, sardines, flowers, glass snails, and many more—live all over the world; a map of the world’s continents with symbols of each animal can be seen here at the book’s close. Those looking for back matter information with facts about the animals won’t find anything. This is one to be appreciated for the splendid artwork. (And the opening endpapers feature 32 different variations of blue in egg-like shapes.) These are full-bleed spreads that put readers right up against the creatures and landscapes of this silent, mysterious time of day. Blue is, of course, the star here. Here are a couple more spreads:


“Among the water lilies, blue poison dart frogs gather,
croaking to each other.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“… and a blue-tailed damselfly lands on a blue milk mushroom.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge cover)


The textured mixed media illustrations of Trees, also full-bleed beauties, serve as a tribute to trees. “Trees are marvelous beings,” Lemniscates writes after laying out the many ways in which trees make our world better. We follow a young child through the spreads, who at one point literally hugs a tree. There’s a heavy dose of blue here, but also a lot of greens and warm rust colors. “This peaceful and attractive offering,” notes the Kirkus review, “will encourage young children and their caregivers to take a new look at a part of the landscape often taken for granted.” Indeed.


From Trees:


“They bear fruit in summer …”
(Click to enlarge)



THE BLUE HOUR. © Éditions courtes et longues, 2015. Text and illustrations © 2015 Isabelle Simler. First published in the United States in 2017 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Illustrations used here by their permission.

TREES. Copyright © 2015 by Lemniscates. 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) Blue.

2) We’ll see Regina Spektor live tomorrow night at the Ryman. I hope she plays this. I love it:



3) A visit with a friend.

4) This photoshopped creation. I love that kid.

5) This tweet.

6) Helping one talented person connect with another talented person.

7) Plans to see lots of stars.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

6 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #526:
Featuring Lemniscates and Isabelle Simler”

  1. I’m in love with both of these books. The palette in The Blue Hour and the topic of trees. I’ve been known as a tree hugger.
    Jules, kicks 4 and 5. And seeing stars…our cloudy nights prevent that.
    My kicks:
    1. A former student stopped by and reminded me I had given her, her first writing journal saying, “Every author needs one of these.” She now owns nine.
    2. A good week in the library.
    3. Discovering Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, Born to Run, on the Lucky Day shelf of the library.
    4. Watching In the Heart of the Sea movie by Ron Howard. Gripping.
    5. Sign ups for Student Poetry Postcards.
    6. Preparing student poems for publication submissions.
    7. The idea my Poetry Rocks kids wrote.

  2. Good afternoon, Imps! Hello, Isabelle Simler and Lemniscates and the animals! The frogs are particularly pretty.

    Jules: Yay for connecting good people. I hope you have fun at the concert.

    Jone: Good luck with the submissions. How wonderful that she has kept up her writing journals.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Compassion
    2) Calm
    3) Follow-up
    4) Follow-through
    5) Completion
    6) Printed
    7) Seen

  3. Such beautiful illustrations, I am partial to the Blue Hour ones, especially the cover art.

    Jules – have fun at the concert! I love that BBC interview kid too – what swagger!

    Jone – so wonderful your former student came back to tell you of your influence and inspiration. Yay for poetry postcard time! Will you remind us all when its time to sign-up?

    LW – love all your kicks and the story they seem to tell. Especially love kicks 1, 3 and 4.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Finding and visiting a public garden I’d never been to and wandering the grounds with a friend.
    2) Planning short hiking trips.
    3) Sunshine! Small doses, but I’ll take it.
    4) Productive work week.
    5) Ordered this print https://www.janelkennedy.com/product-page/mighty
    its by fashion illustrator Jane Kennedy and proceeds go to help a dog named Mighty. It combines 2 of my loves – fashion and rescue dogs.
    6) Sir Patrick Stewart and his wife are fostering a pitbull and it is the best: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRzDuD_jc2a/?taken-by=sirpatstew&hl=en
    7) Finished “The Lonely City” Olivia Laing and it had an impact on me it. Made me look into some artists I’d never heard of before, like Henry Darger, and made me think even more about roles of money and class in our society, and how we label individuals because of it. I love books that make me think.
    7.5) Reading “The Partly Cloudy Patriot” by Sarah Voewll.
    9) Made apricot banana tea cake and muffins and they came out fabulous!

    Have a great week Imps!

  4. Jone, THAT FIRST KICK! How cool!

    Thanks, Little Willow. I’m looking forward to it. I hope the piano is positioned such that we don’t just see her back all night. (We will be seated far right.) … I like your first kick (in particular).

    Rachel: Ooh, thanks for the book mentions. I love what I’m reading now, but I’ll need a new novel after that. I might try THE LONELY CITY. …. Apricot banana tea cake sounds great. Is the recipe online? … Sir Patrick Stewart’s dog is beautiful!

    Have a great week, you all!

  5. Jules – the recipe I used is this one: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apricot-banana-bread

    But I tweaked it – I didn’t use buttermilk, bran, or nuts. I subbed in greek yogurt and cinnamon and vanilla to get the taste more for in line for a treat. Its a good base recipe.

  6. Thanks, Rachel!

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