7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #540: Featuring Julia Denos

h1 June 25th, 2017 by jules


I saw this image, created by author-illustrator Julia Denos, on Instagram this week, and I secured her permission to share it here. I like it. It makes me think of not sweating the small stuff in life. You can click on it to see the entire image in her sketchbook.

When I asked her about it, she wrote:

I’ve been really moved lately by exploring space and local nature. There is so much to learn. Finding stories in the nonfiction of stars and flowers and trees.

Because I had her attention, I also asked her what’s next on her plate. She said she has just finished illustrating a picture book bio about Jackie Kennedy, written by Margaret Cardillo (with whom Julia has collaborated previously) and called Just Being Jackie (Balzer + Bray, 2018). “It focuses on her love of the written word through her life,” Julia says, “and how she eventually became a prolific editor.”

Also, Julia’s next book will be out in October of this year from Candlewick. It’s called Windows, and it’s illustrated by E. B. Goodale. I happen to have an early copy of this book, and it’s really wonderful. I look forward to writing about it in the coming months. Julia says that she and E. B. also just collaborated on another book, called Becoming (a Fall 2019 release with Houghton Mifflin).



One more thing! Julia is also writing a YA novel that she says has been in the works for a few years. “Now that the plate is clear,” she tells me, “I can sink time into it.” And she’s still making art, as always. “As far as illustrating, I make art every day,” she says. “I’ve been painting a lot of scenes from our solar system and nature around me here in Massachusetts, which will find their way into a picture book eventually.”

I thank Julia for sharing.

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) My friend, Robin Smith. She had a two-year struggle with bone cancer and died this past week. This is the most unkicky thing, I’m tellin’ you. It is STAGGERING in its unkicky-ness. I miss her. There’s already been about 7,000 things I’ve wanted to tell her in the past couple of days, and I can’t anymore.

But the kick is that I knew her when she was here.

2) All the tributes to her that have come pouring in. She was such a wonderful teacher and human, who impacted countless lives. (I wrote my own tribute and hope I did her justice.)

3) All the time I got to spend with her in the last two years, in particular. Once she was unable to continue teaching, I’d visit her weekly. A great many of her friends did — to keep her company and because we all loved her.

4) She taught all of Faith Hill’s and Tim McGraw’s children, and evidently they gave a shout-out to Robin—and all teachers—at a concert the other night. I can hear Robin laughing in my head over the fact that her name was shouted out at a big ol’ mainstream country music concert in a ginormous auditorium. She would have gotten a kick out of that on many levels, I think. That was awfully kind of those two.

5) Reading Lauren Wolk’s new book aloud to my girls. I’m not surprised that I love it thus far.

6) When you get to pick up that new novel at the library that’s been on hold for months and you can’t wait to crack it open.

7) Last but far from least, when smart people say yes to collaboration.

BONUS: Tonight’s the night of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Wilder award speeches at the ALA conference in Chicago. I wish I could be there to hear them, but I’m looking forward to reading about them.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

13 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #540: Featuring Julia Denos”

  1. Happy Sunday to you Jules. Thank you for sharing Julie Denos art with us and her upcoming books. I am looking forward to the Jackie Kennedy title.

    I never had the opportunity to meet or chat with Robin but I feel as though I knew her through her online presence. I love the Calling Caldecott blog. I know it’s a strange feeling but I miss her too. It’s like something special has gone in the world.

    When I read the read collaboration I hope it means you are working on another book, Jules.

    My kicks:

    1. Writing about children’s literature
    2. The arrival of new books
    3. Giving books to people
    4. Rain
    5. Cooler weather
    6. Dog nails clicking on wood floors
    7. Walking with Mulan

    I am wishing everyone a wonderful week.

  2. Thank you for sharing Julie Demos with us. I love the art.
    Jules, I am awfully sorry for the loss of you friend, Robin. Hang o. To those memories and continue to talk to her. She’ll hear you. What book did you get from the library?
    Margie, getting new books, nail clicks and dog walks. Can it get any better?
    My kicks:
    1. Walking
    2. School is done.
    3. Swimming.
    4. Discovering I can borrow Audio CDs for our trip next week.
    5. Making plans to see friends in SoCal.
    6. Mornings on the deck.
    7. Famer’s market.
    Have a wonderful week.

  3. Margie, hugs to Mulan. I love your sixth kick.

    Jone: It’s this, a book for grown-ups: http://www.npr.org/2017/05/25/528842969/a-dancer-is-unstrung-by-grief-in-isadora. … Have a great trip! Happy end-of-the-year.

  4. Good morning, Imps!

    Hello, Julia! Best of luck with your forthcoming books. Three cheers for not sweating the small stuff.

    Jules: Sending you comfort. Beautiful tributes.

    Margie: Pet owners know that rhythmic claw clicking for sure!

    Jone: Have a great summer.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Collaborating
    2) Acting
    3) Writing
    4) Singing
    5) Sharing
    6) Laughing
    7) Performing

  5. Love that beautiful image, thank you for sharing your art Juia Denos!

    Jules – your tribute was my favorite kind, it made me wish I’d known your friend Robin, and that through you, I did know her a little. Holy cow that book Isadora – those quotes in the review are simply gorgeous and hauntingly written.

    Margie – giving books to people is such a joy, as is dog nail-clicks on wood floors.

    Jone – happy summer! Stay cool today. Do you go to the MIlwaukie Farmer’s Market? Its such a good one – I need to make it there next weekend!

    LW – sounds like another busy week of things you love doing! Love them all, but especially kicks 4, 5 and 6.

    My quick kicks:
    1) Birthday flowers.
    2) Drives into the foothills.
    3) Daisy after her bath – sweet-smelling and sweet!
    4) Halo Top Birthday Cake flavored ice cream instead of a cake – yum!
    5) Busy with work all weekend and into the week, so making plans for celebrations when I can come up for air has been fun.
    6) Early dog walk with Daisy to beat the heat.
    7) This lovely video by a friend I made in Melbourne showing off her community’s annual Street Iftar – makes me want to get back soon for another visit: https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/878334355931766784

    7.5) Grateful for another trip round the sun, the love of friends and family, a sweet pup, and work with purpose. I am incredibly lucky and very thankful for the abundance of good in my life.

    Have a wonderful week Imps!

  6. Little Willow, I always look forward to your gerund kicks.

    Rachel: I exercised restraint in not just BUYING the novel Isadora from Parnassus, because it looks so good. I waited in line at the library instead. … I love all your kicks. They’re so happy and detailed and alive. Also, I haven’t whipped out the ol’ marquee tag in a while. Let’s see if it still works:



  8. Thanks for the marquee birthday banner Jules!! Love it!

  9. Jules, looks good…putting on the TNT list.
    Happy birthday, Rachel. And yes, to Milwaukie Farmers Marlet. Love it!
    LA, writing, singing and collaborating.

  10. Happy birthday, Rachel! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. Wait… This is a thing?!!

    1. HTML
    2. Praise from the praiseworthy.
    3. Cleaning my office and finding the promise of uncluttered creativity as exciting as ever.
    4. Cleaning my office and finding a sheaf of vintage typewriter paper (Eaton’s Berkshire Eminence Onion Skin, Kokle Finish).
    5. That my daughter still openly shares her growing pains.
    6. That my son hasn’t given up on sneaking into my attic office space to scare me and today actually did.
    7. A sense of purpose.

    It’s been a good week.

  12. Aw, I was hoping that first line would scroll. I’ll change my first kick to:

    1. Happy memories of throwing together HTML on the fly.

  13. Jerrold, O Subject of My Seventh Kick!

    Were you trying to make a line scroll and it didn’t work? My apologies on behalf of the blog. If I try to make the marquee tag work or embed a video, it gives me the middle finger till I sign in and edit the comment. Really, it’s just typing it AGAIN, and somehow it works then. Frustrating.

    I like all those kicks. They are made of good things.

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