7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #549: Featuring Frank W. Dormer

h1 August 27th, 2017 by jules


It’s a pleasure to have Frank Dormer share some images here today from Firefighter Duckies! (Atheneum), a picture book published in May of this year, which has been met with a host of good reviews. Somehow, I didn’t see this one right away, though I was eager to. When I finally did read it, I was mighty entertained. It opens, delightfully, with some “WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO”s. Actually, before readers even get to the title page they see that the duckies of the book’s title have had to climb out of a lovely bubble bath, all in an effort to contain some chaos, as firefighters do. A firefighter’s work is never done, right?

The firefighter duckies are brave and strong and rescue the likes of gorillas in chef hats, whales in trees, rampaging centipedes, and so much more that I just can’t give away. The font is super-sized and means business, and Dormer’s uncluttered, full-bleed spreads with their simple shapes and creative characters are great fun. There’s a ton of humor here; the duckies work themselves hard, because they are brave and strong. But they’re also helpful and kind, saving some lemurs (some smushed-up lemurs, mind you) and maybe even the alphabet. Yes, the alphabet. This is absurd, wildly ridiculous goodness for young readers, and it’s especially appealing, I think, to emerging readers (and is a perfect story-time choice).

Also, the final cover is fabulous. And, when you hold a copy of the book in your hands, don’t forget to lift the dustjacket for a surprise.

Frank shares a few illustrations from the book today — but also some preliminary images as well. I thank him for sharing.


Above: Preliminary images (last image is a cover test)


Frank: “[This] is from walks I would take with our dog, Gus. Every day,
I would pass this mailbox and wonder why duckies were firefighters.
Until I hit upon the story that is out now.”




Above: Some final art
(Click each to enlarge, and click final image to see spread in its entirety)


FIREFIGHTER DUCKIES! Copyright © 2017 by Frank W. Dormer. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York. All images here reproduced by permission of Frank W. Dormer.

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 * * *

I hope all Texas readers are safe and sound.

1) Resistance. Dreams of impeachment.

2) Fresh bread.

3) Finishing a good novel.

4) A cool (not sweltering hot for once) day for biking.

5) My daughters’ friends.

6) Re-discovering old songs you love but had nearly forgotten.

7) Surprises in the mail from thoughtful friends.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #549: Featuring Frank W. Dormer”

  1. Those duckies! Squee! I love the inspiration.
    Jules, I hear you with rediscovering music. Okay, what novel did you finish?
    My kicks:
    1. Finding out a poem won 1st prize and another 3rd at the Oregon state Fair. And my photos made the qualifications for the juried competition.
    2. A fabulous teacher librarian PD day.
    3. Community back to school carnival with a dunk tank. The weather was fabulous. The worst was the anticipation of being dunked.
    4. Finished The Woman in Cabin 10. Suspenseful.
    5. Meeting up with staff as we get ready for kids this.eeel.
    6. Sending off packages.
    7. Connecting with former students.
    Texas peeps, hope you’re safe. Have a great week.

  2. Good morning, Imps and duckies! Here’s to hard work and to selflessness. Hi Frank.

    Hope everyone who is in Texas is safe and sound.

    Jules: Resistence and bread are two amazing kicks. Yay for good books, good friends, good music, and thoughtful surprises!

    Jone: Congrats, congrats, congrats! Happy new school year.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1 through 3) Auditions
    4) Performance
    5) Information
    6) Unwinding
    7) Still

  3. Love these brave and cute duckies! Also, what a great mailbox – totally love the inspiration for the book too.

    Jules – so much yes to Resistance and dreams of impeachment, good novels, re-discovering old songs and lovely surprises in the mail.

    Jone – hooray and congratulations! Happy start of the school year.

    Little Willow – yay for auditions and performance and unwinding.

    Definitely hoping everyone in Houston gets evacuated safely.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Seeing the eclipse in 100% totality with a friend and lots of nice strangers.
    2) Eclipse party at the Aviation Museum. Hooray for science and scientists and fun.
    3) Seeing an incredible sunrise Saturday morning. Nice reminder of how much beauty is still in the world.
    4) Busy work week, so grateful to have work that is interesting, fun and fulfilling.
    5) Had a Taika Waititi binge fest Friday night and watched “What We Do In The Shadows” and “Hunt for the WilderPeople” and loved both of them.
    6) Sunday morning yoga.
    7) Easy Sunday morning coffee and music with sweet Daisy for company.
    7.5) Hope for the future.

  4. Determined to be a better Kicker. Have missed the check-ins and interesting ways Kickers are out in the world, doing good.

    1. Elementary School library is ready – open on Monday. Kids are excited.
    2. back to my blog
    3. Despicable Me 3 mother/daughter date with my 4 year old.
    4. Jason Reynolds Miles Morales Spider-Man – cover illustration by Kadir Nelson.
    5. settling back in after 5 1/2 week summer trip east.

    That’s all I’ve got. Love, love all your reviews, Jules! They’ve been super helpful this year.

  5. PS: forgot to mention the DUCKIES!

  6. Jone: I finished FIERCE KINGDOM, though I then talked to a friend who has worked at the zoo forever, who shot many holes in the plot for me! Still, I enjoyed it, especially the commentary on parenting. … CONGRATULATIONS on EVERYthing in kick #1!

    Little Willow: Break a leg on those auditions. I always like it when “still” is a kick for you. Though it can have multiple meanings, it makes me calm just to read it.

    Rachel, what a good week you had, and I’m glad you went to an actual eclipse party. I think your fourth kick is the best.

    Hi Allison! Your first kick is very exciting. Hope it’s a great year. …. So glad my writings are helpful.

    Have a good week, all!

  7. Love these brave and cute duckies! Also, what a great mailbox – totally love the inspiration for the book too

    Tu Sooraj Main Saanjh Piyaji

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