7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #554:
Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator Nari Hong

h1 October 1st, 2017 by jules

“I love going to the park and looking at flowers with you.”
(Click to enlarge)


The first Sunday of every month (Happy October!) at 7-Imp is for student or debut illustrators, and I’ve got the latter today. Days with Dad, written and illustrated by Nari Hong, will be on shelves in mid-October (Enchanted Lion Books), and this is Hong’s first picture book. It is also, as noted in Hong’s bio on the book’s jacket flap, an autobiographical book.

The book relates some of Hong’s own childhood experiences with her father. Told from her point of view, the book opens with an introduction to her father. “Dad can’t walk,” she tells us. “He hasn’t been able to since he was a baby.” Here, we see a well-dressed man (I love how the endpapers consist of the lapels on the jacket her father wears) in a wheelchair.

The little girl explains how her father often apologizes for his inability to walk. He’s sorry he can’t ride bikes with her — or skate, swim, play soccer, etc. But for each apology he makes, she takes the opportunity to point out what she loves about being with him. They can’t ride bikes, but she loves to look at flowers in the park with him. They can’t ice-skate, but “ice-fishing together is much more fun!” she says. “So what?” is essentially her half-glass-full response to her father. It’s not even as if she has to work at seeing the rosier side of things. It’s as if his inability to walk or run does not at all factor into her enjoyment with him. Who needs puddle-splashing on a cool, rainy day? If your father can stay inside with you and have “rainy day cocoa,” well … that’s even better.

This is an affirming story of acceptance and unconditional love. The illustrations are rendered in colored pencil, the bright yellows and (primarily) pastel blues and greens radiating much warmth. Hong incorporates the outdoors and nature into nearly every spread, even if only through the open windows of their home as the girl and her father enjoy one another’s company indoors. Children will enjoy poring over the details here in spreads that Hong manages to keep uncluttered yet teeming with life.

Here’s a bit more art. …


“It’s great making sandcastles with you.”
(Click to enlarge)


“When it rains, Dad says, ‘Don’t you wash to splash around in the puddles?’
And I say, ‘No, not really, Dad.'”

(Click to enlarge)


“I love your rainy day cocoa much more.”
(Click to enlarge)



DAYS WITH DAD. Text and illustrations copyright © 2017 by Nari Hong. First American Edition, published in 2017 by Enchanted Lion Books, Brooklyn, NY. All images here used by their permission.

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) On Friday night, I spent the evening playing with a kindergartner. When I found out she hadn’t yet read (or been read to) Where the Wild Things Are, I did a fake heart attack and promptly grabbed it from my shelf. It was damn near magical to share that with a child for her first time. A sort of hush comes over a room, sharing that book with a wee one.

2) She wanted to read it again later.

3) Speaking of Sendak, I’m enjoying Julia Glass’s A House Among the Trees.

4) Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Saturday tweets to Trump.

5) Library-volunteering.

6) SNL premieres tonight. (Well, I’m typing this on Saturday.) I’m a long-time, exceedingly nerdy fan, so I get excited about this.

7) New beginnings.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #554:
Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator Nari Hong”

  1. Good morning, Imps! Happy new month to you!

    Nari: Thank you for sharing your story with us, and with readers. Yay for seeing the good things in life and sharing your joy and your time.

    Jules: That must have been so much fun. I know how much you love that book! I had a similar experience sharing The Tale of Peter Rabbit with a little girl who hadn’t read it before. Lin-Manuel Miranda continues to be amazing. May the new beginnings be full of hope and good things.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Singing
    2) Laughing
    3) Living
    4) Sharing
    5) Researching
    6) Rehearsing
    7) Writing

  2. Thanks, LW. The “new beginnings” is a job promotion for my husband. He’ll finally get to do some new stuff and be challenged a bit more.

    Always wishing I could hear your first kick LIVE and in person …. !

  3. Jules: Congrats to your husband! I hope his job is rewarding!

  4. What a wonderful story about a father/daughter bond. Really love the sweetness and joy between the two in all of the illustrations.

    Jules – What fun to share a favorite book with someone for the first time! Especially THAT book. Love LMM so much. And I was right there with you in nerding out for SNL’s return. Congrats to the husband!

    LW – Love all your kicks, but especially kicks 1-3.

    My quick kicks:
    1) Busy work week.
    2) A day spent in a small town.
    3) Putting up fall decorations. (And a pumpkin on the porch!)
    4) Cooler weather.
    5) Cleaning out a small cabinet. (The more streamlined look feels so fresh and clean.)
    6) Hot chocolate with marshmallows & snuggling with Daisy on the couch while watching SNL.
    7) Went to an adoption & fundraising event for a local shelter. Caught up with friends and got to meet some sweet pups. And even won some great dog swag to bring home to Miss Daisy.
    7.5) Seeing more and more people speaking out, taking a stand. Its an encouraging and much-needed reminder (for me) during such crazy times.

    Happy October Imps! Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

  5. Thanks, LW!

    Rachel: I don’t know if Woke Jeans or the Papyrus trailer was better. It’s a tie. … You’ve reminded me I need a pumpkin. … I like all your kicks, but especially your 6th one. I’m ready for hot chocolate weather.

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