7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #562: Featuring Lauren Castillo

h1 November 26th, 2017 by jules

Foam printing in process, followed by final spread:
“One cold October evening, Andy watched a spider spin. He climbed a ladder for a closer look. He’d found the hero of his story — Charlotte A. Cavatica.
She rewove destiny with words. In the gleaming strands of her web,
Charlotte formed the bond of friendship.”

(Click each to enlarge)


Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Barbara Herkert’s A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, October 2017), illustrated by Lauren Castillo.

That review is here, and today Lauren visits to share some preliminary images from the book, as well as some final spreads. I thank her for sharing.


In the studio
(Click to enlarge)


Art in progress
(Click each to enlarge)


From the sketchbooks
(Click each to enlarge)


Young Elwyn
(Click to enlarge)


Sketch, line art, and final spread: “In the refuge of the stable, Elwyn’s senses sharpened to the ripe scent of manure, the creak of harness leather, the perfect shape of eggs,
the snort of tired horses, the sweet-dry smell of hay, and a spider’s masterpiece.”

(Click each to enlarge)


Final art
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)


Sketch and final spread: “As Elwyn grew, he surveyed the summer stars.
His ears captured an owl’s query, the breeze’s beckoning, the scuffing of horse hooves. He jotted his reflections in a journal. Writing what he saw, heard, and felt
made him feel free.
I wonder what I might be …”
(Click each to enlarge)


Final art: “After college, Andy worked for The New Yorker magazine. He married Katharine, an editor he met there. They soon became a family — Nancy, Roger, and baby Joel. Amid the raucousness of the city, Andy longed for a farm, a high-lofted barn
filled with animals and hay.”

(Click to enlarge)


Stages of a spread and its final art:
“Like a piper, he led his little family toward his dream in Maine.”

(Click each to enlarge)


Sketch and final art
(Click second or third image to see spread in its entirety)


Case cover
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(Click to enlarge cover)


A BOY, A MOUSE, AND A SPIDER: THE STORY OF E. B. WHITE. Text copyright © 2017 by Barbara Herkert. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Lauren Castillo. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Company, New York. All images used by permission of Lauren Castillo.

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) Seeing Shawn Colvin live last Sunday. She even brought out Buddy Miller and Emmylou at the end.

2) Volunteering yesterday at Parnassus Books for Small Business Saturday. It was hoppin’ in there.

3) The tree is up. Look. Dragons love tacos.



4) New writing opportunities.

5) The way the girls have already started planning on making home-made gifts for their friends for the holidays.

6) Freelance writers don’t really get days off very often (though at least, during the whole year, I have very flexible scheduling, which I appreciate), but on Thursday I didn’t do one single bit of work. That was kicky.

7) Showing the girls Christmas Vacation, as they’re finally old enough. They laughed and laughed. They enjoyed Clark Griswold.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #562: Featuring Lauren Castillo”

  1. Ooh, so cool you habe Barbara’s book. We love her up in the PNW. The art work is exquisite.
    Jules, you remind me that I need ti shiw Christmas Vacation to oldest grandgirl. I love the Dragons Love Tacos ornament.
    My kicks:
    1.To have Thanksgiving week off.
    2. Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, with long time friends.
    3. Visitng the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge…I could go daily if possible.
    4. Crochet projects.
    5. Friday night with a dear college friend.
    6. The Ducks beat the Beavers in football.
    7. Decorating the house.
    Have a great week.

  2. Hi Jules! Lauren’s work is so lovely.

    Your kicks are great, and I especially love the ornament combination! Jone, glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving.

    It’s an easy week for kicks:
    1. Gathering with friends and family for turkey day
    2. Seeing how grown up and helpful our kids were for our gathering
    3. Taking time off
    4. Celebrating husband’s birthday
    5. The Christmas tree
    6. Last weekend’s road trip to Meow Wolf (a “trippy” interactive art exhibit) in Santa Fe
    7. Deer and antelope sightings

    Have a good week heading into December!

  3. Thank you for sharing the photos of Lauren Castillo’s studio and the BTS look at part of her process. I really love the night sketch, the barn scenes and the farm. What a lovely book – love E.B. White and this glimpse into his beginnings.

    Jules – what a fun week – especially the Shawn Colvin concert! Love the Dragons Love Tacos ornaments, and that you’ve got your tree up, and that you got to share Christmas Vacation with your girls.

    Jone – hooray for Friendsgiving, wildlife refuge and visits with good friends.

    Dow – yay for Turkey, friends, time off, Christmas trees and birthdays!

    My kicks this week:
    1) A quiet Thanksgiving spent with a much anticipated book, good food, and Daisy – it was perfect.
    2) Saw The Big Sick and really enjoyed it.
    3) Reading Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes” and it is a good, fun read.
    4) A good day in court, then good news for another case to head into the holiday with. I love being able to give clients good news.
    5) Daisy swiping the stuffed animal out of the grocery bag and running off with it – it was meant for her, and cracks me up how she knew that, she is a very funny dog.
    6) So much to be thankful for – good work, good friends, and a good life.
    7) The book I read was Katherine Rundell’s “The Explorer” and I know Jules read it, and there are so many amazing and breathtaking passages throughout it that literally left me breathless, but this one the most:

    He squatted down to look Con in the eye. “But know this: This is the first, and not the last, of your adventures. It’s not going to be easy for you. You will have to be honest, resist the urge to arrange your fears and angers at their most becoming angles. You’re not one who was born to ride lightly over the world. Do you know what a lion heart is?”
    “I’m not sure,” she said. She was blinking hard.
    “People think it means brave – and it does -but it also means a heart with claws. That’s you. Con the Lion Heart.”

    A heart with claws. Just beautiful, breathtaking, truly amazing writing.

    7.5) So thankful for all of you, and for Jules for creating this lovely community of beautiful art, gorgeous children’s books, and people who know how to look for the light.

    Have a wonderful week Imps!

  4. Good morning, Imps! Happy holidays!

    Hello, Lauren! Charlotte’s Web makes me want to save all the animals.

    Jules: The expression on that dragon’s face is perfect. Happy writing!

    Dow: Happy birthday to your husband, and hello to the deer and the antelope. The title of Meow Wolf made me hope for cats and dogs.

    Rachel: I want to see The Big Sick. Glad that it’s good. Cheers for the lionhearted.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Performance
    2) Rest
    3) Seen
    4) Heard
    5) Nature
    6) Natural
    7) Calm

  5. Jules,

    I love seeing Lauren’s art for this book! It looks like another “must have” title for my “grandgirls.”

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    My brother-in-law LOVES Christmas Vacation!

    1) Getting everything ready for Thanksgiving at my house with a little time to spare.
    2) The turkey reduction sauce/gravy that I made was the best ever!
    3) The whole family made it this year.
    4) Thanksgiving was so much fun with my granddaughters–who brighten up every day for me.
    5) Got an idea for and started to work on a brand new writing project.
    6) There is still some of my muscovite cake leftover from the holiday. Plan to have another small slice tonight.
    7) My book THINGS TO DO was named a Best Book of 2017 for Kids by the New York Public Library! I was overjoyed–and completely shocked as my book didn’t seem to generate a lot of attention or press. It wasn’t even reviewed by Booklist.

  6. Oh, Jules…I am so happy you featured the artwork of Lauren Castillo today. I have enjoyed reading this book with students. I will make sure to add a link to my blog post.

    I love that you took Thursday off completely Jules. Life is too short to be working constantly.

    So happy you had Thanksgiving week off Jone. It’s a time to recharge.

    You had many celebrations this week Dow. That’s a lot of days full of joy.

    Rachel, I laughed at Daisy getting the stuffed animal. It reminds me of my Mulan.
    I have The Explorer on my TBR pile Rachel but I’m moving it up now.

    Thank you for reminding us all of the beauty of Nature, Little Willow.

    Congratulations Elaine on your book’s honor.

    My kicks:
    1. Reading aloud to children.
    2. Having a student pop into the library requesting I reread a title when they come again.
    3. Continuing to unpack and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
    4. Outside decorations are up
    5. Being surrounded by great books
    6. Clear blue skies
    7. Walking and playing with Mulan

    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  7. Congrats, Elaine!

    Hello to Mulan and Margie. 🙂

  8. Jone, how many more weeks of school till your holiday break?

    Dow, I’m gonna have to look up ‘Meow Wolf.’ Sounds intriguing. … Happy birthday to your husband!

    Rachel! So glad you enjoyed The Explorer. Isn’t it wonderful? Does Rundell know she has her two biggest fans in us?! … Thanks for your seventh-and-a-half kick. I like the phrase “looking for the light.” I love your fourth kick too. (P.S. Like LIttle Willow, I want to see The Big Sick. Thanks for reminding me.)

    Little Willow, I’m always happy to read when you get rest, since you’re so dynamite-busy, but then I know you probably don’t NEED a lot of sleep.

    Elaine, congrats on the NY Public Library list! You know I love that book. …. So glad the whole family was together this week. Good luck on your new writing idea!

    Margie, I love your second kick, which doesn’t surprise me. I still want to attend one of your story times/readings myself!

    Have a good week, you all! Thanks for stopping by — when you have so many other options on a Sunday morning.

  9. Being the early bird…
    Dow, seeing antelope and deer would be neat.
    Rachel, I love the Daisy and toy kick.
    LW, Calm is always appreciated.
    Elaine, congrats on the book making a best of list.
    Margie, time with Mulan. She’s such a beauty.
    Jules, We now are in school through Dec. 20 Yikes.

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