7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #580: Featuring Rowboat Watkins

h1 April 1st, 2018 by jules

“Once upon a time, there was a BIG BUNNY.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


Last week at Kirkus, I wrote a bit about Rowboat Watkins’ newest picture book, Big Bunny (Chronicle Books, April 2018). That is at the end of this column, if you want to read more about the book.

Today, I’m following up with some art from the book, and Rowboat has also sent some preliminary sketches (for which I thank him). I mean it when I say that it didn’t occur to me till after I decided to post this today that I’m posting bunny images on Easter day. Well, now. Didn’t even plan it, but it worked out well. If any bunnies are gonna appear here today, I’m glad it’s Big Bunny.

Let’s get to it. …


Rowboat: “Big Bunny originally started out as Glum Bunny. He appeared in my sketchbooks while I was working on Pete With No Pants. I don’t remember when
he went from being glum to big. … Anyway, I think these are
the earliest doodles related to the book.”

(Click each to enlarge)


Early sketches
(Click each to enlarge)

More preliminary sketches
(Click each to enlarge)

A final spread: “Wait … there are trucks on the planet? Yes.
Does Big Bunny EAT the trucks? No.
Why not?
(Click to enlarge spread)


A final spread: “So what happened to the penguins?
Oh … they all took off to Florida. …”
(Click to enlarge spread)



BIG BUNNY. Copyright © 2018 by Rowboat Watkins. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. All preliminary images reproduced by permission of Rowboat Waktins.

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 the inside of Rowboat’s sketchbooks is always a kick for me.

2) Jacqueline Woodson FOR THE FREAKIN’ WIN this week!

3) A new EP from Joan Shelley.

4) Tonight, I’m going to see Margaret Glaspy live in Nashville.

5) A multi-generational sleep-over party with friends.

6) My nephew’s getting married soon. There will be — per the wedding invitation — coffee, cake, and dancing.

7) DANCING. I’m so there.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #580: Featuring Rowboat Watkins”

  1. Happy spring holidays, Imps!

    Hello to Rowboat and Bunny!

    Jules: Keep dancing! Enjoy the music. Yay for friends. Congrats to your nephew.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Conversations
    2) Overlapping
    3) Continuing
    4) Considering
    5) Being considered
    6) Clarity
    7) Conviction

  2. Happy spring to you, too, Little Willow! If kick #5 means auditions, fingers crossed for you. As always.

  3. Thanks, Jules! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. 1) Birthday wishes from many wonderful friends, including you!

    2) FaceTime birthday wishes from my 6-yr-old niece that turned into an extended tour of her bedroom, backpack, and many games involving turning our phones upside down (her mother’s phone, in her case) & twirling around until dizzy.

    3) Finally saw Coco, which was beautiful, and touching. “Remember me…”

    4) The award for Jacqueline Woodson is fantastic.

    5) David Hogg’s response to Fox cyber-bully causes her show to lose about a dozen sponsors and her to take the coming week off. The Youth — Parkland & elsewhere — give me hope. I know, I know: it’s not their job to give hope to us older folks. But they do. And I am grateful for that.

    6) Finished Joy Castro’s beautiful, insightful collection of essays, Island of Bones. I’ve been reading it off-and-on for a while. (I read multiple books simultaneously; since this is a collection of essays, it’s been easy to move between it and other books.) She’s a powerful writer; I need to read more of her work.

    7) My “Radical Children’s Literature” students continue to bring their “A” game to class. A real pleasure to teach them — even if our classroom is, er, probably violating several health and building codes. (Kansas is great if you favor the proliferation of guns, but not great if you think we might instead invest in public education, etc.)

    Happy Chocolate Bunny Day!

  5. Big Bunny is definitely BIG. I like that the penguins had to be driven by the giraffes – sounds like my kind of story.

    Jules – hope you’re having fun at Margaret Glaspy! Hooray for multi-generational sleepovers & dancing!

    LW – love kicks 5, 6 & 7 the best this week – good luck!

    Philip – happy birthday! And yes, those Parkland kids are pretty awesome, they give me hope too.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Finally got 2 aboriginal paintings from last year’s Australia trip framed – I am in love with the final results.
    2) Watched the first episode of Wild, Wild Country on Netflix – its intense and I am hooked.
    3) Yesterday went on a guided hike in the Columbia River Gorge that was with scientists & biologists who explained the flora, fauna and other facts about the land and its formation – it was pretty awesome.
    4) After the hike we went wine-tasting, which was also awesome.
    5) Daisy got a duck & treats from the Easter Bunny.
    6) Started reading The 57 Bus after Jules recommended it – I am more than halfway through and am by turns engrossed, annoyed, angry, blown away, and if possible even more convinced that the time for criminal justice reform is NOW.
    7) Chrissie Teigan live-tweeting Jesus Christ Superstar. Or just Chrissie Teigan on twitter in general.
    7.5) Randomly remembering a funny story about a friend who turned themself into an oompa-loompa with food-coloring when in elementary school had me laughing so hard I was almost crying on a drive to a work meeting this week. Then I told the story to almost everyone the rest of the day and kept laughing all day long. Laughing is so fun.

    Happy Easter and Happy Passover Imps! Hope you have a laughter-filled week!

  6. Phil, I’m high-fiving all those kicks. Sounds like you had a great birthday week. (And I will respond to your email soon. My email quickly became, yet again, a sea of stars. Stars means I’m-going-to-answer-this person-when-work-slows-down.)

    Rachel, I’m happy you’re enjoying THE 57 BUS. I knew you’d dig it. My book club is reading it this month, too. (I think I may have convinced them.) … Your hike sounds beautiful.

  7. I loved seeing the progression of the illustrations. Really fabulous. Sounds like a great book as well. I will have to look for it. Thanks for sharing.

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