7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #634: Featuring Juana Martinez-Neal

h1 April 14th, 2019 by jules

“Drowsy contentment. Cool night air. We’re cuddled in the rocking chair.
Familiar lullabies to croon. This gentle time, our babymoon.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Hayley Barrett’s Babymoon, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal. That is here if you’d like to read about the book.

I’ve got a few spreads from the book here today, and BONUS! Juana shares different versions of sketches for one spread. I’m tellin’ ya … I could look at her beautiful sketches all day. Here’s what she said about it:

[I’m sharing] the initial thumbnail for that spread, the first sketch, and the revised sketch. As you can see in the thumbnail, I initially considered showing only the dad and the baby. As I went to a full-size sketch, I kept a more dream-like background with very few details that could determine place, as I wanted to represent any family and remove details that would place the family in any socioeconomic group. Later, we decided to make the family feel more grounded by adding subtle hints of the home. The sketch also changed by including the mom, kitty, bunny soft toy, and a copy of a book.

First, here is a spread from the book:


“Endearing sneezes. Solemn eyes.
Delighting in each small surprise.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


And here are Juana’s sketches, followed by the final corresponding spread:



(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge spread)


“Our long-awaited dream — is you.
Amazed at all we thought we knew.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


Thanks to Juana for sharing!



BABYMOON. Text copyright © 2019 by Hayley Barrett. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Juana Martinez-Neal and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. Sketches reproduced by permission of Juana Martinez-Neal.

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) This book. It takes me back to two Danielson babymoons that feel simultaneously like yesterday and very far away.

2) Texting this to my nephew, who liked the same line I did (“Good at Lent”):



3) “Cracking Codes” off of Andrew Bird’s new album is one of the most beautiful ballads I’ve heard in a long time. Here he is, singing it live:



4) A new album from Shovels & Rope.

5) My oldest daughter was recognized for being the 9th grade reader at her school who checks out the most books from the library. You know this librarian-mama gave her a high-five.

6) I was reminded recently of this video from last year, and I apologize if I’ve already kicked about this (especially if I’ve kicked about it recently but don’t remember). It’s a singer named Gaby Moreno covering one of Sam Phillips’ songs, “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us.” Sam is my favorite (I bet you all are tired of hearing about her!), and it’s hard to pick favorite songs out of her many wonderful songs over decades of songwriting, but this is a top-three for me. This version in Spanish is exquisite:



7) I’m going to hear Kerry Madden-Lunsford at Parnassus Books today, followed by a dinner with friends.

BONUS KICK: Speedy firefighters.

BONUS KICK #2: Game of Thrones returns tonight. This is going to be interesting. Can Arya Stark just become Ruler of Everything, please?

What are YOUR kicks this week?

12 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #634: Featuring Juana Martinez-Neal”

  1. Hello, Imps! Hello, Hayley!

    Jules: Give your daughter a high-five from me, too! That’s awesome!

    Kicks from the past week:

    1) Music
    2) Chocolate
    3) Joy
    4) Truth
    5) Talking
    6) Take what you need
    7) Okay

  2. I really like these warm, loving, cozy illustrations. They just radiate adoring family and safety.

    Jules – high five to your oldest! Listening to the song links now, and went down the rabbit hole of that Kerry Madden-Lunsford interview and her book recommendations. Arya Stark is absolutely my favorite – re-watching the series solidified that for me.

    LW – Joy is just about the best kick ever.

    My kicks this week are again a bit of a jumble:
    Daisy had knee surgery, which went well, and she is recovering nicely. However the first 3 days were agony as 1 of her pain meds had the side effect of “inconsolable crying” which was exactly that for 3 days straight – no sleep for either of us. Thankfully now that the medicine patch has been removed – no more crying and lots more sleeping so she can continue to heal. So my kicks are:
    1)yay for successful surgery
    2) good veterinarians taking good care of my sweet old Daisy
    3) strong pain meds
    4) no more inconsolable crying
    5) sweet restful healing sleep
    6) first steps of recovery and rehabilitation of her knee
    7) having a job that allowed me to rearrange my schedule to be home with her full time for the first week after surgery.

    Bonus kick 1: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s perfect series ending finale and the live special the cast did. Really talented, smart, fun group of people and hope to see more of all of them in other things.

    Super Bonus kick: Game of Thrones tonight!!!

    Have a wonderful week Imps!

  3. Sending SO much strength to Daisy! And hugs to her humans, too!!

  4. I am so happy you highlighted this book today, Jules. I have it on my stack. I am waiting to read it. While I am cheering for your daughter’s success, I am stunned to realize she’s in ninth grade. Where has the time gone? I’m with you Little Willow on the chocolate. I am so happy Rachel that Daisy is better. It’s so hard to have them suffer. Hugs to both of you.

    My kicks:

    1. I planted violas, like a hopeful fool last weekend. I have had them covered for days because of the return of winter. So far they are surviving.
    2. Sunshine
    3. Picture books
    4. Read once and reading again the new Natalie Lloyd book, Over the Moon
    5. Reading recipes in The Waitress Pie Book
    6. Tulips and daffodils coming up
    7. Walks with my sweet Mulan

    Have a wonderful week!

  5. Little Willow, those last two kicks are mysterious and delightful.

    Rachel: OH MY HEART. Three full days of inconsolable crying? I’m so glad Daisy has you and that your work accommodated the time off. That must have been hard. Big hug. … I hear such good things about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I gotta try that one day. What’d you think of the GOT ep? It went by TOO FAST.

    Margie: RIGHT? She will learn how to DRIVE this year. WHUT. … When does Spring typically show up and actually stay in your neck of the woods? I’m crossing my fingers for your violas.

    Have a great week, you all!

  6. p.s. I like “hopeful fools.” They make the world a little brighter.

  7. Thank you all for the well wishes for Daisy – she is doing better every day and now the hard part of keeping her quiet and not-very-mobile begins. (She is in her crate now, as already she wants to be up and around more as she is feeling better. Grateful that the 3 days of crying is over – even knowing she wasn’t in pain and the crying was a side-effect still didn’t make that part any less awful. Very grateful that parts over.) Slow and steady and we’ll be bale to go for our neighborhood walks again soon enough.

    Margie – as a lover of all things Waitress (and amateur baker), I am aghast that I did not know this cookbook exists – getting a copy straightaway. Have you made any of the pies? Hooray for tulips and walks with Mulan.

    Jules – GOT did go fast- what a packed episode though. I am all in on Arya and Gendry as a team/alliance/future ruling couple, and yay for dragon-riding. Lots to look forward to for next week.
    I think you might like Crazy ExGF – the songs are super witty and its definitely a unique POV.

    Thanks again everyone for your kind words and good thoughts for Daisy’s recovery. Have a great week!

  8. Oh. Daisy. Best wishes to her. I wish I could come pet her. Yes, I invited myself over.

    The few moments with Arya + Gendry and Arya with the Hound were so well-written.

    Do you know the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour? One of those guys, Glen Weldon, is a big fan of Crazy ExGF.

  9. Jules–I uncovered my violas today. It is supposed to stay above freezing tonight. We don’t typically plant our annuals until the end of May. We have been known to have frost after Mother’s Day. We still have piles of snow but I hope it goes with the rains coming the next two days.

    Rachel—I have not made any of the pies yet but I like the book so much, I am buying my own copy. I have not watched Game of Thrones but I think I should start it soon.

  10. Good luck to the violas!

  11. Jules – you have an open invitation to come pet Daisy whenever you want – we love visitors. I love Arya so much, and love that the show has so many different types of strong smart characters who are women.
    I have not listened to that podcast – I will check it out!

    Margie – yay for violas! and yay for pies too.

  12. That’s a good tweet.

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