7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #641: Featuring Ashley Bryan

h1 June 9th, 2019 by jules

— From the poem “Kookoorookoo! Kookoorookoo!”
(Click image to enlarge and read poem in its entirety)


Blooming Beneath the Sun (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, April 2019), featured here today, evidently sprung from illustrator Ashley Bryan’s love of the work of 19th century British poet Christina Rossetti. Gathered in this cheery book are thirteen of her children’s poems, ones that primarily celebrate animals and nature. A couple of lesser-known poems, “Mother Shake the Cherry-Tree” and “Lie-a-Bed,” feature families (the latter illustrated with a woman who seems to be working magic on a child). Most of the poems are Rossetti’s most accessible, child-friendly, nursery rhyme-esque ones — such as, “Who Has Seen the Wind?” (included below).

Bryan’s opening art note in the book states:

“It is with the scissors that my mother used in sewing and embroidery that I, in turn, used in cutting the colored papers for ALL of the collage compositions in this book. Her hand in mine.”

The colors here are vivid and sunny, and more than once Bryan makes surprising color choices: splashes of red in a cat’s fur, pink shades in an orange, rich blue colors in an owl’s fur. Bryan will be 96 next month. May we all age so gracefully.

Here are a couple more spreads. ….


— From the poem “Who Has Seen the Wind?”
(Click image to enlarge and read poem in its entirety)


— From the poem “Mother Shake the Cherry-Tree”
(Click image to enlarge and read poem in its entirety)


(Click to enlarge cover)


BLOOMING BENEATH THE SUN. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by The Ashley Bryan Center, a Main Corporation. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York.

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) Catching up with some friends Wednesday night over mac & cheese and red wine …

2) AND a delicious meal with friends Friday night. Such good company. Lucky me.

3) Starting Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver with my girls.

4) My new purple vinyl.

5) The television adaptation of Good Omens. I don’t want it to end.

6) Looking forward to seeing The Adventure Zone at the Ryman this week with my daughters and their friend.

7) White Lies. Investigative journalism at its best.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #641: Featuring Ashley Bryan”

  1. Hey! I never get time to do this on a Sunday, but waking up early (because SKUNK) has its advantages.

    My kicks for the week:
    Signing a rental agreement for a new house which the owner promises to never sell,
    Finishing 99% of the packing 2 days before the move ( makes it tricky finding things, but…)
    Finding out the new house has chilies and tomatoes in the garden
    Finding volunteer sunflowers and that we have a persimmon tree!
    Tech Boy’s moods slowly improving
    Charming older houses with small closets, which give me a needed nudge to keep winnowing clothes and linens
    The teal is fading slowly from my hair – it still looks interesting and not weird, so I may just let it do its thing!

    It’s been a long, strange trip through this year so far, but it’s definitely had its kicky moments.

  2. PS: Ashley Bryan forever, amen.
    I adore both the artist and Christina Rossetti, so this gorgeous book is an obvious must-buy.

  3. Good morning, Imps! Hello, Ashley! Thanks for sharing your work with us. Congratulations on your book!

    Jules: Here’s to good music, good books, and good company!

    Tanita: HI! I hope the move goes smoothly.

    Kicks from the past week:
    1) Performances
    2) Comfortable
    3) Confident
    4) Capable
    5) Communicating
    6) Collaborating
    7) Celebrating

  4. What a wonderful pairing of words and art! Ashley Bryan’s opening note is so lovely, and a testamnet to the mother-daughter bond.

    Jules – red wine and mac n’ cheese and good friends sounds like such a perfect night. Will have to check out Good Omens as I am looking for a new show to get into. Will definitely check out Spinning Silver.

    Tanita – Congrats on the new place and I hope the move goes relatively smoothly.

    LW – Can’t pick a favorite kick of yours this week – they all sound wonderful and they all sound very much like you.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Made it through another busy work week.
    2) Saw the Goo Goo Dolls and Train in concert last night, very fun night with friends.
    3) Working in the garden always brings me joy, and this time of year my front garden is in full bloom.
    4) Looking forward to Tales of the City. Those books were my friends when I moved to L.A. a million years ago.
    5) Pulling off an all-nighter to meet a deadline.
    6) Being able to spend Friday night at home, with takeout and Daisy and comfort watching shows.
    7) Strong coffee.
    7.5) Making plans for future travels.

    Have a great week Imps!

  5. Tanita, I got your note and cannot BELIEVE you had to up and move. But PERSIMMON TREE!

    LW: I like how your first kick is rebelling with the letter “P.” Your sixth kick is one of my favorite things.

    Rachel: That’d be a son-mother bond, as this is Ashley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ashley_Bryan_01.jpg. He is a national treasure. … Sounds like you had a rick week, filled with music and Daisy and rewarding work and friends. Planning to go anywhere extra exciting?

    Have a good week, you all!

  6. Jules – whoops!! My apologes for not realizing Ashley is a man. I will rephrase – that mother-child bond is indeed so very strong.
    Thinking of short trips first, but hopefully a trip to South America will be in the works within the next 6 months or so. Fingers crossed.

  7. No apologies are necessary. I just like to spread the Ashley Bryan-love anyway, so now you know even more about him!

    SOUTH AMERICA! Rachel! That’s exciting.

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