7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #663: Featuring Angel Chang

h1 November 10th, 2019 by jules

(Click to enlarge spread)


Dave Eggers’s Most of the Better Natural Things in the World (Chronicle, November 2019), illustrated by Angel Chang, follows a white tiger. She carries a chair on her back, lugging it across the globe and across various landscapes — a gorge, a valley, a lagoon, an alpine lake, a chaparral, a tundra, and much more. Each spread contains the name of each geographic settting. She stops to sit and take in a breathtaking vista (pictured below) that appears in a dramatic double gatefold spread. The book closes with a four-page glossary that gives more information on each landscape.

Taiwanese illustrator Angel Chang makes her picture book debut here. Her author’s bio in the book notes that she illustrated it “with the hope that [it] will encourage people to see the world and to take care of our planet, so the beauty can be around for younger generations.” Chang’s palette is particularly striking — her cool blues and greens, rich purples, and glowing orange and red shades — but there’s a lot to love here. Playing with perspective and scale, she showcases the planet in all its glory. The tiger makes for a welcome companion, and the tale ends in a happy surprise when readers discover precisely why she is traversing the globe with a chair on her back.

The starred Kirkus review describes this one as an “artistic envisioning of a list poem, of sorts, about place”; I love that. Yes. Here are a couple more spreads so that the art can speak for itself.


(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge cover)


MOST OF THE BETTER NATURAL THINGS IN THE WORLD. Text copyright © 2019 by Dave Eggers. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Angel Chang and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

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) Saw Ta-Nehisi Coates speak on Wednesday night. Can’t wait to start the new novel.

2) Watching Booksmart with my daughters.

3) FIIINNNNAAALLLLYYYY showing them Pan’s Labyrinth, which I’ve wanted them to see for years. (I was waiting till they were old enough for, you know, the violence in the film.) I. love. that. movie.

4) A delicious meal and good conversation with friends.

5) Starting this as a read-aloud with my daughters:



6) His Dark Materials on HBO!

7) Andrew Bird released a Christmas EP. You don’t think you need to hear someone whistling “Oh Holy Night” — until you do. (My daughters let me play the EP in the house, even though they strictly forbid all holiday stuff until after Thanksgiving.)

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #663: Featuring Angel Chang”

  1. What a great book. Angel Chang is making a stunning debut. And I can see how this could be used in the classroom.
    Jules, Ta-Nehisi Coates? How fortunate. I need to get the book. And I love that you still read around to your girls.
    My kicks:
    1. Overnight trip to the coast.
    2. Time with friends.
    3. Genealogy sleuthing.
    4. Writing little thankus each day.
    5. Creating
    6. Looking forward.
    7. Noticing.
    Have a great week.

  2. What gorgeous illustrations! really love the Gorge one with the tiger crossing the river with the chair on her back.

    Jules – His Dark Materials!!! I haven’t seen Booksmart yet, and I didn’t know erin Morgenstern had a new book – I LOVED The Night Circus, so I’ll have to check this new one out.

    Jone – Jealous of your overnight at the Coast, I am overdue for one. Really love kick 7 – Noticing – it ties in to 1 of my kicks this week.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Getting to call a client to let them know court has been cancelled because their case was dismissed. (Its a wonderful feeling.)
    2) Celebrating by going to see the movie “Last Christmas” which was charming and fun.
    3) The movie’s reminder to notice and ‘look up” from time to time.
    4) His Dark Materials on HBO.
    5) A drive on deserted back roads in Oregon wine country after a work meeting Saturday afternoon.
    6) Watching “To Catch A Thief”and seeing Cary Grant be Cary Grant, and lovely Grace Kelly, plus the beautiful scenery and gorgeous gowns.
    7) The Good Place. Love that show and bummed its the final season.
    7.5) Daisy having another great session on the underwater treadmill.

    Have a great week Imps!

  3. LOVE the colors and the ideas in this beautiful book. And awesome kicks from everyone.
    My Kicks:
    1. long weekend is bringing much needed rest
    2. it is getting dark early – cozy
    3. family is coming for a week around New Year’s
    4. reading aloud beautiful picture books to my elementary school students
    5. planning Thanksgiving Dinner
    6. watching The Outsiders film with my 13-year old after finishing the book
    7. introducing a neighbor and his daughter to Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson’s works

    Happy Week everyone!

  4. Hi Imps! Hi Angel! Hi precious tiger!

    Jules: Always fun to share a favorite movie with others. I hope they enjoyed.

    Rachel and Jules: I look forward to reading The Starless Sea. How is His Dark Materials? I hope it’s fantastic.

    Rachel: To Catch a Thief is great. Yay for your client!

    Jone: Sounds like time well spent!

    My kicks:
    1) Fresh fruit
    2) Support
    3) Encouragement
    4) Simplicity
    5) Smooth
    6) Sunlight
    7) Electricity

  5. I’m here! Sorry for my delay.

    Jone, have you learned anything surprising in your genealogy-sleuthing?

    Rachel, we are really enjoying this new book. Love your first kick. Go, Good Place. Go, Daisy!

    Allison, of course I love your 4th kick the most. Also, my daughter got a copy of The Outsiders for her 14th birthday last month. It’s what she wanted the most. She read it in school and has since read it about three times. AND asked me if I’d read it out loud to her and her sister. She loooooves that book. Love your last kick, too.

    LW: I enjoyed episode one of HDM. I also am enjoying your kicks, a mixture of the tangible and non-tangible.

    Have a good week, you all!

  6. Jules, Yes! Like my grandfather may have been born in Ireland although he claimed Scotland. Found a second cousin on dad’s side that I didn’t know. It’s fascinating.
    Rachel, congrats on the case dismissal. I want to see Last Christmas.
    Allison, introducing books to neighbors is alway a good thing.
    LW, So glad you have electricity. That is such a pain to keep the danger of fire down.

  7. Ooh, neat, Jone. Do you plan to meet the cousin?

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