7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #696: Featuring Piret Raud

h1 June 21st, 2020 by jules


Today’s featured picture book is from Estonian author Piret Raud, a book first published in France in 2016. Coming to shelves this August, Ellie’s Voice: or Trööömmmpffff was translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen and comes from Yonder, an imprint of Restless Books.

Ellie the bird is puzzled and sad to have no voice, especially when everyone and everything around her does: “The trees rustle. The waves crash. Even the rain sings when it falls.” When a trumpet washes ashore, Ellie is thrilled to create sounds with it, even if those sounds are awfully strange.

Everyone revels in Ellie’s newfound “voice” — that is, untile a fish tells her that the instrument belongs to Duke Junior, who is desolate about having lost it. When Ellie returns the trumpet, she hears Duke Junior play not the weird “trööömmmpffff” sounds she manages to create; instead, Duke Junior plays “wondrous and beautiful” music. And, as it turns out, Duke Junior’s music is “more than enough for her.”

It’s an intriguing story about acceptance, knowing when it’s best to listen, and knowing when it’s wise to give over one’s voice to someone else. As an American reader, I can’t help but think of the notion of #ownvoices; this could almost be a literal translation of the idea. And Raud has a distinctive style. The book’s bizzare creatures are intricately drawn in copious white space. As you can see here today, it’s a surreal landscape Raud creates, much different from what we tend to see in American picture books. Here are some spreads so that the art can do the talking. …


“One morning, Ellie found a strange object
that the waves had washed up onto the shore.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“‘Trööömmmpffff!’ Ellie blew. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click cover to enlarge)


ELLIE’S VOICE: OR TRÖÖÖMMMPFFFF. Copyright © 2016 by Piret Raud. Translation copyright © 2016 by Adam Cullen. First published in France. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Restless Books, Brooklyn, 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) Celebrating, in a socially distant way, a friend’s birthday this week.

2) The Thursday night town hall, “How to Raise and Teach Anti-Racist Kids,” with panelists Cornelius Minor, Tiffany M. Jewell, Pam Allyn, Noni Thomas López, and Karyn Parsons. If I’ve got this right, this was put on by the International Literacy Association, SCBWI, and Versify. If you decide to watch this, which I recommend, it kicks off with slides around minute 7:45, and the discussion begins around 10:40.



3) Walks in the park.

4) This informative episode of Code Switch from this week.

5) This new shark song from a local Nashville librarian, who always make me laugh. (I can only find it on Facebook, and it won’t let me embed the video. I hope you can access that.)

6) Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here.

7) This video below, which a friend pointed me to this past week. It’s Ashley Bryan in Houston, Texas, reading Beautiful Blackbird. It was evidently produced by Ashley’s nephew, Sidney Jackson, and features Ashely in Houston. It was posted on the Facebook page for the Ashley Bryan Center. I am trying to embed it below, and clicking on it might take you to Facebook but, I think, will take you to an mp4 you can watch via Google drive. (Sorry for this very Facebook-centric set of kicks.) I hope you can access it.


To brighten any day! [Produced by Ashley's nephew Sidney Jackson – SidJacks Photography – in Houston, Texas.]

Posted by Ashley Bryan Center on Sunday, June 14, 2020


What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #696: Featuring Piret Raud”

  1. Oh I love Ellie and the other unique creatures in her world. That spread with the moon and stars is one of my favorites of all of these.

    Jules – yay for celebrating birthdays creatively and safely and walks in the park. Love the shark song and Ashley Bryan reading and will check out that Code Switch ep later.

    My kicks this week:
    1) K-Pop fans/stans and their incredible use of social media for good.
    2) My friend Lauren making music with her neighbor on her front porch in Indiana — https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/indiana/inspiring-indiana/inspiring-indiana-bloomington-musicians-use-porch-as-stage-to-share-their-talents-hyde-park/531-19fa3134-6d4b-4fd6-898c-c785595f9cbc?fbclid=IwAR3H9-lpkVUsY1QvGf-LyEeiQh6giZ3LfSBxF1VhQfCVLSGlA_eJU2lB4b. (I hope my attempt at creating a hyperlink worked – its been a long time.)
    3) Raspberries coming in. The strawberries have been too but the squirrels are eating them.
    4) Watching (after the fact) a friend argue a case remotely to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Really law nerdy but fun and nice to see my friend in action at the appellate level.
    5) Good coffee and lazy weekend mornings with Daisy, especially since we are still in the cold June Gloom stage of summer here.
    6) Making socially distant birthday plans with a friend.
    7) Making my way through movies I’ve always wanted to watch while doing some boring computer-related work. last night it was Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild with Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith and Ray Liotta.
    7.5) The energy of the current moment in time. Its making me feel very hopeful for the future, which is such a nice feeling.

    Bonus kick: watching the solar eclipse live online in various countries last night.

    Happy Father’s Day and Happy Solstice Imps! Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.

  2. Hi Imps! Hello Piret Raud, Ellie, and friends! Here’s to appreciating the music and language of others.

    Jules: Thank you for sharing a smile-worthy range of kicks!

    Rachel: Here’s to hope. Kudos to Lauren and company – That’s awesome!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Food
    2) Shelter
    3) Calm
    4) Music
    5) Sharing
    6) Updating
    7) Staying

  3. Hi there. I’m here. Sorry for my delay.

    Rachel, HELL YES to that first kick. Enjoy your movies. We are watching classic movies this summer with the girls. (Last summer, the movie project was all the Avengers movies.) Thanks for the link, which I’m going to go read.

    LW: Good kicks. What music have you been listening to this week?

    Have a good week, you two!

  4. Jules: Elbow released an audio version of all their elbowrooms videos – https://elbow.lnk.to/elbowroomslistenUM?vvsa_consumer_id=32536999&vvsa_tracking=_vvsa_i8o6TlQ8347071

  5. Ooh, thanks for the heads-up, Little Willow!

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