7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #697: Featuring Charly Palmer

h1 June 28th, 2020 by jules

“I could get in some laughs with inside toys —
cars and games that bring much joy.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


I know I’ve said here before at 7-Imp that my favorite thing about Instagram is the feed of artist and illustrator Charly Palmer (whom I got to interview back in 2017). If you missed his recent cover art for Time, see it here. Magnificent.

So, I was happy to see he’d illustrated a new picture book that, somehow, I missed back in May but finally read this past week. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship, written by Markette Sheppard, is the story of a boy who must play inside on a rainy day — and decides to take his imaginative play to the next level.

The boy, who narrates this rhyming story, uses a rocking chair for a rocket; creates, with assistance from Dad, a “super launching pad”; cushions himself with swimming trunks and goggles; and does much more with little to meet his goals. Making a flag out of a dishrag and a spaceship out of a cardboard box, he launches himself into space (Mom turns off the light, and Dad does the countdown), also known as the living room and the hall. It’s a spirited story of imaginative play from a boy whose parents not only encourage him — but also join in the fun. The book is published by Denene Millner Books, which is devoted to the work of African American writers and illustrators.

Palmer’s illustrations with its thick brush strokes feature light particularly well — light that plays off the faces of this family; light making its way through sheets of rain, as seen through the window; the moonlight through the boy’s window at night, as he sleeps after his day of play. His palette is rich with vibrant colors; blues, reds, and greens dominate with touches of warm yellows to balance them. The dog included in the story adds some humor, as he curiously watches the boy set up his spaceship.

Here are some spreads so that the art can do the talking. …


“Like a whole new world in a different place —
a galaxy off in outer space!

(Click spread to enlarge)


“And I’ll need a super launching pad.
This will require some tools from Dad.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Now let me see about a space suit.
These swimming trunks and goggles should do.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Now if I can just get Mom to turn off the light.
This astronaut’s crew is ready for flight.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Prepare for landing on Planet XYZ. It’s a safe arrival in my B-E-D
also known as the Land of ZZZZZZs.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


MY RAINY DAY ROCKET SHIP. Text copyright © 2020 by Markette Sheppard. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Charly Palmer and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster, 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) Surprise flower blossoms in our yard.

2) This powerful essay by Caroline Randall Williams.

3) Being a student again.

4) It’s the time of year for tomato mozzarella salads.

5) Talks with friends. Walks with friends, even if we have to stand far apart from one another.

6) Yvonne Orji’s new stand-up special.

7) New season of Search Party. AND Dark! Oh my god, can anyone really be ready for the trippy final season of Dark?!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

8 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #697: Featuring Charly Palmer”

  1. Hello, Imps! Hello, Charly! I love the vibrant colors. Three cheers for imagination.

    Jules: Let me know when you finish Dark.

    My kicks:
    1) Opportunities
    2) Entertainment
    3) Discussions
    4) Options
    5) Procedures
    6) Plans
    7) Scene

  2. I have been here too infrequently and I miss you all. Thank you for featuring this book, Jules. I will have to get a copy. Even though I am staying at home, I keep buying books to support authors and illustrators. And then I give them away. I loved the essay by Caroline Randall Williams. Every time I see the word mozzarella, I have to laugh. I have only been to the store once since March 6. And then no-maskers scare me. I have been having my groceries delivered. The downside is twice by two different shoppers, my order for colby jack cheese has been replaced with mozzarella. I have a lot of it. Currently my tomatoes are tiny and green on my nine plants but I am looking forward to that delectable salad.

    I like the idea of plans Little Willow. Plans mean we have hope.

    My kicks:
    1. Hummingbirds at my feeder
    2. Petunias in my window boxes
    3. Sunsets with clouds
    4. A baby bunny who can squeeze through my new chain link fence
    5. Fencing for Mulan (so thankful)
    6. Birdsong
    7. the presence of Mulan

    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  3. Hi Margie! Please hug Mulan for me and say hello to all of the various visiting animals for me! I’m very grateful for grocery workers, delivery personnel, and all those creating and assisting delivery options.

  4. Little Willow, did you already finish season three?!

    Margie, we have also gotten some creative insta-cart deliveries, including sugar-free jello instead of tofu. Like Little Willow, I’m grateful for delivery folks, and we always try to tip big. Enjoy that mozzarella! Hugs to Mulan — and THE BABY BUNNY!

  5. Hello all, fly by. I love the vibrancy of the illustrations. I’ve been tied up in moving downstairs, ridding with us of 14 stairs.
    Have a good week.

  6. Good luck, Jone! Thanks for thinking of us anyway.

  7. Love these colorful, dense, rich illustrations! Really love the imagination at play and that the whole family joins in the adventure.

    Jules – that essay is powerful. Yay for flowers and walks and talks with friends. That Yvonne Orji special was fun – loved seeing her at home and her parents.

    Little Willow – loving opportunities, options, entertainment and discussions in your kicks this week.

    Margie – hummingbirds, petunias, sunsets and bunnies and Mulan – what a lovely week.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Finishing two projects that had been hanging over my head. So relieved its over with.
    2) A takeout birthday dinner of softshell crab po’boys, crawfish etouffe, gator bites and creole sweet potato fries. Yum.
    3) Daisy ‘helping’ me with morning yoga.
    4) This Diary Project from cartoonist Laura Park at the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/arts/latasha-harlins-laura-park.html?searchResultPosition=1
    5) Watched the Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and it was perfectly fun and silly.
    6) The movie reminded me how fun ABBA songs can be so I went down an interwebs rabbit hole of youtube videos of ABBA and Eurovision competitions and the Spice Girls which was very fun.
    7) Change. Slow,maybe not enough, but change is happening. Mississippi voted to change their flag. here in Oregon there was a special legislative session and they passed 6 bills on police reform & accountability.

    Hope everyone is staying safe and taking good care of themselves during these challenging times.

    Hope you all have a great week!

  8. Thanks for that NYT link, Rachel. I hadn’t seen that. Also, I will defend ABBA’s songwriting skilz any day! Glad to know you enjoyed the movie. We’ve been thinking about watching it. Will Ferrell can just stand there, and I laugh.

    Hurrah for that last kick too.

    Have a good week, you all!

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