7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #746: Featuring Lian Cho

h1 June 6th, 2021 by jules


Well, we’ve not yet officially met the first day of summer here in the U.S., but with my own daughers out of school, it sure feels like it. What better book to celebrate with than Gideon Sterer’s It Began with Lemonade (Dial, May 2021), illustrated by Lian Cho. (Remember Gideon Sterer from this glorious book, published earlier this year?)

Our resilient, determined protagonist, pictured above, hopes to sell some lemonade: “It was the first Saturday of summer, hot as an oven with blazing blue skies.” She chops, measures, squeezes, stirs, tinkers, tweaks, and tastes (look at those delicious verbs), while her father builds a lemonade wagon. (!) Unfortunately, as you can see below, all the lemonade-stand real estate is taken.

Things aren’t looking so great for her when, while looking for a good spot to park her stand, she loses control of it and ends up stranded next to the river. Suddenly, around the water’s bend comes an “old man,” needing to quench his thirst, followed by an octopus in a hat (and some octopus babies), a host of wild creatures (including serenading alligators, one with a ukulele), some mermaids, a tug boat full of frogs, and much, much more. The girl even takes a moment after her heaping sales to drink some lemonade with her new friends. All of this is laid out on brightly colored spreads with summery rose, lemon, warm green, and river-blue hues. Cho’s versions of these fantastical creatures are a delight, and the girl makes for an endearing character. In the end, pictured below, she imagines what tomorrow can be, “deep asleep.” Look closely around her room, and you’ll see the toys that likely inspired her fantastic lemonade adventure. (But who are we to say it didn’t actually happen?)

Here are some spreads. Enjoy! And happy (almost but sort of already) summer …


“… there was no room for me. Not on my street. Not on Bobby Tillman’s street.
Not on my grandma Rose’s street. Nowhere.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Soon came things with paws, and claws,
and as I looked out from that riverbank, it felt just like a dream.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“So I chopped and measured, tasted and squeezed, and hour after hour, gulp after guzzle, this is what I called: Lemonade! Lemonade! A glass for you, half price for two!”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“And late that night, deep asleep, I saw what it could be.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


IT BEGAN WITH LEMONADE. Text copyright © 2021 by Gideon Sterer. Illustrations © 2021 by Lian Cho and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York.

* * * Jules’s Kicks * * *

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.

My kicks this week, one to seven, are that the grad course I teach (all about picture books!) for the University of Tennessee’s Information Sciences program has begun! I’ll be teaching all summer; I have a full class; and I’m excited to talk all picture books all the time with these students this summer. Also within those kicks is the fact that I even pulled off the first class the other night, since I’ve been suh-wamped with other work. I’m looking forward to the next eight weeks with these students.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #746: Featuring Lian Cho”

  1. Yes, indeed, who doesn’t love lemonade and now I want some! The illustrations are bright and cheery.
    Yay, Jules, enjoy your class and the teaching and the picture books. I wish I could sit it on it.
    My kicks:
    1. TH-F I got to sub in a library for a friend.
    2. I realized that subbing in the library=being surrounded by book friends and friends of books.
    3. Deck time on wonderful sunny days. (today is showery and cool).
    4. Seeing friends this week.
    5. Sitting on a deck and tasting wine.
    6. Driving up the gorge yesterday. It was wonderful clouds, rain, sun. The way the shadows played was fabulous.
    7. Finished listening to THE SNOW FELL THREE GRAVES DEEP. I think I liked it even more a second time.
    Have a great week

  2. That big ridiculous grin on the cover is fantastic.


    1. When I drive by roadwork or a construction site and there’s someone standing in a hole and I can only see their head. I can’t explain it, but I love it.

    2. Finding forgotten kid art or writing from a few years ago and seeing how far they’ve come and how wonderful they’ve always been.

    3. Cold air conditioning after spending time in the hot sun.

    4. Using the swimsuit I bought over the winter as an act of hope: hope fulfilled.

    5. Blue Bell chocolate sheet cake ice cream.

    6. (On sale at Publix.)

    7. Summer veggies hot off the grill.

    Julie, talking to a captive audience about PBS sounds amazing. And Jone, I could go for some wind on a deck!

    Happy June, all!

  3. Jone, I bet those students were really happy to have you there! And thanks for reminding me about that book, which I think my daughter would really love.

    Shauna, that first kick is making me happy. And #5. Mmm. I didn’t know that was a flavor that existed. What a summery set of kicks.

  4. Happy June, everyone!

    Lian Cho: Thanks for sharing the lemonade with us!

    Jules: Congrats and good luck with your class!

    Jone: Yay books, and yay book friends.

    Shauna: Ice cream sounds amazing. Veggies too.

    My kicks:
    1) Care
    2) Room
    3) Time
    4) Senses
    5) Good
    6) Chocolate
    7) Space

  5. More chocolate, Little Willow. You all are making me want to bake.

    That’s a good, strong, sensible, important first kick too.

  6. What a fun book! I really love all the animals floating past on the river, especially those alligators.

    Jules – hooray for your grad course starting!

    Jone – being surrounded by books, sipping wine on a deck in the sun and drives through the gorge – what a wonderful week!

    Shauna – summer veggies hot off the grill followed by chocolate sheet cake ice cream sounds like the perfect summer bbq.

    Little Willow – love your kicks, and that the first is Care. That you have Room, Time and Space are making me feel like you are time-traveling in a very good way especially since there is chocolate.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Met an important work deadline.
    2) Reading The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans and it is so good. Parsing it out one short story at a time to make it last.
    3) Reading a good book outdoors on a sunny day.
    4) Phone catchup with a good friend.
    5) Daisy being happy going to swim class (underwater treadmill therapy). She lights up when she sees her friends there.
    6) Evening walks with Daisy in the cooler air.
    7) Going to a birthday party this afternoon for an Irish Wolfhound. Daisy is invited but cannot go as she’s not great with other dogs, but I will bring her home treats. It should be a fun and funny party.
    7.5) Summer being almost here!

    Have a great week Imps!

  7. What a good week, Rachel. I hope Daisy enjoys hearing all about that birthday party. Thanks for the book rec too.

    Have a good week, you all!

  8. Shauna, the ice flavor sounds divine.
    Little Willow, more chocolate, yum.
    Rachel, friends, evening walks and treats for Daisy. Buster understands. He’s not great around dogs either.

  9. We have a cat who does not behave around other cats, which is why we have … only one cat.

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.