7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #748: Featuring Audrey Helen Weber

h1 June 20th, 2021 by jules


There are times I don’t want to say too much about a picture book, because it’s the kind of book you need to hold in your hands and experience yourself. Today’s book, Audrey Helen Weber’s On the Day the Horse Got Out (Little, Brown, June 2021), is one of those books. But let me tell you a little bit anyway. …

This book — whose visual aesthetic to me is a serious throwback to picture books of the 1980s — is the nonsense story of just what the title tells you. On the day the horse with the bright blue mane got out, bells rang, birds flew south, “the frog had doubts,” the eggs broke, “the Clouded Skipper lost a wing,” and much, much more. Weber leaves a lot of space for child readers to fill in the gaps of what could be happening here in this enigmatic story. (The Kirkus review calls it “delightfully baffling,” adding: “Suspend all disbelief.” Truer words were never spoken.)

Illustrations are displayed as if we’re seeing a stage with a thin border of grass upon which the action takes place. A cat in red pants rides a sheep (also don’t miss the goat in pants and the goose in cowboy boots); roses “cry from their beds”; clouds cry but make the trees grow with their tears; and a rabbit digs too deep to see a dragon. A light lemony yellow and warm greens dominate the palette; the visuals, rendered in gouache and pencil, spring forth with life. (Please note that the spreads are all this lovely lemony yellow, the one you can see on the cover pictured below; for some reason, the spreads here are appearing in more of a tan hue and are not quite capturing the correct color.)

The book was evidently inspired by nursery rhymes and “school primers.” Very young children can experience the pleasures of literature in the forms of rhyming songs and nursery rhymes, where the words themselves are a delight (despite any nonsensical meanings) and picture books that adapt such things, and this book would be a fine, fine addition to those stacks of books, ones that can also serve as a natural introduction to poetry for children.

This is Weber’s debut, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. And since I feel inadequate to sum up this book’s inherent joys and surprises, here are some spreads (four successive ones) to let art and text do the talking. (FYI that in some of these spreads you will see the gutter or a portion of it.)


“On the day the horse got out …”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“the kids all danced, the dog was found …”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“the green fly said, ‘So long! Goodbye!’
and the comet cried out in the sky:”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“‘Watch out, watch out, the horse is out!””
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


ON THE DAY THE HORSE GOT OUT. Copyright © 2021 by Audrey Helen Weber. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Little, Brown, 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.

1) Walks.

2) The river.

3) Father’s Day waffles here in the Danielson household.

4) Surviving a very unusual work schedule last week (as in, being up till around 3AM).

5) My youngest daughter has completely passed her vaccination wait period and can now hug her friends.

6) So … yay, science!

7) Good summer songs:



What are YOUR kicks this week?

4 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #748: Featuring Audrey Helen Weber”

  1. I love the spreads of this book you shared, Jules. I love the color scheme as well.
    Jules, waffles, yum! Hooray for your daughter and the river!
    My kicks:
    1. A drive yesterday for pizza on the river at Kalama’s McMenamins.
    2. Anticipation to have lunch with two of my HS friends tomorrow at another McMenamins.
    3. Organizing.
    4. A zoom online writing meet up on Saturday.
    5. Getting surprises for people in the mail.
    6. Listening to the new Sleater-Kinney album.
    7. Anticipation in giving Chuck his Father’s Day/Bday (granted in September) gift: tickets to see Berlin in California.

  2. Love these illustrations and books that use nonsense rhymes! Favorites are the cover with those flowers seemingly in movement with the horse and that comet in the clouds.

    Jules – yay science and yay for your youngest getting to hug her friends again. Congrats on making it through work that keeps you working deep into the night. Waffles, YUM.

    Jone – A nice drive AND pizza is a good day. How fun to mail off surprises for others! Sounds like you had a great week.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Starting this morning off with tennis with a friend. (We are still pretty awful at it, but its fun.)
    2) A nice yoga class to stretch afterwards. (Streaming online.)
    3) Having my coffee indoors while Daisy naps in the air conditioning.
    4) Yesterday did a virtual 5K for Kindness at sunset at a very pretty park. More hobble than run, but happy that I did it and finished.)
    5) Read Amanda Kloots book in 2 days. Sad and uplifting all at once and a testament to human kindness, connection and resilience.
    6) Finished 2 deadlines that called for 2 very late nights. Feeling accomplished and relieved to be done.
    7) One of the late nights of work I would take breaks and look at Twitter, and so witnessed the Waffle House waffle saga unfold in real time. Was more impressed with a different Waffle House waffle saga from January where the guy had a better plan (no syrup and butter on the waffles) and collected funds to tip the waitress – he tipped her over $1,000 dollars. May all stupid lost bets result in big tips for underpaid wait staff.
    Bonus kick: with deadlines met, the summer is looking like there might be more time for fun. Very happy about more fun.

    Have a great week Imps!

  3. Hi Imps! This is a fly by posting! Hope you are having a good day!

  4. Jone: Happy Father’s Day to Chuck! Have fun with your friends tomorrow. I love thinking about you rocking out to Sleather-Kinney.

    Rachel: Woo hoo for more fun in your immediate future! Congrats on meeting those deadlines. Pretty soon you’ll be a tennis champ.

    Hi, Little Willow!

    have a good week, you all …

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