7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #753: Featuring Hadley Hooper

h1 July 25th, 2021 by jules

“Meanwhile, the elephants ride in a trailer, past sycamore figs and acacia trees,
beyond the Umfolozi swamp, and along the Nseleni River. They bump over
one … two … three railway tracks and then down a dirt path
where a sign points the way to Thula Thula.
The elephants COME.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Kim Tomsic’s The Elephants Come Home: A True Story of Seven Elephants, Two People, and One Extraordinary Friendship (Chronicle, May 2021), illustrated by Hadley Hooper.

That review is here, and below (and above) are some of the book’s spreads.


“This is Lawrence. He loves animals.
This is Françoise. She loves Lawrence.
This is Max.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Around Thula Thula stretch miles and miles of fences, so the rhinos can splash in the river. The impala, Cape buffalo, and zebra can graze the savanna. Even the crocodiles at the Gwala Gwala dam can swim in peace. There is NO HUNTING at Thula Thula.”
(Click spread to enlarge)



“When spitting snakes creep into the farmhouse kitchen, Lawrence uses a soft broom to scoot them outside. When bark spiders weave webs between the patio furniture, Françoise tiptoes around them. And when monkeys steal cheese from Françoise and treats from Max, well, it’s a monkeys’ job to find food, so nobody scolds them.”
(Click either image above to see spread in its entirety)


“One day a lady telephones. ‘Lawrence,’ she says, ‘Will you adopt a herd of angry elephants?’ ‘Angry?’ Lawrence asks. ‘They’ve been BULLIED and HUNTED,’ the lady says. ‘Now they roar at the rangers and crush our fences. Folks are frightened the herd might stampede through town. The village chief says it’s a matter of safety — the herd must leave or be shot.’ Lawrence has never taken care of elephants, but he says,
yes, they may come to Thula Thula.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“To prepare for their arrival, he builds a boma, a wide corral with a strong fence where the elephants can live while they get used to their new home. He repairs broken spots in the outer fence. Then he posts signs, reminding the neighboring Zulu villagers,

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Down the ramp stomps the herd’s leader, Nana, then little Mandla,
big Frankie, and four others.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“They look at the unfamiliar farmhouse, its swimming pool, and the boma. They look at the strangers — Lawrence, Françoise, and the rangers. Right away the elephants pound their hooves and trumpet angrily. ‘They’re NAUGHTY’ the rangers complain. ‘They’re NERVOUS,’ Lawrence says. ‘Wouldn’t you be if you moved far from your home?'”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


THE ELEPHANTS COME HOME: A TRUE STORY OF SEVEN ELEPHANTS, TWO PEOPLE, AND ONE EXTRAORDINARY FRIENDSHIP. Text copyright © 2021 by Kim Tomsic. Illustrations copyright © 2021 by Hadley Hooper and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, 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) Dinner with friends.

2) Plans to see a friend tonight — for the first time since the pandemic.

3) The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has updated their website and posted David Wiesner’s new essay on wordless picture books.

4) The Horn Book has posted their “2020 in Pictures and Words.”

5) McCartney 3, 2, 1.

6) I finished a novel! It’s been an exceedingly busy time at work for the past I-don’t-even-know-how-many-months but is finally slowing down.

7) Almost done.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

4 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #753: Featuring Hadley Hooper”

  1. The Elephants Come Home looks to be a book that every library should have. I love the color palette.
    Jules, I’m going to read Wiesner’s essay after this. How wonderful to see friends, right? I put The House Uptown on hold.
    My kicks:
    1. A HS graduation party for a former student.
    2. Getting donuts at the shop owned by a former student.
    3. Finished Hamnet. More Maggie O’Farrell books on order from the library.
    4. Ate first cherry tomato from the mini-garden by my deck.
    5. Finished Summer Poetry Swap projects.
    6. Applied to have photos at the State Fair.
    7. About ready to send an application in for a novel mentorship.
    Have a great week.

  2. Good morning, Imps! Hello, Hadley! (and the elephants, and Françoise, and Lawrence, and Max!)

    Jules: Have fun catching up with your friend! How was the book you read?

    Jones: Congrats to your former students on their various accomplishments, and to you on yours!

    My kicks:
    1) Knowing
    2) Resting
    3) Breathing
    4) Considering
    5) Updating
    6) Applying
    7) Finishing the to-do list

  3. Oh this looks like a book that I will be buying multiple copies of – love this story and love Lawrence’s understanding of the elephants. Such beautiful emotion in all the illustrations, I want to live in Lawrence and Francoise’s farmhouse!

    Jules – that novel sounds right up my alley – did you enjoy it? Hooray for getting to see friends and being almost done.

    Jone – cheers for graduation parties and donuts, yum. Good luck on the entries. Oh, and what donut shop?

    Little Willow – sounds like a busy week, so really love that relaxing and updating and applying are together on your list – yay for balance!

    My kicks this week:
    1) Closed the last case from a 2018 contract, and closed it well. Happy to be done.
    2) Read The Book of Fatal Errors (The Feylawn Chronicles 1) by Dashka Slater, very fun and can’t wait for Book 2.
    3) Reading Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins and its been while since I’ve read him, so nice to feel like getting reacquainted with an old friend.
    4) Doing 10 days of all vegan recipes, and the food has been so incredibly good. Last night I grilled fresh veggies – golden beets, cauliflower, zucchini, onion, garlic, bell pepper, garlic, and sweet potato with olive oil and salt and pepper. So, so good.
    5) Watched Top Secret! and was delighted that its still silly and funny. Val Kilmer is so good as an Elvis-inspired rock star.
    6) Letters from pen pals. Always a mood boost.
    7) Bike rides through the neighborhood.
    7.5) Daisy and her total joy at getting dog ice cream. Makes me smile every time.

    Have a great week Imps!

  4. Jone, ooh! Good luck with the novel mentorship app — and the State Fair photos. So neat that you are still in touch with former students.

    Little Willow: Congrats on conquering the to-do list. And, yes, I enjoyed that novel.

    Rachel, what good reading you’ve done (and, yes, as I was just telling Little Willow, I’d recommend Ginsburg’s novel). Enjoy your vegan recipes. My husband is eating vegan now (with rare exceptions). Congrats on that first kick. Hugs to Daisy!

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