7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #762: Featuring Ben Hatke

h1 September 26th, 2021 by jules


Julia’s back!

You all may remember Ben Hatke’s Julia’s House for Lost Creatures (2014) — see lots of art here — and Julia’s House Moves on from last year (see art here). Julia, we learned in book one, lives in a walking house and has a lot of unusual friends, misfit fantasy creatures of all kinds. There are mermaids, unicorns, goblins, fairies, and much more (including a dragon). Julia knows how to keep everyone safe — and is the consummate host. In the second book, released in 2020, we saw Julia’s house turn restless, but resilient Julia had a plan. When this new tale kicks off — Julia’s House Goes Home (First Second, October 2021) — we see that Julia’s house is roaming the hills once again, looking for a new place to land.

Unfortunately, Julia’s house trips on the rocky path, and it rolls away — without Julia. After picking herself up, dusting herself off, and reuniting with an old frirend (pictured below, meow), she finds many of her friends scattered about. “Follow me!” she cries. As they march onward, looking for the house, Julia takes on some new outcasts, repeating, “We’ll make room!”

On and on they marched, and everywhere it was the same. Old friends found. New faces joining in. There were more lost creatures in the world than Julia had ever imagined.

Though Julia is usually resourceful and always hospitable, she starts to doubt her ability to house all the magical creatures she meets on this adventure. And things get worse when she finds merely a part of the house — just the front door. But her friends, new and old, have a plan. And it’s one that results in a spectacular conclusion.

Fans of this series will be thrilled to see Julia’s return. Hatke’s lush watercolor illustrations sparkle with color and warmth (as always), and in this installment of the series readers get to meet a mountain king, “the largest of all trolls” (not pictured below) — a dramatic and satisyfing moment.

This is evidently the conclusion of the series, and it’s been a joyful ride. Julia’s a memorable character, and I love to see the menagerie of magical creatures that appear on the page when Hatke’s imagination is sparked.

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


“Julia’s house roamed the high hills, looking for a home.
And so, when Julia saw the Perfect Spot glittering it the distance, she told her creatures,
‘That’s where we’re going.’ And all the creatures cheered.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“But the path from the high hills to the valley was ROCKY and ROUGH.
‘BE CAREFUL!’ shouted Julia. But it was TOO LATE.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Just as Julia was getting really lonely, a familiar face appeared in the dark.
It was Patched Up Kitty! ‘Come on,’ said Julia. ‘Let’s go find our house.'”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“They walked on until a sweet voice cut through the gloom. It was a unicorn.
‘I found your mermaid,’ it said.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“‘ATTENTION, PLEASE!’ Julia called. The creatures all looked up at her,
with their teeth and talons and horns. Julia took a deep breath. ‘I have something to say,’ she began. ‘It’s about the house—’ But before she could continue,
the ground began to SHAKE.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


JULIA’S HOUSE GOES HOME. © 2021 Ben Hatke. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, First Second Books, 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’s Kicks * * *

I’ve had a busy week with lots of work projects, so I’m going to keep things short today in an effort to walk away from my computer monitor. My kicks, one to seven, are captured in this series and, really, Ben Hatke’s work in general. I love seeing picture books with fantasy characters this well-done.

I tip my hat to Julia, and I’m glad she was around for three whole books.

4 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #762: Featuring Ben Hatke”

  1. Hello Imps! Hello Ben and Julia and all of her pals! Does her dress have pockets? Excellent.

    Jules: Sending you good vibes for your projects! Enjoy your time away from the computer.

    My kicks:
    1) Opportunities
    2) Attempts
    3) Schedules
    4) Cheese
    5) Routine
    6) Calm
    7) Water

  2. Hooray for Julia returning home. What a great series.
    Jules, here’s to making headway on projects and time away from the screen.
    Little Willow, opportunities, and cheese always.
    My kicks:
    1. Time last weekend with my college pals in Palm Springs.
    2. Celebrating the deeps ties of friendship over many years.
    3. Being selected to serve on Round Two of the CYBILS Poetry category. So glad Poetry has returned.
    4. Meeting with my former library assistant yesterday.
    5. Autumn has arrived.
    6. Harvest moon and Orion.
    7. Flickers on the roof.
    Have a great week.

  3. Love this story and these illustrations. I really love that the unicorn found the mermaid.

    Jules – hooray for busy weeks and walking away from computer monitors!

    Little Willow – really love kicks 1 and 2 this week, and Cheese=yum!

    Jone – hooray for those long-lasting friendships nd getting to celebrate in person with those important friends!

    My kicks this week:
    1) Getting to see my oldest friend for a short visit while she was in town, and getting a signed copy of her new book.
    2) Played a small part in another friend’s hard won trial victory for an innocent client.
    3) Being in a position to send a message of support to a younger colleague who’d had a rough week.
    4) Visiting a local Chinese bakery and getting moon cakes for the mid-autumn festival.
    5) Playing tennis a couple of mornings this week before the rains start.
    6) Finished “Anya and the Dragon” by Sofiya Pasternack, which was a fun read.
    7) Daisy having fun at underwater treadmill and also having more energy in the cooler autumn air.
    7.5) Watching Ally McBeal. More tv shows should have characters with rich imaginations!

    Have a great week Imps!

  4. Little Willow: Tonight I made my macaroni and cheese with THREE kinds of cheese — cheddar, mozzarella, and Gouda.

    Jone, so glad you got to hang out with old friends.

    Rachel, ditto to you! I love your third kick. Do you know I’ve never seen Ally McBeal? Hugs to Daisy.

    Have a good week, you all!

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