7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #784: Featuring Victoria Tentler-Krylov

h1 February 27th, 2022 by jules

“When she became an adult, Kip practiced the lessons
she learned in her grandmother’s kitchen. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


Growing up during the Great Depression, Kip Tiernan lived with her grandmother and watched as she gave food to whoever knocked on her kitchen door, despite having plenty of people to feed in her own home. “I don’t have to know them to know that they’re hungry,” she told Kip. “We’re a lot better off than the people who come to our door.” Kip, as an adult, carried these lessons with her and opened the first homeless shelter for women in the U.S., Rosie’s Place. Author Christine McDonell and illustrator Victoria Tentler-Krylov bring Kip’s story to life in Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women (Candlewick, March 2022).

Readers spend a few spreads in Kip’s childhood, watching Kip learn from her grandmother. We then read that, as an adult, she is moved by speakers in the year 1968 who were calling for “a change in America, urging people to help bring an end to poverty and war.” Here, Tentler-Krylov depicts an anti-war rally (pictured above). Kip decides to sell her advertising business and work at Warwick House, which is in a low-income neighborhood in Boston. There, she notices that many of the women in line for food are concealing their appearance, dressing in men’s clothes. As she moves her way through the city, she notices this more often: more homeless women with no place to go. When she asks city officials for help for these women, she is repeatedly told, “homelessness isn’t a women’s problem.” After visiting Dorothy Day’s Saint Joseph’s House of Hospitality in New York City, where Dorothy opened the door to “anyone in need,” Kip learns she has a gift for connecting with the homeless people there. She decides:

… to open a sanctuary with flowers and music where women wouldn’t be reminded they were poor, a shelter with no chores, no questions asked, just good meals and warm beds. She hoped the volunteers at her shelter would listen to the guests. When you listen to others, you show respect; you learn who they are and what they need.

In Boston, Kip turns an abandoned supermarket, Rosen’s Market, into Rosie’s Place. It opens on Easter Sunday, 1974.

McDonnell, who teaches English to immigrant women at Rosie’s Place, tells Kip’s story with reverence and admiration. The lengthy text includes many of Kip’s words (“Who decides who gets the condo and who gets the cardboard box?”), vividly capturing her as the determined, compassionate, and empathetic woman she was. The expressive mixed-media illustrations of Tentler-Krylov, who also lives in the Boston area, depict women of all ages, sizes, and skin color who benefitted from Kip’s ability to reach out to people in need. The book’s palette gradually brightens as Kip sees her dream to help women in need come to fruition. The book’s generous backmatter provides more detailed information about Kip, the causes of homelessness, and much more.

Here are a couple more spreads. …


“One night Kip was serving food to a line of hungry people. As she dished stew onto plates, she saw that the last person in line was a slim figure with small hands —
a woman dressed in men’s clothes. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“Kip hoped to open a women’s shelter different from the dreary ones she had seen, where men slept with their shoes under their pillows to keep them from being stolen. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


(Click cover to enlarge)


SANCTUARY: KIP TIERNNAN AND ROSIE’S PLACE, THE NATION’S FIRST SHELTER FOR WOMEN. Text copyright © 2022 by Christine McDonnell. Illustrations copyright © 2022 by Victoria Tentler-Krylov and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

* * * 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.

World news is distressing this week, isn’t it, dear Imps? I had a long, busy, and tiring work week, but at least I don’t have to take up arms in my own neighborhood to defend my country. I was reminded this morning that, if you want to help, you can donate to the International Rescue Committee here. So I now pass that on here to you all.

My kicks, one to seven, are badass women of action like Kip Tiernan.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #784: Featuring Victoria Tentler-Krylov”

  1. Hi Imps! Hi Victoria. Sending strength to anyone and everyone who has endured displacement or a loss of shelter, and to everyone hurting in the world, now and always.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Safety
    2) Music
    3) Laughter
    4) Snacks
    5) Blankets
    6) Water
    7) Free will

  2. A perfect book to share this week. We need more people like Kip Tiernan and those determined people of Ukraine.
    Jules, I am with you about your kicks.
    Little Willow, all of your kicks hit my heart.
    My kicks:
    1. Family.
    2. Friends
    3. Being safe
    4. Being free
    5. Travel
    6. Sunflowers
    7. Dusting of snow on Thursday.
    Have a good week.

  3. Love this book and these vibrant illustrations. Agree it is a perfect week to share, and hopefully the same lessons Kip Tiernan learned from her grandmother will reach new generations through her story.

    Jules – congrats on making it through a difficult work week.

    Little Willow – love all your kicks, with Safety and Freedom resonating the most.

    Jone – love your kicks too, and Travel and Sunflowers seem like such a hopeful kicks.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Ukrainian President Vladimir Zolensky.
    2) All the brave people of Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom.
    3) The Russian people protesting the war in the streets.
    4) Chef Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen always running towards a crisis to take action and help.
    5) Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination for SCOTUS.
    6) Alicia Sosa and her long and full life, the Natural history Museum of LA interviewed her a few years ago, she passed away this year at 108: https://nhm.org/stories/story-two-pandemics
    7) Amanda Gorman and all the badass women of the younger generations taking action to change the world.
    7.5) Daisy and her sweet, loving, calming presence.

    Have a good week Imps, remember to drink some water and be kind to yourselves as we live through these tumultuous times. Sending virtual hugs to all of you.

  4. Little Willow, those are some sturdy, warm kicks.

    Jone, was the snow exciting for you or are you ready for Spring? I have to say: I’m ready for Spring. And we’ve just had a bunch of cold rain. Blech. Safe travels to you on your next journey!

    Rachel, YES TO NO. 5!! All of those kicks are inspiring, in fact. They have improved my moood!

    All three of you have improved my mood. Thank you.

  5. […] published in Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, February 27, 2022. Reprinted by […]

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