7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #795: Featuring Wanda Gág

h1 May 22nd, 2022 by jules

(Click to enlarge)


The great and groundbreaking picture book artist Wanda Gág published The ABC Bunny in 1933, and it went on to win a Newbery Honor the following year. It’s an alphabet book, and it includes hand-lettering by Gág’s brother. Also, music for the text (“ABC Song”) is included in the back of the book in the form of a score. This was composed by Gág’s sister. Clearly, it was a family affair.

Last month, the University of Minnesota Press — Gág was a Minnesotan from an immigrant family — released a board book edition of the book. Though many picture books don’t translate well to board book form, I think this one works.

The original book is a tall one, and the board book, of course, is a much smaller trim size, one made for the hands of wee ones. (Let’s expose them to Wanda Gág’s artwork as soon as we can, yes?) The board book edition also does not include the score. Everything else is all Gág, all the way. Gág’s striking and eloquent lithographs take up much of these compositions, with the letters of the alphabet featured in a large red type and the text following them in a smaller, black type.

The story with its rhyming text, gently flowing, is about a bunny who goes from “snug-a-bed” to fleeing after an apple crashes near him. The bunny leaves Bunny Town for Elsewhere and meets all kinds of creatures on the journey — and back. The final spread, the “Y” and “Z” one, suddenly addresses reader in a direct way: “Y for You, take one last look / Z for Zero — close the book!” I love this abrupt switch.

And I love seeing Gág’s exquisite artwork made available for the youngest of children. Here is another spread. You can click each of these spreads to enlarge them and, if you’re like me, sit and stare at them for a while, appreciating what Gág does with line and shape and movement. Ah. Beautiful. …


(Click to enlarge)



Spreads from the 2022 board book edition of THE ABC BUNNY by Wanda Gág reproduced by permission of the University of Minnesota Press.

* * * 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.

I’ve had one of those work weeks with a pretty wacky schedule and lots of work, so this week was about adjusting sleep and, essentially, getting it all done. My kicks, one to seven, are that my daughters both wrapped up school for the year (and one of them, all of high school), and summer greets us.

Also, Wanda Gág’s artwork. Always.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #795: Featuring Wanda Gág”

  1. How exciting to have the Gag book releases as a board book. I know a wee one that I need to purchase it for.
    Jules, I totally get the end of year, busy week, and sleep adjustment. I hope this week is calmer.
    My kicks:
    1. Fifth grade color poems with collage art.
    2. Finished subbing for the year.
    3. Participating in Spark 51 (a collaborative art inspiration event)
    4. Sunshine,
    5. Time on the deck.
    6. Reading The Color Purple
    7. Heading to the coast later today.
    Have a great week.

  2. Love these illustrations, they feel so lush and like we’re glimpsing a secret world.

    Jules – congrats on your girls being done with school and on making it through such a busy week!

    Jone – yay for finishing subbing for the year and have a great time at the coast!

    Miss Daisy crossed the rainbow bridge earlier this week so I am still very sad at the moment, and the house feels so very empty without that large dog with the even larger personality. However, the kick here is that in looking through old photos and videos I can see how happy she was in our almost 8 years together, and how much fun we packed into that time. Lucky me to know and love such a sweet, goofy, smart, funny, loving soul.

  3. Hello, Imps and bunnies!

    Jules: Enjoy the rest and time with your family.

    Jone: Safe travels!

    Rachel: You are in my thoughts. Whenever you want to share a Daisy story to make you smile, I think it’s safe to say you may do so here. She’s one of our beloved mascots, and we will miss her so.

    My kicks:
    1) Singing
    2) Doctor Who news
    3) Comfortable clothes
    4) Comfortable space
    5) Spring
    6) Control
    7) Goodness

  4. Jone, did you contribute poetry to the art inspiration event? Happy travels!

    Oh no, Rachel. I am so sorry. You are in my thoughts too. I wish I could give you a hug in person. Also: 100% what Little Willow said! I feel like Daisy is a part of the kicks family.

    Little Willow, I like that Doctor Who news too.

    Hugs to you all ….

  5. Thanks, Little Willow, for the kind words and the invitation to share more of Daisy. (I imagine I will take you up on that at some point.) Love your comfortable clothes and spaces kicks, and while I don’t watch Dr Who, have been thrilled to see the new casting.

    Thank you as well, Jules. I’m sure if I go back and re-read my kicks over the years, I will not be surprised to see that Daisy, and her antics, were pretty consistent kicks for me, and I thank you for letting me share her with all of you.

    Have a good week, you all. Big virtual hugs back to all of you.

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