7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #798: Featuring Red Nose Studio

h1 June 12th, 2022 by jules

(Click spread to enlarge)


If anyone is going to add to the large stack of picture books about construction equipment, I’m glad it’s Red Nose Studio. Chris Sickels is the artist behind it all (here’s my 2013 interview with him). He creates sculptural and 3D illustrations, and for Build! (Anne Schwartz Books, May 2022), he created “hand-built sculptures made from scraps of wood and found objects, mixed in with some wire, clay, paint, fabric, and a shovel full of imagination.”

For any child fascinated with construction equipment (and this 2019 piece points out that it’s more complex than you might think), Build! will enthrall and intrique them. They’re not just seeing images of heavy machinery at work; they are also seeing this machinery in its physical form, albeit tiny, and photographed. This 3D dimension will hook them — and could even inspire them to create their own machinery with their own art supplies.

In the book, we see tight, close-up images of the machines at work. Each spread features an action verb in large, black font: Dig. Load. Haul. Raise. And more. When we get to the titular Build! spread, we are in for a surprise. We see a child standing next to a tower he’s built. The child has been manipulating the pieces of equipment, which are toy-like, to build a construction of blocks of all shapes and sizes. When the child leans in to remove one small piece, the page-turn shows pieces falling around him, his eyes closed and shoulders hunched. But the last spread says: Again. He will not be deterred and starts building anew.

Give yourself ample time to take this one in, and definitely do the same for any children with whom you share it. I find that I linger long over the hand-built objects in Sickels’s spreads. His smartly constructed spreads were beautifully photographed to capture the details, textures, paint strokes, shadows, and wonder of it all. Bonus: You can remove the dustjacket for a poster that names and briefly defines each piece of equipment (payloader, articulated grapple skidder, crawler crane, forklift, and more).

Here are some spreads. …


(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


BUILD! Copyright © 2022 by Red Nose Studio. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Anne Schwartz 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.

Sorry to keep it short this week, but it’s for a good reason: We are celebrating the high school graduation this weekend of my daughter and one of her best friends (whom she’s known since she was a baby). So I have a gathering to get ready for, complete with sheet cake. And what a wonder is cake. My kicks, one to seven, are that I’ll get to gather with friends to celebrate these two.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

6 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #798: Featuring Red Nose Studio”

  1. Oh, I can see that this book with be a big hit. I love building things,
    Jules, congrats to oldest! And cake! Yum What is she doing next year?
    My kicks:
    I. I am loving the rain and the cooler days.Even though we are almost at summer.
    2. Planted tomatoes yesterday outside.
    3. Enjoying the deck.
    4. Rewatched The World According to Garp. Still love it.
    5. Packing.
    6. Getting excited.
    7. Traveling tomorrow. (I may not check in for the next 3 or 4 Sundays)
    Have a terrific week.

  2. Jone, do you know I’ve never seen that movie? ENJOY YOUR TRIP, and safe travels! (To answer your question, she will head to a school in Massachusetts and is still thinking about a major.)

  3. Hi Imps and Red Nose Studio! Happy Sunday, and happy graduation to Jules’ daughter!

    Safe travels, Jone!

    My kicks:
    1) Fresh water
    2) Boundaries
    3) Healing
    4) Vibrant
    5) Room
    6) Senses
    7) Received

  4. What a fun book! Love the 3D illustrations and am putting this one on my list for gifting.

    Jules – CONGRATULATIONS to the graduates! Hope you all have the best time celebrating them and eat lots of cake.

    Jone – happy and safe travels! This rain is certainly. . . a lot, and certainly preferable to an extreme heat wave.

    Little Willow – love all your kicks, especially 1-4, and the story they’ve created in my mind.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Walks in the non-stop rain we’ve been having.
    2) Trying out toogoodtogo.usa app – it’s an effort to eliminate food waste, and if you get a Surprise Bag you are saving 5.5lbs of CO2e. I got a $4.99 Surprise Bag from a nearby bakery & it was full of half a dozen everything bagels and freshly whipped cream cheese, which I shared with friends. Yum.
    3) Celebrating a friend’s recent court victory.
    4) Getting Saturday chores done on a very rainy day.
    5) Russian Doll Season 2.
    6) Making plans for future travels.
    7) Letters from friends.

    Have a great week Imps!

  5. Little Willow: Ooh. I like those evocative kicks.

    Rachel, thanks for sharing kick #2. That’s something I’d like to look into. I wonder if it’s only in big, BIG cities. Was season 2 of Russian Doll good? I’m interested in seeing that. (If it’s a kick, that means yes, so never mind my question!) Yay letters.

    Have a good week, you all!

  6. Jules – I think they are currently in 12 US cities but rapidly expanding. From some search engine results they’ve been in the US since 2020 and are all over Europe.

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