7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #799: Featuring Rahele Jomepour Bell

h1 June 19th, 2022 by jules

Early sketch
(Click image to enlarge)


Final spread: “Anger comes from deep inside and bursts out. But then, it’s gone.
And then, I have room for a new feeling. One that feels much better.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


It’s a pleasure to welcome illustrator Rahele Jomepour Bell to 7-Imp today. She shares some early sketches from Angry Me (Groundwood, May 2022), Sandra V. Feder’s new picture book. “I get angry,” the book opens. A girl stares in the mirror, her body hunched and rage on her face. The book explores the girl’s sources of anger: when she feels that people are being mean, even when it’s all “a mistake”; when things don’t feel fair; when she’s fatigued or frustrated; when other children hurt her feelings; and when she’s sad. The second half of the book explores the ways in which she attempts to deal with the strong feeling: “When I get angry, I try to remember to use my words. … But sometimes, even my words come out sounding angry.”

Feder’s sensitive text never chastises the girl for her anger. It’s a story that honors the complexities of dealing with it, that treats children with respect, and that eschews suggesting that there are quick fixes for this strong emotion. And that the main character is a girl is rewarding, given that we live in a culture that, unfortunately, often sends mixed signals to girls about anger. Rahele’s textured illustrations on a vivid palette capture body language particularly well. As you’ll see below, her daughter was inspiration for the look of the character.

Let’s turn it over to Rahele to show her early sketches, and I’ve also got some final spreads below. I thank her for sharing. …


Some Preliminary Images:



Rahele on the two images above:
“Trying to come with character ideas for the book …”


Rahele: “The final character …”


Rahele: “The very first sketches …”
(Click image to enlarge)


Rahele: “And the source of inspiration: Darya, my daughter …”


Rahele: “An early sketch …”
(Click image to enlarge)


Rahele: “The source of inspiration …”


Rahele: “I make textures with real gouache and then scan those textures. And in Procreate and Photoshop I can make brushes with those handmade textures and paint over my traditional paintings.”
(Click image to enlarge)


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Rahele: “The cover sketch …”
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Rahele: “The full dust jacket …”
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Final Art:


“Sometimes I get angry even though it was a mistake. ‘You ate my cookie?’ angry. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“Sometimes I get angry when my feelings are hurt. ‘What about me?’ angry. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“Sometimes I get angry when I’m sad. ‘But why?’ angry. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


“And sometimes, it’s not my words that help but someone else’s. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)


(Click cover to enlarge)


ANGRY ME. Text copyright © 2022 by Sandra V. Feder. Illustrations copyright © 2022 by Rahele Jomepour Bell and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Groundwood Books. All other images reproduced by permission of Rahele Jomepour Bell.

* * * 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) It’s Father’s Day, and my daughters are really lucky to have the father they have.

2) A special quilt made for my daughter.

3) Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel.

4) Key lime pie.

5) FKJ’s “Stay a Child.”

6) New music from Angel Olsen.

7) New music from Andrew Bird.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

3 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #799: Featuring Rahele Jomepour Bell”

  1. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Oh my goodness, but what a wonderful book, and love being able to see early sketches and the real-life inspiration. (I have serious envy for the daisy-print dress Darya is wearing in that first photo, as well as her colorful kicks.)

    Jules – key lime pie is one of the best pies. YUM. I share your kick of Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel – that girl is a star. (Reminds me of a young Zendaya in terms of sheer force of energy and joy.) Yay for new music.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Iman Vellani and all of Ms. Marvel – it is joyous and fun and they are nailing it. (The Be My Baby dance sequence was perfection.)
    2) Harry Styles album Harry’s House is a fun mood booster.
    3) Walks in different neighborhoods.
    4) Cucumber and avocado salad.
    5) Reading on a rainy day.
    6) Visits from Pinky Pie.
    7) Flowers blooming in my yard making me happy, especially my daisies.
    Extra kick – a book rec from my library’s #askalibrary day that’s turned out to be good – The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin. About halfway through and really enjoying it. (I asked for something similar to Under the Egg.)

    Happy Father’s Day & Happy Juneteenth! Have a wonderful week!

  2. Hi Imps! Hi Pinky Pie! Hi Rahele! Thanks for sharing your process and your sketches. Very neat that your daughter inspired the character’s style and energy!

    Jules and Rachel: I’m enjoying Ms Marvel, too – the energy, color scheme, and production design are all so fun!

    My kicks:
    1) Catching up with others
    2) Plans
    3) Cheese
    4) Sharing
    5) Good mood
    6) Adjectives
    7) Certainty

  3. Rachel, don’t you love how Ms. Marvel is shot? So visually rich. My daughters have loooved the comics for years, though I’ve not read them. Love your last kick.

    Little Willow, yes to the production design! Also, cheese. Always cheese.

    Have a good week, you two!

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