7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #800: Featuring Richard Jones

h1 June 26th, 2022 by jules

“Trace the drops … a dot-to-dot that
makes a secret map.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


Meg Fleming’s meditative Wondering Around (Beach Lane, May 2022), illustrated by Richard Jones, is an ode to wondering at, observing, and engaging with the natural world and features children who “wander on the outside … and wonder on the in.”

In richly colored acrylic illustrations (remember his illustrations for this year’s Marshmallow Clouds?), Richard Jones depicts wide-eyed children taking it all in — whether it’s looking closely underneath a rock (where “tiny feet become a street” and an insect world forms a “city block”), looking out of an apartment window at a growing storm, or wondering at the life that brims alongside a pond or in a snowy forest. The book’s mood shifts slightly (and delightfully) throughout these 48 pages — always wondrous but sometimes playful (a squirrel, a mouse, a frog with a bowtie, and a snail having a tea party behind a rock), sometimes mysterious (a child isn’t sure she’ll stick around the forest when she sees a creature she is unsure about but that ends up being a deer), and sometimes fantastical (a child rides a tiger). We see children through the seasons, and Jones fills these pages with bursts of color. Fleming’s rhyming text flows beautifully: “Wonder way up branches. / At all the wings that fly. / A leaf bouquet says swip, swip, sway. / Hello, forever sky.”

In the end, the children take their perceptions and put them to paper: “Wonder out a pencil. / Or paint or stick or brush. / A thought. A shape. A great escape that settles in a hush.” This deep breath of a book can usher in contemplation and a place for wonder in a child’s otherwise hectic day.

Here are some spreads. …


“WONDER out the window.
A storm. A flash. A clap.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Wonder down a pathway.
A nest. A bog. A trail.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Chik-chik chirp. Ribbit. Slurp.
Could that be someone’s tail?”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Wonder with a paddle.
A swoopy loop of jade.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Spinning swirl. Water curl.
Here comes the deep parade!”

(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


WONDERING AROUND. Text copyright © 2022 by Meg Fleming. Illustrations © 2022 by Richard Jones and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Beach Lane 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 * * *

What a week. I’m with Liz:

I typed these kicks before hearing the Roe news (because I’ll be out of town for part of the weekend), but I’m coming back here to acknowledge … I dunno … the horror. I don’t know what to say, other than: Let’s keep fighting.

Here are the kicks I had typed earlier:

1) Taika Waititi’s facial expressions:



2) Plans to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

3) Good, strong coffee during a week with weird work hours.

4) Pip Williams’s The Dictionary of Lost Words.

5) Kasey Musgrave’s cover of “Can’t Help Falliing in Love.”

6) Reading a Sarah Gailey novel out loud to my daughters.

7) The birdsong I could hear from a colleague’s window during a Zoom call.

BONUS: Look at this post’s title. Eight hundred weeks of kickin’. Whoa.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

5 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #800: Featuring Richard Jones”

  1. Hi Imps! Happy 800 weeks of Kicks! That’s incredible.

    Hi Richard and the kitty in that first illustration! Love the little tea party, too.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Volume
    2) Communication
    3) Smooth
    4) Music
    5) Speaking up
    6) Speaking out
    7) Strength

  2. What a lovely, calming book at a time when we need some space to breathe.

    Jules – Congratulations on 800 weeks of kicks! What a wonderful space you’ve created here for art and gratitude. Cheers to good strong coffee and good music. That Kacey Musgraves cover is divine, and I’ve been listening to the Elvis soundtrack all morning.

    My birthday was Friday and what a crap birthday present from the Supreme Court – so I’d like to return it, thankyouverymuch.
    Still, I did find some kicks:
    1) Quick visit with family in California earlier in the week. My great-nephews are so funny and fun, I can’t wait til my next visit.
    2) Time spent with a friend in Napa for early birthday celebration. Travel & friends & family are good for the soul.
    3) A two and half hour lunch. Good food and drink, good conversation, good friend.
    4) Went to the movies for the first time since 2019 and saw ELVIS. Austin Butler is transcendent and mesmerizing and nails it. Give that man an Oscar!
    5) Got a text from JLO on my birthday.
    6) Ms. Marvel continues to be awesome.
    7) Seeing the absolute rage & rising up of women around the country after we were told we’re not people. Hoping everyone can keep it up because we’re going to need that energy moving forward. LFG!
    Bonus – knowing so many smart, kind, caring, and now angry women makes me feel less alone in this and gives me hope. I’m trying to hang onto that hope.

    Have a good week, Imps, and I hope you all do something kind for yourselves this week.

  3. Little Willow – love, love, love all your kicks, but especially 5, 6 and 7. They read like a guide for these troubled times.

  4. Little Willow, high-five on those last few kicks.

    Rachel, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! So glad you’re here and that I can call you a friend. I take comfort in your last kick and bonus kick. Hear, hear! Also, so glad you got to travel and see friends and family.

    Have a good week, you all.

  5. Happy belated birthday, Rachel! 🙂

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