7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #808: Featuring JooHee Yoon

h1 August 21st, 2022 by jules

“Supposing I lived close to a circus and took scraps every day to my favorite lion and learned to speak Lion, and one night the lion escaped and frightened people and I ran up to the lion by myself and spoke to it in Lion until it went to sleep and the manager gave me a free ticket to the circus for the rest of my life…”
(Click spread to enlarge)


Alastair Reid’s Supposing … was originally written in 1960. In a new edition from Enchanted Lion Books, on shelves now, JooHee Yoon interprets this playful text in dynamic ways.

The book’s voice is that of children — Yoon brings two of them to these pages — who wonder and imagine and suppose without (gloriously) considering the consequences. The consequences lie in the mind of the reader or, in some cases, the adult and child reading the book together. (This one could prompt some fascinating discussions.) Some of the proposed suggestions are elaborate in their detail: “Supposing I built my own rocket and went to the moon but didn’t like it much and came home without telling anyone and just smiled to myself when other people talked about it…” Some are shorter but still capable of kickstarting the imagination, such as “Supposing I taught my dog to read…”; “Supposing I got to be 300 years old…”; or (pictured below) “Supposing there were 12 of me…” These are the voices of children who wonder what it would be like to save the day; seek solitude; imagine possibilities; defy expectations; do the opposite of what they’re told; confound (and “bamboozle”) adults; travel through time; keep secrets; and much more.

Deliciously, there are also children who imagine the possibilities when not following the rules or acting in ways not deemed appropriate for children. “Supposing I collected hair from a barber shop and sent it in parcels to people I didn’t like…” There’s the notion, involving a glass skyscraper, of causing destruction; there’s engaging in rude behavior (burping on national television and calling people in the middle of the night and practicing “my horrible sounds over the phone”); and there’s even some outright bucking of authority. I love that this book gives space for such thoughts as captured here: “Supposing my Aunt Mabel came to tea and said to me how big I was getting, for the millionth time, and I just stared back and said to her: How old you’re getting…” Even if a lot of their literature (still) tries to represent their thoughts in sanitized, innocent ways, children are capable of ones that are cruel or unkind or stingy, like all humans, and what a breath of fresh air it must be for them to see that acknowledged in a book. They’re only thoughts after all; none of these speakers in the book act upon them. How cathartic for readers. Children contain multitudes. This book is a powerful reflection on that.

Oh, and there’s the deeply enigmatic too, the book closing with: “Supposing I went blank…”

I love to see Yoon’s arresting, distinctive artwork with its vivid stylishness. Here, the colors pop; the scale is often exaggerated; the compositions are visually arresting. Look closely, too, and see that the children often have mischief on their faces, as it should be. Here are some more spreads so that you can see for yourself. …


“Supposing I built a small boat and sailed around the world and when I was a mile from the shore of my home town, and everybody was waiting for me with medals and cameras, I just turned the boat and saild round again the other way…”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“Supposing there were 12 of me…”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“Supposing a funny old fortune teller told me I was going on a journey and just to bamboozle her I stayed home for the rest of my life…”
(Click spread to enlarge)


“Supposing I could meet some of my ancestors…”
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(Click cover to enlarge)


SUPPOSING… Text © 1960 Alastair Reid. © 2010 Alastair Reid. © 2018 Leslie Clark. Illustration © 2018 JooHee Yoon. Reprint edition © 2022. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Enchanted Lion Books, Brooklyn, 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.

1) Rain.

2) Walks.

3) This line from Louise Glück’s poem “Landscape”: “I lived in the present, which was / that part of the future you could see.”

4) I finally overcame my shyness and introduced myself to the new neighbors (and gave their children some new picture books).

5) Better Call Saul.

6) Donuts.

7) I’m reading aloud Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (which is great thus far) to my daughters, though I hope we manage to finish it before the oldest goes off to her first year of college. It will be an adjustment, reading aloud without her here.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

4 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #808: Featuring JooHee Yoon”

  1. Hi Imps! Hello JooHee Yoon! Here’s the curiosity and wonder and imagination.

    Jules: Ooh, I haven’t read that one yet! Have fun with your daughters, and hello to your neighbors. I hope they like the books!

    My kicks:
    1) Smoothly
    2) Flowing
    3) Treats
    4) Truths
    5) Shade
    6) Talk
    7) Tell

  2. What a great book and how wonderful it’s being reinterpreted for new generations. Love the colors and the mischievous expressions of the kids.

    Jules – hooray for rain, walks, meeting the new neighbors and donuts – yum! I love that you and your daughters enjoy reading books aloud together, the oldest will surely miss it (in a good way) while away at college.

    Little Willow – your kicks this week read like a wonderful short story. My favorites are kicks 1-3.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Going camping in a yurt at the Oregon coast for the first time ever. Someone else’s last-minute 1 night cancellation led to my quick and fun adventure.
    2) Oregon’s State Parks are beautiful and so well-maintained.
    3) Walking on the beach.
    4) Beautiful sunset at the beach.
    5) Make ahead frozen margaritas for around the campfire, and s’mores, and the night sky full of stars.
    6) Cold morning met with strong coffee and a game of backgammon to start the day.
    7) Zucchini and cucumbers from my garden. First time successfully growing cucumbers in Portland!
    7.5) Bella Bean, a foster dog in NYC, who was living with her foster mom for 19 months – just got adopted! Her foster mom now has a senior pitbull for her next foster dog.
    Bonus – this is from last year, but I still love it – 20 year old cat at the shelter gets adopted by 101 year old woman:

    Have a great week y’all!

  3. Little Willow, I’m glad your week was smoothly and flowing and, I hope, smoothly flowing.

    Rachel, that sounds like such an amazing trip. And congrats to Bella Bean!

    Have a good week, you two. ….

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