7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #18: Featuring Bob Graham

h1 July 8th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

Look, everyone, it’s Kate and Rosy and Dave and the whole family there for our
7 Kicks list this week! There’s Kate’s dad, who has relinquished — for Dave’s sake — his favorite, sunniest spot for sitting and reading. And there’s Dave, jumping up exuberantly for a kiss. We are able to bring you this Bob Graham illustration this week (*), thanks to Candlewick. This happens to be the title page spread from Graham’s sequel to “Let’s Get a Pup!” Said Kate, which is entitled “The Trouble with Dogs
. . .” Said Dad
— just released by Candlewick in June and reviewed here a couple weeks ago by Jules. We are huge fans of Kate and her family and were excited to see them return. And there seems to be a lot of shared love out there in the kidlitosphere for Kate and Rosy and Dave, so we worked with Candlewick to get permission to share an image from Mr. Graham. We thank him (and Candlewick) kindly, and here’s what he had to say about the new book and some of his other titles, as well (for the record, we decided to link the book titles he mentioned here; it’s not that he instructed us to do so):

Sometimes I like to imagine what life might be like for the characters in my books outside the confines of the front and back covers. What happens after the book is closed? Up till now I have never written a sequel- somehow, for me, a second story often stands in the shadow of the first, but I thought this quiet story needed to be told, (punctuated by little bits of shouting.)

Being also the illustrator of the book, I have shown that Kate and her family live in a semi industrial inner urban suburb, and while drawing the pictures I was surprised to see the family from another of my books, Oscar’s Half Birthday, picknicking in the park where Kate runs her dogs. Of course! they live in the same city, (I hadn’t realised,)- and I now see they live in the same city as Max and Jethro Byrd and Queenie, One of the Family. They all live within a few blocks of each other and wander in and out of each other’s lives. Dimity Dumpty’s family perform regularly up the road.

It’s a brilliant city, I’m not exactly sure where it is, (either the eastern or western seabords,) Max and his Superhero family have absolutely nothing to do in their fight against crime. The worst thing that ever happens in this city is the occasional overdue library book. And above all, even though lots of them have their strange little ways, they are a pretty tolerant bunch, (and the music in the pubs at night is brilliant!) And every so often you might find someone in this town who will sit on the floor rather than disturb their dog on the sofa.

And they’re worth writing about.

Let’s get to our lists then, shall we? For anyone new, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is our weekly tradition of listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week (whether book-related or not), and everyone is welcome.

* * * * * * * Jules’ list * * * * * * *

1). Our first blogversary, which we celebrated yesterday!

2). Remy Charlip. His A Perfect Day was read at Nashville Public Library’s story time this week, along with Fortunately. I became familiar with Fortunately right after Brian Selznick’s Hugo Cabret came out this year (and comparisons were made); in fact, it scares my three-year-old for some reason. But I hadn’t seen any other Charlip books (I know, I know. Shame on me as a children’s librarian and hopeless children’s literature geek). Now I want to read them all. A Perfect Day is perfect. I need a Remy Charlip 101. I’ll begin here with this wonderful post at the excelsior file, which I remembered seeing back in January.

2½). Speaking of their story time, remember this? Well, the library funding didn’t get cut. Excellent. {See here — pretty funny stuff, though I shudder at how they assume all of us there are a) from Bellevue and b) “pert” soccer-moms}.

3). Sara now has a blog! And I can’t even believe that one of my posts inspired her first entry. I’m terrifically flattered.

4). Speaking of that post . . . because of it, I had the opportunity to correspond with Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission, whom I really admire as a writer and musician.

5). The tribute (written by Regina Hayes) to James Marshall in the most recent issue of The Horn Book. And Susan Patron’s Newbery acceptance speech, which I’ll comment on next week (for a particular reason which shall remain mysterious right now). And I just found an online version of Maurice Sendak’s tribute to Marshall, which opens George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends. I’ve always loved this. Here’s how it begins:

“The picture book is a peculiar art form that thrives on genius, intuition, daring and a meticulous attention to its history and its various, complex components. The picture book is a picture puzzle, badly misunderstood by critics and condescended to by far too many as merely a trifle for ”the kiddies.” Children are routinely patronized, and thus so are we who spend our creative lives entertaining them and nourishing their spirit. Given this minefield of confusions and uncertainties, when such a work turns out looking as easy as a James Marshall picture book, it says everything about the man. Marshall is the last of a long line of masters that began in the late 19th century with the pre-eminent English illustrator, Randolph Caldecott; then continued in our century with Jean de Brunhoff in France and Edward Ardizzone in England; and then via Tomi Ungerer arrived full blast in America, where the laurel wreath settled finally, splendidly, on the judicious, humane, witty and astonishingly clever head of James Marshall.”

If interested, here’s the rest of what Sendak had to say (though you need to subscribe — free-of-charge — to read it).

6). Alkelda is my new exercise partner. How is that possible when she lives in the Pacific Northwest and I live in the South? She’s a magical storyteller, you know . . . Okay, seriously — we just decided to be Accountability Partners. I have to report to her when I actually exercise and vice versa. And it just might work. I don’t want to let her down and have her make me the protagonist in some Children’s Book That Never Was (those posts of hers are terrifically funny and clever, but she could, say, put me in the middle of this or something as punishment/incentive for not sticking to my get-healthier goal).

7). I’m out of room — so three, quick things in one: I got a really thoughtful gift from author Nancy Crocker. My girls just saw their first real rainbow (which brings to mind Kevin Henkes’ Caldecott acceptance speech for Kitten’s First Full Moon). And (last but far from least), Robin Brande is working her tush off on this 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, and the RSVP list is growing longer! (And I’ll be there — I can hardly believe that either — and can’t stinkin’ wait to meet everyone! Cross fingers that Eisha can make it, too) . . .

* * * * * * * eisha’s list * * * * * * *

1* Our Blogversary. I can’t believe it’s been an entire year. Just not possible. The best thing about it, though, is that it’s given me an excuse to email/phone/bother Jules almost every single day for a whole year. I talk more to her than I do to my friends who live in the same town.

2* That Bob Graham picture, and what he said about it. I want to live in that neighborhood. And I want a dog like Dave. Or maybe a dog that looks like Dave but acts a little more like Rosy.

Miles & Lindsey3* Got more Miles pics this week, including this one from Father’s Day. Somehow in all of this new nephew business I keep getting surprised that my brother is a dad. As in, Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

4* My mom is doing very well with her broken wrist. She even went back to work already. Times like this I hate being so far away, but family and friends are taking good care of her, bringing her takeout from Cracker Barrel and such so she doesn’t have to try to cook. Thanks, everyone.

5* My co-workers threw a goodbye party for me at work Friday, with cake. And afterwards I went out with a couple of friends. This is the month of long goodbyes, and even though I know I’ll be back to visit, it’s making for a lot of bittersweet moments.

If Nobody Speaks…6* One of these friends told me that she’s reading If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things based on my frequent ravings about it, and she loves it. Not just loves it, but she showed me that she’s only on page 81 and has already marked four passages for inclusion in her excellent quote notebook. I’m so pleased to have converted another soul to the Church of St. McGregor.

7* Planet Unicorn. I discovered it a couple of weeks ago, and I have to keep rewatching the four existing episodes just to hear Cadillac exclaim “I’m standing here, and I’m hot!” in episode 2, or just to get down with my bad self to the excellent theme song.

Is it just me? It may be just me…

* * * * * * *

* “THE TROUBLE WITH DOGS …” SAID DAD. Copyright © 2007 Blackbird Design Pty Ltd. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London.

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32 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #18: Featuring Bob Graham”

  1. I’m very glad that you guys put this up early, because I’ve got to head out of town this morning but I wanted to stop by to participate even if it is 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. So early! Anyway…
    1. Kidlitosphere conference. Like, wow.
    2. Using “bitch-slapped by Tinkerbell” in a post.
    3. More lazy days by the pool, which translates into…
    4. Lots of reading. Much of it good.
    5. A near-perfect 4th of July with family fun and fireworks.
    6. Ocean’s Thirteen movie night. Ahh, George Clooney.
    7. Leaving for Virginia Beach today to see my niece and the ocean!

    I didn’t comment yesterday, but Happy Blogversary! You guys rock and the kidlitosphere wouldn’t be the same without you.


  2. Jules, I’m glad your library got to keep its storytime, but I’m still gagging on “pert” and “well-tended.” Thanks for pushing me into the deep blog waters this week!

    Eisha, your brother! Too hot!! What’s sexier than a man kissing a baby?? In a swing??

    Good, good things:

    1. My daughter’s wisdom teeth are out. So far, she seems to have retained her wisdom, more or less.

    2. I may have finished the rough draft of my second book. I’m letting the ending settle.

    3. Ratatouille. Love that little rat’s nose.

    4. Breakfast at IHOP with my son. I had forgotten that 16 year olds are the reason there is “Country Fried Steak with Three Eggs and Three Pancakes” on the menu.

    5. I gave my daughter an item of clothing that I’ve had for nineteen years. She loves the fish pants! (Well, she slept in them. And she’s taking them to college.)

    6. I now own a 4-hybrid iron. You need know nothing except that when I tag the ball with this momma, those old men in their carts with cigars turn their heads to gape.

    7. My editor is a level-headed, kind genius.


  3. MotherReader – thanks for the HB wishes, and have an excellent time at Virginia Beach. Oh, and I’m glad to hear Ocean’s 13 is good – 12 was kinda disappointing, but 11 was just so fab.

    Sara. Um. Thanks? I actually recoiled a bit when I read your comment – it’s hard to think of my brother as “hot” when I can remember playing “sock fight” with him – we’d set up barricades on opposite sides of the hallway and throw balled-up socks at each other. I’ll just have to trust your judgement. And congrats again on starting your blog. This time next year we’ll be wishing you a Happy Blogversary!


  4. eisha: I used to have Magic Marker fights with my brothers. You know the movie scenes where two people desperately struggle over a knife? That was us, except the goal was, of course, to put a impossible-to-wash-off streak on your sibling’s cheek or arm or nose.


  5. Niiice. Wish we’d thought of that.


  6. Happy ocean-seeing, MotherReader!

    Sara, congrats on finishing your rough draft. That’s very good news (as well as having a genius for an editor).

    Look at this piece of good news, everyone, which I saw at Kelly Herold’s wonderful weekend review round-up (one of my favorite things): Jonathan Allen has a new book, and Baby Owl is back! Has anyone else seen this? Blast it, the library won’t even let me put it on hold yet, as I guess it’s still being processed/cataloged/whatever.

    And, Eisha, have you ever seen this (scroll down to the very bottom of that page)? MerryMakers (the folks who made Grace Lin’s Lissy doll, which is on that same page) made a Baby Owl doll. Eisha, I could hear you squeal in my mind when I saw that (forever ago, and I keep meaning to tell you).

    Maybe we can see if Jonathan Allen wants to contribute art work one week for a Kicks list . . .


  7. No, I had NOT seen that! And I just squealed for real! SO CUTE! And they have almost everybody – Alexander! And the Diary of a Worm kids! And Judy Moody!

    One they don’t have, and I have been waiting for someone to do – where, oh where, is the Minerva Louise doll? Wouldn’t she be so cute?


  8. Eisha, that would be great.

    I see now that MerryMakers has the Zen Shorts panda, Stillwater. Now, that’s just, uh, weird (since the consumerism behind making the books decidely more commercial by spinning off dolls is rather un-zen-like. Know what I mean, or do I sound like a snob?).

    But, those Christelow five little monkey finger puppets would be good to own (as a parent and librarian).

    My girls asked about a Knuffle Bunny doll. Rather, they just kind of assumed it exists. Is not Knuffle Bunny a real toy for the real Trixie? My guess is that there will be no spin-off toy. And that’s probably as it should be.


  9. OH MY, one more kick, and then I’m really going to be quiet:

    SPINAL TAP appears!!! (though that ditzy reporter keeps covering up and ignoring Nigel).


  10. Oh yes, there’s a Knuffle Bunny. Also a Pigeon and a Leonardo.


  11. Happy Blogversary, guys! Here’s to many more.

    Bob Graham!!! You guys are really keeping up your awesome level with the guest artwork.

    Jules, That storytime article is great. I love how the librarians are being talked about as sexual objects rather than stereotypes (that’s a step up, right?) and that storytime was a deciding factor in the funding/hours question. I sent the article to my boss.

    I love my Innocence Mission CD. It hasn’t entirely knocked out the other CDs I’ve been grooving on lately, but I’ve been listening to it a lot. The lead singer’s voice reminds me a lot of the female lead in Once for some reason.

    I have seen I’m Not Scared!. It’s one of those sequels that, as a stand-alone, is every bit as good as the first without being completely derivative of itself. I ordered five copies for the library (my ultimate seal of approval).

    I have a sad, sad love of plush creatures (esp. for someone severely allergic to dust), and I saw one of those Baby Owls IRL at BEA and have been coveting it ever since (along with one of my other favorite literary owls, Andy Runton’s Owly. There also exists a Knuffle Bunny plush — made by the same people who make the Pigeon — but I also saw that IRL at BEA, and it just doesn’t do it for me. Something’s off. It’s a cute bunny, but it doesn’t scream KNUFFLE BUNNY at me.

    Eisha, How have I lived this much of my life without Planet Unicorn? Thank you for filling the void. I had to watch it a couple times.

    Miles gets cuter by the day. Seriously.

    I have really gone on, and I haven’t even gotten to my seven things!

    1. My friend gave me a guitar that she’s not using — for keeps!!! So I’m going to learn how to play. Alkelda gave me some tips and encouragement to get me started, and I’ve started exploring the books my friend gave me with the guitar. Could *I* be the girl someday playing a guitar in storytime? I hope so. I’ve wanted to learn for years, and see how other people’s generosity is opening it all up for me? That’s like seven Kicks in itself.
    2. The Kendall Carnival was last night, where I was able to play I Got It! to my heart’s content.
    3. Fresh raspberries.
    4. A successful angel food cake.
    5. A successful double-layer chocolate cake (with whipped cream!).
    6. Coffee with a touch of whipping cream. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, as a special treat, please — I do not want to be responsible for a rash of heart attacks.
    7. Overall, this week was a nice balance between work/time with friends and loved ones/time to read and do quiet things in my own space. It’s not always an easy balance to find.


  12. Happy blogiversary, ladies! 🙂

    Unico is the best animated unicorn program.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=b8uoogTc-R4

    My seven for the week:
    1) I enjoyed my days off.
    2) I completely predicted the conclusion of last week’s episode of The Dead Zone, down to the character’s NAME. (Tonight’s episode might have Alice in Wonderland tie-ins.)
    3) We had our first read-through for the play.
    4) I walked a lot.
    5) I went to a play with friends.
    6) I met some new people.
    7) I opened Sarah Miller’s site! (Have you read MISS SPITFIRE yet? It’s so good.)


  13. hey, y’all.

    We had a great week down South with my folks. Since they are getting up in years, we try to see them often even though they’re far away. We had a fun 4th at the local agriculture museum.


  14. Hey, Little Willow. Could Unico be what Planet Unicorn is making fun of? And congrats on predicting the Dead Zone ending – I always knew you were superhuman.

    Hi, Susan – welcome back! Hope you ate lots of yummy southern food while you were there.


  15. Hi all and Happy Sunday. Jules and Eisha, I’m listing you as one of the best things about my first blogging year. Many thanks!

    1. My mom’s birthday on the 4th of July
    2. Seeing all my nieces and nephews together, including the 25-year-old who’s on the verge of getting MARRIED and the 7-year-old who is by far the most photogenic kid I’ve ever seen.
    3. Neighborhood fireworks display went off without a hitch.
    4. Went to see The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway, and it was fabulous! I couldn’t believe how funny and smart it was.
    5. Sappy chick-flicks
    6. Saw old old friends at my parents’ 4th of July picnic and got to do very good reminiscing back to childhood.
    7. Watching my friend’s 6-year-old son jump up and down at seeing the fireworks, and then turn to me and say, “Did you see that Nancy. That was REALLY. NICE!” Kids are awesome.

    Oh, and bonus Kick – today is my 1-year Blogiversary, so I’m putting together my anniversary post and contest now.

    Have a great week everyone!


  16. You know what ? It was my Blogiversary this week too, but I totally forgot that fact thanks to being bogged down with work. Bah, humbug !

    Anyway, congrats to everyone who’s celebrated their Blogiversary this week…

    My kicks – really not sure I’ve got seven this week, it’s been a tough week.

    1 – I just posted my review of the last two episodes of Doctor Who season 3. This counts as a kick because (a) I didn’t enjoy the final episode, and (b) I finally found the time to do it !

    2 – I’m re-reading Gideon the Cutpurse and it’s still brilliant (my third reading of it) !

    3 – I got interviewed by email by Martha Groves of the LA Times for a HP article she’s doing. Mind you, this seems slightly ironic since I’ve almost entirely lost interest in HP now I’m writing ficiton of my own !

    4 – I’ve decided to look for a different job. This working from home gig is really not working for me. I’m hoping I can get a job as a shelving assistant at the local library but they’re not actually advertising it yet !

    5 – I got talking to someone this week about my Non-Who fiction and he was *really* enthusiastic and encouraging about it ! (Now if only I could get my brain into gear to finish Who 6 so I could get to writing the non-Who one, I’d be happy !)

    Um, I think that’s it – I’m so tired that I can’t think of anything else… Have a good week one and all.


  17. Don’t miss Adrienne’s post up there, everyone. WordPress wanted me to moderate it, for some reason (probably ’cause it has links in it), but when I did, it got placed way up there.

    Coffee with whipping cream, Adrienne? Mmmmm.

    Little Willow, first read-throughs are glorious days. Really, they’re so fun.

    Hi, Susan. If you’re ever near Nashville when you visit family, come see me!

    Happy blogversary to Nancy and to Michele. Love your post, Nancy! I wanna play, and thanks for mentioning us. Michele, good luck finding another job . . .


  18. Oh and Adrienne — glad you like the CD, and I’ve never seen I Got It before, so that was enlightening.

    Oh, and I missed this, everyone: http://excelsiorfile.blogspot.com/2007/06/perfect-day.html . . . Excellent. I had assumed the book was old, but nope . . .


  19. Again, Happy Blogiversary!

    This week I can only come up with five:

    1. Re-reading the Harry Potter books.
    2. Finally starting John Marsden’s Tomorrow YA series.
    3. Having a day off in the middle of the week, and having a friend who we hadn’t seen in much too long over for a cookout.
    4. Going out for margaritas in the middle of the day yesterday.
    5. Catching up with a friend from college on the phone.


  20. Jules: Yes, indeed.

    eisha: They could be mocking poor little Unico, but I also see plenty of My Little Pony (and randomness) in that video you posted.

    I love predicting things and naming things.

    Tonight’s episode of TDZ is rumored to include references to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. If so – and if done well, of course – I’ll be very happy.


  21. Back from Idaho. Blogging about it and lots of things on both blogs tomorrow.
    Happy Blogaversary!! I jus love your blog. Jlues, glad the funding for the library program was kept. And excercise accountability partner,? I am jealous.
    Eisha, I luaghed out ove Planet Unicorn. I wish I could go to the first kidlitospere conference BUT since I am going to Reno for AASL later that month…any one coming west?
    My 7 for the week
    1. A road trip with my husband to frinds in Idaho.
    2. Eating dinner outside at my favorite restaurant in Bend, OR. The Pine Tavern.
    3. Seeing our friends in Idaho. We go back three generations.
    4. An old fashioned Fourth of July parade in Buhl, ID. Pop.: 3200.
    5. My author party for Laini Taylor was sucessful. Great people, great conversation.
    6. We hit 53 mpg with our Prius on our trip.
    7. Getting up close and personal to an old procupine who didn’t care that I was photographing him.
    Very little reading. Have a great week.


  22. Adrienne and Jone, I’m so glad it’s not just me. Sing it with me now: “Planet Unicorn, heyyy!”

    Jen, I keep hearing about Marsden. Let me know how it goes – could be something else for the ol’ teetering TBR pile.

    Michele, that’s cool you were interviewed! And I also wish you the best of luck in your job search. Libraries can be lovely places to work.

    Nancy – Happy Blogiversary! (I can’t figure out how to spell it – is there an “i”? I’ve been going back and forth all weekend.)


  23. Thanks Jules and Eisha. Happy B’versary right back at ya.

    I choose to drop the “i” Eisha, but I’m a New Englander and we tend to cut words short willy-nilly. Note that I’ve now gone to just B’versary to make it even more efficient.


  24. I’m still sniffling over the James Marshall tribute. Now, there was an author I lost right as I was getting to meet him (as an adult, if you can believe that).

    Jules: We will exercise! We will be mighty. And don’t worry, I’d never put you in the middle of a children’s book that never was… unless, of course, I thought of a funny way to do it. Hmmmm……

    Eisha: Sweet photo! Thanks for posting it.

    Adrienne– Yes, you will be that storytime lady playing guitar! Nancy Stewart told us in the beginning that we only had to play ONE SONG for our entire storytime. Wait till you learn “All Around the Kitchen.” It’s big, big fun, and it requires only one chord.

    And now for my seven things:

    1) I hesitate to write this, but I think I’m finally losing weight. I’m eating just enough for sustinence and energy while I work out, but that won’t be forever.

    2) I made some fun flannel-board cutouts for “Almira and the Robbers” (my version of “Jack and the Robbers”). I’ll post a photo this week.

    3) I made my first skirt. It has elephant buttons on the drawstring and side slit.

    4) I bought my ticket to the 1st Kidlit Blogger Conference.

    5) I have a gig on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. With the money I make, I’m going to buy a table/chairs/umbrella set for our backyard deck.

    6) The junk in our backyard is finally hauled away so we can start planning the playhouse we’re going to build.

    7) I’m hosting the July Carnival of Children’s Literature! Don’t you want to submit something for it? Don’t ya?


  25. Jone, I’m glad the author party went well.

    Adrienne, yes, you will be playing guitar. I can see it in my mind’s eye. By the way, technically, those storytellers in that article about Nashville Public Library are not librarians — they’re performers hired to do story-times, but your point (about stereotypes) still stands!

    Jen, margaritas. Mmmmmm.

    Alkelda, I love “All Around the Kitchen”!


  26. Everyone should read the Marsen books. When I first read them, I read them all in about a week in a half. Then I started over and read them all again. That’s how good they are. I’ve never understood why they don’t have a wider readership.

    Oh, Jules, don’t tell my boss about those folks being hired performers. I’m always telling her that we shouldn’t hire storytimes out here….


  27. Well, it’s a weird set-up, Adrienne. They are not like contractors. They work for the library (either full or part time — who knows), and they also do weekend marionette shows (they carry on the tradition that Tom Tichenor started way back forever ago). So, they’re not librarians, as I understand it, but they handle the story times. It’s weird (as in different), because there is even a gorgeous, cozy, perfect little children’s theatre snuggled back in the children’s room (this is THE big, beautiful main downtown library in the Nashville Public Library system we’re talking about here), and they do the story times back there. And they do a bajillion story times, it seems (but then, that’s what they’ve been hired to do).

    Make sense?


  28. Yes, but of course now I want someone to build *me* a cozy little children’s theatre.


  29. IT’S SO AWESOME!!!! I want to live in this little children’s theatre. And, as someone who was once an interpreter, who is a children’s librarian, and who once co-founded a children’s theatre, I want the Nashville Public Library — with its Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and children’s department and children’s theatre — to hire me as a FLOATER or something!

    Anyway, yeah, it sounds really cushy, doesn’t it? But, again, it’s the big, beautiful main library, not a little branch (point being, the little branches have to struggle a bit more for funding sometimes, as I’m sure you know).


  30. True, but I only have so much room to complain, as I work in a park:

    http://www.watat.com/archives/2006/08/adrienne_why_do.html

    Still, my park does not have a theatre. Well, it has a puppet theatre, but not a stage.


  31. Now that’s just awesome. I’d work there, too.


  32. […] and it even appears to me that the endearing protagonists (the human kind) from this book (and its sequel) make a cameo, but I could be wrong about […]


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