7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #21: Featuring Frank Dormer

h1 July 29th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

Happy Sunday, and welcome to our weekly 7 Kicks list, the meeting ground for listing 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. (If you’re new, please know that everyone is welcome) . . .

Have you noticed that we’ve gotten into this fun, new tradition of featuring a different illustrator every Sunday? Check out this week’s!

Back at the end of June, Adrienne over at WATAT did up a wonderful post on beginning readers, actually in two parts: Beginning Readers that Don’t Make Me Want Me to Fall Into a Stupor, Parts One and Two. And, as I (Jules, that is) mentioned over at her site, that got me to thinking about the wonderful Aggie and Ben beginning reader (Charlesbridge, 2006), written by Lori Ries and illustrated by Frank Dormer. And good news: There will be a sequel to those three Aggie and Ben stories. So says our featured illustrator this week, Frank W. Dormer, who this week is sharing with us an illustration from — not the upcoming Aggie and Ben title (but we still had to explain how it is that we came to think of Frank Dormer this week!) — but an upcoming picture book title, Not So Tall for Six, written by Dianna Hutts Aston (An Egg is Quiet), coming in ’08 from Charlesbridge. Isn’t that illustration great? Here’s what Frank had to say about it:

The book is about a feisty little girl named Kylie Bell. Although she is small, she never lets it get her down. In the image I sent, Kylie’s dad is explaining that her ancestors shared the same traits she has.

I like the tall tale quality of Dianna’s writing. It met perfectly with what I like to do in my art. My children are constantly wondering if what their dear old dad says is truth, or truth stretched to ridiculousness.

In addition to the site, I have also jumped on the blogging bandwagon. There is a link to my blog from the site, frankwdormer.com.

As to myself, I spent many years working as an editorial illustrator before turning to children’s books. This is my second book, the next being a sequel to Aggie and Ben, called Good Dog, Aggie.

Thanks, Frank, for sharing this illustration with us this week. We really appreciate it and look forward to reading the book. We’re already charmed by Kylie Bell. Frank tells us he’ll be posting an image from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in our honor today, so we’ll have to go check his blog. And now on to our lists . . .

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

HP71* DON’T WORRY – THIS IS NOT A SPOILER. I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before anyone could spoil the ending for me. Moving to a new town where I don’t know anyone made this a little easier, but I still had to avoid all media for, like, 5 days. And B. and I literally had to run away from the yummy little coffee place down the street (Gimme! Coffee, oh-my-god they have seriously good coffee, Jules you have to come visit me now!) when some people at the next table started talking about it.

2* This quote from Akelda/Farida’s interview (where she’s quoting her friend Galatea’s blog): “To say that my birth plan went out the window is a colossal understatement. My birth plan tied sheets together, went out the window, caught a cab to the airport and spent the weekend losing money at The Sahara and getting hammered on free cocktails.”

3* I finished my half of a project Jules and I were working on – 3 days late, which pains me, but I did have kind of a traumatic move recently that I may have mentioned once or twice. (How much longer do I get to use that as an excuse? I think at least another week, don’t you? I mean, I still haven’t found my silverware, people.) Anyway, this had been causing me a lot of guilt over the past few days and I’m so glad I finished.

Speaking of moving, let me tell you about some of the cool Ithaca things I’ve discovered:

4* People here tend to landscape with wildflowers and native plants, in great profusion. It’s really pretty, in a careless, natural, not-trying-so-hard kind of way.

5* When you put your trash out, you have to “tag” each of your garbage bags with a special sticker that costs $2.00. But recycling is picked up for free. Clever, huh?

Special Forces Moving6* People here are friendly. And helpful. I’d gotten used to the whole New England – well, not meanness, exactly, but… people in service industries don’t usually go out of their way for you, or, you know, smile a lot. And you’re just supposed to know stuff, like the names of streets or parking laws or whatever, without a lot of bothersome signs or people telling you beforehand or anything. So it was kind of a shock to encounter such open friendliness here. It’s almost… Southern.

7* Oh, but I need to go back another week and tell you about a notable exception to that New England thing. The lovely gentlemen of Special Forces Moving were incredible in every way – polite, competent, professional, helpful, and they definitely went out of their way for us. So, if you’re in the Boston area and need to move, I totally recommend them.

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

Hey, I can really relate to the birth plan comment up there. My birth plan with my first daughter did the same — and then just passed out on me after the free cocktails.

I’m going to keep it simple this week by sharing two, quick things: A gift I got in the mail from author/illustrator Jeremy Tankard — an autographed copy of Grumpy Bird and my own original Grumpy Bird sketch. I scanned a portion of the sketch (the Grumpy Bird portion) to share with you all. I think it’s too, too exciting; I am absolutely in love with it; and, if Jeremy’s reading, I thank him again.

I really enjoy featuring different illustrators every Sunday here at our kicks lists (in fact, Grumpy Bird was featured before). Since I gotsta have my picture books, it’s become my favorite feature here at 7Imp. And this week, we had the opportunity to talk to some of our favorite illustrators about featuring them in the near future and even snagged an interview we think will be particularly fun (coming soon, we promise). So that was — and remains — a big kick for me. (Isn’t Frank’s illustration this week funny? Look at Kylie Bell’s daddy. I love it).

I’m done . . . I hope everyone had good, kick-worthy weeks.

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37 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #21: Featuring Frank Dormer”

  1. I love this week’s illustration. I am going to have to order the book for the library. I am with Eisha about getting away from the media. I finished Harry in a day to prevent spolilers (wasn’t sucessful, read my blog post). I understand you have a year to get settled in a new place. How cool, Jules, that you got an autographed book and picture.
    My seven:
    1. I decided to attend the kidlitoshpere conference instead of whining about not going.
    2. Hosting Poetry Friday.
    3. My blog post about harry Potter (no spoilers).
    4. My visit with my niece who is a voracious reader. It was the first extended time together with her being an adult.
    5. Watching the hummingbirds be territorial over the feeder.
    6. Pulling off a surprise 25th wedding anniversary for my dear friend and her husband.
    7.Yummy flax seed bran muffins.


  2. Just dashing by – I so plan to do the 7-Kicks thing ONE DAY!! but I just LOVE Kylie Bell. That is just plain adorable, and everyone needs those tall-tale relatives to affirm and bolster them. What a great and cute book, with hilarious illustrations. I do love to find great illustrations around here and look forward to seeing more!


  3. jules, what an amazing gift! And I love the illustration for today…and the one over at Frank’s blog.

    eisha: I’m digging the emblem for your moving company. There’s one around here called something like College Hunks Move Your Junk. I’m tempted to call them just to see if there’s any truth in advertising…

    My list today is short and sweet:

    I got to spend lots of time with someone I love. Some weeks, I forget that that’s all I need.


  4. I’m ready for a vacation. We’re going away at the end of August, and while I dread the getting there, I think I’ll enjoy the actual staying there.”:)

    My 7kicks this week:

    1) I’ve landed two high-profile local storytelling gigs for the fall and winter of 2007.

    2) I had an electric guitar lesson last Friday as a change of pace from my usual lesson scheme. I can now play the “Smoke on the Water” riff using power chords. And now I want an electric guitar. Can you believe that my husband says I don’t need one??!

    3) The host of my upcoming birthday party gig requested a mouse story for her son. I’m doing research on folktales, but I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to do one of the Arnold Lobel stories (the one about the mouse kept awake by crickets) with music.

    4) I haven’t lost more than a pound of weight in the past two weeks(crivens!) but I think the exercise is definitely helping my overall body tone and fitness.

    5) Ripe peaches from the farmer’s market are yummy.

    6) So are cucumbers from the garden, served up with yogurt and spices in a raita.

    7) The July Carnival of Children’s Literature (again!)


  5. 1. I submitted myself for half a dozen new projects this week.
    2. I had an audition yesterday.
    3. I’m in the final week of rehearsals for the play. We open on Saturday!
    4. I ran an important errand yesterday.
    For others:
    5. I finished another website redesign,
    6. … and another site/electronic press kit,
    7. … and did some online promotion.


  6. Jone, that stinks that someone spoiled it for you. That happened to me with 6 – hence my near-obsessive diligence to keep it from happening with 7. But – yay! – you’re coming to Chicago! Woo-hoo! We get to meet you!

    TadMack, you know you’re welcome anytime.

    Sara – now THAT is a name. Surely you have a big piece of furniture to move or a tv to purchase or something – some little excuse to hire those college hunks?

    Akelda – remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so probably you’re just packing on the muscle, you hardbody you. And tell your husband that I think you certainly need an electric guitar. Who doesn’t?

    Little Willow, break a leg!! And best wishes on the audition and submissions.


  7. I love the name “Kylie Bell,” and I love the illustration. :)

    Eisha, Glad to hear you’ve found a place to get good coffee in your new home. This is always the first thing I try to figure out when I’m in strange new surroundings.

    Jules, Talk about an amazing gift!

    Alkelda, Power chords on electric guitar?!? How fun!

    Little Willow, You are amazingly industrious. Break a leg this Saturday!

    My seven:
    1. I got to see Trish several times this week while she was home for a visit. Folks in big cities are probably used to seeing other kidlit folks around town, but it’s a total novelty for me, and Trish is so nice and fun. I did my best to peer pressure her to come to Chicago in October.
    2. Reading HP#7, thinking about HP#7, talking to everyone about HP#7.
    3. I had the first garbage plate I’ve had in a really long time at a Red Wings game this past Friday, and it was awesome.
    4. My old grill was broken and I haven’t had money to get a new one, but this week, my friend’s father did some work for someone and, in the process, acquired an old grill she had around that works — and then he gave it to me! I spent the morning cleaning it up, and it looks great, like a whole new wonderful thing. I am going to celebrate with an impromptu backyard BBQ this afternoon, burgers served with…


  8. [Oh, no! It posted while I was typing. Stupid computer.]
    5. Green beans, wax beans, Romano beans. Is there anything better than fresh beans in the summer? No, no there’s not.
    6. The new Danny Boyle/Alex Garland movie Sunshine.
    7. Going to Charlotte Beach last night, walking the pier, riding the carousel, and eating ice cream. Living next to a Great Lake is kind of awesome.

    My new-ish grill calls….


  9. Happy weekend one and all !!

    1 – I met up with a new online friend yesterday – she was visiting from Germany and we talked David Tennant almost non-stop for 6.5 hours !!

    2 – I finished watching season 2 of Doctor Who today – Woo WHO !!

    3 – I’m still writing my Tenth Doctor/Martha fan fics and posted a new stand-alone one yesterday (instead of one in the series I started) and it prompted nearly half a dozen requests for a sequel ! Which is really cool if slightly scary because I hadn’t planned a sequel !

    4 – I got a review of Doctor Who’s season 3 published online (though the editor could have done a better job – *cringe* !)

    5 – My German friend gave me a Proclaimers CD as a gift – they’re one of David Tennant’s favourite bands and although I’m very familiar with a couple of their songs, the rest were all new to me, so I had fun listening to that this afternoon.

    6 – Talking Harry Potter obsessively with online acquaintances, and even total strangers (two visiting Americans, mother and daughter, were toting copies in the laundrette this morning)…

    7 – A group of us who are doing the Online Proofing have decided to take up our concerns with the Human Resources Dept. in London – but I’m still job hunting…


  10. Michele– I love the Proclaimers! Their first album (which is all I know), is just perfect.

    Eisha– I keep telling myself the “muscle is more than fat” scene.:) I’ll tell my husband that an electric guitar is definitely a must-have.


  11. Adrienne and eisha: Thank you!

    Michele: The first two lines of your comments blended together and I read: “I met David Tennant.” Ha.


  12. 1. My 14 yo son’s boss told me that he’s a good employee. (I didn’t mention the feet dragging when he does dishes around here!)
    2. I experienced acupuncture.
    3. I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – after both of my kids and nary a spoiler from them.
    4. I joined an SCBWI critique group and met two lovely women – one a PB author, the other an illustrator with a penchant for writing. And the group is expected to grow.
    5. My TV addict husband completed a self imposed week-long hiatus from TV, so we played lots of games.
    6. The beach.
    7. Anticipating my upcoming vacation.


  13. Adrienne, honey, I just clicked on that link to find out what a garbage plate is, and I’m worried about your arteries. And I come from a place where people deep-fry Twinkies, so that’s saying something. Maybe go easy on the grilled burgers and heavy on the fresh beans today, okay?

    Michele, good for you and the other online proofers for sticking up for yourselves. And how fun to meet online friends in person.


  14. Hi to all . . .

    Jone, YAY TO CHICAGO and getting to meet you!

    TadMack, thanks for stopping by in the midst of your big move. And thanks for enjoying the illustrations. I LOVE featuring them. It’s my new favorite thing to do here at 7-Imp.

    Sara, your news is awesome. And, yes, isn’t Frank’s Alice image GREAT? He tells us that we can use it and that he created it as a way to thank us! I love how action-packed that mad tea party is. Omygoodness, we’re excited and wanna put it at our blog. He made my day!

    Alkelda, of course you should mention the Carnival again — and every week after — ’cause it was great and very obvious that you worked your newly-muscled butt off on it. And I really wanna hear your Lobel mouse story. Will you perform for us in Chicago?

    Little Willow, break a leg Saturday, and I hope the audition reaps rewards for you.

    Adrienne, congrats on the grill. And thanks for inspiring our Frank feature this week.

    Michele, good luck with the HR Dpt. Congrats on your review. I need to read that later. Right now, Eisha and I are finishing up a project that was fun, but I’ll be happy to be sending it off, too!

    Kris, hi! Ah, the beach. Did you go already, or will you be? No t.v. for a week — we almost do that here, but I do turn it on occasionally for my two girls so that I can do things like, oh, shower . . .


  15. Oops, sorry, Kris, didn’t mean to skip you, you must have commented while I was typing. But my question for you is: when you live in Hawaii, where do you go for vacation?


  16. Jules and Eisha,

    I haven’t stopped by to leave comments at 7 Kicks lately–for reasons I don’t want to write about here. But today I just had to write to say that I spent the past few days at Food, Glorious Food!, the Children’s Literature Institute at Simmons College in Boston. It was just the best time. The presenters included Kadir Nelson, Angela Johnson, Sy Montgomery, Arthur Yorinks, Jack Gantos, Natalie Babbitt, Matthew Reinhart, Nancy Werlin, Jerry Pinkney, David Macaulay, Alice Hoffman, Rich Michelson, Polly Horvath…and Roger Sutton. I always have such wonderful conversations with the other people who attend the institute.

    Have a great week!


  17. Elaine, that is great. Are you going to blog about it more over at Wild Rose Reader? I’d love to hear more.

    Continuing to wish the very best and better news for those in your life whom you love and hold dear to your heart….


  18. Same here, Elaine. I’m keeping you and yours in my thoughts, and hope for the best.

    But… you really must tell more about the Food, Glorious Food thing! Kadir Nelson!!! Yum!!!



  19. Um, text disappeared – sorry for the double post.

    “But my question for you is: when you live in Hawaii, where do you go for vacation?”

    I know. It’s weird. Since we’re only getting away for a long weekend, we’re island hopping – over to Kauai. We’ve never been there and the hiking is supposed to be excellent.


  20. eisha, jules, I got a callback! Wednesday night! :)


  21. The hiking IS excellent, Kris. We were there about three years ago, on a family trip with the Backroads travel company. If you ever see one of their catalogs, look at the picture on the Kauai page…that’s my butt going up that hill.


  22. Woo-hoo, Little Willow! We’ll keep our fingers crossed! Not that you need it, you talented thing, you!

    Kris, that sounds perfectly lovely.

    Sara, you never told us your butt is famous.


  23. Hi all. Finally back from vacations and just popping in to leave a quick list — nice to be back to blogworld….

    1. Cool postcards tracked down in Gettysburg
    2. Visits with old old friends during my travels
    3. Birthday presents ahead of schedule, and balloons and flowers and cards
    4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
    5. Two multi-day diet vacations in 10 days
    6. Sailing sailing sailing and making plans to sail again
    7. Salt water taffy and fudge and lobstah

    Happy week everyone!


  24. Welcome back, Nancy! Happy early birthday!

    eisha, you flatter me.

    Sara, yes, sometimes, that is all that is needed. (Spending time with someone you care about, that is!)


  25. Hey, Little Willow, you got the callback. What more proof do you need?

    Hi, Nancy! Wow, what a lot of fun you’ve been having while you’ve been away. And I second the birthday wishes!


  26. Little Willow – congratulations and I WISH I had met David Tennant !! (Mind you, if I did, I’d probably still be swooning or babbling incoherently !!)

    Jules, Eisha – thanks – I will, of course, report back on the online proofing situation…

    Alkelda – It’s a great CD and I shall definitely be keeping my eyes open for more of their work…


  27. Jules and Eisha,

    I’ll probably blog briefly about the institute. I tried to take notes–but I have to admit I’m not a very good note-taker. In addition, the lights were often out in the auditorium during the speakers’ presentations. Kadir Nelson? Yum! is right!!!


  28. Congrats, Little Willow!

    Happy early birthday, Nancy!

    Elaine, we’ll take whatever notes you can manage to remember from those presenters. Sounds like a great conference. Why was it called “Food! Glorious Food!” Am I missing something?


  29. Jules,

    The words “Food, glorious food!” are taken from a song in the movie Oliver. The institute was supposed to–and I quote from the brochure: “…consider the way food operates in books for children beyond sustenance. How does food serve as a metaphor? As trope? How does food indicate class status?…How do children’s books become recipes, life guides? When do they become tastemakers?”


  30. Food = good.

    Though I am familiar with some of the songs, I have yet to see Oliver! on stage or on screen.

    Thanks, Jules, Michele, and eisha.


  31. Thanks for answering my question, Elaine. Now I really do want to hear more!

    For a picture book course I took in grad school, we concluded on the final day of class by having a feast: Everyone brought a dish inspired by (or straight from) a picture book, and we all brought copies of our recipes and made books with them after that. I still have my picture-book-inspired cookbook.

    I contributed the yummy “Eleanor Roosevelt’s Pink Clouds on Angel Food Cake” from Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride. Mmmm, angel food cake.

    (Wait, I should add that my husband was the one who actually baked it, and it wasn’t easy either. But ’twas very good).


  32. the average group meeting in New England is made up of 85% foreigners on the move. So much for New ENgland’s ‘meaness’..


  33. [...] Dormer, whom we’ve featured before and who created our wonderful Mad Tea Party image just for 7-Imp sent us this mummy for this [...]


  34. [...] by Frank Dormer, published by Charlesbridge (7-Imp got a preview from Mr. Dormer himself back here in [...]


  35. [...] indeed. Here she is with her daddy, as he points out a bit of a family fun fact (this illustration was featured here at 7-Imp back in July, and illustrator Frank Dormer — who has updated his site, I see, complete with a [...]


  36. [...] a children’s book editor saw his art work featured here at 7-Imp (that would probably be this post from ‘07, though Frank also visited me for a breakfast interview in 2008), and she contacted [...]


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