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.
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 . . .
1* 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?
6* 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.
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.