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 to leave their lists).
This week we have Mo Willems to thank for our illustration: It’s Trixie and her daddy! They’re back in Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, which we co-reviewed here at 7-Imp this week. If you didn’t read that review or don’t have time now, here’s our official analysis: It completely delivers in every way, and we pretty much thought it was flawless. I believe it has a September release date (Hyperion), so people won’t have much longer to wait to find out what the pre-school-aged Trixie and her beloved bunny are up to this time.
In this image, Trixie and her daddy — who was initially reluctant to head out and retrieve Trixie’s rightful bunny (”Trixie’s daddy tried to explain what ‘2:30 a.m.’ means”) — are on a mission to right a wrong. Our review has much more info if you’re interested in hearing more about this great book. We thank Mo Willems most kindly for sharing an ilustration with us and our readers this week.
Woo-hoo! Thanks, Mo Willems, for the image from KB2. Love that book!
1* Well, obviously, the incredible birthday cento that Jules created for me was a fabulous gift. Thank you again! And thanks to everyone who chimed in on the birthdayness.
2* Jules also sent me a book that her daughters made for me, based on Ashley Bryan’s Let It Shine, which has apparently become a huge hit in the Jules household. It has construction paper collage art, and my name spelled perfectly in blue crayon. There’s even an original poem that, while it looks like a bunch of scribbles over a construction paper tree, I am certain is eloquent, brilliant, and lovely. (According to Jules’s margin notes, when she asked for a translation, Miriam said “I already DID write it down!”)
3* Various cards, emails, phone calls, presents, and love from far-flung family and friends - including studio portraits of my nephew. Oh. My. God. Be glad the husband took the scanner with him, ’cause you’d be getting yet-another-eyeful of beautiful bald baby right now.
4* I drove out to the Berks on Friday (where my husband’s current theatre gig is), and he treated me to a yummy sushi birthday dinner.
6* My sister just went back to college, and is taking a required course in Logic and Critical Thinking (which I’m nerdy enough to think sounds awesome). She called me the day after her first class and told me how the professor told them that they’re new best friend is going to be their librarian (!!!), and spent most of the class period talking about research methods and evaluating information sources. YEAH!!! ROCK ON!!! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
7* This week over at Brotherhood 2.0, John took his punishment like a man. A man eating a blenderized girl’s Happy Meal* and waxing his leg, that is:
Duuuuude. If I weren’t already a vegetarian, I think this would have turned me. But the best part: “That was NOT A FIVE!!!”
* A blenderized Happy Meal, which was originally meant for a girl - not a Happy Meal belonging to a blenderized girl. Ew.
Aw, man, Eisha. Your actual gift (not just a card and not just a blog post), which is very book-related, hasn’t even made it yet. Shoot. I hope that punkin’ head sugar britches thing didn’t get lost in the mail. Confused? You’ll just have to wait and see.
And, yeah, my girls’ admiration for Bryan’s book of classic spirituals is awesome, but it’s been an awful lot like living with Rod and Todd Flanders all week (and I say that with great respect to that beautiful picture book and the songs — I did give it a glowing review — but if the girls start singing “Bringing in the Sheaves” or some such thing very loudly in restaurants, I’m going to have to put a stop to this). Best of all, my three-year-old’s been a collage-makin’ fool!
YAY FOR THE MO IMAGE!
I’m going to keep things simple this week. My seven kicks are:
by Kevin Sherry. Maybe it’s because I live with a three-year-old who thinks she is the center of the universe (like the protagonist in the book does and as three-year-olds generally do), but this book (Dial; May 2007) makes me laugh so hard. And I didn’t see it ’til this week (I know Kelly and others have raved about it, but I’ve been on a library waiting list forever). If you haven’t seen it, quick run-down: A very over-sized and googly-eyed and decidely-unarrogant-just-confident and very bright blue squid announces with great assurance and a very innocent, child-like swagger that he is bigger than most of the other animals he meets in the ocean (”I’m bigger than these shrimp.” Clams? Bigger! Crab? Bigger! Jellyfish? Bigger! . . . and “I’m bigger than that shark. Shhhh!”). (And not only is this so pre-school, but Sherry’s lovable squid and his cohorts are painted in bold, simple shapes with watercolor and collage, making it even more of a preschooler-magnet). Then, after determining he’s bigger than anything else in the ocean, he is swallowed by a huge whale and sees all the animals he’s bigger than inside the whale, too. There is a wordless, two-spread pause of him taking this all in, looking at all the other doomed animals (as you see a smile creep across his face), and then he declares from the inside of the whale, “I’M THE BIGGEST THING IN THIS WHALE!”
When my three-year-old and I first read this, we paused at the end — for about a femtosecond — and then we burst out laughing. And it’s been fun walking around all week yelling, “I’M THE BIGGEST THING AT THIS TABLE!” or “HEY, MY NOSE IS BIGGER THAN MY BIG TOE!” or “HEY, I’M BIGGER THAN THE CAT!” . . . and she’s been just randomly exclaiming sometimes during dinner, “I’M THE BIGGEST THING IN THIS WHALE!”, making me almost snort my beverage through my nose, laughing.
This entire book reminds me of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons, hanging on my fridge, that has this guy in hell who is cartin’ off coal in a wheelbarrow, amidst a host of flames, stoking the furnaces of hell. And he’s whistling happily, while these two devils stand over him, and one says to the other, “You know, we’re just not reaching that guy.” Really, go here and see. (Ah . . . I’ve always said the best Far Side cartoons include nerds and/or hell. The. Best. Far. Side. Ever, “Nerds in hell,” includes both. But I digress. Hey, I need that mug!).
Best of all, Adrienne and Eisha and I have decided to create our list of Slightly or Mostly Demented Picture Books That We Love, and we’re putting this one on there. Of course, after we create it, we’ll share at our blawgs.
That was supposed to be short. Sorry. What are your kicks this week?