Archive for May, 2007

8 Things About the 7 Imps: Part Two

h1 Thursday, May 31st, 2007

83_number_81.gifWelcome back! Believe it or not, we got tagged a third time for this meme, by Jone of Check It Out!. That’s what happens when you procrastinate on responding to the first tag. Good thing we’d already planned a sequel.

Here’s part two of our response to the 8 Things Meme. This time, we’ll be listing 8 things not many people know about each other. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

The rules, again, are as follows:

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

eisha: Here’s my list of 8 Things You May Not Know About Jules. I’ll try to keep it clean…

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8 Things about the 7 Imps: Part One

h1 Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

83_number_8.gifHey, all. We’ve been tagged TWICE in the past two days with the “8 Things” meme. So here’s what we decided to do. First, in today’s post, we’re going to play it straight for Kelly’s tag, and each list 8 random things about ourselves. Then, in our next post, we’ll each list 8 random things about the OTHER person for Michele’s tag. What will we reveal about each other? When we’ve been friends for nearly half our lives? And even roommates for a couple of years? Ooh, you’ll just have to tune in and see…

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Billie Standish is Coming in Billie Standish Was Here

h1 Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

“I don’t believe in love at first sight. It might make for an easy shortcut if somebody’s writing a movie, but in real life I think it’s nothing more than hormones performing a parlor trick. I have come to believe that real love is like learning to read, one letter at a time, sounding things out until it all comes together.”

— Billie Marie in Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker

Nancy Crocker, author of the 2006 picture book Betty Lou Blue (illustrated by Boris Kulikov and reviewed here at
7-Imp by Yours Truly), has a new novel coming to a shelf near you this June (published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). This is her first novel, an emotionally compelling YA story about the intense and profoundly powerful ability of one person to shape the course of a young girl’s life. And if this is the first novel that springs from the mind of Nancy Crocker, I can hardly wait to see what she brings us next.

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Seven Impossible Interviews Before Breakfast #27:
Blue Rose blogger and author Libby Koponen
(and goodbye — sniff, sniff — to our BRGs interviews)

h1 Monday, May 28th, 2007

Libby pictured (middle) with Alvina Ling and Anna AlterIt’s with a bit of sadness that we complete our series of interviews with The Blue Rose Girls this week (you can scroll down and see some goodbye photos under this interview), but it’s with pleasure that we tell you about author Libby Koponen.

Libby is pictured here (middle) with two of her Blue Rose cohorts, Alvina Ling and Anna Alter. The photo was taken, Libby told us, during a Blue Rose Girl weekend after she’d just moved to Mystic, Connecticut (they’re standing on the Mystic Bridge in this photo).

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #12

h1 Sunday, May 27th, 2007

New image this week! Thanks to Nancy at Journey Woman, I (Jules, that is) saw this illustration and was led to the illustrator’s site, artista blog. This is the blog of artist Irisz Agocs, who lives in Budapest. Go to her site to see more of her work, ’cause it’s good stuff. I love the feelings this illustration captures. I didn’t officially get Irisz’s permission to use this image, but I’m linking it to her site (thanks, Nancy, for taking us there), and I hope Ms. Agocs won’t mind.

Okay, let’s get to the lists then. Here’s our usual intro for any new people: It’s time for another installment of 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks. For those new to our series, this is where we all stop in every Sunday to report seven (more or less is fine) Good Things that happened to you (or that you read or saw or experienced or . . . well, you get the picture) this week. Absolutely anyone is welcome to contribute.

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

1). Usually my lists aren’t in any sort of order in terms of Most Impressive to Least Impressive. I just randomly number them. But, without question, number one this week (as in, THE BEST THING that happened to me) has to be: Having the undisputed honor of reading Billie Standish Was Here, Nancy Crocker’s new YA novel. It will be on the shelves in June, and I hope to talk about it here on the blog on Tuesday (since tomorrow will be our last Blue Rose Girls interview with Libby Koponen). This was one of the most beautiful novels I’ve read in a long, long time. When I put it down, I dunno, I felt like someone had blessed me. It’s utterly perfect and unforgettable. I say: Move over, all other YA titles published thus far this year. Or, really, any titles published thus far this year. Read the rest of this entry �

Gravett the Great

h1 Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Remember last year’s wonderfully impish Wolves (the Cybils shortlister) by Emily Gravett? Well, this year she’s back with two titles. Rather, one of them — Orange Pear Apple Bear (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing) — was published last year, but we’re seeing the first American edition this month, and the other one — Monkey and Me (Macmillan Children’s Books) — was released in April in the U.K.

For these two titles, Gravett drops the dry humor and winks and nudges that permeate Wolves and, apparently, Meerkat Mail (a title from last year I’m still waiting to read) and brings us stories a bit more stripped down but just as charming as any of her other titles. I know “charming” is a bit cliché in book reviewing, but MY GOD, THE CHARM. The woman’s work just reeks charisma and buckets of child appeal. Does she possess some sort of supernatural power? Hmmm, I’m beginning to wonder. She is one of my top-five new favorite picture book illustrators. Thank heavens she showed up.

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Poetry Friday: “the principle of girl as flower”

h1 Friday, May 25th, 2007

Daffodil, CrocodileDaffodilOh, what are the odds? I popped over to the Poetry 180 site to look for a poem to post, and clicked on this one because I liked the title and it sounded, you know, springy… And what do I find: a poem about a girl dressed like a daffodil. The very day after Jules reviewed Daffodil, Crocodile – a picture book about a girl named Daffodil who drops the girly-girl bit and runs around pretending to be a crocodile for a while. Coincidence? I think not…

The character first appeared in Jenkins’s Daffodil (FSG/Frances Foster, 2004), a great story in which triplet girls, all named after flowers, rebel against their mother’s habit of dressing them in poufy concoctions color-coded to their names. Daffodil, naturally, is always forced to wear yellow – until she’s finally allowed to choose her own cherry-red pant suit. I like this girl. It’s no surprise to me that in her second book she’s accessorizing with a papier-mache crocodile head.

It’s fun to think about girls like Daffodil while reading this poem, “Because You Left Me a Handful of Daffodils” by Max Garland. I bet the narrator, so intimidated (and physically hindered) by this lovely girl in her layers of crinoline, has no idea what a cage that dress can be for a girl.

She wore a dress based upon the principle
of the daffodil: puffed sleeves,
inflated bodice, profusion
of frills along the shoulder blades
and hemline.

A dress based upon the principle of girl
as flower; everything unfolding, spilling
outward and downward: ribbon, stole,
corsage, sash.

…And escorting her down the runway
was a losing battle, trying to march
down among the full, thick folds
of crinoline, into the barrage of her
father’s flashbulbs, wading
the backwash of her mother’s

Read the poem in its entirety here.

Picture Book Round-Up: Got Meek? Not Daffodil
(Plus, the Little Red Hen Redux and More)

h1 Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Yeesh, that’s a particularly painful post title, but my creativity is put to the test with each new picture book round-up. Let’s just forget it and get right to the books then . . .

Daffodil, Crocodile
Written by Emily Jenkins
and illustrated by Tomek Bogacki
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(Books for Young Readers)

April 2007
(library copy)

Here’s to a determined advancement of one’s own views as only Emily Jenkins can tell it; make way (again) for Daffodil! As you may recall from the 2004 title, Daffodil is one of three sisters who all look alike and who all have rather florid names (Violet and Rose are her sisters). Even their poor mother sometimes can’t tell the girls apart. Always charming those they meet, without even meaning to (“They’re such NICE little girls . . . So clean. So pretty. So quiet. Like a bouquet of flowers”), Daffodil gets a bit fed up with being mistaken for her sisters, even in school, and with all the rather condescending, cutesy attention paid to her. One day she takes the papier mâché project her mother is creating, a crocodile head that fits just perfectly, and wears it around. “I like it! . . . Crocodiles are not flowers . . . Raaa raaa raaa Chomp chomp chomp,” she tells her sisters. Read the rest of this entry �

YA Review: “London through the looking glass” —
and some Extreme Librarians*, my new heroes
(Or, do you want a book that will take you back to your “slack-jawed,
book-drunk days of youth”?)

h1 Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Laura Miller at in her review of Un Lun Dun (Random House; February 2007; library copy) wrote those words you see in the post title: “China Miéville just may take adults back to their slack-jawed, book-drunk days of youth.” I love that too much to not share it. This is a vigorously original and inventive fantasy YA novel (that, incidentally — as every reviewer will tell you — will leave Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett fans very, very happy). I haven’t read anything like this in a long time, something which is packed with such indelible images that I will not for a long time forget the very experience of reading it. Best of all, as Miller puts it, Miéville “trains a healthy skepticism on those familiar and inherently conservative fantasy tropes about people who are born special and the need to slavishly follow ancient texts and rituals.” This fiddling with the conventions of fantasy narratives was one of the reasons this book was such a kick, so compelling — and humorous. Apparently, I’m not the only one to think so, as the novel is #10 on The New York Times Children’s Bestseller List and #2 of the Book Sense Spring Children’s Picks List.

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Blue Roses and Brotherhood

h1 Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Anna Alter and Eisha -- photo used with permission (thanks, Elaine)
Elaine Magliaro and Eisha -- photo used with permission (thanks, Alvina)Hey, everyone. Two random things:

1*  Jules insists that we share these photos of Eisha at Grace Lin’s birthday party. The one with Anna Alter is by Elaine Magliaro and is posted at Wild Rose Reader. And the one with Elaine is by Alvina Ling, from the Blue Rose Girls.

2*  A while back, Jules suggested the idea of interviewing Hank Green, the elusive other half of Brotherhood 2.0 and founder of EcoGeek. The idea was very warmly received by our fellow bloggers. We’re happy to report that he was very pleased with the idea, too!

Now, since everyone seemed so enthusiastic about it, we thought we’d share this opportunity with the rest of you, too. Is there anything you’d like us to ask Hank? We’d love to hear from you – just include your questions in the comments here, or email us at seventhings *at* gmail *dot* com.