7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #406: Featuring Alex Barrow

h1 November 16th, 2014 by jules

“This tale begins with Samuel Drew, wherever he goes, his dog goes too.
The day is fine, the sky is bright, as Sam and dog stroll into sight.
Look there he is, the little boy with dog-on-wheels, his favourite toy.
Let’s watch and find out where they go … But hurry up — we can’t be slow!”

(Click to enlarge)


This week over at BookPage, I have a review of Gabby Dawnay’s A Possum’s Tail, illustrated by Alex Barrow. The two have worked together on stories and poems for the UK’s OKIDO magazine, and this is their first picture book together. It was published this month from Tate Publishing in London but is distributed by Abrams here in the States.

The review is here, so you can head over there if you want more information. This morning, I share two spreads so that we can all get a sneak peek inside the book. One more is below.

“…London Zoo! They pass the cheeky chimpanzees and noisy parrots in the trees.
Past hippos snoozing in the sun and sliding penguins having fun.
Past sleeping snakes and tigers snoring, tall giraffes and lions roaring …
Sam looks around, he knows his mind, he knows exactly where to find …”

(Click to enlarge)



A POSSUM’S TAIL. Copyright © 2014 by Gabby Dawnay. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Alex Barrow. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Tate Publishing/Abrams.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I spoke in Knoxville this week about Wild Things—at a bookstore and at the University—and that went well.

2) I got to see old friends, while there.

3) I read B. J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures at story time at Parnassus Books just yesterday, and one little girl, a regular whom I always enjoy seeing, laughed so hard that her whole body shook.

4) Since we got a galley of the fourth Penderwicks book, the girls and I are re-reading books 1 to 3 (mostly to refresh our memories). And they are having so. much. fun. Even more fun than the first time. I am enjoying the re-reads but am super eager to get to the new one.

5) We are also reading the Joey Pigza books, which I may have already said recently, but it’s truly a kick to read Gantos’ writing outloud. Also, I’ve decided Grandma is one of children’s literature’s best characters ever. (Books 1 to 4 are re-reads for me, but they’re all new to the girls, who now love Joey. When we’re done with the fourth, the brand-new one awaits, the one I haven’t read yet. I’m eager to get to that, too.)

6) The score in the TV show The Leftovers. I also really like the show itself thus far, though it’s often deeply sad and though the title makes me giggle every time. It makes me think of things like meatloaf. In fact, I’ve just been referring to it as Meatloaf, though really and truly, the episodes I’ve seen so far have been good.

7) Nashville’s Kidlit Drink Night. So good to see folks there. AND to have the Local Latte, because honey, cinnamon, milk, coffee … YUM.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

17 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #406: Featuring Alex Barrow”

  1. Good morning, Imps & zoo creatures & Alex Barrow! Happy weekend to all.

    Jules: I don’t have HBO, so I haven’t seen The Leftovers. I really love good score music, so I just looked up some snippets of Max Richter’s score music from The Leftovers on YouTube. I’m hearing sad strings. Thanks for the recommendation.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Community
    2) Integrity
    3) Responsibility
    4) Steadfastness
    5) Consistency
    6) Singing
    7) Go

  2. Cheeky chimpanzees and roaring lions, oh my! I love illustrator’s playfulness. This would be so great for kinders.
    Jules, such great books to read with the girls. I may need a Gantos fest when I finish my Laura Ingalls Wilder class. Am listening to her books now.
    LW, singing and go, great kicks. You’re an early bird today.
    My kicks:
    1. My writing group on Monday. They are such a great support and so fun.
    2. Our weather: late start, the expectation of snow. More snow by my school than where I live.
    3. Kinders’ reason for the snow-ice? Elsa. Because it’s not winter yet.
    4. Laura Ingalls Wilder class. So interesting about the relationship between mother and daughter and the publishing business in the early 1900’s.
    5. Book fair success.
    6. Meaningful conversations with parents.
    7. Book club meets tonight. Discussing The Girls of Atomic City.
    Have a great week.

  3. Little Willow, we don’t get HBO either, but the pilot was online for free. Then, when the season ended, we rented it from iTunes. Those strings are the opening piece, but it’s the incidental piano music that is especially gorgeous. (Same for Transparent, which I love so much.) … I love your kicks today, as always.

    Have fun at your book club, Jone! I guess a GantosFest is, indeed, what we’re having. … Are you saying school started late, just ’cause of the expectation of snow? I thought only the South did that!

  4. I love the cover illustration best, I think, with the little possums stringing along behind.

    Jules – I LOVE kick #3! What a wonderful thing to see, be a part of, laughter is so fun, especially that deep belly kind. The reading fest with your girls also sounds really fun, as does KidLit Drink Night – you had a busy and fun week!

    LW – Community and Singing jumped out at me today from your list – great kicks! And Go is how I always picture you – go go going!

    Jone – that false-snowmageddon on Wednesday had my friends and I referring to it as Pdxaggeration. I love that the kinders said it was because of Elsa! Hooray for book fair success, and have fun at your book club tonight!

    My kicks this week:
    1) The smell of banana bread baking this morning in anticipation of out of town friends later today.
    2) Coffee this morning.
    3) Wake up snuggles from Miss Daisy.
    4) A work trip to Westport, Washington that included fresh fried oysters – yum!
    5) A trip to PETCO on Wednesday with Daisy to buy a winter coat for her – she was a big hit with everyone, and totally hammed it up.
    6) A potential adopter family met Daisy yesterday, and she really took to them, and they to her, so now we wait to hear if its a yes.
    7) Fires in the fireplace several nights this week, its one of the best things about the colder weather.
    7.5) Cold and sunny weather – so wonderful to have the sunshine!

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  5. Rachel, enjoy the sunshine. Love the PDXxaggeration. Although my daughter did have ice. She lives in Troutdale.
    Jules, yes, the schools are very cautious. And the weather was over the top in predicting 3-5 inches of snow.

  6. Jules, I love picturing you & your girls reading Penderwicks together. They are the perfect family reading books in my mind. (current favourites – i.e. get read exhaustively until I hide them – here are more along the lines of Hairy Macleary, Noni the Pony, Rattletrap car, lift the flap books and of course the ever entertaining books of photos of objects)

    LW your kicks sound a bit more sedate than usual, but lovely as always.

    Jone we had a little heat wave here on the weekend (98 F) so the idea of snow is very attractive! What a nice social list of things you have this week.

    Rachel, I’ve never had fried fresh oysters and am now wondering why not!

    1. We’ve been away for a long weekend catching up with my Dad and sisters and stepbrother (and associated family members) at a coastal town a few hours north of here.
    2. My toddler had so much fun crawling into the ocean over and over again
    3. Fun games of trivial pursuit once the kids were in bed
    4. My home town hosted the G20, very exciting to see so many heads of state hanging out here (Angela Merkel actually went and hung out in a bar near her hotel and had lots of selfies with locals)
    5. Obama gave a great speech at my old uni
    6. We sent all heads of state home in one piece without any riots or anything. Hurrah!

  7. Rachel, yes, the image of this little girl laughing so hard is burnt, happily, into my memory, and I think it always will be. … Ooh, fingers crossed for the potential new family. Would you still be able to see/visit Daisy? Hope you enjoyed your visit with your friends today. I long for a home with a fireplace!

    I hear we may have icy weather tonight, Jone, but I really should look at the local news.

    Emmaco, isn’t Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root? I think she is brilliant. … Did you get to hear Obama’s speech in person? Hope so. … Glad you had a good family trip. Was that Rowan’s first time seeing the ocean? I doubt it, but I’m not sure.

  8. Yes that’s the author – I should hunt out more of her books, because Rowan is obsessed with Rattletrap Car even though I’m not sure what he’s getting out of it as the storyline would be a bit beyond him!

    We are lucky and have nice beaches less than an hour away (or even a fake one in the middle of town) so not Rowan’s first time! And sadly no I didn’t see the speech in person, it was an invite-only event.

  9. He’s probably enjoying the wonderful rhythms of her writing in that book!

  10. I’d forgotten how much I’d wanted to watch The Leftovers (and, now that I think about it, to put my great-grandmother’s meatloaf recipe to good use). I loved the novel, and everything else I’ve read by Tom Perrotta. So, thanks for the reminder, Jules!

    My kicks this week:

    1. The arrival of unseasonably cold weather in Austin coincided with my preexisting plan to prepare a giant batch of the stew of my forebears (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/hopkins-county-stew-family-size-recipe.html)

    2. The YALSA symposium came to Austin, which was great in itself…

    3. …and for one of the events the alphabetical seating order gave me a chance to meet one of our finest authors of nonfiction for teens, Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

    4. My wife and I get to make our first-ever author appearances in Indiana tomorrow at the Indiana Library Federation annual conference.

    5. Our eldest offspring made his college theatrical debut in Hamlet on Thursday!

    6. I’ve, uh, finally seen Hamlet!

    7. I saw the first finished art by Cathy Gendron for our fall 2015 book, ‘The Nutcracker’ Comes to America, and it’s gorgeous of the drop-dead variety.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  11. Chris, ooh! Your last kick is extra-exciting. Also, was your eldest offspring Hamlet himself? …. Here’s another set of kicks reminding me that I gotta get to Austin already. I heard great things about that YALSA symposium. Susan is crazy-talented.

    Enjoy your stew.

  12. p.s. Now I wanna read the book (The Leftovers, that is). Finished the first season last night. Really well-done and stays with you.

  13. Owen’s the understudy for Hamlet and plays several smaller roles — lots of different configurations of facial hair…

    And in case you haven’t seen Cathy Gendron’s work yet (our book is her debut): http://www.cathygendron.com/port.asp

  14. Thanks, Chris! I shall explore later. My treat for when work is done.

  15. Chris: Tell him I said break a leg! How awesome!

    Jules: Just sent you some music recommendations (but singer-songwriter / pop/rock stuff, not score music!)

    emmaco: Yay for family and introductions to the ocean. It was a slightly calmer week, indeed.

    Rachel: Tell Daisy to rock that coat. Crossing fingers for her to find an amazing family.

    Jone: This early bird spots the worm and says, “Hello, worm. Don’t worry, I’m vegetarian. How are you doing today?”

  16. So way late for kicks and can’t even focus on writing them because I quite sure that you mentioned a galley of the fourth Penderwicks book!?? The girls and I have been so anxiously awaiting this book. I am so excited that we are getting close enough that there are galleys out and about!! Do let us know how it is…

  17. Stacey, I emailed you!

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