7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #474: Featuring Masamitsu Saito

h1 March 13th, 2016 by jules

“But I’m all right.
The snow covers me like a fleecy blanket.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


Okay, you all. Before Spring officially gets here, I must take some time to tell you about Yuki Kaneko’s Into the Snow, illustrated by Masamitsu Saito and released by Enchanted Lion Books last month. This is a book that captures the glee and exhilaration of a beautiful day of play in the snow. It’s captured with such exuberance — the textured artwork (rendered via oil pastels, gouache, acrylics, and colored pencil) nearly leaps off the page and pulses with an infectious energy.

A young boy wakes to see the snow from his window and bundles up to head outside. He feels the snow, finds an icicle, and heads to the top of a hill for a sled ride. He barrels down the hill, and his joy (and probably a fair share of fear) at this moment are captured in four dynamic spreads. His mother comes for him, and he heads home — to hot chocolate, no less.

The colors here pop off the page — bright blues, warm greens and oranges, vivid yellows. Saito’s lines are delightful, particularly as the boy sleds down the hill; they’re a swirling jumble of movement and speed. The whole book is a snapshot in time for the boy, perfectly capturing the joyous parts of Winter.

Let me just show you what I mean with a few more spreads. Enjoy!


“Mommy tells me to bundle up and have fun. I put on my hat and gloves to keep warm. Here’s my sled. I’m ready to go into the snow!
(Click to enlarge spread)


Whoosh! I’m flying down the slope. Wheee!
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The sled is spinning around and around.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Look! There’s Mommy! She’s come to get me.
‘I think it’s time for your favorite snow day treat.'”

(Click to enlarge spread)



INTO THE SNOW. Copyright © 2016 by Yuki Kaneko. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Masamitsu Saito. Illustrations reproduced by permission of Enchanted Lion Books, New York.

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) My oldest turned twelve yesterday!

2) I was absolutely pleased as punch to read about protesters in Chicago cancelling a Trump rally. Mic drop, Chicago.

3) My oldest daughter’s librarian was one of the organizing forces behind this first-ever book festival in the county I live in, which was a huge success. I love firecracker librarians like her. Rah rah!

4) Warmer weather and blooming flowers.

5) Making a tough decision and sticking to it.

6) This was really wonderful to hear.

7) We had to bury a cat this week, which isn’t a kick. But the kick is that she was a sweet cat and was part of about 13 years of my life.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

6 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #474: Featuring Masamitsu Saito”

  1. Good morning, Imps!

    Hello, Masamitsu Saito! Thank you for sharing your artwork. The bright colors help, because even looking at snow makes me cold.

    Jules: Happy birthday to your daughter! I hope she had a fantastic day. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose a pet, and it’s never easy, no matter what the age or the circumstance. Sending your family lots of strength.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1. Booking
    2. Confirmation
    3. Performance
    4. Information
    5. Meeting
    6. Salutation
    7. Music

  2. Thanks for these snowy, joyful scenes.
    And happy birthday to your daughter!

    So sorry about your cat, Jules. It hurts a lot to lose a beloved animal family member. May her spirit live on in your hearts, and in the spring flowers.

  3. What joyous, energetic illustrations! The burst of color is perfect for this overcast, rainy day.

    Jules – Happy 12th birthday to your oldest! So very sorry for the loss of your kitty. Thanks for the reminder to listen to the new/old Jeff Buckley – I just put it on streaming. Perfect Sunday morning music.

    LW – Hurrah for booking! And music, always mucis.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Read “Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms” by Katherine Rundell. So delicious. Now I cannot decide which of her books is my favorite. Jules, I think one of my favorite parts of the book is when Will rescues the baby monkey, because you see her fierceness and her heart all at once.
    2) Seeing a friend in a small part on the Netflix series ‘Love’. Its always fun to see your friends unexpectedly – fun mix of surprise & happiness.
    3) Yellow poms in a vase on my table.
    4) Cocktails in my favorite hidden bar.
    5) Remembering a moment when I took a risk, & how well it turned out, to help gear up for taking another, similar, one.
    6) The power of exercise to get rid of a bad mood.
    7) The beauty of good neighbors & craigslist to help solve a problem.
    7.5) Sun peeking out between rainstorms, & dreaming of new plans for my garden.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  4. Little Willow, thanks — and break a leg at any and all occurrences of kick #3!

    Thanks, Elisa.

    Rachel: I love yellow flowers the most. Risk! Sun! Great books! You had a good week. And how about that Rundell? I cannot WAIT to see what she does next.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes (for the 12-year-old), all! Have a great week. …

  5. 1. Watching Song of the Sea. Whoa. I think any picture book fan would like it because it’s basically like a fantastic picture book as a movie. And perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.
    2. Planning not one but TWO trips to New York.
    3. Canceling things and having time to relax.
    4. Throwing and catching a softball with my daughter.
    5. A very low key dinner party with new friends.
    6. Reading My Name is Lucy Barton.
    7. The silly photo meme where dogs look like food (I never realized how much Labadoodles look like fried chicken).

  6. I love Song of the Sea, Cindy. So good. Saw it in the theater, and it blew me away. TWO trips to NYC — one after the other? Have fun!

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