7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #699: Featuring Julie Völk

h1 July 12th, 2020 by jules

“I know it might take a little while.
But that’s okay—I can wait.”


Sepideh Sarihi’s My Favorite Memories (Blue Dot Kids Press, August 2020) is a truly international affair. This story comes from an author born in Iran, who has lived in Germany for nearly a decade now. Illustrator Julie Völk is Austrian, and the book was translated from the German by the award-winning translator Elisabeth Lauffer. The original German-language edition of this book was released in 2018.

“I was brushing my hair when Papa came in and told me we were moving,” the book opens. “Mama was very excited. Papa too.” They give their daughter, who narrates this story, a suitcase and tell her they’ll fly in a plane to their new home in another country. The girl is stumped, because she is told to only pack her “most favorite things,” but they are all things that don’t quite fit snugly into a small suitcase — her aquarium; the wooden chair her grandfather made for her; the pear tree outside of their house; the bus driver, who always sings songs; and the very ocean. It’s also not possible to pack her best friend, who is “always such a good listener.” The girl tells her parents she can’t join them on their trip, since she can’t pack her favorite things. But while visiting the shore, she devises a solution (which I won’t spoil for you). The ocean is everywhere, after all.

It’s a gentle, empathetic story about acclimating to big change, not to mention a story about creative problem-solving, and about a child’s understanding that some things are carried in one’s heart or mind. Völk’s delicate, fine-lined drawings play with size and scale in creative ways, as you can see below, and feature a limited, but warm, palette of primarily blue, yellow, sage, and rose hues.

Here are some spreads from the book. …


“‘We’ll fly in an airplane to another country and
live in a new house there,’ said Papa.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“They gave me a new suitcase, so I could pack.
Mama said I could only take my most favorite things.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“I told Mama that, in that case, I couldn’t come.
Then I sadly walked down to the ocean.
The ocean was also one of my favorite things.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“Here in our new home, we don’t live as close to the ocean.
Papa gave me a bike, so I can ride to the shore every day.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


MY FAVORITE MEMORIES. Original English-language edition © 2020 Blue Dot Publications LLC. Original English-language edition translation © 2020 Elisabeth Lauffer. German-language edition originally published in Germany under the title Meine liebsten Dinge müssen mit © 2018 by Beltz & Gelberg, in the publishing group Beltz-Weinheim Basel. Illustrations reproduced by permission of Blue Dot Kids Press, San Francisco.

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) Learning new skills.

2) Study buddies.

3) New projects.

4) “Lucida” by Thomas Bartlett:



5) This video with Ludwig Göransson, the composer of the (badass) theme song for The Mandalorian:



6) Getting caught up.

7) Cheesecake brownies.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #699: Featuring Julie Völk”

  1. Ooh…this looks like a.terrific book. I could see.it used with Cynthia Rylant’s When I was Young in the Mountains and writing about favorite memories.
    Jules: Cheesecake brownies? Sign me up. Good luck new project and catching up.
    My kicks:
    1. Road trip. We took a.road trip to the NE part of Oregon.
    2. Writing.
    3. Nesting and settling from our move downstairs
    4. Lunch and garden shop with a friend.
    5. Time on the deck.
    6. Reading.
    7. Outdoors.
    Have a great week.

  2. Good morning, Imps! Hello, Julie! Thanks for sharing.

    Jules: I’ve never heard of cheesecake brownies! Are they a mix of those two recipes/flavors? I appreciate a good film/TV score.

    Jone: Hope unpacking and settling in is going smoothly!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Opportunities
    2) Confirmations
    3) Approved
    4) Rest
    5) Broadcast
    6) Certain
    7) Next

  3. Love the perspective and focus in these illustrations – especially the first one.

    Jules – yum to cheesecake brownies! Yay for learning new skills, study buddies & catching up. Love that video and the score for The Mandalorian.

    Jone – roadtrips, reading, time on the deck – your whole sounds like it was amazing!

    Little Willow – love all your kicks, but especially 1 and 7 this week.

    My kicks:
    1) Finally watched The Mandalorian and really liked it.
    2) Watched the behind the scenes series on The Mandalorian which made me appreciate it even more. My respect for Jon Favreau as a creative leader who hires good people and knows how to have silly fun increased even more after watching that. Been following him since Swingers.
    3) Started Narcos and am liking it a lot. (I have had an enormous crush on Pedro Pascal ever since he was Oberyn Martell and might never forgive Benioff and Weiss for killing him off.)
    4) Setting up my patio as an outdoor room. Another space to WFH. Daisy approves.
    5) Participating in Rachel Syme’s PenPal Project. I’ve gotten 1 letter and sent 3 out into the world – to penpals in St Paul, Brooklyn, & Tokyo. Been looking at my copies of Griffin and Sabine for inspiration.
    6) The “I Love my 90s R & B” playlist on Spotify.
    7) Got my Ironman and Dodgers masks yesterday and I love them. A friend in LA makes them and donates a percentage of all sales to charity.
    7.5) Connection. Its taking different forms these days, but so thankful for all the ways we have to stay in touch with family and friends and colleagues.

    Have a good week Imps!

  4. Jone, sounds like you’re done with that move. I bet you’re relieved. So glad you got to travel.

    Little Willow, the girls made the brownies, and yes, it involves the same kind of cheese as cheescake (though I didn’t help them make them, so that’s as far as my explanation can go!) …. Your kicks, as always, are inspiring.

    Rachel: Ooh, I’ll have to look for that behind-the-scenes video. I’ve not even heard of Narcos. I’ll have to look it up. … GRIFFIN AND SABINE! That takes me back! Love that last kick.

    Have a good week, you all!

  5. Jules – I think you’ll LOVE the BTS – its 8 episodes on Disney+ and Favreau hosts the roundtables but there’s lots of stuff of them working on the various parts of the series.They feature the composer on 1 of them.

    Narcos is a Netflix series about Pablo Escobar and the DEA, Pascal plays a DEA agent in Columbia. I’m 3 episodes in and like it.

  6. Hi Jules! I’ve been meaning to drop by for so long now. Life has gotten a bit out of hand of late! I loved seeing the art for this book, so soft and soothing. Thank you for sharing. Cheesecake brownies might be one of my favorite desserts ever!! Yum!

    Jone: a northwest road trip must be so beautiful. Safe travels!

    Little Willow: Rest – that is what I need more of, most defintiely! Good for you!

    Rachel: I am glad you enjoyed the Mandalorian. I want to see Baby Yoda so will have to convince non-sci-fi teens to join me in watching!

    My kicks (oh, I am feeling rusty at this!):
    1. Finding light at the end of a long tunnel of projects back to back
    2. My vision: I had cataract surgery last week and I love seeing gorgeous color so much – I didn’t even remember that the world has always looked like this!
    3. I think vibrant color vision deserves a second spot here!
    4. My daughter’s smooth sailing after wisdom teeth surgery 3 days ago
    5. Nightly family TV time (a regular ritual since quarantine)
    6. Kind friends who check in
    7. Small success with pot gardens (we’ve failed many times before). We’ve eaten two strawberries so far – not quite a harvest, but the kids are proud.

    Have a good week all!

  7. Dow! So good to read that your surgery went well and that your friends are checking in on you. Enjoy your break from projects, and good luck with your pot gardens. I bet it was rewarding to see those strawberries appear.

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.