7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #701: Featuring Sonia Sánchez

h1 July 26th, 2020 by jules


Forgive me, dear Imps, for writing about a picture book that won’t be on shelves till September, but I can’t help myself. Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away (Candlewick), written by Newbery Medalist Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, is the story of two best friends. They have one final day of play before one of them leaves for her new home. It’s moving day, but the two girls make the most of their last hours together.

The story is told from the point of view of Daniela, who tells us on page one that “Evelyn Del Rey is my mejor amiga, my número uno best friend.” This first page hints at Evelyn’s impending move, Daniela adding that Evelyn has asked her to come play, “just like today is any other day.”

One of this book’s many strengths is that Medina grounds the story in specifics. Daniela heads over to Evelyn’s, passing the moving truck and heaps of boxes, and they run through the apartment complex Evelyn will soon leave (they climb the steps two at a time, “just like we always do”); they pass Evelyn’s neighbors (Mr. Miller is always grumpy); and they play hide-and-seek (since their apartments are “almost twins, just like us,” Daniela knows the best places to hide). The joy they share in spending time together is almost palpable here — and becomes all the more poignant toward the end of the book when they must say goodbye to one another. Sticking some of Evelyn’s “sparkly stickers” on one another’s faces, they seal promises to one another — that they will always be número uno best friends.

Sánchez brings to vivid life the girls’ homes and their neighborhood via highly patterned, textured illustrations, filled with energy and movement. The latter spreads, showing the girls outside, are particularly beguiling with orange and yellow autumn leaves on the ground, the girls holding tight to one another in a tight embrace in their solid red and blue coats. It’s a sparkling palette, this one. These are pages that sing with exuberance, as the girls run, play, and bond; their goodbye is a moving (no pun intended) and emotinally resonant one, knowing that all the glee we just witnessed will no longer happen on a daily basis. And the last page, which I won’t spoil for you, is especially touching, as we see that promises can be kept.

Below are a few preliminary, making-of images from Sánchez—I thank her for sharing—as well as a couple of spreads from the book, which will be on shelves on September 8.


Preliminary Images:


(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)


Some Final Spreads:


“But the walls in Evelyn’s room are sunny yellow, while mine are pink like cotton candy. And I live with my mami and a hamster, and she has a mami, a papi, and a cat.
But we are mostly the same, just like our apartments. But not after today.”

(Click spread to enlarge)


“We say ‘¡Patata!’ while Mama takes a photo. We do our secret handshake one more time. And then Evelyn hugs me hard.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


(Click cover to enlarge)


* * * * * * *

EVELYN DEL REY IS MOVING AWAY. Text copyright © 2020 by Meg Medina. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Sonia Sánchez and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. Preliminary images reproduced by permission of Sonia Sánchez.

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) Walks in the park with friends (with social distancing, of course) and light rain to beat the heat.

2) A porch visit with another friend.

3) I loved this piece from Kyle Lukoff.

4) Making it past a big work project that taught me new things.

5) Dreyer’s English.

6) My kind, understanding teenage daughters. Always.

7) This documentary. Hard to watch — but a compelling story.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #701: Featuring Sonia Sánchez”

  1. You are forgiven for sharing a book that won’t be available until Sept. This is a story that is so needed in libraries, on that many kids can relate to. I love the illustrations.
    Jules, I adore Frog and Toad and so that piece was a perfect read. And Dryer’s English is on my list, walks and porches…love.
    My kicks:
    1. Sitting/reading on the deck.
    2. Informal writing hour with a Zoom
    3. Proud of Portland protesters, know a few people going there nightly.
    4. Bookclub met social distancing in a backyard with masks and made potential book lists.
    5. The movie, Edie.
    6. Birds at the feeder.
    7. Comet chasing and seeing it.
    Having a great week.

  2. Jone, the protesters in Portland are inspiring. More power to ‘em. What are you reading this week?

    Little Willow: I forgot to tell you that we finished Dark last week. WHUT. A very complex third season. I did love that ending.

  3. Love this – the warmth of the colors in spreads with the two BFFs is such a nice touch, really love the cover art and the rope between the two girls rooms.

    Jules – hooray for walks in the park and porch visits. Congrats on finishing that big work project. Yay you for having such awesome daughters.

    Jone – birds at the feeder and sitting and reading on the deck are great kicks, especially with the amazing weather we’ve been having. Comet chasing is an awesome kick – so glad you got to see it!

    My kicks:
    1) Comet chasing. It was tiny, but so cool to see.
    2) Getting a great result for a very deserving client.
    3) Celebrating by finally taking the time to visit Portland’s Troll Bridge after court. Whimsy breaks are a nice antidote to the often terrible news cycle.
    4) Just started “Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope” by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn .
    5) NWSL on main stream TV right now for the playoff game between Chicago and Houston. progress.
    6) AOC’s eloquent and powerful speech this week.
    7) Participating in the Portland protests Friday with Lawyers for BLM – we had roughly 300 lawyers in purple marching. It was so incredible to be there and watch the Moms walk up, then the Dads, the Vets, the Teachers, the Nurses and Doctors and see, feel and hear everyone joining in and centering the reason we were all there. There is video of everyone chanting with their cell phone lights waving – it was amazing. so proud of my community for engaging in Good Trouble, so proud of those who are there every night.
    7.5) Hope. As I watched John Lewis travel over the Pettus bridge one last time, while I was certainly teary-eyed, it made it better to know he got to see the start of these protests and that his legacy will continue on.

    Have a great week imps!

  4. Rachel, we saw the comet! No matter how teeny tiny! AOC’s speech was incredible. And here’s to hope.
    Jules, currently reading The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea. Spell binding.
    Read Mary Trump’s book, and have The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi waiting.

  5. Rachel, how powerful that you were there! I haven’t seen any news coverage of John Lewis’s goodbyes, because it’s too sad. But maybe I’ll look it all up soon. I’m glad you’re closing out on hope. We all need it.

    Sounds like good reading, Jone.

  6. Hi Imps! Hi Sonia! That looks both sweet and heartbreaking.

    Jules: I have a lot of thoughts about Dark. A lot! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Rachel: Hope is a wonderful kick! I hope you and yours are safe. Here’s to good trouble.

    Jone and Rachel: Hello to the comet!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1 Music
    2 Water
    3 Challenging myself
    4 Meeting those challenges
    5 Organization
    6 Fulfillment
    7 Being okay

  7. LW: I want to hear your thoughts one day! My youngest daughter is angry at the show, as it just lost her in that final season there.

    And high-five for embracing challenges with your usual kick-ass spirit.

    Have a good week, you all!

  8. Jules: Ooh, we should all have a chat about it, then! Thanks for the high-five.

  9. […] And here you can find some of the preliminary sketches of the illustrations from illustrator, Sonia Sanchez: http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=5153 […]

Leave a Comment

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