Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator Nari Hong

Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari Hong

“I love going to the park and looking at flowers with you.”
(Click to enlarge)


1698380738 739 Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari HongThe first Sunday of every month (Happy October!) at 7-Imp is for student or debut illustrators, and I’ve got the latter today. Days with Dad, written and illustrated by Nari Hong, will be on shelves in mid-October (Enchanted Lion Books), and this is Hong’s first picture book. It is also, as noted in Hong’s bio on the book’s jacket flap, an autobiographical book.

The book relates some of Hong’s own childhood experiences with her father. Told from her point of view, the book opens with an introduction to her father. “Dad can’t walk,” she tells us. “He hasn’t been able to since he was a baby.” Here, we see a well-dressed man (I love how the endpapers consist of the lapels on the jacket her father wears) in a wheelchair.

The little girl explains how her father often apologizes for his inability to walk. He’s sorry he can’t ride bikes with her — or skate, swim, play soccer, etc. But for each apology he makes, she takes the opportunity to point out what she loves about being with him. They can’t ride bikes, but she loves to look at flowers in the park with him. They can’t ice-skate, but “ice-fishing together is much more fun!” she says. “So what?” is essentially her half-glass-full response to her father. It’s not even as if she has to work at seeing the rosier side of things. It’s as if his inability to walk or run does not at all factor into her enjoyment with him. Who needs puddle-splashing on a cool, rainy day? If your father can stay inside with you and have “rainy day cocoa,” well … that’s even better.

This is an affirming story of acceptance and unconditional love. The illustrations are rendered in colored pencil, the bright yellows and (primarily) pastel blues and greens radiating much warmth. Hong incorporates the outdoors and nature into nearly every spread, even if only through the open windows of their home as the girl and her father enjoy one another’s company indoors. Children will enjoy poring over the details here in spreads that Hong manages to keep uncluttered yet teeming with life.

Here’s a bit more art. …


1698380738 696 Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari Hong

“It’s great making sandcastles with you.”
(Click to enlarge)


1698380739 963 Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari Hong

“When it rains, Dad says, ‘Don’t you wash to splash around in the puddles?’
And I say, ‘No, not really, Dad.’”

(Click to enlarge)


1698380739 450 Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari Hong

“I love your rainy day cocoa much more.”
(Click to enlarge)


1698380740 769 Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari Hong
1698380740 271 Featuring Up and Coming Illustrator Nari Hong


DAYS WITH DAD. Text and illustrations copyright © 2017 by Nari Hong. First American Edition, published in 2017 by Enchanted Lion Books, Brooklyn, NY. All images here used by their permission.

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) On Friday night, I spent the evening playing with a kindergartner. When I found out she hadn’t yet read (or been read to) Where the Wild Things Are, I did a fake heart attack and promptly grabbed it from my shelf. It was damn near magical to share that with a child for her first time. A sort of hush comes over a room, sharing that book with a wee one.

2) She wanted to read it again later.

3) Speaking of Sendak, I’m enjoying Julia Glass’s A House Among the Trees.

4) Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Saturday tweets to Trump.

5) Library-volunteering.

6) SNL premieres tonight. (Well, I’m typing this on Saturday.) I’m a long-time, exceedingly nerdy fan, so I get excited about this.

7) New beginnings.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

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