What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Luc Melanson,
Christopher Silas Neal, and Stephanie Yue

h1 February 27th, 2015    by jules


“… I said we should have a funeral. Rosario just smiled.
He didn’t seem very sad, but I know he loved that tree.”
– From Charis Wahl’s
Rosario’s Fig Tree,
illustrated by Luc Melanson (Groundwood, March 2015)


 

S n a p! Someone else is faster!
Down in the dirt, a smooth, shining garter snake crunches on supper.”
– From Kate Messner’s
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt,
illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
(Chronicle, March 2015)

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“Every morning in summer, one … two … three! He pops out of his hole.
Such a little mouse. Off he goes into the wide world.”
– From Alice Schertle’s
Such a Little Mouse,
illustrated by Stephanie Yue (Orchard Books, March 2015)
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about two new picture books I really like, one out on shelves in mid-March and one, not till the Fall, though it was released overseas many years ago. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about the three picture books above. I have art (and covers) from each book below.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Moment with Emily Gravett’s Art — and Sketchbook

h1 February 26th, 2015    by jules

Last week, I talked over at Kirkus with poet and author A. F. Harrold about his children’s novel, The Imaginary, released overseas last year but coming to American shelves in early March from Bloomsbury. That conversation is here. Today, I’m following up with some of Emily Gravett’s art from the book, as well as some peeks into her sketchbook for this one. (That’s an early sketch pictured above.)

I thank her for sharing. Enjoy the art.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Ethan Long

h1 February 24th, 2015    by jules

Author-illustrator Ethan Long likes a good breakfast, such as Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and lots of bacon. But overall, he tells me, “these days, since I am a 46 year old man and I can get chubby pretty easily, I make it a point to consume a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and raisins and a glass of orange juice every morning.”

I’m going to say we splurge this morning during our breakfast interview and have some of those Belgian waffles. One must always splurge.

Plus coffee. Gotta have coffee.

As you can see, if you scroll down to the bibliography at the very end of this post, Ethan is a prolific children’s book author and illustrator. He received the 2013 Geisel Award for Up, Tall and High, released by Putnam. This is an interview I intended to post at the end of last year, but things got busy. Better late than never. At least now, we can hear about which new books are on the horizon for Ethan in 2015.

Without further ado …

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #420: Featuring Zachariah OHora

h1 February 22nd, 2015    by jules

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Ame Dyckman’s Wolfie the Bunny, illustrated by Zachariah OHora and released this month by Little, Brown. That review is here, and today—with thanks to OHora—I’ve got some dummy samples, alternate covers and endpages, character studies, and final art to share with you.

Let’s get right to it … Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Intelaq Mohammed Ali,
Emma Chichester Clark, Omer Hoffmann,
Briony Stewart, and Duncan Tonatiuh

h1 February 20th, 2015    by jules


“‘That’s that,’ said Mama. ‘We’ll just have to cure Sadie ourselves. But how?'”
– From Orna Landau’s
Leopardpox!,
illustrated by Omer Hoffmann
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“I was a very studious person who accepted challenges and explored subjects deeply. … In Gorgan, near the Caspian Sea, I met a friend
who opened a school where I taught logic and astronomy. …”
– From Fatima Sharafeddine’s
The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina,
illustrated by Intelaq Mohammed Ali
(Click to enlarge spread and see full text)


 

“I go outside and find you …”
– From Briony Stewart’s
Here in the Garden
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“Ahí los esperan las cebollas / y los ajos. / The onion / and garlic are waiting …”
– From Jorge Argueta’s
Salsa: Un Poema Para Cocinar / A Cooking Poem, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
(Click to enlarge spread and read poem)


 

From Emma Chichester Clark’s Bears Don’t Read!


 
That’s a very long post title, but I have a lot of art today.

Last week, I wrote here at Kirkus about some new picture book imports, so I’m following up today here at 7-Imp with some art from each book (some art above and some more below).

* * *

Today over at Kirkus, I have three new picture books that are oh-so lovely, and that link is here.

Enjoy the rest of the art below.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Conversation with A. F. Harrold

h1 February 19th, 2015    by jules

I think poetry and writing for children have something in common, which I think of as ‘get on with it.’

Children’s stories that are full of waffle and verbiage are boring. We want the story to kick off as quickly as we can and to tell us only what we need and to roll downhill like a snowball until the end.

And poetry is similar: It’s all about cutting and cutting until all you have left are the handful of words that do the job.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to British author and poet A. F. Harrold, pictured here, about his children’s novel, The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett and originally released in the UK last year. It will come to American bookshelves in early March.

That link is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the book, as well as some of Emily’s early sketches.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of A. F. taken by Naomi Woddis and used by his permission.

The Real World at a 45-Degree Angle

h1 February 18th, 2015    by jules

See that post title? It’s a phrase that illustrator Nicholas Gannon once used when he visited 7-Imp back in 2011. (I’m fond of the phrase.) Back then, Nicholas was an unpublished author-illustrator, but now he’ll see the publication this year (later in the Fall) of his first illustrated children’s novel, The Doldrums (Greenwillow). I find this exciting.

Today, in honor of this news, I’m sharing a few peeks inside the book. Be sure to visit that 2011 post, if you’re so inclined, to see even more art from Nicholas. In fact, you can read there the genesis of this book; it all started with The Doldrums Press.

Congrats to Nicholas!

Read the rest of this entry »

A Visit with Illustrator Ana Juan

h1 February 17th, 2015    by jules

I’m happy to have here at 7-Imp this morning some new artwork from Spanish illustrator Ana Juan, one of my favorites. Ana is the illustrator of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, as well as picture books and, here in the States, many New Yorker covers. The fourth book in the Fairyland series, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, will be on shelves in early March. Pictured here today are the illustrations from the book. (Under each illustration is the name of the chapter from which it comes.) Just above is the illustration from one of the book’s final chapters, “The Spinster and the King of Fairyland.”

I also asked Ana about these books and her work, including her January New Yorker cover in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Here she is below, in her own words.

I thank her for visiting.

[There’s more Fairyland art in this 2011 7-Imp post, as well as a Q&A with Valente.]

Read the rest of this entry »

Special Delivery: A Visit with Matthew Cordell &
Philip Stead and Even a Moment with Neal Porter

h1 February 16th, 2015    by jules

There is an abundance of adventure and humor and energy and style seepin’ right out of Philip C. Stead’s Special Delivery, illustrated by Matthew Cordell, which is coming to shelves in early March from Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press. It’s the story of a girl named Sadie, who really wants to mail an elephant to her Great-Aunt Josephine. It turns out that entirely too many stamps are required, so inventive Sadie brainstorms other ways to surprise her Great-Aunt. These involve a harrowing plane ride, an alligator and a trip down the river, bandits, lots of beans, and much more.

It’s such an entertaining book on many levels, and it’s clear that both Phil and Matt—as if there were ever any doubt—know child audiences well.

Phil and Matt visit today—and their editor, Neal Porter, even briefly pops in—for an informal chat about the book. As in, it’s one long email conversation that I am posting here for fellow picture book fans. I ask about the book; we talk about our love for John Burningham’s artwork and books (not to mention Sebastian Meschenmoser); Phil looks at another instance of an attempt at elephant-mailing; Matt shows us some stamps and talks pigeons; Phil and Matt look ahead at what’s next for them this year; and much more.

Scattered throughout this post are five new drawings of stamps from Matt. These are homages to some of Phil’s favorite animal stamps, and each has a Special Delivery spin. These original drawings will be raffled off, and all proceeds will go to charity. (The charity is yet-to-be-decided, but it will be related to literacy.) Information on this raffle will go out via Phil around publication date, but you can see the drawings in today’s post. Right after each drawing is the image of the actual stamp it honors.

Let’s get right to it, and I thank them for visiting. Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #419: Featuring
Miriam Busch and Larry Day

h1 February 15th, 2015    by jules

Good morning, all.

My Valentine to you today is going to be this post, because I’ve got two visitors this morning, and I not only like the book they made together, but I also really enjoyed their conversation and art today.

I’m (partly) looking back a bit — at 2014, that is. Author Miriam Busch and illustrator Larry Day, who has been illustrating picture books since 2001, are here to talk about Lion, Lion, a picture book that was released last September from Balzer + Bray.

Better late than never. It’s a wonderful book, and I’m pleased they stopped by to visit today.

The book tells the story of a conversation between a young boy and a lion, and Kirkus called it “sly, dark humor for little ones—at its best.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books called out its “Sendakian flair” and described it as an “excellent way to introduce younger listeners to the deliberate subversion of expectations.”

But we’re also looking ahead today in that, at the end of this post, we’ll look at what is on Miriam’s and Larry’s plates now — what projects are currently taking up their time.

I thank them for visiting.

Let’s get right to it …

Read the rest of this entry »