Throwback Thursday

h1 May 5th, 2016    by jules

From Do You See What I See? —
“Up and down lines pull me up, up, up with them, until I feel as tall as a steeple and as taut as a stretched rubber band. I think of lofty trees, a lighthouse rising above the sea, a rocket soaring high into the sky, noble kings in flowing robes.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


From Do You Hear What I Hear? —
“I hear sounds everywhere around me. Sounds can do many different things. They can put me to sleep—like a lullaby. Or they can wake me up—like an alarm clock. They can take me by surprise—like a sneeze. Or they can follow me—like an echo.”
(Click to see spread in its entirety)

Isn’t that what the world of social media calls it? “Throwback Thursday”? I might have just gotten that all wrong.

Anyway. Last week, I chatted here at Kirkus with Helen Borten about the re-printing this year of picture books she created decades ago.

Today, I’m following up with art from Do You Hear What I Hear?, originally published in 1960, and Do You See What I See?, originally published in 1959 — which Flying Eye Books is giving new life.


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Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids

h1 May 4th, 2016    by jules

One of my favorite picture books of 2016 thus far is Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids (Roaring Brook, May 2016). I’ve got a review of it over at BookPage. That is here.

Today, Lane shares some early studies and sketches, as well as some final art from the book.


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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Brianne Farley

h1 May 3rd, 2016    by jules

Several weeks ago at Kirkus, I wrote here about Brianne Farley’s new picture book, Secret Tree Fort, published by Candlewick just last month. When I write about picture books over at Kirkus, I always like to follow up with art about a week later here at 7-Imp. I can’t write about picture books without also sharing art; it’s a compulsion. But then I got to talking to Brianne, pictured above in her home state of Michigan, about visiting for a full-on breakfast interview, instead of just sharing a few spreads. And here we are today: She’s joining me for a cyber-breakfast — her choice, which is a small cup of strong coffee, yogurt, and granola with fruit. “Or sometimes Grape-Nuts instead of granola,” she told me. “I’m 100 years old.” I’m down with that. I’ll be 100 years old with her. Grape-Nuts it is.

The guy pictured just above here on the left, who makes me laugh, is from Secret Tree Fort. I’d tell you all about how entertaining that book is, but you can also just visit the aforementioned Kirkus link, where I went on about it. And I had a lot of fun with this interview. I like seeing Brianne’s art and can’t wait to see what she does next. She also makes me laugh, and I hope one day we have a very real, non-cyber breakfast in person.

Should I say something overreaching here about how you should join me in this treehouse of an interview? Climb up the ladder and I’ve got the s’mores inside? Nah, let’s just get right to it. Enjoy the ALL THE ART!

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The Mother of All Posts

h1 May 2nd, 2016    by jules


I joined a few other children’s lit folks over at Slate Magazine to discuss children’s books that celebrate motherhood. Click on the image above to see the gallery of titles.

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #481: Featuring David Litchfield

h1 May 1st, 2016    by jules

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means that here in 7-Imp Land I take a look at the work of an up-and-coming illustrator. Today, instead of a student, I’ve got a debut author-illustrator. David Litchfield’s new book, The Bear and the Piano (Clarion), was evidently inspired (in part) by the White Stripes’ song “Little Room.” It was published in the U.K. last year but arrived on U.S. shelves at the beginning of this month.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Bethan Woollvin

h1 April 29th, 2016    by jules

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about three new engaging picture books for the preschool set. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Bethan Woollvin’s Little Red (Peachtree, April 2016), and I’m following up today with some spreads from the book.


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Borten’s Book Re-Birth

h1 April 28th, 2016    by jules

The renewed interest in work I did so long ago is both wonderful and disconcerting; it brings back a different person, a young artist juggling a career and motherhood, as passionately immersed in visual expression as I later became in sound production.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Helen Borten, pictured here, who left children’s literature in the early 1970s to launch an award-winning career in broadcast journalism and producing.

Thanks to Flying Eye Books, her picture books will be reprinted, the first in a series, next month.

That chat is here.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Helen Borten used by permission of Flying Eye Books.


Definitely Something Beautiful

h1 April 26th, 2016    by jules

“In the heart of a gray city, there lived a girl who loved to doodle, draw, color, and paint. Every time she saw a blank piece of paper, Mira thought to herself, Hmm, maybe . . . And because of this, her room was filled with color and
her heart was filled with joy.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’m taking a moment today to share some artwork from F. Isabel Campoy’s and Theresa Howell’s Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2016). The book is illustrated by award-winning artist Rafael López, but he is also the subject of the story. Based on a true story, it’s the tale of a girl, named Mira, who lights up a gray city with color after she shares her art with community members. Handing out art to everyone she passes, her city becomes “less gray—but not much.” But the next day she meets a man with “a pocket full of paintbrushes,” who sees “[m]aybe . . . something beautiful.” Mira joins him to paint murals in the city, and eventually nearly the entire town joins in to help and bring the town to life with color, art, and creativity.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #480: Featuring Kaori Takahashi

h1 April 24th, 2016    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve got a tiny peek today inside Kaori Takahashi’s Knock! Knock!, published by Tara Books this month and with text from Gita Wolf. Tiny, as in just two little illustrations, but if you want more information, you can head over to my BookPage review of the book. As you’ll read there, this is a story that quite literally unfolds (clear some space when you read it) to tell the story of a young girl in search of her toy bear.

That review is here.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I
Did Last Week, Featuring Ken Min and Bob Raczka

h1 April 22nd, 2016    by jules

— From Bob Raczka’s Wet Cement
(Click to enlarge)


— From What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur?

Today over at Kirkus, I write about Bethan Woollvin’s debut picture book, Little Red (Peachtree, April 2016). That is here, and next week I’ll have some art from it here at 7-Imp.

* * *

Last week at Kirkus, I talked here to Emma D. Dryden, and I wrote here about Bob Raczka’s new poetry collection. In this follow-up post today, I have some images from Bob’s Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems (Roaring Brook, March 2016), and some of Ken Min’s illustrations from Rana DiOrio’s and Emma’s What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? (Little Pickle Press, January 2016).

Until Sunday …

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