Karl James Mountford’s The Circles in the Sky

h1 August 17th, 2022    by jules

“Neither creature spoke for a little while;
they just sat in the quiet with the bird.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

It is striking to me how Karl James Mountford addresses death in The Circles in the Sky (Candlewick Studio), coming to shelves next month. To be sure, there are plenty of picture books out there that address the topic, but Mountford does it in a way that pays tremendous respect to child readers.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #807:
Featuring Holly Berry and Gerda Muller

h1 August 14th, 2022    by jules

— From Gerda Muller’s The Musicians of Bremen


— From Holly Berry’s Told and Retold
(Click spread to enlarge)

“Storytelling is as old as humankind. Before people could write or read, they entertained each other, taught lessons, shared information, and expressed universal truths by telling stories.” This is the introduction to Holly Berry’s picture book Told and Retold: Around the World with Aesop’s Fables (Philomel, August 2022). And it applies to the other book I’m featuring today, Gerda Muller’s The Musicians of Bremen: A Grimm’s Fairy Tale (Floris), originally released in France nearly a decade ago but coming to shelves next month in a (second) U.S. edition.

Let’s take a look at these two new picture books, celebrating traditional tales. …

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Mack’s Marcel’s Masterpiece

h1 August 11th, 2022    by jules

Author-illustrator Jeff Mack takes on some big questions in his newest picture book, Marcel’s Masterpiece: How a Toilet Shaped the History of Art (Henry Holt, August 2022): “How can we tell when something is art or when it isn’t? Who gets to decide?” And he poses these questions by way of this one: “Can a toilet really be art?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Hope Is an Arrow:
The Story of Lebanese American Poet Kahlil Gibran

h1 August 9th, 2022    by jules

“Kahlil wanted to believe in all religions and all people. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Today I’ve got some spreads from Hope Is An Arrow: The Story of Lebanese-American Poet Khalil Gibran (Candlewick, July 2022), written by Cory McCarthy and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. This picture book biography spends most of its time in the childhood and teenage years of the life of the celebrated poet Kahlil Gibran.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #806: Featuring Liza Ferneyhough

h1 August 7th, 2022    by jules

“Nina has two grandmothers who live on opposite sides of the world. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Nana, Nenek & Nina (Dial, August 2022) is the debut picture book from author-illustrator Liza Ferneyhough. It is the story of Nina, who has a Nenek and a Nana who, as you can see above, live on “opposite sides of the world.” Nina is in San Francisco; Nana is in England; and Nenek is in Malaysia. “If she misses them and wants to visit,” we read, “there’s a lot of figuring out to do.” In the opening spreads, we see her packing. She’s on her way to visit both grandmothers. Ferneyhough — who created the warm, playful illustrations on “tea-stained paper, using watercolors, many tiny brushes, and a crow quill dip pen” — dedicates the book to her own British-Malaysian-American family.

Read the rest of this entry »

All the Feelings Before Breakfast

h1 August 4th, 2022    by jules

— From Rachel Vail’s Sometimes I Grumblesquinch,
illustrated by Hyewon Yum


“Friendship sits down beside you when you trip and fall.”
— From Tina Oziewicz’s
What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking,
illustrated by Aleksandra Zając and translated by Jennifer Croft

(Click spread to enlarge)

Over at BookPage, I had the pleasure of writing about Rachel Vail’s Sometimes I Grumblesquinch (Orchard, August 2022), illustrated by Hyewon Yum, and What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking (Elsewhere Editions, July 2022) from Polish author Tina Oziewicz. This import was translated by Jennifer Croft and illustrated by Aleksandra Zając.

Both of these picture books capture the complex interior lives of children. The feature is here, and below are some spreads from each book. (The spreads from Sometimes I Grumblesquinch are pictured without the text, but I do provide the text in the captions.)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Horn Book’s
“Year in Words and Pictures — and Stories”

h1 August 2nd, 2022    by jules


I promise I’ll be back with art on Thursday, but for now I direct you to the Horn Book’s website if, by chance, you missed their wonderful ALA coverage. If you go here, you can read things like 2022 Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King speeches (including a profile of the late Floyd Cooper). And you can head here to read all about “The Year in Words and Pictures — and Stories,” which takes a look back at last year in the world of children’s literature.

(No one at the Horn Book asks me or pays me or bribes me to share this here. I just reeeeeally appreciate their coverage.)

More later this week!

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #805: Featuring Chuck Groenink

h1 July 31st, 2022    by jules

One of Chuck’s early illustration tests

Illustrator Chuck Groenink visits today to share some early sketches from Tanya Rosie’s Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree (Candlewick, July 2022), a book that both author and illustrator dedicate to their respective Mums.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bea and Mr. Jones Before Breakfast

h1 July 28th, 2022    by jules

“‘I’ve had it with kindergarten!’ Bea Jones said to her father
as he was sitting down to breakfast. …”

(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Here’s a post to celebrate 40 years of the work of author-illustrator Amy Schwartz by way of taking a look at her debut picture book, which has been reissued in a new edition by Penguin Random House. Bea and Mr. Jones arrived on shelves in 1982, and this new anniversary edition has what the publisher calls “gentle updates to the design,” which includes a larger trim size and a new dust jacket illustration.

Read the rest of this entry »

Everything in Its Place

h1 July 26th, 2022    by jules

Ah! This book! Pauline David-Sax’s Everything in Its Place (Doubleday, July 2022), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, really gets introverts. It’s a story for those children with their small social circles, for those children who are energized by their alone time, and for those who would rather read a book alone than make that fearful entrance onto a playground with children playing in groups. And it is sensitively told and playfully, beautifully illustrated.

Read the rest of this entry »