7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #668: Featuring Lucy Ruth Cummins

h1 December 8th, 2019    by jules

“That’s when Truman saw something he’d never seen before …”

Jean Reidy’s Truman (Atheneum), illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, was released back in July. I reviewed this one for the Horn Book, and I see that the author has posted the review here online. So, if you’re curious to read more about this picture book (which I recommend, as it’s such a good book), you can head there to read that.

This is a book that has been met with a whole host of (well-deserved) glowing reviews. Many people, myself included, seem to have fallen in love with Truman and Sarah this year. It’s a book that respects the courage necessary for children on the first day of school. And tortoises too.

I’ve some of Lucy’s spreads from the book to share here at 7-Imp today. Enjoy!

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Jessixa Bagley on Henry and Bea

h1 December 5th, 2019    by jules

“It’s always lucky to find someone who understands you, and that’s why Henry and Bea were the best of friends.” Thus opens Jessixa Bagley’s Henry and Bea (Neal Porter/Holiday House, October 2019), the emotionally resonant story of how to truly be there for a friend. Jessixa visits 7-Imp today to talk a bit about the book and share some early sketches.

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The Book Rescuer

h1 December 3rd, 2019    by jules

On the first page of The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, October 2019), author Sue Macy speaks invitingly to readers: “Kum aher. Sit down. I want to tell you a story. It starts a long time ago, when Aaron Lansky’s sixteen-year-old grandma left Eastern Europe for the United States.” In sepia tones, illustrator Stacy Innerst shows her packing a suitcase. And in it she places a few books in Yiddish. Those books never made it to her new home; her brother met her in New York City and, telling her that she must break with the past, threw her suitcase into the Hudson River.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #667: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 December 1st, 2019    by jules

This is actually week #666 of kicking, dear kickers, but (call me crazy) I couldn’t bring myself to assign such a grouchy number to this inviting image by author-illustrator Julie Paschkis. So, I muddled with the math.

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h1 November 26th, 2019    by jules

Ever enter a bad mood and then sweep up others into it? I know I do. The protagonist of Louise Greig’s Sweep (Simon & Schuster, September 2019), a British import illustrated by Júlia Sardà, also does this. And his bad mood makes for a good story.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #665: Featuring Ashley Bryan

h1 November 24th, 2019    by jules

Today I’ve got some spreads from one of my very favorite 2019 books — Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, October 2019). This is a 112-page picture book memoir that chronicles the award-winning author-illustrator’s (often harrowing) experiences in the segregated army of World War II (he was drafted in 1943 while an art student at Cooper Union) and, essentially, how his love of art got him through. This is the first time Bryan writes publicly of his war experiences and shares them with the wider world.

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The Acrobat Family

h1 November 21st, 2019    by jules

I want to take a break from your more traditional picture books and spotlight a 3D book today — and a French import. The Acrobat Family (Little Gestalten, November 2019) — a book shaped a lot like a circus tent, when opened — is from French pop-up artists Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud. (Boisrobert works in watercolors, and Rigaud works as a graphic designer. Both graduated from the School of Decorativ Arts in Strasbourg.)

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the circus!” the book opens. Stage curtains, drawn to each side of this spread, reveal the book’s title and opening text. Peering out from the curtains are the members of the Acrobat Family. Turn the page for the first act, featuring Miss Prune. (She is pictured above. As you can see, she is a badass and has “biceps shaped like moons.”) Read the rest of this entry »

Elisha Cooper’s River

h1 November 20th, 2019    by jules

(Click to enlarge cover)


I had the opportunity to write about Elisha Cooper’s River over at the Horn Book today (at the Calling Caldecott blog). As I note over there, I find something new to love every time I read the book. Here is what I wrote, if you’re so inclined to read it.

(And here is where Elisha visited 7-Imp in early October to talk about the book’s cover.)

Until tomorrow . . .

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #664: Featuring Lynne Rae Perkins

h1 November 17th, 2019    by jules

“‘I feel so foolish,’ she said. ‘I jumped to conclusions.'”
(Click to enlarge spread and read text in its entirety)

I reviewed the newest picture book, Wintercake (Greenwillow, October 2019), from author-illustrator (and Newbery Medalist) Lynne Rae Perkins for the Horn Book. If you’d like to read about the book, they included bits of that review in this round-up. (Scroll down to the bottom of that post.) And today here at 7-Imp I’ve a few illustrations from the book.

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Kate Milner’s It’s a No-Money Day

h1 November 15th, 2019    by jules

7-Imp is, for all intents and purposes, an art blog. I pretty much don’t write a post in which I don’t feature sketches and/or art from a picture book creator. But today is an exception. Today, though I don’t have spreads from the book to show you, I want to at least draw attention to a new picture book, out in the UK — Kate Milner’s It’s a No-Money Day. I’ve no idea if there are plans to publish this book here in the States. (I ordered my copy online, and it made its way across the ocean.)

I’ve a particular interest in books that depict children living in (or near) poverty, as this book does. American picture books, on the whole, tend to be represent very suburban, middle-class lives. I do hope this story — about a mother and daughter with empty cupboards, who head to a foodbank for some groceries — makes its way to American shelves. As the Children’s Defense Fund states: Read the rest of this entry »