What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Freya Blackwood, Jean-François Dumont, Wolf Erlbruch, Torben Kuhlmann, Viviane Schwarz, Annemarie van Haeringen, & Rafael Yockteng

h1 October 2nd, 2015    by jules

“‘I am the king,’ said the king. ‘Play for me!'”
– From
The King and the Sea


– From I Am Henry Finch


“‘Coco! Pay attention! Pull that thread out and follow the pattern, NOW!’ …”
– From
Coco and the Little Black Dress
(Click to enlarge spread)


“My new blanket grew just as warm and
soft and comfortable as my old blanket.”
– From
My Two Blankets
(Click to enlarge spread)


– From Moletown
(Click to enlarge spread)


“When people do notice me, they make a face. I tell myself that I must not smell very good. It’s true that it’s been a long time since I’ve bathed,
but a bear smells like a bear — that’s just how it is. …”
– From
I Am a Bear
(Click to enlarge spread)


– From Two White Rabbits
(Click to enlarge)

That may be my longest blog post title ever. Er, sorry to your eyes.

But it does mean that I have a lot of art for you today.

First things first: If you’re so inclined to read about the 150th birthday of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, I’ve got some thoughts over at Kirkus today about why The Complete Alice, released by Macmillan last month, is well worth your time. That link is here.

Secondly, last week I wrote here about the following picture book imports (or books created by authors and/or illustrators who live overseas):

Today I’ve got a bit of art from each one. (I don’t have art from Kes Gray’s Frog on a Log?, illustrated by Jim Field and also mentioned in my column, but it’s funny stuff.)

Enjoy all the art. …

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My Chat with Ronald L. Smith, If You Didn’t Know …

h1 October 1st, 2015    by jules

I … don’t think we as writers should censor ourselves too much when it comes to scary stuff for kids. Everyone likes a good, scary story! These books also help kids learn about life and consequences and bravery.

But don’t make the mistake of talking down to kids or trying to moralize. They can sniff it out miles away.”

* * *

Supernatural Southern Gothic, anyone? Over at Kirkus today, I talk to debut author Ronald L. Smith, pictured here, about his new novel Hoodoo, released last month by Houghton Mifflin.

That conversation is here.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo by Erik Kvalsvik and used by permission of Ronald L. Smith.

Momo & OHora (& Frank Zappa) Before Breakfast

h1 September 30th, 2015    by jules

Author-illustrator Zachariah OHora visits 7-Imp today to talk about his newest picture book, My Cousin Momo (Dial, June 2015). Momo is a flying squirrel, and he throws his cousins for a loop when he visits and does things his own way. You know, we all have a cousin like that (thank goodness, because normal people worry me). It’s a story about family and acceptance and embracing your inherent weirdness, and it’s very funny. OHora has a style all his own, and you can see that for yourself below in the art he shares. He also shares some preliminary images, which are always fun to see.

Let’s get right to it. …

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And to Think He Was Almost a Drama Critic . . .

h1 September 28th, 2015    by jules

Right on the heels of his Eric Carle Honor, I have a long chat with editor Neal Porter over at Phil & Erin Stead’s Number Five Bus blog about publishing picture books today and all kinds of other stuff. The Barry Manilow moment is courtesy of the Steads.

That interview is here. It’s got some sneak-peeks at upcoming picture book art (from the likes of Jerry Pinkney, Christian Robinson, Hadley Hooper, Eric Rohmann, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Phil Stead, Antoinette Portis, and probably more), which makes me especially happy.


7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #451: Featuring Joyce Wan

h1 September 27th, 2015    by jules

“Ten! Ugh!”
A final spread, followed by its sketch

We’re going to say goodbye to summer today, dear kickers, with a book I had meant to post about during the summer months — but better late than never. We’ll use this opportunity to wave farewell to swimming outside and lounging in the sun, since this past week marked the first day of Autumn.

If you read about picture books as often as I do, you may have seen the New York Times coverage in May of Joyce Wan’s The Whale in My Swimming Pool (Farrar Straus Giroux, April 2015), where Emily Jenkins wrote, in part:

Wan is a greeting card designer and the creator of many board books. Her curvilinear and comforting style recalls Hello Kitty and other Japanese pop art in its fat dark lines and squat characters, but the hero has an antic physicality and a wide range of emotional expressions. Her world feels safe and joyful, even as the hero experiences anger and frustration.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Eric Carle

h1 September 25th, 2015    by jules

“‘Let’s trade hats,’ / The rider said, / But, ‘Neigh, neigh!’ / Said the horse.
‘Let’s trade heads / Instead, okay?’ / And so they did, / Of course.”

(Click to enlarge)


This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a round-up of Fall 2015 picture book imports — or at least those written and/or illustrated by folks from other countries. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Eric Carle’s The Nonsense Show (Philomel), coming in October. Pictured above is a spread from the book.

Until Sunday …



* * * * * * * *

THE NONSENSE SHOW. Copyright © 2015 by Eric Carle. Illustration reproduced by permission of the publisher, Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, New York.

One More Moment with R. Gregory Christie …

h1 September 24th, 2015    by jules

(Click each spread to enlarge)


Here’s a quick post to share a bit of art from R. Gregory Christie’s new book, Mousetropolis (Holiday House, September 2015), as a follow-up to our chat last week at Kirkus.



Until tomorrow. …

* * * * * * *

Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by R. Gregory Christie. Used by permission of Holiday House.

One Picture-Book Roundtable Discussion Before Breakfast #4: Featuring the Women of Finding Winnie

h1 September 22nd, 2015    by jules

Sophie: “This was the last painting to be finished.
I felt a little bereft when it was all done.”

(Click to enlarge)

Back in the day, I used to do what I called picture-book roundtable discussions here at 7-Imp — in which the author, illustrator, editor, and art director/book designer would join me to give readers varying perspectives on one picture book title. I’ve only done three of these, though I really do enjoy them, and the last one was back in 2011. Wow. It’s been a while.

But I’m happy to be doing it again today with such an impressive book in the spotlight. That book is Lindsay Mattick’s Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. It’ll be on shelves next month from Little, Brown.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #450: Featuring SCBWI

h1 September 20th, 2015    by jules

I spent all of yesterday at the SCBWI Midsouth conference, as I was invited to speak at a session. I got there early to hear the keynote speaker, author-illustrator John Rocco. He’s pictured here, making a salient point.

Since I’ve been busy with that this weekend, I don’t have a picture book or art to feature, but I figured that, at the very least, I could share this action shot. (Cue action music as you read.)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 September 18th, 2015    by jules

“It’s okay / to stare at / the parrot. …
Se puede / ver / al loro. …”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Today over at Kirkus, I take a look at Eric Carle’s newest picture book, The Nonsense Show (Philomel, October 2015). That link is here.

* * *

Since I wrote here last week about Julie Paschkis’ beautiful new picture book, Flutter & Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales (Henry Holt, August 2015), I’ve got a bit of art from it today.

For those interested in reading more, Julie wrote about the book here last week.

Enjoy the art!

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