Wildness

h1 July 22nd, 2014    by jules



 

I don’t have art for you all today, but I will later this week.

This is just a quick post to, once again, point you all to the Wild Things! site. My co-author and I are still sharing stories over there, ones cut from the original manuscript of our book, and we will have a story-a-day until publication on August 5th. (We’re even going to have some fun with author videos after that.)

Yesterday, we had a short post about the precocious ones of children’s lit. (Can you guess what Maurice Sendak’s first illustrated title was? It may not be what you think.) That link is here.

Today, we have a short post on celebrity children’s books (which gets an entire chapter in our book). We have the nice folks at the Horn Book to thank for re-posting a piece Peter once wrote about the celebrity book trend. (And when I read the Twitter response mentioned in this post, I laughed so hard, my husband came in the room to ask me if I was okay.)

Later this week, we’ll look at some feuds, some early exits of children’s lit, a funky Buddha party, films and children’s books, and more. It’s all here.

Until Thursday …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #391: Featuring Barbara McClintock

h1 July 20th, 2014    by jules


Author-illustrator Barbara McClintock is here today to talk about creating the artwork for Beverly Donofrio’s Where’s Mommy?, released in March by Schwartz & Wade, which Kirkus calls “irresistible.” This is a companion book to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, released back in ’07. Those of you familiar with the first title will know that Maria is Mary’s daughter, and Mouse Mouse is Mouse’s daughter. In this new book, Maria and Mouse Mouse are (separately) looking for their mothers, their experiences and goings-on fully parallel, as McClintock gives us a peek into each one’s home and surroundings.

Soon, Barbara will also see the release of another 2014 illustrated title, Jim Aylesworth’s My Grandfather’s Coat (Scholastic), which has already received two starred reviews. (Barbara also discusses below some other new projects. Fans of Adèle & Simon will be happy.) I haven’t seen My Grandfather’s Coat yet, but maybe she can come back to talk about it, especially since she’s also interested in talking further about the March Leave Your Sleep exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, as well as the Leave Your Sleep Carnegie Hall concert (back in April), which had, in Barbara’s words, “images from the book projected big as a barn behind the stage. Maybe [we can have] a discussion about ways picture books extend beyond their printed avatars.” (If you’re not familiar with Leave Your Sleep—with Natalie Merchant—you can visit this 2012 7-Imp post.)

I’d love to discuss those things, but for now, let’s look at Where’s Mommy?

I thank Barbara for sharing …

Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 July 18th, 2014    by jules


Anyone else remember Loretta Mason Potts, written by Mary Chase and originally published in 1958? That’s (mostly) the subject of my Kirkus column today, as the book was just reissued by The New York Review Children’s Collection. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I chatted (here) with author-illustrator Matt Phelan about his 2014 projects, Burleigh Mutén’s Miss Emily (Candlewick), released back in March, and his own picture book, Druthers (also from Candlewick), coming in September. (Pictured above is an early sketch from Druthers.)

Today, we’ll look at a bit of art from each book, as well as some sketches from Matt. I thank him for sharing.

Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Flop Sweat and Butt Trampolines

h1 July 17th, 2014    by jules

This week over at the Wild Things! site, my co-author and I are doing the following:

  • Taking a look at the phenomenon that is the author school visit — the good, the bad, and the ugly. (You’ll see, if you read this post over at Wild Things!, that the title of this post today here at 7-Imp tips its hat to that.)
  • Asking whether or not Beatrix Potter really yelled at young children. (The Horn Book’s Lolly Robinson gives us the low-down.)
  • Udder Indecencies of one sort or another; or, The Saga of the Unobtrusive Monster Penis (pictured above).

Tomorrow, we’ll have a post Leonard Baskin fans, in particular, will appreciate.

On Saturday, we’ll look at two of children’s literature’s most cryptic picture books.

On Sunday, we’ll look at some true tales behind famous awards speeches.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

* * * * * * *

The above image is used with permission of Sergio Ruzzier.

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Lisa Brown

h1 July 15th, 2014    by jules

It’s a sort of miracle that this breakfast interview is even happening, since both author-illustrator Lisa Brown and I are not morning people. Oh wait, right. It’s a cyber-breakfast, but still … If it were a real, face-to-face breakfast, you can bet that we’d be having our chat over an afternoon snack, despite the name of this blog.

Another thing we share in common? A deep and abiding love for coffee (which certainly helps make our mornings easier), so I’m glad she was willing to come have pretend coffee with me today so that we could see lots and lots of her art. In fact, she says her usual breakfast is “a cup of coffee, then some toast and peanut butter, maybe some fruit smoothie if there is any left over from my husband and son, who will have been awake and functioning WAY before I shuffle into the kitchen in my pajamas, exhausted with the effort of having to wake up and shuffle into the kitchen. Then more coffee.” I can get behind these multiple rounds of coffee.

This year, Lisa saw the release of two illustrated titles, Lemony Snicket’s 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy (McSweeney’s McMullens, February 2014) and Cathleen Daly’s Emily’s Blue Period, which just received a starred Horn Book review.

I love to follow Lisa’s work, and it was good to have a chance here to ask her what she’s up to next. There is a freshness and warmth to her watercolors that can be terrifically child-friendly, but there’s also an edge to many of her books (especially for older readers) and paintings. (She’s doing a sketch a day this year, as you’ll read below, which you can follow here.) As Martha Parravano writes in that Horn Book review, her work can be elegant. Yet she also embraces the enigmatic, as with 29 Myths. And embracing the enigmatic is always good. (Embracing the Enigmatic. Band name. I call it!)

I thank Lisa for visiting this morning and sharing as much art as she does.

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating 75 years of Madeline

h1 July 14th, 2014    by jules



 

Today over at the Wild Things! site, we celebrate Madeline, 75 years old and still showing off her scar. There’s some art from the book over in that post. Pictured above is my favorite illustration of all.

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

MADELINE. Copyright © 1939 by Ludwig Bemelmans. First published in the U.S. by Simon and Schuster. First published by The Viking Press, 1958. Illustration reproduced by permission of Viking Press, New York.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #390: Featuring E. H. Shepard

h1 July 13th, 2014    by jules

Good morning, all. The illustrator to be featured in today’s post (E. H. Shepard is just filling in) needed a bit more time to get her work and thoughts together, and I said, hey, I’m a busy lady myself these days, so take your time. And so the post is delayed, but I can tell you that when I do post the art of this talented illustrator, you’re in for a treat.

I’m not without content, though, because as I’ve already mentioned a couple times here at 7-Imp, over at a new site (called Wild Things!), my co-author and I are sharing stories that were cut from our upcoming book, Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature — stories, that is, that didn’t make it to publication, on account of length.

And I have to say: It’s been a lot of fun to share the stories. Yesterday (here), we had some stories related to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and today we have some stories related to the Winnie-the-Pooh books. The story, in fact, about the real Christopher Robin, a.k.a. Billy Moon, always breaks my heart, especially the ending and his ability to come to terms with his fame. (“[T]o my surprise and pleasure, I found myself standing beside them in the sunshine able to look them both in the eye.” Oof. Gets me every time.)

So, I’m so sorry I don’t have art for you today (other than a bit of E.H. Shepard), but I can certainly point you to that post over at Wild Things!

Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Amrita Das

h1 July 11th, 2014    by jules


“A child’s life is hard, especially if you’re cursed to be poor. It’s gone even before you start on it. … If you dream for a moment,
you’re asked why you’re twiddling your thumbs.”

(Click to enlarge and read full text)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, because I’m preparing for a presentation about the best picture books of the year thus far, I thought I’d weigh in my with tippy-top favorites.

Thank link is here.

* * *

Last week, since I wrote (here) about Amrita Das’ Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit, an April release from India’s Tara Books, I’m following up with some art today.

Enjoy.

 
Read the rest of this entry »

Catching up with Author-Illustrator Matt Phelan

h1 July 10th, 2014    by jules

I’m never consciously thinking ‘wispy’ when I draw, but my line (and especially my pen line) does have an intentional sketchy quality. I like the term ‘lost and found line’ as a description.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Matt Phelan, pictured here, about his 2014 projects, Burleigh Mutén’s Miss Emily, released back in March, and his own picture book, Druthers, coming in September. Both books are from Candlewick.

Matt’s response to the what’s-next question may or may not have made me squeal. (I think the Snow White project sounds pretty great.)

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from each book, as well as some sketches and such from Matt.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Matt Phelan used with his permission.

“We used to laugh so hard at The Stupids Step Out that milk would trickle from our noses at the dinner table.”

h1 July 9th, 2014    by jules

I’m having fun at the site for Wild Things!, where my co-author and I are sharing a story a day, at least till publication of our book in early August — stories, that is, which were cut from our original manuscript. So, yeah. I’m now running two blogs at once — or at least, co-running one and running another, but hey, it’s been fun to share these stories over there. I’ll sleep during the apocalypse.

I posted about it the other day and mentioned our first posts. Here’s what’s going on this week:

  • On Tuesday, we told the story of what happened when Charles Dickens said to Hans Christian Andersen, why don’t you swing by and stay with me sometime? (Big mistake.) That is here.
  • Today, it’s a tribute to James Marshall and a touching story about his resting place. And that is here (and that is where this post title comes from).

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Twinkles Lowry and Slim Hyman: The Untold Story. Friday, we’ll have a tribute to Nancy Garden, and on Saturday we’ll take a look at The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (or When You Might Want to Rethink Buying Your Own Tropical Island).

It’s all here.

In the meantime, see you back here at 7-Imp tomorrow.