What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Sergio Ruzzier

h1 February 15th, 2019    by jules

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some board books on the mind, as well as Janik Coat’s book for babies, coming to shelves next month here in the U.S.

That is here.

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Last week, I talked here with author-illustrator Sergio Ruzzier about his two spring books, Good Boy (Atheneum, February 2019) and Fox + Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride: And Other Stories (Chronicle, March 2019). I’m following up today with some preliminary images and final art from each book. I thank Sergio for sharing.

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2019 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Blog Tour:
Vesper Stamper and What the Night Sings

h1 February 13th, 2019    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

I’m happy to be a part this week of the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award blog tour. You can read more about the award, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), at the official Sydney Taylor site. The full blog tour schedule is posted here at the on the AJL blog, and I also list the schedule below at the bottom of this post.

It’s a pleasure to welcome artist and author Vesper Stamper here today to talk about What the Night Sings (Knopf, 2018), her debut illustrated novel and winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category. It tells the moving story of 16-year-old Gerta, liberated from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 and attempting to create a new life for herself. Gerta recalls her past, including her love of music (she is a singer and violist); memories of life before imprisonment when she was unaware she was Jewish until the Nazis take her and her father by force; her father’s death at Auschwitz; the suffering she endured in the camps; and more. Post-liberation, she struggles to understand her newfound Jewish identity, to revisit music in her life, to form relationships with others, and to journey to Palestine. Read the rest of this entry »

Maria Gulemetova’s Beyond the Fence

h1 February 12th, 2019    by jules

“‘Nice to meet you,’ said Wild Pig. ‘Why have you wrapped yourself up?’
‘Do you mean these?’ said Piggy. ‘They’re called clothes.'”

(Click image to enlarge and see text in its entirety)

I’m taking a moment today to share some spreads from Maria Gulemetova’s Beyond the Fence (Child’s Play), originally released in the UK in 2017 and published here in the U.S. last year. Last week, the nominations for the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards were announced, and Gulemetova’s book was included. This tame-to-wild, domestication-to-freedom narrative is oft-explored in children’s literature, this particular story about a domesticated pig who meets a wild one and eventually frees himself of his clothes and runs out into the wide, wild world. We saw something similar, for instance, in Peter Brown’s Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. However, this book takes that story to new places, and I love the notion of sharing this with young readers and letting it sit in their minds and hearts.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #625: Featuring Natalia Colombo

h1 February 10th, 2019    by jules

“This is a bird. …”
(Click to enlarge spread and read text in its entirety)

I’ve a Spanish picture book import for you today, dear Imps. Pepe Márquez’s Nests (StarBerry Books), illustrated by Natalia Colombo, was originally released in 2013 and will be on shelves in the U.S. next month.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Ebony Glenn and Keith Negley

h1 February 8th, 2019    by jules

— From Michelle Meadows’s Brave Ballerina, illustrated by Ebony Glenn


“And not everyone liked it. ‘You’re gonna regret wearing pants, Mary Walker!’
they all said. ‘No, I won’t!’ Mary said back.”
— From Keith Negley’s
Mary Wears What She Wants
(Click to enlarge spread)

Today over at Kirkus, I take a look at Sergio Ruzzier’s two new picture books — and even chat with him a bit about them.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Michelle Meadows’s Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins (Henry Holt, January 2019), illustrated by Ebony Glenn, as well as Keith Negley’s Mary Wears What She Wants (Balzer + Bray, January 2019). I’m following up here today with some art from each book.


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No Muslim Ban Ever

h1 February 7th, 2019    by jules

On social media this week, I saw the comic posted here today and secured permission from the creators to also share it here at 7-Imp. It was created by Gerry Chow, who wrote it; Raina Telgemeier, who drew it; Thi Bui, who lettered and colored it; and Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus, who provided editorial guidance. (You can also see this comic at Thi’s, Raina’s, and Gerry’s Instagram feeds.)

More information can be found here and at the hashtag #RepealtheBan.

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Andrea Tsurumi’s Crab Cake

h1 February 6th, 2019    by jules

“And Crab bakes cakes.”(Click to enlarge spread)

Over here at BookPage, I have a review of Andrea Tsurumi’s Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February 2019). And here today at 7-Imp, Andrea shares a peek into the making of this book — some early doodles, thumbnails, an unused dummy spread (“I lost track of how many drafts this book went though,” Andrea says), the various research and texture layers she made for the art, some final art, and more. She also shares a comic all about why she made the book (which I find quite comforting and want to immediately share with all children I know).

I thank her for sharing. It’s a pleasure to have her visit today. Let’s get right to it!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #624: Featuring Amy June Bates

h1 February 3rd, 2019    by jules

“One morning, there was a big commotion on the boat. Gittel scrambled up on deck
to see what all the excitement was about. ‘Look, look.’ Everyone pointed
in the same direction as a great cheer arose. ‘There she is.'”

(Click image to see spread in its entirety and to read the full text)

Let’s take a look today at Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story (Abrams, February 2019), written by the prolific author Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Amy June Bates. It’s the story of a young Jewish girl who plans to emigrate to America with her mother, yet has to take the trip across the ocean alone. It’s based on two true stories from the author’s own family — a story from her grandmother’s childhood, in which she (her Grandma Ruthie) emigrated in 1900 from what she called the “Old Country” to America, as well as a story from a childhood friend of the author’s mother.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring A. N. Kang and Lindsay Moore

h1 February 1st, 2019    by jules

“I will teach the sea’s rhythm to my cubs and whisper to them in the dark.
Polar bears are patient beasts, as patient as glaciers.”
— From Lindsay Moore’s
Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival
(Click to enlarge spread)


“Squirrel gathers acorn seeds, sturdy little oak nut seeds.
Anticipating future needs, she gathers acorn seeds.”
— From Beth Ferry’s
Squirrel’s Family Tree, illustrated by A. N. Kang
(Click to enlarge spread)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got two new picture books about women breaking the rules.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Lindsay Moore’s Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival (Greenwillow, January 2019), as well as Beth Ferry’s Squirrel’s Family Tree (Orchard/Scholastic, January 2019), illustrated by A. N. Kang. I’m following up today with art from each book.


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Hands Up!

h1 January 30th, 2019    by jules

“Ready for takeoff, hands up!”
(Click to enlarge spread)

“Hands up” is a phrase familiar to anyone paying attention to racial discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement here in the U.S. In her debut picture book, Breanna J. McDaniel takes that phrase and turns it on its head. Hands Up! (Dial Books for Young Readers) — illustrated by Shane W. Evans and on shelves now — is about one young brown-skinned girl moving through her day and the many times she raises her hands for reasons of joy and family and community.

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