7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #678: Featuring Noa Denmon

h1 February 16th, 2020    by jules

Say hello to illustrator Noa Denmon. (That’s her self-portrait above.)

I read a just-released YA novel last week (which, by the way, I highly recommend) — Echo Brown’s Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard (Henry Holt, January 2020). I was really taken by the book’s cover art, and when I saw that it was by Noa Denmon, I visited her site and then emailed to see if I could secure her permission to share some of her art. Lucky for me, she said yes. So, today I’ve got a bit of her artwork. Here — isn’t it beautiful? — is the dustjacket of the novel I read:

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Like the Moon Loves the Sky

h1 February 14th, 2020    by jules

“Inshallah you plant gardens filled with sweet fruits.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Want to see some spreads today from Like the Moon Loves the Sky (Chronicle), written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Saffa Khan? Saffa — a printmaker, as well as an illustrator — was born in Pakistan and now lives in Scotland, and I’ve a few of her vividly colored spreads to show off here at 7-Imp today. The book will be on shelves in early March.

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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Alice Faye Duncan

h1 February 11th, 2020    by jules

“I wrote Just Like a Mama to celebrate and affirm adopted children. I also wrote it to acknowledge the aunts, grandmothers, and
big sisters who cheerfully care for children not their own.”

Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I talk to author Alice Faye Duncan about her newest picture book, Just Like a Mama (Denene Millner Books, January 2020), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow.

My chat with Duncan is here. (Note: Barlow actually visited 7-Imp last year to talk about making the illustrations for this, her debut picture book. That post is here.)


The 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour:
A Q&A with Author Debbie Levy

h1 February 10th, 2020    by jules

“…Flory played the songs of her Nona, and they helped her feel closer to home.”

I’m happy to be a part of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour with a visit today from author Debbie Levy. Levy won a Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Picture Book Category for The Key from Spain (Kar-Ben, August 2019), illustrated by Sonja Wimmer.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #677: Featuring Magdalena Mora

h1 February 9th, 2020    by jules

“Suffragists didn’t / Give up on the fight,
And the Nineteenth Amendment / Gave women the right.”

Today, illustrator Magdalena Mora visits to talk a bit about creating the illustrations for Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America (Beach Lane, February 2020), written by Deborah Diesen, as well as share some early sketches and final art. This is Mora’s debut as a picture book illustrator.

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Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

h1 February 6th, 2020    by jules

“She grows thinner and slower. She loses her hair. Her wings fray and tatter. Summertime bees do not live long. And Apis is now thirty-five days old. She has flown back and forth between nest and blossoms, five hundred miles in all.”
(Click to enlarge and see spread, including the text, in its entirety)

Bzz. Bzz. Today, I’ve got some spreads from Candace Fleming’s and Eric Rohmann’s newest book for young readers, Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera (Neal Porter/Holiday House, February 2020). Eric also shares some preliminary images and shows us how to un-angry a bee.

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Where’s Baby?

h1 February 4th, 2020    by jules

(Click spread to enlarge)

Pictured above are the opening endpapers of Anne Hunter’s Where’s Baby? (Tundra, January 2020). These endpapers make me happy, proof as they are of the book’s understated, droll humor. As you can see, Papa Fox is looking for Baby Fox and, though he searches in earnest, his baby is never out of readers’ sight. Children love to be one up on a protagonist, so expect consistent squeals of delight from this one.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #676: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Dani Choi

h1 February 2nd, 2020    by jules

(Click image to enlarge)

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I have the work of a student or otherwise debut illustrator. Today, I welcome Dani Choi. Dani is an illustrator based in New York, who graduated with a BFA in Communication Design from Washington University in St. Louis and is now getting her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts. I thank her for sharing art today, and I’m going to turn 7-Imp over to her so that we can learn more about her and her work.

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A Story About Afiya

h1 January 30th, 2020    by jules

“Always Afiya is amazed, just like when she comes home and finds herself covered
with windswept leaves of October, falling.”

Today, I’ve got a peek at a book coming to shelves in April from Lantana Publishing — A Story about Afiya, originally a poem written for young people in 1991 by the late Coretta Scott King Award-winning Jamaican poet James Berry and now in picture book form with art from Brazilian illustrator Anna Cunha.

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The 2020 Outstanding International Books list

h1 January 28th, 2020    by jules


Yesterday was a big day with the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. You can read the winners here.

Be sure to take a look at the 2020 Outstanding International Books list from the United States Board on Books for Young People, which you can find here. I look forward to this list every year, and they have made some great choices. (Pictured above is Krystia Basil’s A Sky Without Lines, illustrated by Laura Borràs and which I actually reviewed last year for the Horn Book.)