One Final Interview Before Breakfast:
Sophie Blackall on Farmhouse

h1 September 12th, 2022    by jules

Hey, imps. If you read my official farewell post from last week — in which I announced that I’m finally going to sit down for some breakfast (which is, delightfully, how Siân Gaetano put it on Instagram) — you may remember that I said I had one more post left. That is today’s post in which author-illustrator Sophie Blackall visits to talk about the making of Farmhouse (Little, Brown, September 2022), which I reviewed over at BookPage.

This book. It’s a thing of beauty. Thanks to Sophie for visiting and sharing so generously.

And thanks, once again, for reading all these years. I’ll be around, still reviewing for various publications. Because picture books are everything.

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One Impossible Farewell Before Breakfast

h1 September 7th, 2022    by jules

Hey there, dear 7-Imp readers. It’s been an immensely rewarding 16 years of blogging here at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (that makes the site downright elderly in blog years), but I’m here today to say I’m clearing the coffee mugs, wiping the table, and closing up the breakfast nook.

Blogging here at 7-Imp has always been a labor of love, my hobby on the side. But I find that I have simply run out of the bandwidth to post (and just keeping up with blog-related email became a lot like a full-time job). It has truly been a struggle lately to find the time. But honestly, I’m also interested in reclaiming some of that time, the hours that go into keeping up (what I hope have been) high-quality posts. There are other things I’d like to get back to doing, new things I want to try, and people I want to spend more time with. (Also, there are more books I want to read. Ironically, blogging about reading takes time away from reading.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #810: Featuring Sergio Ruzzier

h1 September 4th, 2022    by jules

Hello from the past!

I’m drafting this post early in the week (last week, that is), because we’re off to take our oldest daughter to college. But I’ll be back on Sunday (today, that is). Pictured here is a work-in-progress image from one of my favorite illustrators, Sergio Ruzzier. Sergio says this is from an upcoming book he’s written, called The Real Story, which Abrams will publish in 2023.

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A Short Breakfast Break

h1 August 29th, 2022    by jules


I’m taking off this week — I have a daughter to take to college — but will return on Sunday. I leave you with this excellent piece at The Hechinger Report, written by teachers Christie Nold and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca:

The wave of state legislation and school board policies restricting what educators can and can’t teach shows no signs of slowing. These efforts rely on a narrative that learning about the history of racism and white supremacy harms students — particularly white students, leaving them feeling guilty and ashamed. We emphatically reject this narrative; it in no way matches our combined 30-plus years of experience as public school teachers. It is not teaching about racism that endangers our students, but the curricular gag-rules that seek to perpetuate their miseducation.

Again, here’s the full piece. Happy reading.

Until Sunday …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #809: Featuring Theodore Taylor III

h1 August 28th, 2022    by jules

“Mom and Dad were so excited, moving from one end of the country to the other to trade our fast, busy city life for a small, quiet one far away. I wasn’t feeling it.” This — the opening spread of Theodore Taylor III’s Off the Wall (Roaring Book), coming to shelves in October — depicts the narrator, looking out the car window at a sign that says: “BUFFINTON Population 80, 723.” In speech-bubble dialogue, we read the child’s response: “Meh.”

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Me and the Boss

h1 August 24th, 2022    by jules

“‘You!’ She wraps me and Bess in her special hug, and we share something that is bigger than my pocket, bigger than Bess’s ear, maybe even bigger than me or Zora.”

“I know big sisters. Zora, the boss, she’s mine.” That’s Lee, Zora’s little brother, in Michelle Edwards’s Me and the Boss (Anne Schwartz Books), illustrated by April Harrison and coming to shelves in October. Lee knows Zora is in charge, and he does his best to keep up with her. The two visit the library one day, where the librarian, Mrs. C, teaches a group of children how to sew.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #808: Featuring JooHee Yoon

h1 August 21st, 2022    by jules

“Supposing I lived close to a circus and took scraps every day to my favorite lion and learned to speak Lion, and one night the lion escaped and frightened people and I ran up to the lion by myself and spoke to it in Lion until it went to sleep and the manager gave me a free ticket to the circus for the rest of my life…”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Alastair Reid’s Supposing … was originally written in 1960. In a new edition from Enchanted Lion Books, on shelves now, JooHee Yoon interprets this playful text in dynamic ways.

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Dadaji’s Paintbrush

h1 August 18th, 2022    by jules

“Once, in a tiny village in India, there was a boy who loved to paint.
He lived with his grandfather in an old house full of paintings.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Dadaji’s Paintbrush (Levine Querido, August 2022), which comes from Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Ruchi Mhasane, is the open-hearted and tender — oh, the tenderness — intergenerational story of a boy and his grandfather in India. And it’s a thing of beauty.

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Karl James Mountford’s The Circles in the Sky

h1 August 17th, 2022    by jules

“Neither creature spoke for a little while;
they just sat in the quiet with the bird.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

It is striking to me how Karl James Mountford addresses death in The Circles in the Sky (Candlewick Studio), coming to shelves next month. To be sure, there are plenty of picture books out there that address the topic, but Mountford does it in a way that pays tremendous respect to child readers.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #807:
Featuring Holly Berry and Gerda Muller

h1 August 14th, 2022    by jules

— From Gerda Muller’s The Musicians of Bremen


— From Holly Berry’s Told and Retold
(Click spread to enlarge)

“Storytelling is as old as humankind. Before people could write or read, they entertained each other, taught lessons, shared information, and expressed universal truths by telling stories.” This is the introduction to Holly Berry’s picture book Told and Retold: Around the World with Aesop’s Fables (Philomel, August 2022). And it applies to the other book I’m featuring today, Gerda Muller’s The Musicians of Bremen: A Grimm’s Fairy Tale (Floris), originally released in France nearly a decade ago but coming to shelves next month in a (second) U.S. edition.

Let’s take a look at these two new picture books, celebrating traditional tales. …

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