Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

456 Chickens Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Jarrett Dapier’s Mr. Watson’s Chickens, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. This book is just what you didn’t know you needed until now!

That review is here, and below are some spreads.


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Tracey Campbell Pearson’s
Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

h1 Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

“Girls and boys come out to play …”
(Click spread to enlarge)

It’s good to see a new picture book that gives us a fresh look at Mother Goose rhymes — it’s not exactly a heyday now in the picture book world for traditional tales — and it’s also good to see a new book from Tracey Campbell Pearson (who is responsible for the very funny Bob and a handful of other well-crafted books).

I’m looking at an F&G of Tracey’s Girls and Boys Come Out to Play (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, April 2021), which is to say that not everything here is quite glued down. But it looks like the endpapers (both opening and closing) feature a short series of Mother Goose rhymes — “Hey, Diddle, Diddle”; “Humpty Dumpty”; “Jack and Jill”; and more. On the title page spread we see a young child reading a book of nursery rhymes, cat snuggling nearby and younger sibling on the floor, dozing next to the dog. And the next spread depicts nursery rhyme characters sitting on a brick wall. Will we see them throughout the book? On the opening spread (pictured above), there is the grand dame herself. Mother Goose stands on a rooftop. “Girls and boys come out to play,” we read.

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Over the Shop

h1 Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Want to take a peek at a beautiful, touching early-2021 picture book? After yesterday’s news, I do.

JonArno Lawson’s Over the Shop (Candlewick, January 2021), illustrated by Qin Leng, is on shelves now. Reading it is a superb way to start 2021.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #724: Featuring Stephen T. Johnson
and Romana Romanyshyn & Andriy Lesiv

h1 Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

— From Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv’s Sound: Shhh … Bang … POP … BOOM!


— From Stephen T. Johnson’s Music Is …

Who’s up for exploring the world of sound with me today? I’ve got two 2020 picture books here — Stephen T. Johnson’s Music Is … (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, October 2020) and Romana Romanyshyn’s and Andriy Lesiv’s Sound: Shhh … Bang … Pop … BOOM! (Handprint, October 2020). The latter was originally published in Ukraine and is translated by Vitaly Chernetsky.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #723: An Unplanned Interruption …

h1 Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Hey, everybody. A quick note to say (from a McDonald’s parking lot where I’m stealing some WiFi) that I can’t do my previously planned post today, because we have been without cell service and WiFi for a couple days now, due to that car bomb that went off in Nashville and wreaked havoc with AT&T’s servers. I hope to be back soon with art and words!

Do tell me your kicks anyway. I may not be able to read them for a while, but I’ll be glad to see them once I’m online again.

The Bear and the Moon

h1 Monday, November 30th, 2020

Today, I’m featuring one of my favorite picture books of 2020 — Matthew Burgess’s The Bear and the Moon (Chronicle, September 2020), illustrated by Cátia Chien.

My Horn Book review of the book is here, if you’d like to read more about it.

And here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some of the book’s beautiful spreads. Cátia also visits to share some early sketches and partial storyboards. I thank her for sharing.


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h1 Monday, November 16th, 2020

(Click cover to enlarge)


Over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott, I have the pleasure of writing about a handful of exceptionally good 2020 international picture books. Since Calling Caldecott is Caldecott-focused, we call them “Caldenotts” (a phrase coined by Thom Barthelmess). They are books from this year that are not eligible for the Caldecott Award, because they were originally published in another country or are illustrated by someone not living here in the U.S.

I love to follow picture book imports and was happy to write the post. It is here.

Chris Raschka’s In the City

h1 Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

“Clouds and treetops are their homes, / airy houses all their own.
Could a friend be waiting for me? / Too hoo, too hoo. / Coo coo, coo coo.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Chris Raschka’s beautiful In the City (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, September 2020).

That is here.

Below are some more spreads from the book.


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Welcoming Edith Campbell to The Niblings!

h1 Wednesday, July 8th, 2020


It’s time for one more Niblings introduction!

If you saw this post from a couple weeks ago, then you’ll remember what it means when I say “The Niblings” and that we welcomed librarian Erika Long into the fold.

We’d also like to welcome yet another librarian extraordinaire to our social media presence — Edith Campbell. This means that Edith will join us in sharing posts of interest in the field of children’s and YA lit.

Edith is an associate education librarian in the Cunningham Memorial Library at Indiana State University. As part of the Reference and Instruction team, she serves as the liaison to the Bayh College of Education. Edith has served on several book committees, including the Walter Awards (We Need Diverse Books), YALSA’s Printz Award, and ALSC’s Sibert Award. She currently reviews for the Journal of Children’s Literature and serves on the Advisory Board for the online peer-reviewed journal, Research on Diversity in Youth Literature. Her research interests include valuing Black children in youth literature and implementation of critical literacy practices in libraries. Edith was a founding member of See What We See and We Are Kidlit Collective. She blogs to promote literacy, decolonization, and social justice in young adult literature at CrazyQuiltsEdi. Edith received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Cincinnati and her M.L.S. from Indiana University.

To connect with Edith on Twitter, head to @CrazyQuilts. And to follow her at The Niblings, visit our Facebook page, as well as our Twitter feed.

Welcome, Edith!

The Acrobat Family

h1 Thursday, November 21st, 2019

I want to take a break from your more traditional picture books and spotlight a 3D book today — and a French import. The Acrobat Family (Little Gestalten, November 2019) — a book shaped a lot like a circus tent, when opened — is from French pop-up artists Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud. (Boisrobert works in watercolors, and Rigaud works as a graphic designer. Both graduated from the School of Decorativ Arts in Strasbourg.)

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the circus!” the book opens. Stage curtains, drawn to each side of this spread, reveal the book’s title and opening text. Peering out from the curtains are the members of the Acrobat Family. Turn the page for the first act, featuring Miss Prune. (She is pictured above. As you can see, she is a badass and has “biceps shaped like moons.”) Read the rest of this entry �