Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Tap Tap Boom Boom‘ing Before Breakfast:
A Visit with Author and Bookseller Elizabeth Bluemle

h1 Monday, April 14th, 2014


(Click spread to enlarge)

Earlier this month, I reviewed Elizabeth Bluemle’s Tap Tap Boom Boom (Candlewick, March 2014), illustrated by G. Brian Karas, for BookPage. What a good book it is, and that review is here over at the wonderful BookPage site.

Today, I’m following up with a couple of spreads from the book — and a chat with Elizabeth. She not only writes, but nearly 20 years ago, she also opened a bookstore along with Josie Leavitt, The Flying Pig Bookstore in Vermont, and she co-writes over at ShelfTalker (at Publishers Weekly), also with Josie.

I took the opportunity to ask Elizabeth today about Tap Tap Boom Boom, but also what she calls the World Full of Color diversity database. I also asked her simply, what are you reading now? (I love this question so much that I’d love to start a simple blog series where I ask authors and illustrators just that one question — short posts with short answers. Would I have time for this, though? Ay, there’s the rub.)

Anyway, enjoy my chat with the ever-curious, always-learning Elizabeth Bluemle … And, really, if you haven’t seen Tap Tap yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s one of my favorites thus far this year.

Read the rest of this entry �

Following Up with Hidden

h1 Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted briefly (here) with author and comics writer Loïc Dauvillier about his new graphic novel for children, Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust, first published overseas in 2012 and coming here from First Second this April. (It was translated into English by Alexis Siegel.)

Today, I follow up with some art. The book was illustrated by Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo (comics colorist).

Until tomorrow …

Read the rest of this entry �

Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood

h1 Monday, February 3rd, 2014



Early sample and final art (without the final text):
“Where churches offer music schools that polish rough stones into jewels.”

(Click second image to enlarge)

Over at BookPage today is my review of Carole Boston Weatherford’s Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This is a February release from Albert Whitman & Company. To read more about the book, just head on over there today. Here’s the link.

And I really want to, as always, share some art from the book, too, so with big thanks to R. Gregory Christie, here are some early samples and final art from the book. Please note: As always, the colors as they appear on your screen might be just a tad bit off from how they appear in the book. Also, these spreads do not include the playful, colorful font that ended up in the final version of the book.

Enjoy the art … Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today

h1 Friday, January 31st, 2014

Whew. I’ve had my work cut out for me this week, given a big honkin’ book deadline.

But I’m nearing the finish line. I really am!

Today at Kirkus, I write about two new picture books (nonfiction’y in nature, but technically fiction — “nonfiction’y” is a precise term, don’t you know?).

And those would be Cindy Jenson-Elliott’s Weeds Find a Way, illustrated by Carolyn Fisher, and Clotilde Perrin’s At the Same Moment Around the World.

Perrin’s beautiful cover is pictured here.

That column is here.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll try to have art from both.

Until Sunday …

(Wow, this post really emphasizes what a tall thing Perrin’s book is. As someone who cares very much about my site’s design, this is making me kind of twitchy, but I’m done talking. Use the remaining white space here to fill in your own thoughts. Carry on, then.)

Going Nowhere Fast

h1 Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013


Early sketch and final art
(Click to enlarge second image and see text)

Hi, all.

You’re really gonna click on the image above and see that cardboard up close, right?

I recently reviewed Sam Zuppardi’s The Nowhere Box (Candlewick, November 2013) for the fine folks at BookPage. This is Sam’s debut picture book.

And, since you all know I get kind of twitchy when I don’t share art from the books about which I write, I’m following up here today at 7-Imp with some art from Zuppardi himself (pictured right). He has also sent along some early sketches and dummies from the book.

My book review is here at BookPage’s site (I give them seven points for the name they gave my review, “He’s a Real Nowhere Man”), and below are some more images from Sam.

I thank him for sharing.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �

A Grimm Kind of Morning

h1 Tuesday, November 26th, 2013


From “The Brave Little Tailor”:
“So saying, he took a rope and an axe with him, went out into the forest,
and told the men who were escorting him to stay behind.
He didn’t have to search for long before the unicorn appeared,
racing straight towards the tailor as if to impale him on its horn.”

Since I wrote here last week at Kirkus about a new collection of fairy tales from The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger and published by Minedition—it’s called Tales from the Brothers Grimm, and it’s beautiful—I’ve got some art from it today.

But I’ve got another treat.

Also from Minedition this December will be The Brothers Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel, illustrated by Sybille Schenker and adapted by Martin West. Now, to read about it, you can go here to Kirkus‘ starred review. (Yes, I’m kickin’ it over to them, ’cause I have a giant stack of work giving me the skunk eye.) They call it nothing less than “gorgeous” and “sumptuous.” It really is both things, more of a coffee-table book than one you want to give, say, a toddler — given things like its thick cover stitching, die cuts, and vellum pages. The stark, black silhouettes throughout the book set a splendidly eerie tone, and the highly-patterned color illustrations that appear (not pictured below) are striking. Below is some art from that book, too.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

A Trip to Europe with
Lauren Castillo and her Sketchbooks

h1 Thursday, November 21st, 2013


The book’s endpapers
(Click to enlarge)

I don’t know about you, but I could look at the illustrations of Lauren Castillo all day. So, I’m happy this morning to have some artwork from her here at 7-Imp.

Last week, I chatted over at Kirkus with author Kate Banks, whose latest picture book was illustrated by Lauren — City Cat, released by Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux just this week. So, more on the book and my chat with Kate is here, but today I follow up with Lauren, who is sharing (in her words) “a little of everything: cat studies, on-location drawings, early sketchbook studies, some reference inspiration, final sketches, and final art.”

Incidentally, Lauren has also blogged about this book. She took a trip to Europe in 2009 to “gather inspiration through sketches and photographs.” Here are those posts. (Here also is the book’s trailer.)

Enjoy the art, and many thanks to Lauren for sharing. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #355: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Dasha Tolstikova

h1 Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Guess what I did in October?

  1. I bungee jumped from the skid of a helicopter into the caldera of a raging volcano, coming within over 500 feet of a pool of molten lava.
  2. I decided to take the month off from blogging, and all the posts you saw here were really composed by my clone, ’cause I’m like THAT with a super smart clone scientist.
  3. I completely forgot about my 7-Imp first-of-the-month student illustrator feature and just skipped October altogether.

Yep, it’s the third one, though I didn’t even make the first one up. (You can evidently pay over $10,000 to do that in Chilé.)

So, on the first Sunday of each month here at 7-Imp, I feature either student illustrators or illustrators brand-spankin’-new to the field, and I just completely blanked on the first Sunday of October — though, to be sure, it was a treat to see the work of Ingrid Godon.

But guess what else? I am more than making up for it today with the work of Dasha Tolstikova, who graduated just last year from the School of Visual Art’s Master’s program in illustration. Here she is — and with lots more of her art. I thank her for visiting.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 Friday, November 1st, 2013

Yesterday at Kirkus, I chatted with Mr. Moonbot himself, William Joyce, pictured here. He is up to all kinds of mischief—or at least cataloging it—in his new picture book, The Mischievians.

And he is very serious about his work, as you will read.

That chat is here.

* * *

Today, I’ve got some thoughts on an exceptional new board book from designer and illustrator Yusuke Yonezu. It’s called We Love Each Other.

I don’t title my own columns over there, but the editor who did gave this one just the right name: Comfort and Warmth in Shapes.

That is here.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have art from both books.

Until Sunday …

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Photo of William Joyce by Tony Reans and used with permission.

What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Jeanette Winter

h1 Friday, September 6th, 2013


“As time went on, Matisse cut bigger and bigger shapes. They filled his seaside room with color. ‘You see, as I am obliged to remain often in bed … I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk. … There are leaves, fruit, a bird.’”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Mordicai Gerstein’s newest picture book, published by Little, Brown, will be released next week. This morning over at Kirkus, I weigh in on that one. It’s called The First Drawing, and that column is here.

Yesterday, I chatted here with picture book author Amy Hest about her newest Charley picture book, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, When Charley Met Grampa, to be released next week from Candlewick. (Remember last year’s book about Charley and Henry?) Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have some art from When Charley Met Grampa.

* * *

Last week at Kirkus, I wrote about Jeanette Winter’s Henri’s Scissors (Beach Lane/Simon and Schuster, August 2013). If you missed it, that link is here, and pictured above is a spread from the book.

Until Sunday …

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HENRI’S SCISSORS. Copyright © 2013 by Jeanette Winter. Illustration used with permission of Beach Lane Books, New York.