Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The Birds and the Bees

h1 Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Joyce Sidman’s “Winter Bees,”
illustrated by Rick Allen

(Click to enlarge)

David Elliott’s “The Hummingbird,”
illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

(Click to enlarge)

Last week at Kirkus, I wrote here about two new picture book poetry collections — On the Wing by David Elliott and illustrated by newcomer Becca Stadtlander and, coming in November from Joyce Sidman, Winter Bees & Other Poems of the the Cold, illustrated by Rick Allen.

I’ve got art from each today.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

A Spotlight on Smaller Publishers, Featuring Artwork from Gusti, Elisa Gutiérrez, and Trina Schart Hyman

h1 Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Above: An illustration from Jorge Bucay’s The King and the Magician,
illustrated by Gusti; Elisa Gutiérrez’s
Letter Lunch;
and Eric Kimmel’s
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,
illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Today’s featured picture books really have nothing in common but for two things: 1) I’ve been meaning to feature them for a while now, and 2) they all come from smaller publishers.

Let’s just get right to it. …

First up is Elisa Gutiérrez’s Letter Lunch, which was released by Owlkids in March. Gutiérrez is a graphic designer and illustrator, now living in Canada but originally from Mexico City. Letter Lunch, an inventive wordless tale, is the story of two friends collecting letters for alphabet soup after they realize on the very first spread that only the letter “C” is on their kitchen shelves. They head out into a lush, green garden; they head to the bustling market; and eventually they find themselves on top of a mountain. When they get back to their kitchen, they find their vowels in the form of spices and finally chow down. Gutiérrez lays the story out as if a comic, using panels and pacing everything just right. The letters boldly stand out in these textured cut-paper collage and mixed media illustrations. Kirkus calls this one “pleasingly fresh.”

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 Friday, September 5th, 2014


Yesterday at Kirkus, I wrote here about two beautiful new picture book poetry collections, one by David Elliott and illustrated by newcomer Becca Stadtlander and another coming soon from Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen. (Sidman’s is pictured above.) Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have art from each book.

Today, I write about two new nonfiction books for the budding photographers in your life — Susan Goldman Rubin’s Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, and Ruth Thomson’s Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World’s Most Memorable Photographs. That link is here.

Until Sunday …

One Breathtaking Quest Before Breakfast:
A Visit with Author-Illustrator Aaron Becker

h1 Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

(Click to enlarge)

Pictured here is Aaron Becker’s sketch of the rhino that is embossed on the cover of Quest (Candlewick, August 2014), the second picture book in what Aaron calls the Journey trilogy. The trilogy began with last year’s Journey, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

I’ve told this story before, but my own journey with Journey began back in 2012 when Aaron left a comment here at 7-Imp, I clicked on his hyperlinked name, and I visited his website. I believe I muttered “whoa” a lot here at my desk at 7-Imp Central. (It was, most likely, more like “whoa, DUDE,” but that makes me sound way less professional, doesn’t it?) I asked him if he’d like to visit the blog, which resulted in this post a year before Journey came out (oh, and then this fun breakfast interview in 2013). Then, when it finally was released, I ended up blurbing it, which is something I don’t do on a regular basis, but I loved the book. When the book got a Caldecott Honor, I cheered loudly down here in Tennessee. And now … well, to see Quest finally on shelves is a bit thrilling if you’re a Journey fan.

Read the rest of this entry �

Early Sketches and Outtakes and Art and Such
from Peter Brown (Who is Not Really a Monster)

h1 Thursday, August 28th, 2014

That’s right. Despite photographic evidence from last week, Peter Brown is not actually a monster.

Since I chatted (here) last week with Peter about his newest book, My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I am Not.), published by Little, Brown, I’m following up today with some images he sent — some final art from the book but also early sketches, an outtake, etc. The early sketch above cracks. me. up.

Enjoy …

Read the rest of this entry �

Velvet Devils & Kung-Fu Girls

h1 Monday, August 11th, 2014

Take a moment, if you’re so inclined, to head over to the Wild Things! site today and hear about precisely which wines you can read while reading our book! All that is here.

Until tomorrow …

It’s here!

h1 Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

I guess I failed to mention here at my very own blog yesterday that I had a book release! I blame the bunny on the left. Yes, he knows he’s in trouble.

Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, written with Betsy Bird and the late Peter D. Sieruta, is out from Candlewick Press. If you’re at all interested in reading it, the website we created for the book has ordering information here. And we’ve been posting daily over there stories that were cut from the book. It’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed writing at that site with Betsy, though of course we wish Peter were still with us. So super bad do we wish that. (On that note, don’t miss this special event, if you live near Oak Park, Michigan.)

Starting today, we are also sharing videos from authors and illustrators over at the Wild Things site. They’ll be telling behind-the-scenes stories about their upcoming 2014 books. We’re doing that, because … well, Wild Things is really a celebration of the children’s books we know and love, so this seems a fitting way to celebrate. Today’s video is from author N. D. Wilson, and boy howdy is it a treat (especially around moment 2:43 where N. D. quotes Beowulf’s opening lines, which pretty much just made my week).

For those of you near Nashville, I will have a book launch tomorrow night at Parnassus Books. Here’s the low-down. There will be wine, thanks to Dan Hutchinson at The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills. (I cannot WAIT to see which wine he chooses for our book — and why!)

Also, I’d like to quickly add that this has been one of my favorite write-ups about the book. Tracy is a talented writer.

Until tomorrow!

* * * * * * *

WILD THINGS!. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by David Roberts. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Flop Sweat and Butt Trampolines

h1 Thursday, July 17th, 2014

This week over at the Wild Things! site, my co-author and I are doing the following:

  • Taking a look at the phenomenon that is the author school visit — the good, the bad, and the ugly. (You’ll see, if you read this post over at Wild Things!, that the title of this post today here at 7-Imp tips its hat to that.)
  • Asking whether or not Beatrix Potter really yelled at young children. (The Horn Book’s Lolly Robinson gives us the low-down.)
  • Udder Indecencies of one sort or another; or, The Saga of the Unobtrusive Monster Penis (pictured above).

Tomorrow, we’ll have a post Leonard Baskin fans, in particular, will appreciate.

On Saturday, we’ll look at two of children’s literature’s most cryptic picture books.

On Sunday, we’ll look at some true tales behind famous awards speeches.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

* * * * * * *

The above image is used with permission of Sergio Ruzzier.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #390: Featuring E. H. Shepard

h1 Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Good morning, all. The illustrator to be featured in today’s post (E. H. Shepard is just filling in) needed a bit more time to get her work and thoughts together, and I said, hey, I’m a busy lady myself these days, so take your time. And so the post is delayed, but I can tell you that when I do post the art of this talented illustrator, you’re in for a treat.

I’m not without content, though, because as I’ve already mentioned a couple times here at 7-Imp, over at a new site (called Wild Things!), my co-author and I are sharing stories that were cut from our upcoming book, Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature — stories, that is, that didn’t make it to publication, on account of length.

And I have to say: It’s been a lot of fun to share the stories. Yesterday (here), we had some stories related to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and today we have some stories related to the Winnie-the-Pooh books. The story, in fact, about the real Christopher Robin, a.k.a. Billy Moon, always breaks my heart, especially the ending and his ability to come to terms with his fame. (“[T]o my surprise and pleasure, I found myself standing beside them in the sunshine able to look them both in the eye.” Oof. Gets me every time.)

So, I’m so sorry I don’t have art for you today (other than a bit of E.H. Shepard), but I can certainly point you to that post over at Wild Things!

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Amrita Das

h1 Friday, July 11th, 2014

“A child’s life is hard, especially if you’re cursed to be poor. It’s gone even before you start on it. … If you dream for a moment,
you’re asked why you’re twiddling your thumbs.”

(Click to enlarge and read full text)

This morning over at Kirkus, because I’m preparing for a presentation about the best picture books of the year thus far, I thought I’d weigh in my with tippy-top favorites.

Thank link is here.

* * *

Last week, since I wrote (here) about Amrita Das’ Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit, an April release from India’s Tara Books, I’m following up with some art today.


Read the rest of this entry �