Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #500 (!):
Featuring Carin Bramsen (Again)

h1 Sunday, September 11th, 2016



 
Look at that number up there. FIVE HUNDRED WEEKS of kickin’, you all! Hard to believe, isn’t it?

I think that it’s fitting that we are celebrating kicking on a day that is a sad anniversary for so many people (9/11), because the whole idea of kicking is trying your damnedest to find the light in something, even if it’s been a hard week. There are some weeks it’s even hard for me to find seven whole kicks, but I usually manage it. It’s a good little exercise, huh?

So, thank you all for kickin’ with me for so long — for meeting here every Sunday to take the time to reflect (as I type every week) on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. (Thanks to Eisha, who founded the blog with me, for that wording.) I’m re-posting this image from Carin Bramsen. As I note on this page of my site, where I explain what 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks are, kicks kind of make you feel like the children in that image do, even if you’re not wearing a tutu on your head.

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My Q&A with Renée Watson: I, Too, Arts Collective

h1 Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Langston’s poetry was an early mirror for me. As a child, I didn’t read many novels where the characters looked like me, talked like me, were concerned with the same issues I was worried about. Poetry was where I found my people. In the lines and stanzas of Langston’s poems, my grandmother called out to me, my dark skin and crinkly hair was beautiful, and the stories of my ancestors were honored. There was strength, anger, grace, and ambition all there for the taking. I needed that as a child, and I believe our young people need that now. “

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to children’s book and YA author Renée Watson, pictured above, about I, Too, Arts Collective, her initiative to turn the brownstone in Harlem where legendary poet Langston Hughes once lived into “a space for poets, a space to honor his legacy.”

That is here this morning.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Renée taken by NAACP and used by her permission.

The Moon Inside

h1 Tuesday, August 16th, 2016


“Every night, when the dark entered the house, traveling slowly down the walls
and over the floors, Ella grew afraid.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Coming to shelves next month from Groundwood is Sandra V. Feder’s The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro. I like this book so much I want to show you all some spreads from it today.

This is the gently-paced story of a young girl, named Ella, afraid of the dark. There’s no shortage of picture books on this topic, but Feder and Sicuro handle this with such care and thoughtfulness; it really stands out. Note, for one, in the spread featured above, the book’s opening spread, how evocatively and accurate Feder describes how the dark appears to a child (or, more precisely, how it moves). Ella turns on the lights in each room she enters in order “to make the dark go away.” The sun makes Ella happy, and yellow—which dominates the book’s paelette—is her favorite color. For this reason, she avoids dusk.

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Jeannie Baker’s Circle

h1 Thursday, July 14th, 2016


“Following an ancient, invisible pathway high above the clouds,
each bird takes a turn to lead the way south.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

Last week, I chatted over at Kirkus (here) with Australian author-illustrator Jeannie Baker. It was fascinating to read her description of her collage-making process. Today, I’m following up with two spreads from her newest book, Circle (Candlewick, May 2016).

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Boris Kulikov

h1 Friday, July 1st, 2016


“‘You’re really going?’ his mother said.
‘Yes.’ Angus put on his backpack.
‘I’ll miss you.’
‘No, you won’t,’ Angus said, and left.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got some new emerging-reader books on the mind. That link is here.

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I’ve got a couple of spreads here today at 7-Imp from Patrick Downes’s Come Home, Angus (Orchard/Scholastic, July 2016), illustrated by Boris Kulikov. I wrote about the book here at Kirkus last week. You can click below to see one more spread.

Enjoy.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #467: Featuring Raúl Colón

h1 Sunday, January 24th, 2016


“Sometimes in class I’d gaze at a large map that hung on the wall. …
What would it be like to look out at nothing but dark blue as far as the eye could see?”

(Click to see full spread and read text in its entirety)


 
Good morning, all. I’ve got a review here over at BookPage of Robert Burleigh’s Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, January 2016), illustrated by Raúl Colón.

I’m following up with some art from it today.

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Bob Shea and Ballet Cat Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Pictured above is a sketch of the stars of Bob Shea’s new early reader series, Ballet Cat. That’s Ballet Cat herself and her best friend, Sparkle Pony.

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret (Disney-Hyperion) hits shelves early next month. Shea, one of the funniest authors in the field today, captures well the dynamics of play when one friend is a bit more domineering than the other. (I relate all too well. When I was little, it was Daring Donna across the street, who’d try to get me to leap from the playground swing and grab on to the pole on the other side of the swingset.) All’s well that ends well with these two best friends, but things are tenuous for a while there while Sparkle Pony admits that he isn’t fond of ballet, the one thing that Ballet Cat enjoys the most. The text is minimal; the illustrations, uncluttered; the humor, distinctive; and the comic timing, spot-on. Shea captures expressive body language in both characters with simple and bold lines, and he plays with font size to add humor and meaning.

Bob is here today to share some images from the original Ballet Cat pitch (it’s remarkable, as you can see below, how much the story was pared down for what readers hold in their hands), some early sketches, and some final art. We also talk a bit below about the very funny Dinosaur Vs. Mommy (also Disney-Hyperion), which was released last month.

I thank him for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #426: Featuring The Mad Hatter

h1 Sunday, April 5th, 2015



 

I’m typing this on Saturday night, and we’ve just returned from a week-long vacation to New York City. I’m pretty worn out, and since I took (most of) the week off from blogging, I’ve got no art today. Since I can’t NOT have images, though, here’s a photo of me and my girls at the Alice statue in Central Park. I figured that was mighty fitting, given the banner at this blog, though I apologize that the Hatter’s in the shadows a bit here.

So, my kicks from the week are legion: Being able to take a vacation to begin with; Central Park; Times Square; Lady Liberty (I have this weird phobia of giant iconic monuments, but she was far away enough on the ferry to not frighten me with her ginormous-ness); a Broadway show; a little girl who was sick for just one day (not a kick that she was sick, but it’s a kick that she wasn’t sick for multiple days); the graciousness of Brian Floca, Sophie Blackall, Edward Hemingway, and John Bemelmans Marciano in allowing us to visit their studio; seeing an old friend; the Met; the planetarium; the library lions; and much more. The biggest kick of all is that it was my girls’ first time to NYC.

Oh, and I ended up in a segment (as in, made an utter fool of myself, but hey, why not?) on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as my family and I walked past 30 Rock. Given that I’m a huge SNL fan, it was neat to be one degree removed (or however that works) from Fallon, though my secret wish to see SNL’s Kyle Mooney on the streets, filming one of his bizarre short videos, was left unfulfilled. Oh, and I brushed past Kate McKinnon in 30 Rock. WHY DIDN’T I ASK FOR A PHOTO? Oof.

Good to be home, too.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

A Peek into Roller Girl

h1 Thursday, March 12th, 2015


“IS THAT ALL YOU CAN DO?!? SHOW ME YOUR WARFACE!!”


 
Last week at Kirkus, I had a lovely conversation (here) with Victoria Jamieson about her graphic novel, Roller Girl (Dial, March 2015). Today, she shares some early sketches and final art (without text) from the book.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Christopher Myers’ My Pen

h1 Wednesday, March 4th, 2015


“But I know my pen can do anything, anywhere. There are a million pens in the world and each one has a million worlds inside it. So if you have a pen,
see what you can do—let those worlds inside your pen out!”

(Click to enlarge and spread in its entirety)


 
I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Christopher Myers’ newest picture book, My Pen (Disney-Hyperion, March 2015).

That review is here, and I’m following up today with a few spreads from the book.

Enjoy.

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