Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

My BookPage Q&A with Naoko Stoop

h1 Monday, July 27th, 2020

(Click cover to enlarge)

On shelves this month is the final book from author-illustrator Yumi Heo, who passed away in 2016. It’s called Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party (Schwartz & Wade Books), and it was illustrated by Naoko Stoop.

Over at BookPage is my review, as well as a Q&A I did with Naoko about this book, what it was like to illustrate Yumi’s final story, what she’s currently working on, and more. The review of this altogether charming book is here, and the Q&A is here.

Below are a couple of spreads from the book. Enjoy!

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G. Brian Karas on The Village Blacksmith

h1 Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

“They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar.
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Illustrator G. Brian Karas visits today to talk a bit about his newest picture book, an adaptation of a poem originally written in 1840 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Village Blacksmith (Candlewick, April 2020) tells the story of a strong but humble village smithy, “his brow … wet with honest sweat.” He works, building a fence for a neighbor; worships at church; rests; and works again, “[w]eek out, week in, from morn till night.” Karas brings his world to vivid life with his soft mixed media illustrations, and he beautifully depicts the light and shadows of the smithy’s work (particularly its glowing embers and shining sparks), while we follow him through his days at the “flaming forge” and beyond, “[t]oiling — rejoicing — sorrowing — / Onward through life he goes.”

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Won’t You Cyber-Join Us?

h1 Thursday, April 16th, 2020


This Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m. CST / 3 p.m. EST, two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry will do a live-streamed event via Crowdcast with Brookline Booksmith, an indie bookstore in the Boston area. I will chat with her a bit about her work, including her new novel in verse, and there will be a Q&A as well. Won’t you join us?

Here’s the info.

Lauren O’Hara on Madame Badobedah

h1 Thursday, March 26th, 2020


I don’t know about you all, but I’m in the mood today for a light-hearted, free-spirited kind of tale, and you can find that in Sophie Dahl’s Madame Badobedah, coming to shelves in early April from Walker Books and illustrated by Lauren O’Hara. Lauren visits today to talk about illustrating this story, and she shares some process images and art.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #680: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Hanna Cha

h1 Sunday, March 1st, 2020

It’s the first Sunday of the month (happy March!), which means it’s time to feature a student or debut illustrator here at 7-Imp. Today, I welcome Hanna Cha, whose debut picture book — Tiny Feet Between the Mountains (Simon & Schuster) — was released last Fall. (Pictured above is the book’s title page illustration.)

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Meet Mel Valentine Vargas

h1 Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

I’m breaking my own rules again here at 7-Imp. Normally, I feature illustration students on the first Sunday of each month, but hey, I feel like featuring one day. So I am.

Meet Mel Valentine Vargas! They are, as they will tell you at their site, a Chicago-based Latinx illustrator and comics-creator. Mel, as explained below, is currently attending Columbia College Chicago, studying illustration and animation. Mel likes inking illustrations with brush pen work, and they also enjoy exploring new ways to detail and texture their work digitally.

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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Alice Faye Duncan

h1 Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

“I wrote Just Like a Mama to celebrate and affirm adopted children. I also wrote it to acknowledge the aunts, grandmothers, and
big sisters who cheerfully care for children not their own.”

Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I talk to author Alice Faye Duncan about her newest picture book, Just Like a Mama (Denene Millner Books, January 2020), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow.

My chat with Duncan is here. (Note: Barlow actually visited 7-Imp last year to talk about making the illustrations for this, her debut picture book. That post is here.)


The 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour:
A Q&A with Author Debbie Levy

h1 Monday, February 10th, 2020

“…Flory played the songs of her Nona, and they helped her feel closer to home.”

I’m happy to be a part of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ 2020 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour with a visit today from author Debbie Levy. Levy won a Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Picture Book Category for The Key from Spain (Kar-Ben, August 2019), illustrated by Sonja Wimmer.

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Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

h1 Thursday, February 6th, 2020

“She grows thinner and slower. She loses her hair. Her wings fray and tatter. Summertime bees do not live long. And Apis is now thirty-five days old. She has flown back and forth between nest and blossoms, five hundred miles in all.”
(Click to enlarge and see spread, including the text, in its entirety)

Bzz. Bzz. Today, I’ve got some spreads from Candace Fleming’s and Eric Rohmann’s newest book for young readers, Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera (Neal Porter/Holiday House, February 2020). Eric also shares some preliminary images and shows us how to un-angry a bee.

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Hannah Salyer’s Packs

h1 Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, author-illustrator Hannah Salyer visits to share some preliminary images and final art from her debut picture book, Packs: Strength in Numbers, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (See how I hyperlinked her name to her website, by the way? It will improve your day significantly to go check out the art there at her beautiful site.)

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