Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Snooping Out Stories with Jack

h1 Friday, October 20th, 2017

All of us should assume that young writers know the particulars of their world better than we know their world.”


 

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve a chat with award-winning author Jack Gantos about his wonderful new book for upper elementary and middle-grade students, Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2017).

That is here.

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Photo above of Jack at the 2017 Eric Carle Honors was taken by Johnny Wolf Photography.

For the Love of Sister Rosetta Tharpe!

h1 Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Love the Lumberjanes as much as I do? Then you may be interested in my Q&A over at Kirkus today with Mariko Tamaki, pictured above, who has adapted the award-winning comic books series to a novel for middle-grade readers, complete with spot illustrations by Brooke Allen. Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is on shelves now from Amulet Books.

That Q&A is here.

Enjoy!

My Kirkus Q&A with Charly Palmer

h1 Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Art affords me the freedom to express what I love, and what I love is black people and the various aspects of black culture. Much of our youth are drastically underexposed to their history, and that saddens me. Continuing to take on black children’s book projects allows me to bring to life the stories of our people.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to illustrator, fine artist, and graphic designer Charly Palmer, pictured here, about his picture book debut, Kathryn Erskine’s Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2017). This book tells the story of Grammy Award-winning South African singer Miriam Makeba.

That Q&A is here.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some artwork from the book.

Until tomorrow …

A Moment with the Art of Chris Sheban

h1 Thursday, September 21st, 2017


(Click to enlarge sketch)


 
Last week at Kirkus, I chatted here with author Patricia MacLachlan about several things, and one of those things was her newest picture book, Someone Like Me (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, July 2017). Today, I’ve got some art from the book from illustrator Chris Sheban. He also includes some early sketches.

If you like what you see here, I’ll have more soon. I’ve had Chris’s responses for a 7-Imp “Seven Questions Over Breakfast” interview for an embarrassingly long time. It’s taken me longer than I like to get to that interview. The good news is: This is because it will have so much art in it. But the challenge is that those longer, art-filled interviews take longer to format. Anyway, I hope to have that up soon (and I thank Chris for his everlasting patience).

The final art you see here below from Someone Like Me is sans text.

Enjoy! And thanks to Chris for sharing.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Katherine Roy

h1 Friday, September 15th, 2017



 
Today over at Kirkus, I’m reading between the lines, so to speak. That is here.

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Last week, I talked here with author-illustrator Katherine Roy about her newest picture book, How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild (David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook Press, September 2017). Today, she follows up with some beautiful sketches from her research trip to Kenya, a bit of a peek into her process, and some final art from the book. (Pictured above is an early sketch.)

Enjoy!

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My Kirkus Q&A with Patricia MacLachlan

h1 Thursday, September 14th, 2017

I think that my slow process of becoming blind is a great reason for this book. When I now look in the mirror, I look like an impressionist painting — interesting perhaps, but not clear. What I do see is my childhood, sharp and clear. Someone Like Me grew out of my memories, a wonderful world that now serves me.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan, pictured here, about her newest picture book, Someone Like Me (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, July 2017), illustrated by Chris Sheban, and much more.

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll follow up here with some of Chris’s art from the book. (I also have a lovely, art-filled interview with Chris I’m eager to post but which I’m ridiculously behind on. I hope to post that soon!)

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #551: Featuring Shawn Harris

h1 Sunday, September 10th, 2017



“… Let’s think about and discuss the fact that this is the largest sculpture in all the land, and the most iconic symbol of the United States of America. Let’s talk about the fact that this statue has welcomed millions of visitors and immigrants to the USA.”
(Click each to enlarge)


 
I’ve a visit this morning from artist Shawn Harris, who is sharing preliminary and final images from his debut picture book, Dave Eggers’s Her Right Foot (Chronicle, September 2017). This one puts a lump in my throat every time I read it, and it’s a book Leonard Marcus has described as “one part stand-up routine, one part ode to the values that we as a nation have long held dear.”

This 104-page book starts out by laying out the history of the Statue of Liberty, and midway through it shifts to posit a theory. The iconic statue’s right foot, Eggers notes—“her entire right leg,” in fact—is in mid-stride. Where is she going? he wonders. Is she heading to a record store, to grab a panini, to Trenton? She is, he suggests, heading straight toward immigrants, “the poor, the tired, the struggling to breathe free. … She must meet them in the sea.” And that’s because …

“Liberty and freedom from oppression are not things you get or grant by standing around like some kind of statue. No! These are things that require action. Courage. An unwillingness to rest.”

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My Kirkus Q&A with Katherine Rundell

h1 Thursday, August 31st, 2017

I grew up in part in Zimbabwe, and the wild freedom I had then still, I think, acts as an engine to my days. That raw happiness that is possible in childhood is such a gift. But I also remember being dismayed, when I was between seven and thirteen, when people repeatedly told me childhood was the happiest time in life. There is so much of the world that feels opaque and impenetrable at that age, and you are so dependent on the unruly race of adults. Children are fierce, passionate creatures. I think sometimes we treat children and their lives as far more simple than they could possibly be; I want my books, if possible, to act against that impulse.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Katherine Rundell, pictured here, about her newest novel, The Explorer (Simon & Schuster), coming to shelves in mid-September.

That Q&A is here.

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Photo of Katherine Rundell taken by Blair Mowat.

John Rocco, Jinnee, and Big Machines

h1 Monday, August 28th, 2017



Early sketch and final art (sans text): “This is Virginia Lee,
but everyone in seaside Folly Cove simply calls her Jinnee.
Anyone who meets Jinnee will tell you that she is quite
magical.”
(Click each to enlarge)


 
Earlier this summer, John Rocco and I chatted via phone for BookPage about his research and illustrations for Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2017).

Now that the book is about to hit shelves, BookPage has posted our chat. It’s here at their site, and here at 7-Imp today, John shares some preliminary images, as well as some final art from the book.

Enjoy!

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All the Way to Havana
with Margarita Engle and Mike Curato

h1 Friday, August 25th, 2017



 

I didn’t want this to be a sanitized story for tourists, but an honest book honoring the hard work of poor people everywhere, who keep their old possessions working out of sheer ingenuity and perseverance.”

 

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That’s Margarita Engle I’m quoting here, who talks to me, along with illustrator Mike Curato, over at Kirkus today about their new picture book, All the Way to Havana (Henry Holt, August 2017).

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll have some more art from the book here at 7-Imp.