Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

A Mighty, Mighty Peek at Picture-Book Process

h1 Tuesday, April 18th, 2017



 
One of my favorite things is when illustrator Tom Lichtenheld stops by 7-Imp to talk about the thought processes that go behind his work. (He’s done that at least once before.)

Today, he visits to talk about creating the artwork for Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, released earlier this year. This is the sequel to 2011’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (which has a great publication story). Bonafide bestsellers these books are. And this follow-up, which introduces some new characters, delivers the goods. Best of all in this new story, Skid Steer and Mighty Flatbed are explicitly she machines. Attagirls!

Let’s get right to it so that Tom can do his thing. I thank him for visiting.

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My Kirkus Q&A with Kenneth Kraegel

h1 Thursday, April 13th, 2017

In nature, almost every surface is patterned or varied; tree bark, sand, grasses, even snow is made up of individual snowflakes, if you look closely. Human-made materials tend to be more uniform and monotone — plastic, drywall, paper. I think those natural surfaces that show more and more detail the closer you look are extraordinarily beautiful and, I suppose, that is what I am aiming for when I make a picture, a complexity that you don’t see at first glance.”

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Today over Kirkus, I talk with author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel about his new picture book, Green Pants (Candlewick, March 2017).

That Q&A is here this morning.

I’ll have art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

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Photo of Kenneth Kraegel taken by Brooke Collier.

Clapping, Jumping,
Singing, and Shouting Before Breakfast

h1 Monday, April 3rd, 2017



 

If you get a chance to interview the legendary Patricia McKissack, you definitely say yes. I got to chat with her for Tennessee’s wonderful Chapter 16. You can click on the image above to head to the interview and read her words of wisdom.

My Kirkus Q&A with Lorena Alvarez

h1 Thursday, March 30th, 2017


(Click to enlarge photo)


 

The idea of Nightlights came from a very early memory. When I was a kid, I used to stay awake at night, and I could see little color dots in the dark, like glitter. I used to imagine that I could catch those dots and release them, while drawing any shape I wanted. ”

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This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to author-illustrator Lorena Alvarez about her new graphic novel, Nightlights (Nobrow, March 2017).

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll have some more spreads from the book.

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Photo of Lorena Alvarez used by her permission.

The Magic Touch of Staying in Closer Touch

h1 Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I’ve got something entirely different over at Kirkus today. Instead of talking to a picture book or middle-grade author or to an illustrator, I talk to a volunteer for a literacy program run by Ann Arbor’s Children’s Literacy Network. This non-profit organization’s program, called Staying in Closer Touch, unites incarcerated parents and their children through children’s books. I heard all about it on a recent visit to Ann Arbor and wanted to write about it, should other literacy non-profits want to learn more.

That Q&A with volunteer Bonnie Schramm is here. (Corduroy is mentioned in our chat. Hence, the image here.)

Until tomorrow …

Seven Questions Over Lunch with Viviane Schwarz

h1 Tuesday, March 14th, 2017



 
Although I’ve featured art from her books over the last several years, the last time British author-illustrator Viviane Schwarz visited was 2009. (That was fun.) It’s a pleasure to have her visit today for some coffee. We’re having lunch, not breakfast, because I had a slow start to my day. But we’ll still have coffee, while she shows me some of her art, because she’s a fan. “I have one cup of black coffee,” she said when I asked her about breakfast, “on the sofa, watching whatever black-and-white movie is on. That is a good breakfast. An excellent breakfast is when it’s sunny, and I have time to cook up eggs and marmite soldiers and take them into the park to eat under a tree.”

I had to look up what marmite soldiers are, but I fully approve. I also approve of going to the park. (Right about now, I wish this weren’t a cyber-breakfast and that we were really heading outside.) And I think that what was once going to be breakfast would still serve as a great lunch.

Not only do I enjoy Viviane’s books and her artwork, but I enjoyed reading many of her responses today. I thank her for sharing art in this interview — and for creating some of the pieces, such as the one above, specifically for her 7-Imp visit.

Let’s get to it. ….

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My Kirkus Q&A with Charlotte Riley-Webb

h1 Thursday, March 2nd, 2017


As a painter by profession—and understanding the commitment of time, having previously illustrated six children’s books—I had initially declined this opportunity but reluctantly agreed to read the manuscript. My focus immediately shifted. I went from feeling reluctant to challenged, and then on to privileged and ended up at obligated.”

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This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to painter and illustrator Charlotte Riley-Webb about her paintings for Gary Golio’s new picture book Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song (Millbrook/Lerner, February 2017).

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll have some more spreads from the book.

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Photo of Charlotte Riley-Webb used by her permission.

The Art of Mike Cavallaro

h1 Thursday, February 23rd, 2017


(Click to enlarge and see page in its entirety)


 
Last week at Kirkus, I talked to author Adam Rapp (here) about his new graphic novel, Decelerate Blue (First Second, February 2017). Today, I’m following up with some art from the book, which was illustrated by Mike Cavallaro.

Enjoy.

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Matt Cordell on Wolf and Bob … and More

h1 Tuesday, February 21st, 2017



 
I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Matthew Cordell’s January 2017 picture book, Wolf in the Snow (Feiwel and Friends). That review is here, and I invited Matt for a chat that we started early in the year to talk about the book, how it’s changed over the years (you’ll read below that he started working on it in 2013), what else he’s up to (including Liz Garton Scanlon’s and Audrey Vernick’s Bob, Not Bob!), and more.

Enjoy!

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My Kirkus Q&A with Adam Rapp

h1 Thursday, February 16th, 2017

[O]ne day I saw this older Asian man walking very slowly in the Astor Place area. If a fellow pedestrian came toward him—while engaged with their smartphone, head down, thumbs pummeling their smartphone screen—the Asian man would wave his hand right in front of their face. It was startling, but it actually forced people to look up and consider where they were going and whom they might be walking toward. I thought the guy was a genius. He was starting a revolution of sorts. Stop. Look up. Consider another human being. Connect. I think that was the moment when the idea for the book came to me.”

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Today over Kirkus, I talk with Adam Rapp about his new YA graphic novel, Decelerate Blue (First Second, February 2017), illustrated by Mike Cavallaro.

That Q&A is here this morning.

I’ll have art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

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Photo of Adam Rapp taken by Sham Hinchey.