Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

My Kirkus Q&A with Dave Roman

h1 Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

It is frustrating to see how a willful ignorance is becoming almost a badge of honor for certain people. You see a lot of dismissive statements that are contrary to how science works. So, I think teaching kids that scientists work as a community of fact-checkers who never stop questioning and challenging our assumptions about the world is probably more relevant than ever.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author/illustrator Dave Roman about his work as the series editor for First Second’s Science Comics series of nonfiction graphic novels. I wanted to know, in particular, what it’s like to offer these science titles in a day and age of science-denial, which is what he addresses in the quote above.

The entire Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll follow up with some art from the series.

Until tomorrow …

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Dave’s self-portrait above used by permission of First Second.

Greg Pizzoli and The Quest for Z

h1 Wednesday, June 21st, 2017


“… He plunged his knife into its flesh,
but the snake turned out to be very much still alive ….”


 
Over at BookPage, I talk to author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli about his newest picture book, The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon (Viking, June 2017). It’s a book that is, as I note in my review, a complex and intriguing look at a man for whom European imperialism was unsuccessful — certainly a topic rarely addressed in most K-12 curricula. That Q&A is here, and my review of the book is here.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book.

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My Kirkus Q&A with Hope Anita Smith

h1 Thursday, June 8th, 2017

I’m a storyteller. I love telling stories. I’ve found poetry to be one of the most beautiful and effective ways to do that. Poems say what they have to say, and then they are silent. The rest is up to the reader – what they get out of them and how that makes them feel. I want them to feel something. I always want them to feel something.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author, poet, and illustrator Hope Anita Smith, pictured here, about her newest picture book, My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads (Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt, May 2017).

That is here.

Next week, I’ll follow up with some of her torn-paper art from the book.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo used by permission of Hope Anita Smith.

Things That Make Me Happy to See . . .

h1 Thursday, June 1st, 2017



 

Normally, when I do a Kirkus Q&A, as I did last week, I follow up the following week with art here at 7-Imp from the picture books I write about. I have no art for you this week, since my Q&A last week was not about a picture book. But I’m still doing a quick post. Wanna know why?

My Q&A (here) was with Deborah Heiligman, and we talked about her new book, Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, published by Henry Holt in April. Yesterday, it up and won the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in the category of Nonfiction, which made me happy to see!

In fact, all their choices in all categories were so good that it’s too hard to single out any other one book. Check out all the winners here.

Congrats to all!

My Kirkus Q&A with Deborah Heiligman

h1 Thursday, May 25th, 2017

I thought I knew everything about Vincent, but then I was in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in the summer of 2011, and I saw a mention of Theo. Next to a painting, it said something about how Theo supported Vincent. I was bowled over. I probably gasped. I had forgotten he had a brother, and I had no idea that Theo had supported him. I knew right away that I wanted to write a book about the brothers someday.”

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What’s that? You want a recommendation for a great book? I’ve got one: Deborah Heiligman’s Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, published by Henry Holt in April, a book officially geared at the late middle-grade/YA crowd but which I say is for all ages. It’s the best book I’ve read this year, and I’m pleased that Deborah chatted with me about the book over at Kirkus. I enjoyed our conversation.

That is here today.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Deborah taken by Matt Peyton.

Pantslessness (Metaphorical and Otherwise) with Pete

h1 Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

 

“Shortly after breakfast, Pete decided he was a boulder. …”
(Click to enlarge)


 
I’ve got a BookPage review of Rowboat Watkins’s Pete With No Pants, released by Chronicle Books in early May. I love this book, and you can read why at my review over here at their site.

But there’s more: I chatted with Rowboat about this book. He shares his thoughts about the story and its meaning for him, and the discussion opened my eyes to the book in new and wonderful ways. Let’s get right to it, and I thank him for visiting 7-Imp again.

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Summer Reading with Kwame

h1 Thursday, May 11th, 2017



 

Here’s my favorite thing that Kwame Alexander says today in our Kirkus chat about how he’s been named the 2017 National Summer Reading Champion for the Collaborative Summer Library Program:

When I asked him what he would say to a kid who tells him summer isn’t for reading, he responded: “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just read them a poem.”

That Q&A is here.

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Photo credit: Donnie Biggs.

Catching Up with Tim Miller

h1 Tuesday, May 9th, 2017


“In the dust and dirt at the bottom of the spring, the monster grabbed Collin
and dragged him off in the direction of an impossibly huge coin pile.”
— Early character sketch and final art from Mark Riddle’s
Margarash,
illustrated by Tim Miller

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Did you all see Mark Riddle’s Margarash (Enchanted Lion), released last November and illustrated by today’s return guest, Tim Miller? It was one of my favorite picture books of 2016, so gloriously bizarre and altogether unlike any other picture book released that year. It’s the story of a monster, named Margarash, who lives “in the deep, dark cave that lies below the cushions and springs of your couch” and one boy’s attempt to outwit him. In the end, it is, as the Kirkus review put it, a “sweet tale of a mutual passion and an unlikely friendship.”

Last Fall, Tim and I started chatting via email about the book, as well as some of his forthcoming books, and we are just now wrapping up that chat. What can I say? I got busy. He got busy. These things take time. Given my lateness in posting, now those forthcoming books are published books. Moo Moo in a Tutu (Balzer + Bray), the story of a curious, adventurous cow and his friend Mr. Quackers, was released last month. And it marks Tim’s debut as both an author and illustrator. We also talk today about his spot illustrations for Tom O’Donnell’s Hamstersaurus Rex books. (Hamstersaurus Rex, the debut, was released last October from HarperCollins, and Hamstersaurus Rex vs. Squirrel Kong releases next month.)

Let’s get right to it! It’s definitely time. I thank Tim for visiting 7-Imp again.

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Looking Elsewhere . . .

h1 Thursday, April 27th, 2017



 

Like to read picture book imports? I do. Today at Kirkus, I talk to Kendall Storey, Co-director of the new imprint Elsewhere Editions (a new children’s imprint from Archipelago Books), whose three new titles are translated from the Portuguese, French, and Norwegian — and whose next titles will be translated from the Chinese, Finnish, and Estonian. (Pictured above is a forthcoming book illustrated by Roger Mello, the recipient of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award.)

The Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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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