Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

My Chapter 16 Q&A with Kathlyn J. Kirkwood

h1 Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I talk to Kathlyn J. Kirkwood about her new middle-grade memoir in verse.

In Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round: My Story Of The Making Of Martin Luther King Day (Versify, January 2022) with illustrations by Steffi Walthall, Kirkwood shares memories of her growing civic awareness and activism as a teenager in Memphis as well as her decades-long struggle to turn Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday into a national holiday.

Our chat is here.

Photo of Dr. Kirkwood is © Padrion Scott, Sr. / P. Scott Photography.

My Chapter 16 Q&A with Alice Faye Duncan

h1 Thursday, January 6th, 2022


I’ve got a Q&A over at Chapter 16 with author Alice Faye Duncan. We discuss her two new picture books — Evicted!: The Struggle for the Right to Vote, illustrated by Charly Palmer, and Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo.

The Q&A is here.

Cornbread & Poppy:
My BookPage chat with Matthew Cordell

h1 Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell ventures into the world of early readers with his new book, Cornbread & Poppy. Over at BookPage, I chat with him about this. That Q&A is here.

And here is my review of the book.

Below are some early sketches from the book as well as some final art. (Pictured above is the book’s title-page illustration.) I thank Matt for sharing!

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When I Wake Up

h1 Thursday, December 30th, 2021

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Seth Fishman’s When I Wake Up (Greenwillow, December 2021), illustrated by Jessixa Bagley — an adventurous tribute to the imagination of children and a day’s endless opportunities. And here at 7-Imp today, Jessixa shares things like early sketches and character tests, and some final spreads are also pictured below. I thank Jessixa for sharing. (Pictured above is an early character sketch.)

The review is here.

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Thank You, Neighbor!:
A Peek at Ruth Chan’s Drawing Table

h1 Thursday, December 16th, 2021

It is a pleasure to have Ruth Chan visit 7-Imp today to share some preliminary images and final art (and neighbor photos!) from Thank You, Neighbor! (Harper, September 2021)

“Every day, we go for a walk,” the book opens. The child (who has, hands down, the best shirt) and pet dog you see pictured above take a walk through their truly diverse and inclusive neighborhood — taking their time (“even when the neighborhood is crowded”), stopping to say hello to neighbors, chatting with community workers (“our neighbors [that] keep us safe”), noticing how their neighbors take care of each other, and always saying “thank you,” even when things get busy. That’s the gist of the narrative here, and it somehow feels revolutionary in today’s world.

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A Visit with Sergio Ruzzier

h1 Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

It’s a pleasure to welcome author-illustrator Sergio Ruzzier to 7-Imp today. He visits to discuss and share images (both preliminary images and final art) from his most recent books, all published this year.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #769: Featuring Steven Weinberg

h1 Sunday, November 14th, 2021

(Click image to enlarge)

Today, I’m happy to welcome author-illustrator Steven Weinberg, who is here to talk about his new board book series, the Big Job Books, as well as the illustrated chapter book he released earlier this year, The Middle Kid (Chronicle, March 2021).

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The Great Stink:
A Conversation with Colleen Paeff and Nancy Carpenter

h1 Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

In the art-filled chat I bring you today with author Colleen Paeff and illustrator Nancy Carpenter, Colleen says of Nancy’s illustrations for The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem (Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 2021): “The way she combines humor and historical detail with a dash of irreverence just feels so right for this story.” That comment stands out to me, because it’s how I’d describe this book as whole, one whose humor, historical detail, and dashes of irreverence — in both art and text — work together to tell an informative and entertaining story of just what the title tells you, what history calls “the Great Stink.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #760: Featuring Michaela Goade

h1 Sunday, September 12th, 2021

Earlier this week over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott, we featured a Q&A with Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade and asked her what her year has been like. Micheala won the 2021 Medal for We Are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom.

That Q&A is here. We are grateful she took the time to talk to us.

[Michaela’s photo credit: Sydney Akagi.]

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A House by Kevin Henkes

h1 Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

One of Henkes’s house sketches in watercolor and colored pencil

It was my pleasure to review for the Horn Book the latest picture book from Kevin Henkes. It’s called A House (Greenwillow, September 2021), and that review is here.

Here at 7-Imp today, Henkes shares some early sketches, as well as a few images that served as inspiration for this book. I thank him for sharing.

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