Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Matthew Cordell’s King Alice

h1 Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Caldecott Medalist Matt Cordell’s newest picture book, King Alice (Feiwel & Friends, October 2018). That is here.

Today, Matt shares some sketches, studies, and final pieces from the book. I thank him for sharing.

Read the rest of this entry �

Illustrator Rafael López on The Day You Begin

h1 Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Illustrator Rafael López visits 7-Imp today for an art-filled discussion about his illustrations for Jacqueline Woodson’s The Day You Begin (Nancy Paulsen Books, August 2018). I mentioned this book in a recent Kirkus column as being a wonderful back-to-school title, but it’s a book to share with children any day of the year, this story of how our differences make us special. Centered in a school room, readers meet Angelina. “There will be times when you walk into a room,” the book opens, “and no one there is quite like you.” It’s a story of making connections and finding one’s voice, but it’s more, as Rafael explains below. It’s about accepting people as they are.

Let’s get right to it, since Rafael shares so generously below. I thank him for sharing today. (If you want more of Rafael’s art, his 2011 breakfast interview here at 7-Imp is one of my favorites.)

Read the rest of this entry �

My Kirkus Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka

h1 Friday, August 31st, 2018

The best I can describe it would be to tell you it was like the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Professor Umbridge punishes Harry by making him write lines over and over with a Blood Quill. Every time Harry writes something on paper, the words get seared into the back of his hand. So there were moments when it was painful and difficult to make this book. My beautiful studio space would get transformed into that small kitchen in Worcester where difficult moments played out. That being said, there were also many wonderful moments to relive. Those scenes brought me great joy, and when the book was finished, I sort of had to mourn the loss of my grandparents all over again. It was truly a gift to spend that time with them again.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka about his graphic novel memoir, Hey, Kiddo, coming to shelves in October.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

The Making of Dreamers: Yuyi Morales’ Photo Essay

h1 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Coming to shelves early next month will be a new picture book from Yuyi Morales, called Dreamers (Neal Porter Books). In this splendid picture book — have mercy, it is a beautiful thing — she tells her own immigration story.

I’m not going to say much about the book today, because I will be writing about it soon for BookPage. (When I do so, I will link to that here from 7-Imp.) But today, I’m giving 7-Imp over to Yuyi, who is sharing a photo essay about the making of this book. (This is very similar to what she did here in 2014 for the making of Viva Frida, and that is one of my favorite posts in over a decade of blogging.)

I thank Yuyi for sharing. You can click on each image in this post, especially if you want to see larger versions of some of them.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #599: Featuring E. B. Goodale

h1 Sunday, August 12th, 2018

“Lula says: ‘This is hard work, Daddy.’ ‘It is,’ Daddy says.
‘But see what we’ve done already, even without Akaraka.’
‘Daddy!’ Lula laughs. ‘Akaraka can’t sweep.’ ‘Oh?’
‘She’s an imaginary girl.'”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Has anyone else noticed how many superb picture books former editor and now-author Richard Jackson has been penning? I tell you what, they have been some of my favorite picture book texts in the last couple of years. Last year’s This Beautiful Day, illustrated by Suzy Lee; last year’s All Ears, All Eyes, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson; and 2016’s In Plain Sight, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, are but a few examples. The legendary editor retired in 2005 and has taken up picture book-writing. Here is a great PW piece about him, published two years ago.

His newest picture book — A Kiss for Akaraka (Greenwillow), illustrated by E. B. Goodale — will be on shelves in late September. This is the story of a father and daughter (Lula) outdoors, raking leaves and discussing the girl’s imaginary friend, Akaraka. I just read the Kirkus review for the book, where the reviewer writes: “Questions about what we see and what we don’t see, what we know and what we don’t know ripple through this beguiling book like a playful October wind.” Ah, yes. Well-said. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Laura Vaccaro Seeger

h1 Friday, August 10th, 2018

(Click to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some recommended picture books, all new to shelves, for back-to-school.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Blue (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook), coming to shelves this September. I’m following up today with a visit from Laura, who talks about her process, while sharing lots of art. I thank her for visiting.

Read the rest of this entry �

Brian Lies’ The Rough Patch

h1 Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

“He loaded up the pumpkin and drove to town.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Brian Lies’ The Rough Patch (Greenwillow, August 2018). The review is here, and Brian visits today to talk about the process behind this moving picture book. I thank him for sharing.

Let’s get right to it.

Read the rest of this entry �

My Kirkus Q&A with Don Brown

h1 Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

[V]isiting Greece underscored the human scale of the tragedy. It was happening to ordinary men, women, and children, no different than my family and neighbors. The visit left me determined to tell the refugees’ story with both accuracy and sympathy. They don’t deserve less.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator Don Brown about his latest graphic novel, The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

My Kirkus Q&A with Antoine Revoy

h1 Thursday, July 19th, 2018

I love working in full color, but I considered that this story would be better told in black and white, because it would give more emphasis to textures. Animus is about looking at things which are very familiar more closely, or in a different way (tree bark, stones, insects), so this was both a practical and esthetic choice. ”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with Antoine Revoy about his debut graphic novel, Animus.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

My Kirkus Q&A with
Ambassador Zindzi Mandela and Sean Qualls

h1 Thursday, July 5th, 2018


When our publisher first approached us about doing a children’s picture book, we immediately knew we wanted it to be a family endeavor. Madiba’s legacy is something that is a part of the lifeblood of our family, and it was beautiful to be able to share this story together.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with Ambassador Zindzi Mandela (quoted above and pictured left) and illustrator Sean Qualls, pictured right, about their new picture book, Grandad Mandela. Ambassador Mandela, the youngest child of President Nelson Mandela, wrote this book with her grandchildren, Zazi and Ziwelene Mandela (ages 8 and 6, respectively).

That is here.

Next week, I’ll follow up here at 7-Imp with some of Sean’s art from the book.

* * * * * * *

Photo of Ambassador Mandela taken by Julio E. Torres.