Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chris Appelhans and Steve Light

h1 Friday, January 6th, 2017

— From Steve Light’s Lucky Lazlo


“A greyhound, a groundhog,
a found little
— From Emily Jenkins’s
A Greyhound, a Groundhog
(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Patricia McKissack’s superb new book. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Emily Jenkins’s A Greyhound, a Groundhog (Schwartz & Wade, January 2017), illustrated by Chris Appelhans, as well as Steve Light’s Lucky Lazlo (Candlewick, December 2016).

I’m following up with some art from each book today, and Steve also shares some thoughts on Lazlo, as well as some early sketches and such. I thank him for sharing.

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My Kirkus Chat with Greg Pizzoli

h1 Thursday, January 5th, 2017

I’m really happy with how it came out, but it feels a little unreal. I have a finished copy of the book in my studio and I still feel a strong sense of disbelief when I see my name on the same cover as Margaret Wise Brown. It’s a huge honor.”

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Wanna take to the air with me today with both Margaret Wise Brown and author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli?

Today over at Kirkus, I talk with Greg. We discuss his latest project, his illustrations for a never-before-seen manuscript from Margaret Wise Brown (Harper, January 2017).

That Q&A is here.

I’ll have even more process images and art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

Until tomorrow …


Javaka Steptoe on Radiant Child

h1 Friday, December 23rd, 2016

I absolutely love and appreciate all of the attention this book is receiving. Not just for me, but because people are looking at Basquiat in a different way. They are seeing more than just the ‘wild child.’ They are also seeing the radiant child; they are seeing his humanity.”

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Yesterday over at Kirkus, I talked with Javaka Steptoe (who visited 7-Imp back in 2008), where we discuss his biography of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Radiant Child (Little, Brown, October 2016). I’d written about it at Kirkus earlier this year, but it’s one of my favorite picture books this year, and I wanted to ask him all about it. (You can see some spreads from it here in this May post.)

That Q&A is here.

(And don’t miss The Yarn’s coverage of this wonderful book.)

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Photo of Javaka used by permission of Little, Brown and taken by Gregg Richards.

Today, I’m Grateful for . . .

h1 Thursday, November 24th, 2016

I long ago stopped thinking of progress as a straight line. In some ways science was more open to women before the twentieth century, when it had a less practical bent and was seen as a way to worship God’s world. Of course, women were still excluded from professions, by law more than the sorts of bullying we sadly see now, but loving parents fostered the talents of daughters even when they weren’t sure that they could pursue cherished work beyond the home.”

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One thing I’m grateful for on this Thanksgiving Day is my Kirkus chat with Jeannine Atkins. We discuss her new novel in verse, Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science (Atheneum, August 2016).

That Q&A is here today.

I hope you’re seated around a table with those you love and feeling grateful.

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Photo of Jeannine taken by Peter Laird and used by her permission.

My Kirkus Chat with Brian Biggs

h1 Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Well, author-illustrator Brian Biggs and I chatted before election results about his new series, and I thought the election would turn out very differently. But right about now I’m all for his vision of communities working together to make good things.

We talk about the series, Tinyville Town, at Kirkus today. That is here. Next week, I’ll follow up with some art here at 7-Imp.

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Photo of Brian Biggs by Sacha Adorno and used by his permission.

A Picture Book is a Machine:
Or, This Machine Tells Stories —
A Guest Post by Susan Rich

h1 Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

I admit I’m pretty choosy when it comes to handing the 7-Imp keyboard over to someone, but when I had the opportunity to hand it over to Susan Rich, Editor-at-Large for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, I knew the answer was yes.

In honor of Picture Book Month, Susan is here to explore the mechanics of picture books — in more ways than one. I really enjoy what she has to say, and it all comes with art from Sophie Blackall, Frank Viva, and Christoph Niemann.

I thank her for temporarily taking over, while I fret over election results. Let’s get to it.

(Pictured here is an illustration from an upcoming book she has edited, illustrated by Niemann. More on that below.)


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The Art of Toshikado Hajiri

h1 Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

(Click to enlarge)

Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted here with David Jacboson about Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri and translated by Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi (Chin Music Press, September 2016).

Since I always like to follow up these conversations with art, pictured here today are some illustrations from the book.

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Rediscovering Misuzu Kaneko with David Jacobson

h1 Thursday, October 27th, 2016

It took many, many rewrites to find the right degree of honesty, simplicity, and child-friendliness. In the end, I think we made the right decision.
Most people tell us they’re glad we handled the story the way we did.
Even one of the folks who opposed the inclusion of her death wrote me recently to say she had changed her mind. She was glad we decided to talk about Misuzu’s tragic end, because it helps us appreciate
her character and her poetry that much more.”

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Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got a Q&A with author David Jacobson about Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri and translated by Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi (Chin Music Press, September 2016). Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some spreads from the book.

The Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tennessee’s Own Kate DePalma

h1 Tuesday, October 25th, 2016


Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I talk to author and Barefoot Books’ Senior Editor, Kate DePalma, about The Barefoot Book of Children, which celebrates the cultures of children all over the globe. You can click on the image above to read our chat.

Catching Up with Edward Hemingway

h1 Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Pictured above is a study, painted in oil, of the cat from Edward Hemingway’s Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus. This study, Edward says, helped him create the final color palette for the book.

Grumpasaurus, which Kirkus described as an “effervescent how-to for the wrangling of fearsome, tantrum-prone beasties,” was released by Clarion back in June, and around that time Edward and I talked about him visiting 7-Imp. But a move to a new home this summer delayed my plans. Mr. Hemingway was very patient with me, though, and I’m glad he’s finally here today. Also released this past Summer was F. L. Block’s My Miserable Life (Henry Holt), for which Edward created the cover and interior illustrations.

We talk about both books below, as well as what’s next for him. (I also asked for some book recommendations and was rewarded.) I thank him for visiting. Let’s get to it.

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