Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

Around the World with Matt Lamothe

h1 Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

The choice to use real children, instead of made-up characters for the book, felt like a natural way to make the experience of a different culture authentic and relatable. I remember as a kid learning about other cultures in books, and a typical page would show ‘Pierre lives in Paris and loves to eat baguettes.’ … By using real kids, not only does the reader learn about cultural specificity, but they also see that people are individuals within their culture and that they have their own unique day that may or may not line up with prevailing cultural expectations.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Matt Lamothe, pictured here, about This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World (Chronicle, May 2017).

That Q&A is here. Next week, I’ll have some art from the book here at 7-Imp.

Until tomorrow …

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Ed Young and Barbara DaCosta

h1 Friday, July 28th, 2017

“‘Shh! There he is,’ the captain whispered.
‘Row quiet. … Row fast. … Hold steady now—‘”

(Click to enlarge spread)

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a picture book import from New Zealand. That is here. Woof. Woof.

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Last week, I wrote here about Barbara Dacosta and Ed Young’s Mighty Moby (Little, Brown, August 2017). I’ve got a bit of art from the book today, as well as some preliminary images and a few words (below) from Barbara about the book’s creation.

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My Kirkus Chat with Seymour Simon

h1 Thursday, July 20th, 2017

When I write, I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in trying to teach facts. The facts may change, but the enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

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This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to author-illustrator Seymour Simon about his newest nonfiction picture book and his career of making books for children, which has spanned over 300 books and nearly 50 years.

That is here.

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Photo of Seymour Simon © Charles Harbutt and used by permission.

My Kirkus Q&A with Leda Schubert

h1 Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Who invented the hot shower? I owe most of my first lines to that brilliant person. I can research and write and think and suffer, and then one morning—if lucky—the shower gods deliver a sentence. It is that sentence that allows me to stop researching endlessly and begin to write ….”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Leda Schubert, pictured here, about her new picture book biography of Pete Seeger, Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2017), illustrated by Raúl Colón.

That Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Leda’s photo taken by Bear Pond Books.


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.

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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