Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

A Child of Books

h1 Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Arriving on bookshelves in September (Candlewick) will be Oliver Jeffers’s and Sam Winston’s A Child of Books, and today I’ve got a little sneak peek. First, they have created one of those newfangled book trailer dealios (to be exact) for the book, which is above. (It’s always fun to hear that Belfast accent.) Also, I have a wee tiny Q&A with the two below, and best of all, I’ve got two spreads from the book.

The book is a celebration of reading and words and story and has been described as a “prose poem.” It features a sort of orphan, a young girl who is “a child of books” and whose home is a “world of stories.” She invites a young boy to join her on a journey in her imagination, one buoyed by a love of narrative. The art is playful, incorporating the text of iconic children’s stories (apparently, forty of them), and even, at one point, lullabies. There’s a lot for observant readers to pore over in this book. As you can see here, typographic artist Sam Winston was the perfect collaborator for this one. (“A continuing theme is his exploration of the hidden narratives found in canonical bodies of text.”) Here is a 2014 interview with Sam at typorn, and I’ve featured Jeffers’s work several times here at 7-Imp, but here’s my 2010 breakfast interview with him.

They talk a bit below about their collaboration on this project.


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A Peek into Denise Fleming’s Studio

h1 Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Pictured here is a gelatin print from author-illustrator Denise Fleming. She’s experimenting, while working on some new books. Since she chatted with me last week at Kirkus (here) about her latest picture book, Maggie and Michael Get Dressed (Henry Holt, April 2016), I wanted to follow up today here at 7-Imp with some images and art. She shares quite a bit of process art below, which is fascinating to see — and will have to do, since I can’t just pop over to her house and watch her do her thing.

I thank her for sharing.


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My Kirkus Q&A with Denise Fleming

h1 Thursday, May 12th, 2016

I am pretty much the same person I was at age 4 or 5. I like the same things. I am still bossy and messy. Animals were my best friends then — and now. Still like to make things using bright colors. Abhor bedtime. Peanut butter, pickles, chocolate, and cheese and chips are my favorite foods. Have added iced tea. Want to touch things I am told not to. Not fond of combing my hair.

See, the younger ones are my peeps. I know them through and through. Those older ones are more complicated.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Dense Fleming, pictured here, whose debut picture book is 25 years old this year. At Kirkus, we talk primarily about her newest book, Maggie and Michael Get Dressed, but we chat about more, too.

That is here this morning.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Denise Fleming used by her permission.


Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Brianne Farley

h1 Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Several weeks ago at Kirkus, I wrote here about Brianne Farley’s new picture book, Secret Tree Fort, published by Candlewick just last month. When I write about picture books over at Kirkus, I always like to follow up with art about a week later here at 7-Imp. I can’t write about picture books without also sharing art; it’s a compulsion. But then I got to talking to Brianne, pictured above in her home state of Michigan, about visiting for a full-on breakfast interview, instead of just sharing a few spreads. And here we are today: She’s joining me for a cyber-breakfast — her choice, which is a small cup of strong coffee, yogurt, and granola with fruit. “Or sometimes Grape-Nuts instead of granola,” she told me. “I’m 100 years old.” I’m down with that. I’ll be 100 years old with her. Grape-Nuts it is.

The guy pictured just above here on the left, who makes me laugh, is from Secret Tree Fort. I’d tell you all about how entertaining that book is, but you can also just visit the aforementioned Kirkus link, where I went on about it. And I had a lot of fun with this interview. I like seeing Brianne’s art and can’t wait to see what she does next. She also makes me laugh, and I hope one day we have a very real, non-cyber breakfast in person.

Should I say something overreaching here about how you should join me in this treehouse of an interview? Climb up the ladder and I’ve got the s’mores inside? Nah, let’s just get right to it. Enjoy ALL THE ART!

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Borten’s Book Re-Birth

h1 Thursday, April 28th, 2016

The renewed interest in work I did so long ago is both wonderful and disconcerting; it brings back a different person, a young artist juggling a career and motherhood, as passionately immersed in visual expression as I later became in sound production.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Helen Borten, pictured here, who left children’s literature in the early 1970s to launch an award-winning career in broadcast journalism and producing.

Thanks to Flying Eye Books, her picture books will be reprinted, the first in a series, next month.

That chat is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Helen Borten used by permission of Flying Eye Books.


What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Hervé Tullet

h1 Friday, April 15th, 2016

“Eeeek! We better leave on tiptoe . . .”
(Click to enlarge spread)

In honor of National Poetry Month, I have my favorite new poetry title over at Kirkus today. That is here.

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At the end of March, I talked here with Hervé Tullet over at Kirkus, and I’m just now (because I was out of town last week) following up with some art from his latest book, Let’s Play!


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A Play Date with Hervé Tullet

h1 Thursday, March 31st, 2016

I feel that inspiration is everywhere. You just have to find it. To look, observe — the streets, the walls, the pavement, the windows, the traffic jams, and so on. …

I feel that everybody is ready for this experience, including children. There’s a real connection between art and children. Children don’t know anything, and they are open to understanding everything. That’s their strength. That’s why I feel books can bring children to amazing places.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Hervé Tullet, pictured here, about his newest book, Let’s Play! (Chronicle, March 2016). That chat is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Hervé used by permission of Chronicle Books.


Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Gareth Hinds

h1 Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

If you like the artwork of Gareth Hinds, pictured right, you’re in for a treat today. In this, his breakfast visit to 7-Imp, he shares a whole heapin’ lot of artwork, and it’s my pleasure to feature it.

You may have already heard a lot this year about Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune. (Pictured above is an early sketch from the book.) It is the 256-page nonfiction account, written by Pamela S. Turner and illustrated by Gareth, of the life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune, and it has been met with a host of starred reviews. Booklist calls it “pure excitement”; Kirkus calls it a “well-researched narrative told with true grit”; and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books writes, “It’s not often that ‘biography’ and ‘page-turner’ come together in one thought, but Turner’s tale of the twelfth-century warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune is just the work to draw samurai fans from the manga and movie aisles into the nonfiction shelves.” It’s even a book getting early Newbery buzz. Gareth’s eloquent brush-and-ink drawings open each chapter of the book.

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Following Up with Barbara McClintock . . .

h1 Thursday, March 24th, 2016

“The theater lights dim. The music begins. The curtain rises. The dancers glide onstage. Gracefully they bend, and swirl, and leap. Emma watches every move.
She can feel every lift of the dancers’ arms, every step and pause.”

(Click each to enlarge)

Last week, I chatted with author-illustrator Barbara McClintock over at Kirkus about her newest picture book, Emma and Julia Love Ballet (Scholastic, February 2016). That Q&A is here, and today Barbara visits to share some art and research images.


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A Visit with Larry Day

h1 Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

“… Yes, they said, that youngster Roosevelt is going to do big stuff—
exactly like his famous, older cousin, President Ted.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Illustrator Larry Day is in 7-Imp Land today to talk about creating the artwork for Suzanne Tripp Jurmain’s new picture book (Dial, January 2016), Nice Work, Franklin!. The book—which kicks off the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency by emphasizing how much he idolized his cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt—is a lively account of FDR’s challenges and successes as President. Jurmain brings readers an accessible text filled with engaging anecdotes about FDR’s life.

Larry, who has illustrated many books about American history, talks here today about the artwork, what a Wolff pencil is, and why he likes illustrating nonfiction in general.


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