Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Jayme McGowan, Victoria Turnbull, & Phoebe Wahl

h1 Friday, August 28th, 2015

“Where I lead, Oscar follows.”
– From Victoria Turnbull’s
The Sea Tiger
(Click to enlarge)


“‘Shhh,’ said Sonya’s papa. ‘What might seem unfair to you
might make sense to a fox.’ And he told her a story. …”
– From Phoebe Wahl’s
Sonya’s Chickens
(Click to enlarge)


– From Jayme McGowna’s One Bear Extraordinaire

This morning over at Kirkus, I peek at some Fall 2015 picture book releases and how in many of them, you’ll be greeting old friends. That link will be here soon.

* * *

Last week I wrote here about the picture books of three newcomers, so I’ve got art (and, in some cases, preliminary images) from each book today. Those books are Jayme McGowan’s One Bear Extraordinaire (Abrams, September 2015), Victoria Turnbull’s The Sea Tiger (Candlewick, October 2015), and Phoebe Wahl’s Sonya’s Chickens (Tundra, August 2015).

Enjoy the art!

Read the rest of this entry �

My Rambling Thoughts Well After Breakfast

h1 Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Big thanks to Nick Patton for having me as a guest over at his place, The Picturebooking Podcast, this week.

He and I chat about blogging and why precisely those of us who do it do it, and we talk about 7-Imp and picture books.

AND lots of other stuff.

The link is here.

It was a pleasure to chat with him, and I appreciate the invitation to do so.

Until tomorrow …


Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Daniel Miyares

h1 Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Author and illustrator Daniel Miyares—whose most recent picture book is Float, published by Simon & Schuster in June (and the subject of my Kirkus column here)—visits for breakfast this morning. Normally, he tells me, he has merely a hot cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk in the fabulous mug his wife gave him, pictured below. (“She gets me,” he adds.) If he’s taking the time to sit down and eat in the mornings, he says, he goes with biscuits. “I grew up in South Carolina,” he tells me. “It’s kind of a requirement.”

Hey, I’m in Tennessee and get this, so biscuits and tea it is.

Daniel is relatively new to picture books, at least in the grand scheme of things, and I thank him for visiting today to tell me and my readers more about his career, his books thus far, and what’s next on his plate.

Let’s get right to it.

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #446: Featuring Marc Boutavant

h1 Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

“‘You must tell me honestly if you’re getting angry,’ he went on.
‘It would be too bad if you didn’t tell me, squirrel. It would be insulting.'”
– From
The Day No ONe Was Angry


Title page art from Edmond, the Moonlit Party

Want to join me this morning, dear Imps, in looking at some artwork from French illustrator Marc Boutavant? I’m looking at two new books, in particular, here — Astrid Desbordes’ Edmond, The Moonlit Party, which was originally published in France two years ago but came to American shelves in June, thanks to Enchanted Lion Books, as well as Toon Tellegen’s The Day No One Was Angry. I believe Toon’s stories originally published in 2002, and this is the First American Edition from Gecko Press (March 2015).

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Don Brown,
Emily Carroll, Zack Giallongo, and Ben Hatke

h1 Friday, August 21st, 2015

– From Ben Hatke’s Little Robot


– From Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet, illustrated by Zack Giallongo


– From Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistant, illustrated by Emily Carroll


– From Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans


This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books from debut author-illustrators. Good stuff, these books. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I had a graphic novel round-up, so I’m following up today here at 7-Imp with a bit of art from each book — Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2015); Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistance, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Candlewick, August 2015); Ben Hatke’s Little Robot (First Second, September 2015); and Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet (First Second, September 2015), illustrated by Zack Giallongo. To boot, I’ve got a bit of art from last year’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.


Read the rest of this entry �

Keeping the Fires Stoked with Antoinette Portis

h1 Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Early sketch and final art: “Hurry!”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Author-illustrator Antoinette Portis joins me this morning for a lovely, long chat before breakfast. Last month over at BookPage, I reviewed Antoinette’s newest picture book, Wait (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, July 2015). That review is here.

Today, Antoinette talks all about the book and its evolution; her experience as a Sendak Fellow; the fine art of being content with discontent; her upcoming picture books (with art from each to share!); and much more. I thank her for visiting, and let’s get right to it.

[Please note that the colors in the larger versions of each image, should you choose to click on them, are slightly brighter than they appear in the book.]

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #445: Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Matt: “[This is a] key moment from the book
that didn’t change much from the sketch dummy.”

(Click each image—dummy and final art—to enlarge)

Good morning, all. Matt Phelan is visiting 7-Imp today to share some sketches and art from Michelle Knudsen’s Marilyn’s Monster, which was published by Candlewick in March of this year. It’s the story of a young girl waiting patiently for her monster; some of her classmates have them, you see, but Marilyn knows that your monster is supposed to find you. So she “tried to be the kind of girl no monster could resist.” Things don’t go as Marilyn quite expects them to, but I’ll leave that for you to discover if you read this on your own.

It’s a story with a lot of heart, and as the Publishers Weekly review puts it, “it’s a warm, gently funny reminder to chase down one’s dreams, rather than waiting for them to appear on the doorstep.” I love to see Matt’s sketches and to hear him talk about the progression of the artwork for the book.

And bonus! He’s also giving us a sneak peek today at some sketches from his upcoming graphic novel about Snow White. I thank him for visiting today. Let’s get right to it. …

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What
I Did Last Week, Featuring Hanmin Kim & Genjirou Mita

h1 Friday, August 14th, 2015


“The leopard ran with loud, heavy steps.
– From Hanmin Kim’s
Tiptoe Tapirs


Cover art from Nankichi Niimi’s Gon, The Little Fox,
illustrated by Genjirou Mita

(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a graphic novel round-up. That link is here.

* * *

Today I’ve got some art from the two Asian imports I wrote about here last week — Hanmin Kim’s Tiptoe Tapirs, originally published in Korea but coming to shelves in October from Holiday House, as well as Nankichi Niimi’s Gon, The Little Fox (Museyon, May 2015), illustrated by Genjirou Mita and originally published in 1969.


Read the rest of this entry �

In the Canyon with Ashley Wolff

h1 Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Author-illustrator Ashley Wolff is visiting today to share some sketches and art from Liz Garton Scanlon’s In the Canyon, published by Beach Lane this month. (Pictured above is an early sketch.) Liz and I talked about this book, as well as her new middle-grade novel, at Kirkus last week.

Ashley also shares here today some pictures of a hike she took. Here’s what she told me:

[It’s a] real-life hike from rim to river to rim my sister and I took in April of 2014. It’s a really long haul, and both rangers and signs like [the one below] discourage anyone from trying to do it in one day, but we are two, stubborn Wolff women. We started down the South Kaibab Trail before 7 a.m. and returned to the rim after 8 p.m. — 16 miles round trip and a mile’s elevation gain and loss. We didn’t take enough water or food, so at the little store at Phantom Ranch we begged a $10 off the nice attendant, a guy named Bob. We bought all the salty snacks he had, and then he handed us a SASE. Naturally, we mailed him back a $20!

The sketches [below] include a series from very roughest to finish, my main character before I found a model, and some sketches of the lovely Willa. She is also the niece of Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown.

I thank Ashley for sharing art today. Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry �

8 at 7-Imp: A Visit from Elisha Cooper

h1 Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Author-illustrator Elisha Cooper is classin’ up the ol’ blog today with a visit to talk about his newest picture book, 8: An Animal Alphabet (Orchard Books/Scholastic, July 2015).

This is my kind of alphabet book, I tell you what. It’s filled with lovely Elisha-Cooper surprises. (First things first: When you get a copy, remove the dustjacket if you can.) As you’ll read below from Elisha, for each letter of the alphabet he’s painted animals whose names begin with that letter. And on each page, one animal is pictured eight times, and it’s the reader’s job to find those animals. The back of the book includes two glorious “Did you know?” spreads that lay out fun facts about each animal in the book. There’s a bit of additional info there, too, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

It’s a beautifully designed book, and if you like to see Elisha’s graceful watercolors as much as I do, you’re in for a treat with this one. His composition choices on these spreads are superb. It’s a truly outstanding alphabet book and has garnered a big pile of starred reviews already.

Here’s more from Elisha about the book, and I thank him for visiting.

Read the rest of this entry �