Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

Lauren O’Hara on Madame Badobedah

h1 Thursday, March 26th, 2020


I don’t know about you all, but I’m in the mood today for a light-hearted, free-spirited kind of tale, and you can find that in Sophie Dahl’s Madame Badobedah, coming to shelves in early April from Walker Books and illustrated by Lauren O’Hara. Lauren visits today to talk about illustrating this story, and she shares some process images and art.

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Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies

h1 Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

“What do things look like? Really? I often think about that.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a few spreads today from an illustrated novel, originally published in Swedish in 2017. Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies will be on shelves in May from Groundwood books and has been translated by B. J. Epstein. This lyrical, deeply felt story (which received Sweden’s August Prize, as well as the Snöbollen award) was inspired by the paintings, letters, and diaries of Swedish artist Berta Hansson, who was born in 1910 and died in 1994.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #683: Featuring Susanna Chapman

h1 Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

(Click image to enlarge)

Today’s art is from illustrator Susanna Chapman — who, lucky me, is local to me. (She lives in Nashville.) She recently shared this drawing on Instagram — I love the idea of deferred hugs — and I secured her permission to share it here. She also has a time-lapse video of the drawing to heighten, as she puts it, the time-based hug experience. Susanna says the time-lapse video is more meaningful to her, since she misses the time element of hugging people. So, here it is, the drawing in action:

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Rob Dunlavey on David Elliott’s In the Woods

h1 Friday, March 20th, 2020

Today, illustrator Rob Dunlavey visits to talk about illustrating David Elliott’s In the Woods (Candlewick, April 2020), a poetry collection that explores 15 creatures in their woodland habitats — from little (the millipede) to large (the moose). Elliott kicks things off with the bear and wraps it all up, gracefully, with the deer. In between, there’s awe, humor, and always keen observation in these short, exquisitely crafted poems. Rob’s illustrations eloquently capture the light and shadows of these homes in the woods, and today, he talks about the creation of some of these spreads.

I thank him for visiting. Let’s get to it. Read the rest of this entry �

Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

h1 Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Here’s a post to showcase a couple of spreads from Jonah Winter’s Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children (Schwartz & Wade, February 2020), illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Winter doesn’t approach this story in a traditional picture-book-bio kind of way. That is, we don’t start with the birth of Mary Harris, a.k.a. Mother Jones, and end with her death. Instead, Winter kicks things off with Mother Jones in the midst of her fervent anger: “My name is Mother Jones, and I’m MAD. And you’d be MAD, too, if you’d seen what I’ve seen.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #682: Featuring Anne Hunter

h1 Sunday, March 15th, 2020

It wasn’t that long ago that I was telling you all about a new picture book from Anne Hunter (in this February post). I do love her work, and she has illustrated another new book. This one, The Nest That Wren Built (Candlewick, March 2020), is by Randi Sonenshine. I reviewed it for BookPage, so if you’d like to read more about it, that is here.

And here at 7-Imp today are a few spreads from the book.

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A Hike Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, March 12th, 2020

It’s early morning in suburbia. Father and child wake, pack the jeep, and head to the mountains. They hike, explore nature, play, snack, mountain-climb, and even plant a tree. When they’re done, they record it all in the family photo album. This is the story of Pete Oswald’s Hike (Candlewick, March 2020), and it’s a (mostly) wordless ode to not only the outdoors but to the parent-child bond.

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Some Chaos Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Colin Meloy’s new picture book, Everyone’s Awake (Chronicle, March 2020), is a wild ride. To say the least. Illustrated by Shawn Harris, it’s an exhilarating and joyous and downright anarchic adventure.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #681: Featuring Anke Kuhl

h1 Sunday, March 8th, 2020

I read just this morning about a well-reviewed book about sex, aimed at children and written by a sex educator, causing all kinds of controversy at a Massachusetts school. To be clear, I haven’t read that particular book, but generally speaking these kinds of stories bum me out. Children deserve, for many reasons, straight-up talk about their changing bodies, sex, and gender identity, and at least here in the South, I find that many adults would just like to pretend students don’t have curiosity about these things all. (What passes for sex education here is pretty dismal.)

That’s one reason I was happy to read Tell Me: What Children Really Want to Know about Bodies, Sex and Emotions (Gecko), a German import (originally published in 2014 and translated by Shelley Tanaka) now on shelves here in the U.S. It is written by Katharina von der Gathen and illustrated by Anke Kuhl. And it is a breath of fresh air. Read the rest of this entry �

Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

h1 Thursday, March 5th, 2020

(Click image to enlarge)

Above is a peek into author-illustrator Selina Alko’s sketchbook as she was working on her newest picture book, Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell (Harper, February 2020).

I reviewed this one for BookPage — that review is here, if you’d like to read about the book — and below are more peeks into Selina’s sketchbook, a look at some early sketches, and a couple of final spreads from the book. I thank Selina for sharing.

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