Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

Wild Side: Art from K. G. Campbell and Sydney Smith

h1 Tuesday, September 5th, 2017


— From Michelle Cuevas’s Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow,
illustrated by Sydney Smith

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

— From Holly Grant’s Wee Sister Strange,
illustrated by K. G. Campbell


 
Last week at Kirkus, I wrote here about some wild things of children’s literature — Michelle Cuevas’s Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow (Dial, September 2017), illustrated by Sydney Smith, and Holly Grant’s Wee Sister Strange (Schwartz & Wade, September 2017), illustrated by K. G. Campbell.

I’m following up with some art today.

Enjoy!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #550: Featuring Mehrdokht Amini

h1 Sunday, September 3rd, 2017


“Say it with me: Yo soy Muslim.
Our prayers were here before any borders were.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Today, I’ve got some illustrations from Mark Gonzales’s Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, August 2017), illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. The Booklist reviews says it’s a book that “invites readers into a sacred space.” I love that and how eloquently it captures this book about identity.

This is a loving prayer from Gonzales, a Latino and Muslim poet, to his daughter. Heartfelt and tender, it’s a set of words that expresses pride in cultural and religious heritage, while simultaneously preparing his child for whispers and stares: “[T]here will come a day when some people in the world will not smile at you.” This moment, which comes at the beginning of the book, actually serves as the launching point for her father’s expression of pride in their cultural identity: “On that day,” he tells his daughter, “tell them this: Yo soy Muslim. I am from Allah, angels, and a place almost as old as time. I speak Spanish, Arabic, and dreams. …

The father celebrates, lyrically, the girl’s mother; the rest of the family (including ancestors); their ancient religion (“Our prayers were here before any borders were”); and more. The brightly-colored, patterned illustrations feature the wide-eyed girl exploring her world and culture, and several spreads include her father. How about we let some artwork do the talking?

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Mike Curato

h1 Friday, September 1st, 2017


“Some of the island’s old cars purr like kittens,
but ours is so tired that she just chatters like a busy chicken ….”


 
Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got wildness on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I talked here with Margarita Engle and Mike Curato about their new picture book, All the Way to Havana (Henry Holt, August 2017). I’m following up here today with some art from the book.

Zoom zoom. Enjoy the art.

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John Rocco, Jinnee, and Big Machines

h1 Monday, August 28th, 2017



Early sketch and final art (sans text): “This is Virginia Lee,
but everyone in seaside Folly Cove simply calls her Jinnee.
Anyone who meets Jinnee will tell you that she is quite
magical.”
(Click each to enlarge)


 
Earlier this summer, John Rocco and I chatted via phone for BookPage about his research and illustrations for Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2017).

Now that the book is about to hit shelves, BookPage has posted our chat. It’s here at their site, and here at 7-Imp today, John shares some preliminary images, as well as some final art from the book.

Enjoy!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #549: Featuring Frank W. Dormer

h1 Sunday, August 27th, 2017



 
It’s a pleasure to have Frank Dormer share some images here today from Firefighter Duckies! (Atheneum), a picture book published in May of this year, which has been met with a host of good reviews. Somehow, I didn’t see this one right away, though I was eager to. When I finally did read it, I was mighty entertained. It opens, delightfully, with some “WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO”s. Actually, before readers even get to the title page they see that the duckies of the book’s title have had to climb out of a lovely bubble bath, all in an effort to contain some chaos, as firefighters do. A firefighter’s work is never done, right?

The firefighter duckies are brave and strong and rescue the likes of gorillas in chef hats, whales in trees, rampaging centipedes, and so much more that I just can’t give away. The font is super-sized and means business, and Dormer’s uncluttered, full-bleed spreads with their simple shapes and creative characters are great fun. There’s a ton of humor here; the duckies work themselves hard, because they are brave and strong. But they’re also helpful and kind, saving some lemurs (some smushed-up lemurs, mind you) and maybe even the alphabet. Yes, the alphabet. This is absurd, wildly ridiculous goodness for young readers, and it’s especially appealing, I think, to emerging readers (and is a perfect story-time choice). Read the rest of this entry �

All the Way to Havana
with Margarita Engle and Mike Curato

h1 Friday, August 25th, 2017



 

I didn’t want this to be a sanitized story for tourists, but an honest book honoring the hard work of poor people everywhere, who keep their old possessions working out of sheer ingenuity and perseverance.”

 

* * *

That’s Margarita Engle I’m quoting here, who talks to me, along with illustrator Mike Curato, over at Kirkus today about their new picture book, All the Way to Havana (Henry Holt, August 2017).

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll have some more art from the book here at 7-Imp.

Some Very Possible Milk Before Breakfast
with Mamoru Suzuki and Tupera Tupera

h1 Friday, August 25th, 2017


— From Tupera Tupera’s What Does Baby Want?


 

— From Mamoru Suzuki’s Happy Birthday!
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Last week at Kirkus, I wrote here about two new books, both Japanese imports, showing (without embarrassment) babies breastfeeding, and I’m following up today with some art from each book — Mamoru Suzuki’s Happy Birthday! (Museyon), coming to shelves in November, and Tupera Tupera’s What Does Baby Want? (Phaidon, June 2017).

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The Art of Victo Ngai

h1 Thursday, August 24th, 2017


“Dazzle was meant to make the Germans think a ship was, for example,
turning toward the west when it was actually headed to the southeast. …”

(Click to enlarge spread and see full text)


 
Last week, I chatted here at Kirkus with Chris Barton about Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion (Millbrook/Lerner, September 2017).

That column includes one spread from the book. Today, I’m following up with some more art from illustrator Victo Ngai. This is her debut picture book.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #548: Featuring Natalie Nelson

h1 Sunday, August 20th, 2017


It’s a pleasure to have illustrator Natalie Nelson visiting 7-Imp today. Natalie’s debut picture book was released last year, and below she tells me all about that book, as well as the one that followed early this year (and one coming in 2018). I very much enjoyed each one of these books, especially JonArno Lawson’s Uncle Holland (an illustration is pictured above), and I look forward to what’s next.

I thank Natalie for sharing words and images today. Let’s get right to it. (If you want to see more of her work, her website is here, and her Instagram is @nelsonknatalie.)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Rémi Courgeon

h1 Friday, August 18th, 2017


“‘Swing that rope!’ yelled Feather’s coach. … Suddenly, he understood that Feather was no wimp. The girl could hit hard, especially with her left. And in boxing,
being a southpaw gives you a rare advantage. Feather’s training had begun.”


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got two Japanese imports and two sets of breasts. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Rémi Courgeon’s Feather (Enchanted Lion, September 2017), originally published in 2012. I’m following up with some art from the book today. Enjoy!

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