Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

Because I Want Even More of Julia …

h1 Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Hey, my blog’s still working! It probably just needed a vacation, which is precisely what I did last week. So. Well, that worked out. We are both relatively well-rested.

I’m playing a bit of catch-up this week, and today here is how I will start:

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Ben Hatke’s latest book, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures (First Second), which will be out in early September. That was here.

So, today I have some art from the book, as well as (in no particular order) what Ben describes as “some of the preparatory/mock-up/notebook stuff.” (Also, over at Facebook, Matthew Winner of the Let’s Get Busy Podcast described this book as “Miyazaki-esque,” which I love. He also wrote about it here.)

I don’t know about you, but I could look at even just Ben’s sketches all day.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

Hey, my blog said it forgives me, and I’m back in
(just in time for a week-long blog break, though) …

h1 Monday, July 28th, 2014

“‘Children, stand up.’ Mother smiled. They pushed their chairs back and stood up.
‘This is your sister. … Loretta Mason Potts … but it’s not Potts any more.
She has come to live with us—at last.’”

Granted, I’m not so sure what I did to my blog, but it’d had enough of my nonsense and packed its bags last week and went to some remote island resort — and without leaving me the keys. As I noted in yesterday’s quickie post (it had to be brief, lest the blog kick me out again), I just couldn’t get in to edit a post without the blog hanging on me and kicking me out repeatedly, but my smart tech-support husband managed to figure it out. At least we think … we hope that it’s finally fixed.

BUT … I had planned on announcing a week-long blog break anyway (for other reasons), which I’m still going to do. I can leave you with this art below, though. It’s what I had intended on posting last Friday. A couple weeks back, I wrote about The New York Review Children’s Collection’s reissue of Mary Chase’s children’s novel Loretta Mason Potts (pictured above), originally published in 1958 and illustrated by Harold Berson. So, I have some art from that book today. Bonus: The folks over at the New York Review also sent some art from some of their other reissues, which makes me very happy. (This means there’s art below from the likes of Lillian Hoban, Marc Simont, and William Pène du Bois, to name a few. I embiggened their names here, just ’cause I like seeing their art and get excited.)

Also: Over at Kirkus on Friday, I wrote about Ben Hatke’s newest project, a picture book called Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. That link is here.

Next week I’ll have some art from Ben Hatke, as well as some from Bob Graham, since I chatted with him last Thursday.

Enjoy the art below … And I will be back here at 7-Imp in about a week.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, July 24th, 2014

It’s sometimes hard to come out from behind my stories and articulate reasons for things, as the stories are not written that way. I don’t go into them with a reason or issue — only that the characters will treat each other with respect and tolerance. And that their dogs can do anything they like around the house. The rest will hopefully follow.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Bob Graham, pictured here, whose books I consistently like. He chats with me about his newest book, Vanilla Ice Cream, coming from Candlewick in August, as well as what’s next for him.

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from some of Bob’s books.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Bob Graham used with permission of Candlewick Press.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #391: Featuring Barbara McClintock

h1 Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Author-illustrator Barbara McClintock is here today to talk about creating the artwork for Beverly Donofrio’s Where’s Mommy?, released in March by Schwartz & Wade, which Kirkus calls “irresistible.” This is a companion book to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, released back in ’07. Those of you familiar with the first title will know that Maria is Mary’s daughter, and Mouse Mouse is Mouse’s daughter. In this new book, Maria and Mouse Mouse are (separately) looking for their mothers, their experiences and goings-on fully parallel, as McClintock gives us a peek into each one’s home and surroundings.

Soon, Barbara will also see the release of another 2014 illustrated title, Jim Aylesworth’s My Grandfather’s Coat (Scholastic), which has already received two starred reviews. (Barbara also discusses below some other new projects. Fans of Adèle & Simon will be happy.) I haven’t seen My Grandfather’s Coat yet, but maybe she can come back to talk about it, especially since she’s also interested in talking further about the March Leave Your Sleep exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, as well as the Leave Your Sleep Carnegie Hall concert (back in April), which had, in Barbara’s words, “images from the book projected big as a barn behind the stage. Maybe [we can have] a discussion about ways picture books extend beyond their printed avatars.” (If you’re not familiar with Leave Your Sleep—with Natalie Merchant—you can visit this 2012 7-Imp post.)

I’d love to discuss those things, but for now, let’s look at Where’s Mommy?

I thank Barbara for sharing …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Friday, July 18th, 2014

Anyone else remember Loretta Mason Potts, written by Mary Chase and originally published in 1958? That’s (mostly) the subject of my Kirkus column today, as the book was just reissued by The New York Review Children’s Collection. That link is here.

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Last week, I chatted (here) with author-illustrator Matt Phelan about his 2014 projects, Burleigh Mutén’s Miss Emily (Candlewick), released back in March, and his own picture book, Druthers (also from Candlewick), coming in September. (Pictured above is an early sketch from Druthers.)

Today, we’ll look at a bit of art from each book, as well as some sketches from Matt. I thank him for sharing.


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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Lisa Brown

h1 Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

It’s a sort of miracle that this breakfast interview is even happening, since both author-illustrator Lisa Brown and I are not morning people. Oh wait, right. It’s a cyber-breakfast, but still … If it were a real, face-to-face breakfast, you can bet that we’d be having our chat over an afternoon snack, despite the name of this blog.

Another thing we share in common? A deep and abiding love for coffee (which certainly helps make our mornings easier), so I’m glad she was willing to come have pretend coffee with me today so that we could see lots and lots of her art. In fact, she says her usual breakfast is “a cup of coffee, then some toast and peanut butter, maybe some fruit smoothie if there is any left over from my husband and son, who will have been awake and functioning WAY before I shuffle into the kitchen in my pajamas, exhausted with the effort of having to wake up and shuffle into the kitchen. Then more coffee.” I can get behind these multiple rounds of coffee.

This year, Lisa saw the release of two illustrated titles, Lemony Snicket’s 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy (McSweeney’s McMullens, February 2014) and Cathleen Daly’s Emily’s Blue Period, which just received a starred Horn Book review.

I love to follow Lisa’s work, and it was good to have a chance here to ask her what she’s up to next. There is a freshness and warmth to her watercolors that can be terrifically child-friendly, but there’s also an edge to many of her books (especially for older readers) and paintings. (She’s doing a sketch a day this year, as you’ll read below, which you can follow here.) As Martha Parravano writes in that Horn Book review, her work can be elegant. Yet she also embraces the enigmatic, as with 29 Myths. And embracing the enigmatic is always good. (Embracing the Enigmatic. Band name. I call it!)

I thank Lisa for visiting this morning and sharing as much art as she does.

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Celebrating 75 years of Madeline

h1 Monday, July 14th, 2014


Today over at the Wild Things! site, we celebrate Madeline, 75 years old and still showing off her scar. There’s some art from the book over in that post. Pictured above is my favorite illustration of all.

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

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MADELINE. Copyright © 1939 by Ludwig Bemelmans. First published in the U.S. by Simon and Schuster. First published by The Viking Press, 1958. Illustration reproduced by permission of Viking Press, New York.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #389: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Brooke Boynton Hughes

h1 Sunday, July 6th, 2014

(Click to enlarge)

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means a student or just-starting-out illustrator here at 7-Imp. Today, I welcome Brooke Boynton Hughes, who has already illustrated one children’s book and is working on a handful of others now but is still relatively new to the field. It’s a pleasure to share some of her artwork today. Let’s get right to it, especially since Brooke gives us a few words of introduction.

Brooke: I’ve wanted to illustrate children’s books ever since I was little. When other kids my age were moving on to middle-grade books, I was still poring over picture books. I loved reading, but I was especially enthralled by visual storytelling. As a kid, I spent a lot of time drawing and becoming engrossed in whatever visual world I was into at the time. There were a couple of years where I drew almost nothing except for tree houses, and there was the year of underground rabbit houses. The imagined worlds that I created in my drawings felt really real to me. I guess I loved, and still love, residing in imagined worlds.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Rilla Alexander and Bob Staake

h1 Friday, July 4th, 2014

Back cover character sketches from Bob Staake’s My Pet Book


“Read along. Read out loud.”
— From Rilla Alexander’s
The Best Book in the World
(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, since women’s rights (given the news this week) are heavy on my mind, I write about Amrita Das’ Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit, an April release from India’s Tara Books. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote (here) about Rilla Alexander’s The Best Book in the World! (Flying Eye Books, July 2014) and Bob Staake’s My Pet Book (Random House, July 2014). Now, that column also included Jen Bryant’s The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet and coming to bookshelves in September from Eerdmans, but I will have some images (preliminary images, final art, and some words from Melissa) next week.

Today, I have some art from Rilla’s and Bob’s books — and Bob shares some early sketches as well.


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TOONs Thursday: Some Art from
Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès,
Lorenzo Mattotti, and Yvan Pommaux

h1 Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

“And then, one morning, their father announced he was taking them with him to work.”
– From Neil Gaiman’s
Hansel & Gretel, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti
(Click to enlarge)


From Yvan Pommaux’s Theseus and the Minotaur
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


From Fred’s Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure
(Click to enlarge)

Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted with designer and editor Françoise Mouly about TOON Graphics, the new imprint from TOON Books. That conversation is here, and today I follow up with some art from the imprint’s three debut titles — Neil Gaiman’s Hansel & Gretel, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti; Yvan Pommaux’s Theseus and the Minotaur; and Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure from Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès, who went simply by Fred.


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