Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #394: Featuring Julie Morstad

h1 Sunday, August 24th, 2014


“When Julia was very little, she had a splendid meal of sole meunière. And that was that. Julia fell in love with French food. She loved to eat French food.
And she especially loved to cook it.”

(Click to enlarge)


 
I think this is the first time I’ve featured the illustrations of Julie Morstad here at 7-Imp (oh wait, I have some of her art here from back in 2012). I always like to see her artwork, and her latest illustrated picture book is Kyo Maclear’s Julia, Child, released by Tundra Books in July.

The book is pure fiction. As Maclear writes in an opening note:

While the story contains no true knowledge of (the real) Julia Child and should be taken with a grain of salt and perhaps even a generous pat of butter, we hope that you will find something here to savor.

It tells the story of Julia and her friend Simca. Simca would be French cookbook and author Simone Beck, who once worked and wrote with Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking).

This book imagines a childhood friendship and two girls who work to bring cheer and imagination into the lives of the adults around them with their cooking. Noting that “too many grown-ups … did not know how to have a marvelous time,” they set out to create recipes for them. It works for the poor, tired, harried adults — until they begin to argue. The girls then decide to make smaller portions for the grown-ups, “just enough to feed the sensible children from whom these senseless grown-ups grew.” The cookbook they create here? Mastering the Art of Childhood.

Morstad used gouache, ink, and Photoshop to create the illustrations. Oh! And don’t miss Jama Rattigan’s July chat with author Kyo Maclear here at her site, Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

Here’s a bit more art. Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus and BookPage This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Gary Kelley

h1 Friday, August 22nd, 2014


“Dismissed by much of white America as ‘darkies playing soldiers,’ porters, butlers, hotel doormen, elevator operators—2,000 strong—volunteered for the cause.”


 
Today over at Kirkus, I’m shining the spotlight on Barbara Bottner’s Miss Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome!), illustrated by Michael Emberley. That link is here.

Also, yesterday at BookPage my interview with author-illustrator Cece Bell went up, as well as my review of El Deafo, her graphic novel. That is all linked here. And remember: I featured art from El Deafo back in June. That’s here.

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Last week, I wrote here about J. Patrick Lewis’ Harlem Hellfighters (Creative Editions, August 2014), illustrated by Gary Kelley. And guess what? I saw yesterday that it up and won an Original Art Award from the Society of Illustrators. See here for more information and the other winners.

I have some art from this book today. Enjoy.

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Peter Brown is a Monster Before Breakfast …

h1 Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Well, not really, even if he’s illustrated himself as one here.

First up, sorry for my silence this week, but the blog has been undergoing some much-needed maintenance. As my husband put it, there are something like 28,000 images in one folder where my site is hosted, and “I can’t believe that your site hasn’t already had a fit and gone boom.” (Notice his wording, and that’s because I always have to request that he explain this tech stuff as if I’m two years old.)

Okay. Where was I? … Yes, today I’m chatting with author-illustrator Peter Brown over at Kirkus. And that’s because I think his brand-new picture book, My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.), is very funny. (Given the book’s title, you can see now why he has illustrated himself in such a manner.)

So, we chat—the link is here—and then next week at 7-Imp I’ll follow up with some sketches and art and even deleted scenes from Peter.

Until tomorrow …

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Illustration of Peter Brown copyright © 2014 and used by his permission.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #393: Featuring Christopher Weyant

h1 Sunday, August 17th, 2014



 
Over at BookPage, I’ve written a review of Anna Kang’s You Are (Not) Small (Two Lions, August 2014), illustrated by her husband, Christopher Weyant. So, I’m sending you over there today to read about it, but I’ve got a bit art here at 7-Imp today to go with it.

The review is here.

Enjoy the art … Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Leo & Diane Dillon and Liniers

h1 Friday, August 15th, 2014



 
Today over at Kirkus, I write about a new collaboration from J. Patrick Lewis and Gary Kelley, Harlem Hellfighters.

That is here.

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Last week, I chatted (here) with Diane Dillon, and I also wrote (here) about Liniers’ What There Is Before There Is Anything There (Groundwood, September 2014).

Today I have art from that book (pictured right), as well as the last book Diane and Leo Dillon did together (pictured above), If Kids Ran the World (Blue Sky Press/Scholastic, August 2014).

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Birgitta Sif

h1 Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Yesterday I did a guest blog post at BookPage, talking about my favorite new illustrators. That is, those illustrators who have come to prominence in the past couple of years. I snuck author-illustrator Birgitta Sif onto my list, and today she visits for breakfast.

Here’s what I wrote at BookPage:

“Hailing from Iceland (but currently living in Sweden) is author-illustrator Birgitta Sif. Her debut, Oliver (2012), is the picture book I’d point to that most accurately gets what it is to be an introvert. And Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance, coming at the end of August, pretty much nails shyness. And Sif executes it all with style and warmth.”

Yep. That. I think she’s one to watch, and below she talks about what else she’s done, beyond Oliver and Frances Dean, as well as what’s next for her. Best of all, she shares some art and sketches.

As for what we’re going to pretend-eat while we pretend to sit across an actual table from one another (though I really super-bad wish I were in Sweden right now), Birgitta says, “I would say a scone with apricot marmalade and a perfectly hot cup of coffee. Or on fancy days, Nutella-filled aebleskiver with strawberries. Mmm. Those are yum. But truth be told, on most mornings I’m lucky to grab a quick piece of toast and and lukewarm coffee. A 2.5-year-old and 6-month-old keep me on my toes from very early in the morning to night.”

Let’s dream big and go for the Nutella-filled aebleskiver with strawberries.

I thank Birgitta for visiting! Read the rest of this entry �

So hard to narrow …

h1 Wednesday, August 13th, 2014



 

I’m guest-blogging over at BookPage today, who asked me about my favorite new illustrators. Needless to say, I loved this challenge.

It’s here.

Thanks to BookPage for having me!

Nervous Children and Magic Pencils Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


“‘No!’ said Joe.”
Spread from Anthony Browne’s What If …?
(Click to enlarge)


 
Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Anthony Browne’s What If …?, published by Candlewick this month. This was evidently first published last year but sees its U.S. release this year. That is here, and I’m following up with a bit of art from the book today at 7-Imp.

I’ve also got a spread from Browne’s The Little Bear Book, which was originally published in 1988 but re-released by Candlewick this year.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #392: Featuring Zack Rock

h1 Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Hey, look! It’s an animated GIF in which debut author-illustrator Zack Rock is showing us a spread being painted. I hope the animation is working for everyone.

It’s good to have Zack back at 7-Imp. In 2012 (here), his artwork was featured on one of my Up-and-Coming Illustrators Sunday posts, and now his first book is out with Creative Editions. In fact, if you look again at that post from two years ago, you will see that he included two images from this new book back then. (Also, it’s a fun post to re-read, since he talks about studying at England’s Cambridge School of Art with scholar Martin Salisbury. Zack described it as “a no-holds-barred, steel cage death match of mutual respect and encouragement.”)

The new book is called Homer Henry Hudson’s Curio Museum and will be released in mid-August. “Everything has a story,” the book opens, and Zack’s is a beguiling one. Henry is a bulldog, who owns a museum of curios from all over the world. He proudly displays several in the book and tells readers about them — from a Conatusaurus Skull from the Late Jurassic Period to a Humble Willow Root Cane. The collection includes delightfully bizarre artifacts, and Homer is a fine storyteller. I like the art in this book (illustrations that the Kirkus review describes as possessing “touches of humble elegance”), and the writing is outstanding. (“My job is to keep the place spick-and-span,” Henry says when we first meet him. “My eyesight isn’t what it used to be, but I’m a proper Magellan at nose navigation. You’d be surprised how well a 6th-century Byzantine bedpan keeps its distinctive aroma.”) Zack Rock is one to watch.

I’m going to let Zack talk now and share some of his artwork. Enjoy.

p.s. If you visit his 2012 7-Imp post, you can spot Maurice Sendak, Shaun Tan, and Lisbeth Zwerger in one of the illustrations from this book.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today,
Plus Art from Princesse Camcam, Lizi Boyd,
Richard Scarry, and Hervé Tullet

h1 Friday, August 8th, 2014


– From Hervé Tullet’s Mix It Up!


 

– From Princesse Camcam’s Fox’s Garden


 

– From Lizi Boyd’s Flashlight


 

“So Chicken Little and Henny Penny and Ducky Lucky and Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey hurried off down the road to tell the king the sky was falling.
And on the way they met Foxy Loxy.”

– From Richard Scarry’s Best Little Golden Books Ever!
(Click to enlarge)


 
Today over at Kirkus, I take a look at Liniers’ new picture book What There Is Before There Is Anything There, to be released by Groundwood Books next month.

That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about a small handful of new picture books. Since you know I always like to follow up with art, today I have art from each book. It’s all below. (Please note: The colors in the spreads from Richard Scarry are a bit off; the colors are a bit brighter than they appear in the book.)

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �