Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

Happy Holidays 2020

h1 Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

(Click image to enlarge)


This is a quick post to say happy holidays to all my 7-Imp readers. I will take some time off this week to spend the holidays with my family, but I’ll be back this coming Sunday.

I want to leave you with this beautiful image from author-illustrator Cindy Derby, who gave me permisison to post this here.

Merry merry! See you soon.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #722: Featuring Olivier Ganthier

h1 Sunday, December 20th, 2020

Today, let’s look at a book from a debut illustrator. I Want to Ride the Tap Tap, on shelves in late December (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), is written by Danielle Joseph and illustrated by Olivier Ganthier. Ganthier, known for his street art, was born and currently lives in Haiti, and this book captures daily life with a Black family there, Joseph even incorporating Haitian Creole words into the dialogue. I reviewed it for BookPage, and that is here — if you’re inclined to read more about it.

Below are some spreads.


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Small Walt Spots Dot

h1 Friday, December 18th, 2020

Perhaps today’s post will speak to those in the Northeast with their fresh piles of snow. (This Southerner is jealous.) It’s a new tale about Small Walt, the anthromorphic snow plow, from author Elizabeth Verdick and illustrator Marc Rosenthal. This new tale, Small Walt Spots Dot (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, September 2020), is partly dedicated to “everyone who has ever helped a stray find a home.”

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The Christmas Feast

h1 Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

In the mood for a French holiday import? Today, I’ve got some spreads from Nathalie Dargent’s The Christmas Feast (Eerdmans, August 2020), illustrated by Magali Le Huche. It’s a book the author says is inspired by her admiration for Scheherazade and her appetite for good food.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #721: Featuring Kevin Hawkes

h1 Sunday, December 13th, 2020

“Big or small, the task would suit Nate either way ….”
(Click to enlarge spread and read text in its entirety)


Today, I’ve got some illustrations from The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol (Candlewick, September 2020), a new picture book from Arthur A. Levine and Kevin Hawkes. This is what Levine describes as a pourquoi tale about the tradition of presents at Hanukkah. (You can read or listen here to a wonderful NPR interview with Levine about the book.)

Nate Gadol is Levine’s original mythical creation — a “great big spirit,” pictured above, who makes things stretch for families in need. He made a “tiny bit of oil last eight days and nights in the far-off long ago,” but he also will keep your flower fresh for longer, keep a dam strong in a storm, or even help you hold a long note while singing — if your life depended on it.

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Knowing the Name of a Bird

h1 Thursday, December 10th, 2020

Follow this girl’s binoculars (by hitting “Read the rest of this entry” below), and you’ll meet some beautiful birds in Jane Yolen’s Knowing the Name of a Bird (Creative Editions, August 2020), illustrated by Jori van der Linde.

It’s been a lousy year. We need to take in some beautiful birds, right?

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An Alphabet Adventure Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Lucky for me, things are coming up very Julie today at 7-Imp.

Author Julie Larios and author-illustrator Julie Paschkis (both language lovers) visit today to talk briefly about their newest picture book, Eek!: A Noisy Journey from A to Z (Peachtree, September 2020).

I reviewed this one for the Horn Book, and I don’t think that review will publish till later. But in summary: This is a mighty entertaining alphabet adventure. It is wordless, with the exception of some onomatopoeia and animal sounds. The adventure begins with a sneezing mouse (A is for “achoo”) and ends with that mouse falling asleep safely (Z is for “ZzZzZ”) — and in between there are buzzing bees, chirping birds, a cat, a dog who likes to chase cats, a raccoon on a bike, a pig in a sleek car, a harrumph’ing alligator, a bike accident, some tears but much joy, a parade, a lion (with a mane just right for snuggling mice), and much more.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #720: Featuring Qin Leng

h1 Sunday, December 6th, 2020

Let’s take a look today at A Year of Everyday Wonders (Abrams, December 2020), written by Cheryl B. Klein and illustrated by Qin Leng. I reviewed this one over here at BookPage, if you’d like to read more about it. It’s a charmer.

Here today at 7-Imp are some of the book’s illustrations …

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Picture Book Musings Before Breakfast

h1 Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

— From Gijs van der Hammen’s Little Wise Wolf, illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma


— From Jairo Buitrago’s Cave Paintings, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

You may have heard that the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book Awards have been canceled this year (because of the pandemic). I look forward to that list ever year. At the Horn Book earlier this week, Martha V. Parravano and I were joined by Julie Roach (Manager of Youth Services at Cambridge Public Library and Chair of last year’s Caldecott committee) to pretend we were our OWN three-person committee and imagine which best illustrated children’s books we would have awarded this year. If you’re so inclined to read that, it’s here. And please come join the conversation. Which 2020 books would you have chosen?

Here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some illustrations from two of those books — Gijs van der Hammen’s Little Wise Wolf (Kids Can Press, September 2020), a Dutch import illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma and translated by Laura Watkinson, and Jairo Buitrago’s Cave Paintings (Groundwood, October 2020), illustrated by Rafael Yockteng and translated by Elisa Amado. And don’t miss this Horn Book Q&A with Jairo and Rafael.

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The Bear and the Moon

h1 Monday, November 30th, 2020

Today, I’m featuring one of my favorite picture books of 2020 — Matthew Burgess’s The Bear and the Moon (Chronicle, September 2020), illustrated by Cátia Chien.

My Horn Book review of the book is here, if you’d like to read more about it.

And here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some of the book’s beautiful spreads. Cátia also visits to share some early sketches and partial storyboards. I thank her for sharing.


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