Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chris Gall,
Carter Goodrich, Christian Robinson, & Marc Rosenthal

h1 Friday, June 27th, 2014


– From Carter Goodrich’s Mister Bud Wears the Cone


 

– Early art from Kelly DiPucchio’s Gaston,
illustrated by Christian Robinson


 

– From Kathi Appelt’s Mogie: The Heart of the House,
illustrated by Marc Rosenthal


 

– From Chris Gall’s Dog vs. Cat


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’m doing things very by the book. This involves Bob Staake’s My Pet Book, Rilla Alexander’s The Best Book in the World, and Jen Bryant’s The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. That link is here.

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Last week (here) was all about the dogs of summer. I’m following up with art today.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Spreading the Good Word about Visual Literacy

h1 Thursday, June 26th, 2014

In our increasingly visual culture we expect readers to respond to pictures. Yet when children approach third grade, there’s mounting pressure to narrow their reading to chapter books — books with no pictures at all. My mission with the new line of TOON Graphics is to make books for readers ages 8 and up that offer both rich text and captivating image — books that promote both verbal and visual literacy.”

This morning over at Kirkus, I chat with designer and editor Françoise Mouly about the launch of TOON Graphics, and I’ll follow up here at 7-Imp next week with some art from their three debut titles.

The Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo used with permission of Françoise Mouly.

Manners 101 with Daniel Miyares

h1 Tuesday, June 24th, 2014


Cover sketch

Over at BookPage, my review of Daniel Miyares’ Pardon Me! (Simon & Schuster, June 2014) is up. It’s here. This is a picture book with a delicious (in more ways than one) twist before breakfast. Or, more like as breakfast. Today I’m following up with a bit of art from the book, as well as some extra images from Miyares that show the book’s development — sketches from the book dummy, images that didn’t make the cut, and development art for the finishes.

Enjoy!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #387: Featuring Kazuno Kohara

h1 Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Have any of you seen Kazuno Kohara’s newest picture book, The Midnight Library (Roaring Brook, June 2014)?

I’m taken with it, and I love to see her linocut illustrations.

I reviewed The Midnight Library here for BookPage. So, if you’d like to read more about the book, you can head over there.

Today I’m following up with some illustrations from the book. The one pictured here to the left is toward the end of the book when the little librarian and her owls head upstairs to read one last book before bedtime.

And below is a bit more art.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Raúl Colón, Eva Eriksson,
Rudy Gutierrez, and Dave McKean

h1 Friday, June 20th, 2014


Illustration from Bo R. Holmberg’s A Day with Dad (2008),
illustrated Eva Eriksson


 
This week over at Kirkus, I’ve got a pack of dogs — Mogie, Mister Bud, Zorro, and Gaston, as well a cat and dog showdown from Chris Gall. That link is here.

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Last week (here), I rounded up a few good Father’s Day picture books (both old and new), so today I follow up with a bit of art from each.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Kevin Sherry

h1 Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

That really should say six questions over breakfast. And no Pivot Questionnaire, which my visitor today, author-illustrator Kevin Sherry, opted out of. This is fine. He’s a busy guy, because as you can see here, he doesn’t just create books. He also dons his big blue bear head to entertain crowds of dancing children, guitar in hand (which you can read about below).

Kevin’s got a brand-new book out. Let me say first: If, by chance, you aren’t familiar with his books, I’ve got seven words for you. (Wait, that is not half as dramatic as something like two words for you, but moving on …) I’m. The. Biggest. Thing. In. the. Ocean. Those are the seven words and the title of his debut picture book, which is a favorite of mine and such a superb story time choice for the wee young crowd. (I’m lookin’ right at you, story time librarians.) The starred Kirkus review for this book says, no less, that “waves of exuberance” emanate from this book, and it’s true. This debut was in 2010, and ever since then, I watch his new releases with interest. Also, I’ve wanted to interview him since then. Better late than never!

The new book is Turtle Island (Dial, May 2014). It’s about friendship and community, and not surprisingly (for fans of his debut book), opens with “I’m a giant turtle, and I’m as BIG as an island.” For this new story, Sherry penciled, inked, and then painted with watercolors. Oh, and his upcoming new chapter book about cryptids (image below) looks mighty fun, too.

As for our breakfast today, Kevin works morning shift at a restaurant, “so I ended up eating a lot of pieces of baguettes, and I found myself feeling a little sluggish, so I started eating oatmeal with apricots and toasted almonds, ’cause we got the apricots and almonds in the restaurant, and I feel myself feeling better and not being hungry for a while.” I like how he said that in one breath. It might be hard to keep up with him this morning, but I’ll give it a try.

I thank him for visiting and sharing lots of his art. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #386: Featuring Brian Floca

h1 Sunday, June 15th, 2014


(Click to enlarge)


“The seal’s coat was silvery brown. She was eight feet long—as long as a long surfboard—and she weighed twelve hundred pounds — as much as fifteen Labrador retrievers. The people of Christchurch knew there was something very special about her. She was strong and powerful and regal — like Elizabeth, the Queen of England. And so they named her, Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas.”
(Click to enlarge)


 
Good morning, all. First up, it’s Father’s Day, so happy Father’s Day to you dad-readers out there. And happy Father’s Day to all the father figures in our lives. (It just so happens that I wrote here on Friday about some great picture books about fathers — and even some grandfathers can be spotted in some of those pages.)

This morning, Caldecott medalist Brian Floca is sharing some sketches from his latest illustrated book, Lynne Cox’s Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas (Schwartz & Wade, May 2014), and I’ve got some art from the book as well. And, since Atheneum Books for Young Readers just re-issued (in early June) Brian’s Five Trucks (pictured left), originally released back in 1999 by DK Publishing, I’ve got some art from that as well. And Brian has some early sketches from that book to share, too.

Lynne’s Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas opens with an Author’s Note about how Lynne once traveled to New Zealand (she is a world-renowned long-distance swimmer and writer and headed there to swim some lakes near Mount Cook), and it was there that she met a boy named Michael, standing along the Avon River near the city of Christchurch, who asked her if she was looking for Elizabeth. When she asked who it was that they meant, the boy explained that Elizabeth was an elephant seal, and both the boy and his sister told Lynne the story of the “Queen of the Seas.”

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Edwin Fotheringham and … well, the Wyeths

h1 Friday, June 13th, 2014


“In college, he still dreamed of fields and woods and home. But by his junior year in 1820, he also found new things to love: reading stacks of books, discussing them with friends, and recording ‘new thoughts’ in a journal. He named his journal The Wide World. His thoughts took him everywhere. And when he finished school and set out on his own, he wondered: Could he build a life around these things he loved?”
– Art from Barbara Kerley’s
A Home for Mr. Emerson, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
(Click image to enlarge)


“Ann loved dolls but Andrew’s favorites were trains, a hook and ladder that pumped real water, and his toy soldiers. When he was six, N.C. painted his portrait.
Andrew wouldn’t hold still. N.C. gave him the toy fire engine to hold, but he kept moving, so N.C. left the hands unfinished.”
– From Susan Goldman Rubin’s
Everybody Paints!:
The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, since Father’s Day is upon us, I write about some of my favorite picture books featuring fathers. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about two new biographies, Barbara Kerley’s A Home for Mr. Emerson (Scholastic, February 2014), illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, and Susan Goldman Rubin’s Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (Chronicle, February 2014).

Today, I’ve got a bit of art from the Emerson book, and Edwin is also sharing a few sketches and a few words below.

I’ve also got some spreads from the Wyeth biography. It turns out that (legally-speaking), I can post some art from the Wyeth book, if I include the spreads in their entirety. No problem. I’ll share them here. I’ve been a long-time fan of the art that has come from the Wyeth clan—my bookshelves groan under my collection of Wyeth books—and I hope you enjoy the spreads here today.

Until Sunday … Read the rest of this entry �

Catching Up with Lauren Castillo …

h1 Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I had the opportunity to make five books with Frances before she retired in 2013. During that time, we grew close, and I very much thought of her as my NYC family. She was an extraordinary editor, who always encouraged me to trust my creative instincts, something that isn’t the easiest to do when many people are involved in the making of a book. The faith she had in her authors and illustrators made all the difference, and that kind of trusting collaboration is what leads to the strongest, most successful outcomes.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Lauren Castillo, pictured here, about her newest picture book, The Troublemaker (Clarion, June 2014), as well as her forthcoming Nana in the City (Clarion, September 2014).

She speaks above about legendary editor Frances Foster, who passed away earlier this week. The rest of our discussion is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from The Troublemaker, as well as some character studies, etc. from Lauren.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Lauren used with her permission.

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Jennifer Yerkes

h1 Tuesday, June 10th, 2014


(Click to enlarge)

This interview has been several years in the making.

Back in 2012, when I juried for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, I was delighted to see a little book called Drôle d’oiseau, published by France’s Éditions MeMo in 2011. The book went on to receive a Mention for the Opera Prima Award that year. (The Opera Prima Award is given to debut artists.) It also received here in the States the 2013 Gold Medal for the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art award, as it was released in the U.S. by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky as A Funny Little Bird. Jennifer, as you’ll read below, was born here in the U.S. but now makes her home overseas — and has for many years. (So, yes, her debut picture book was published in French yet translated later into her mother tongue, as she notes in a response below.)

The book was described by professional reviewers as fresh, innovative, highly-original, thought-provoking, infinitely clever … I could go on. To say the artwork is spare is an understatement. Yerkes’ protagonist in the book consists of primarily negative space, as you can see in some of the spreads below. Pictured above, in fact, in the spread opening this post is the cover art. (It pains me to put a border around it, but I want you to be able to click on it and see it in more detail, if you’re so inclined, and if I don’t put the border, I think cyberspace adds a big, ugly thick border. Also, please note that if you click on it, the colors in the larger version are slightly off. They’re brighter than they appear in the book.)

Where was I? Oh, it’s a delightful book on many levels, and I’m glad Jennifer’s here to talk about it, to share lots of art, to let us know what’s next for her, and to give us a peek into her sketchbooks. We’re going to have lots of coffee. A typical breakfast for her involves that and then, “about two hours later: four slices of well-buttered toast. Or if I’m lucky enough to make it to the bakery, a cinnamon ‘cross.’” I say we splurge and have all of the above.

I thank her for visiting. Let’s get to it …

Read the rest of this entry �