Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #414: Featuring April Pulley Sayre

h1 Sunday, January 11th, 2015

“Raindrops reflect.”
(Click to enlarge slightly)

I’m having a very BookPage week here at 7-Imp. (There was this post and then this post.)

One more today! I reviewed April Pulley Sayre’s newest picture book, Raindrops Roll. That review is here, and today I’ve got some spreads from this beautiful book.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Hopping in the Wayback Machine
(Though I Promise Not to Smash It) …

h1 Friday, January 9th, 2015


Today over at Kirkus, I’m thinking about early-2015 picture book reissues, which include Peter Spier, Margaret Wise Brown & Leonard Weisgard, Chris Van Allsburg, Dahlov Ipcar, and the impish story pictured above, originally published in 1964.

That is here.

Until Sunday …

A Chat with H. Chuku Lee and Pat Cummings …

h1 Thursday, January 8th, 2015


These two. If I were only half as cool as they are …

Go see for yourself. That’s H. Chuku Lee (left) and Pat Cummings (right). We talk at Kirkus today about their 2014 picture book collaboration, Beauty and the Beast, which Chuku wrote and Pat illustrated. They’re a husband-and-wife team, and here’s hoping Chuku ends up writing more; this was his children’s book debut, though he has had a long and distinguished career in journalism. (Actually, he told me, though there wasn’t room for it in the Q&A over there, that he is developing several ideas for other stories, so that’s good news.)

Pat, as you’ll read over there, has illustrated over 30 books in her career and also teaches Children’s Book Illustration at Pratt and Parsons. I’ve wanted to interview her for years now, and I really enjoyed this Q&A. Next week here at 7-Imp, she’ll share some art from the book.

The Q&A is here.

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Photos of H. Chuku Lee and Pat Cummings used with their permission.

A Bear, a Truck, an Unreliable Narrator,
and Julia Sarcone-Roach (a Few Hours After Breakfast)

h1 Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Author-illustrator Julia Sarcone-Roach is visiting 7-Imp today, you all, and it’s pretty much made my day.

Over at BookPage, I reviewed her newest picture book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, released just this week. The review is here, if you want to know my thoughts (I’m quite smitten with this book), and if you want to know more about the story.

Julia shares here at 7-Imp some spreads from the book, some dummy pages, and some behind-the-scenes peeks, too. She created the illustrations using acrylic paints and pencil, and I could stare at them all day. The colors, o! the colors!


Read the rest of this entry �

Last Stop on Market Street:
A Visit with Matt de la Peña & Christian Robinson

h1 Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

There’s a brand-new picture book in this brand-new year that I like an awful lot. It’s Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson (pictured above), and I’ve reviewed it for BookPage.

That review is here, and I like the book so much that I wanted to follow up here at 7-Imp with some art and preliminary images from Christian, as well as some words from Matt (pictured right) about the book.

So, all of that is below—Matt’s responses to a small handful of questions I sent him and Christian’s behind-the-scenes images—and I thank both of them for sharing.

Let’s get right to it. … (Oh, and if you read the review over at BookPage, you’ll see some spreads from the book there, too!)

Jules: Can you talk about how this story came to be?

Matt: A few years ago, Steve Malk (my agent) sent me a link to some art by Christian, saying, “You gotta check this guy out. He’s incredible.” This was before Steve had even signed Christian. Steve has impeccable taste, so I was excited. But when I clicked on the links, I was blown away. The work was so fun. And expressive. And quirky. But what struck me most was the depth. The soul. There was one piece that especially moved me. It was a boy on a bus with his grandmother.

Nana and CJ
(Click to enlarge)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #413: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Esther Lui

h1 Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Crazy Like a Fox, 2014

It’s the first Sunday of the month—the first one of 2015, of course, and Happy New Year to all!—which means a student or debut illustrator here at 7-Imp. Today, I’ve got a recent graduate. Her name is Esther Lui, her website is here, and she’s here to tell us a bit about her work, as well as share some art.

I thank her for visiting. Oh, and she does comics, too! (This one will take care of my nightmares for a while. HOO HA.) Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Deirdre Gill and John Hendrix

h1 Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Illustration from Deirdre Gill’s Outside
(Click to enlarge)


Illustration from John Hendrix’s
Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Today over at Kirkus, I write about some good things that happened in 2014 in the realm of picture books. That link is here.

* * *

Since last week I chatted with John Hendrix (here) about Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Abrams, October 2014), I’ve got some art from the book today. I also wrote last week about some snow books (here), so I’ve also got some art from Deirdre Gill’s Outside (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2014).

Enjoy the art, and until Sunday …

Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with David Roberts

h1 Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

photo taken by Lynn Roberts MaloneyI couldn’t let 2014 go by without posting this interview with British author-illustrator David Roberts. I’ve enjoyed his books over the years, but he also provided spot illustrations for Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, the book I wrote with Betsy Bird and the late Peter D. Sieruta, which was released in August of this year (Candlewick Press). David filled our book with a set of very entertaining startled bunnies, one pictured above (it’s hard to pick a favorite, but she may be it), and he also did the cover art, the image at the very bottom of this Q&A.

So, it’s the very last day of the year, but I managed to get this interview in here just in time.

As you’ll read below, David has illustrated more than 150 books (picture books and beyond), some—but not all—originally published in the UK and then released here in the States, thanks to publishers like Abrams and Candlewick. I appreciate David taking the time to talk about his work this morning and share some art. For breakfast, he told me that every Friday he has breakfast at Joe’s Kitchen near where he lives in South London: poached eggs on brown toast with bacon and tomatoes. He also said he’d always make room for a Danish pastry, but I’m all about the toast this morning (with coffee, of course), even if it’s not Friday, so we’ll have that while we chat.

Without further ado, here’s David …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #412: Featuring John Alcorn

h1 Sunday, December 28th, 2014

John Alcorn, Christmas card, 1958

Before 2015 gets here, I want to take some time today to tell you all about a book I really enjoyed this year, John Alcorn: Evolution by Design, edited by Stephen Alcorn and Marta Sironi, and published in 2013 by Moleskine. (I believe it was published here in the U.S. this past summer.) And, fortunately, I’ve got some art from it to share here at 7-Imp.

This is a beautifully-designed (book-lovers, take note) and quite comprehensive tribute to artist, designer, and children’s book illustrator John Alcorn, who died in 1992. (Back in 2012, I featured a bit of his children’s book illustrations.) Sironi, a researcher at the Centro APICE at Milan University, writes the book’s foreword, and the book’s opening piece, “Reflections on the Life and Art of My Father John Alcorn (1935-1992)” is from his son, Stephen Alcorn, also an artist and children’s book illustrator (whom I interviewed here in early 2010). In this opening piece, Stephen writes in detail about his father’s career and, with great reverence and a personal touch (the book also includes family photos), lays out the evolution of his father’s work. “At the time of writing,” he notes, “nearly a quarter of a century has gone by since my father’s passing, yet despite the passage of time, his work remains as culturally relevant today as the day it was created.”

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, the Snowy Version

h1 Friday, December 26th, 2014


And what are your favorite picture books about snow? Today in my Kirkus column I’ve got two new ones, one pictured above.

That link is here.

See you Sunday, and happy holidays to all …