Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Iacopo Bruno, Jamey Christoph, Kris Di Giacomo, & Christoph Niemann

h1 Friday, May 1st, 2015


“But Gordon’s most famous shot will be American Gothic. In the newspaper, the photo exposed to the nation the unfairness of segregation. Standing before the flag of freedom, cleaning lady Ella Watson holds the tools of her trade
and the hopes of her grandchildren.”
– From
Gordon Parks:
How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“The people, however, didn’t like to be told what to eat.”
– From
The Potato King
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“… Ben had a different idea.”
– From
Mesmerized
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


 

– From Enormous Smallness


 
Today over at Kirkus, I wax devotedly about reading aloud to children. Yet again. (I’m pretty sure I just used “wax” all incorrectly, but I’m just gonna leave it on account of not having had any coffee yet.) That link is here.

Since last week (here) I wrote about a small handful of titles (mostly nonfiction), I’ve got art from each book today. They are: Matthew Burgess’ Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings (Enchanted Lion, April 2015), illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo; Carole Boston Weatherford’s Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America (Albert Whitman, February 2015), illustrated by Jamey Christoph; Mara Rockliff’s Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by Iacopo Bruno; and Christoph Niemann’s The Potato King (Owlkids, April 2015), originally published as Der Kartoffelkönig in 2013.

Enjoy the art … Read the rest of this entry �

Of Sentient Cakes
and Hairy Hands with Rowboat Watkins

h1 Wednesday, April 29th, 2015


Author/illustrator Rowboat Watkins and I had a long conversation about his picture book, Rude Cakes, coming to shelves in June from Chronicle Books — and I’m posting the conversation today. The book is the surreal story of cheeky, impudent cakes (words I never thought I’d string together)—throw in some cyclopses with some unexpected behavior traits—and it’s funny and entertaining. There are some spreads from it in our chat below. (Pictured above is a sketchbook image.)

Rowboat and I also talk below about picture books and elbow room; Sendak (Rowboat was a Sendak Fellow several years back); giant paper legs growing up hallways; resolute poodles; four-horsepower Super Rosengarts, both metaphorical and very real; the severities of plain white walls; and much more. This is essentially a conversation for the die-hardiest of die-hard picture book fans—I can’t promise the absence of a digression or two—and I enjoyed every second of it. Later in our chat, Rowboat writes:

Anything that betrays its own messy history of becoming itself makes my eyes widen.

… which I’d pretty much like to tattoo on my forehead.

Let’s get to it, and I thank him for visiting. Read the rest of this entry �

On Mistakes, Art-Studio Endorphins, and
Serving the Story with Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld

h1 Tuesday, April 28th, 2015



 
Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld visits 7-Imp this morning to share the backstory of the illustrations for Beth Ferry’s Stick and Stone, released earlier this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s the story of two friends who stand up and look out for each other, and it’s been met with positive reviews, Booklist writing that the two characters “are a delight to know” and that the “irresistible cadence of the text should make this a repeat favorite.” (This is an especially good story-time read, I might add, for the youngest of listeners.)

I thank Tom for sharing the story of the illustrations. It’s certainly a good read for those of you who, like me, like to hear about picture-book process.

Let’s get right to it. I now hand the site over to Tom. …

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #429: Featuring Charles Santoso

h1 Sunday, April 26th, 2015


– From Sean Ferrell’s I Don’t Like Koala
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


 

– From Jessica Young’s Spy Guy
(Click to enlarge)


 
I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Sean Ferrell’s I Don’t Like Koala (Atheneum, April 2015), illustrated by Charles Santoso. That is here, and I’ve got some art from the book here today at 7-Imp.

To boot, I’ve got some illustrations from another Santoso-illustrated book, Jessica Young’s Spy Guy, coming to bookshelves in May from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the story of a very loud, very bumbly spy and his “Chief” (a.k.a. his dad). Looks like the Spy Guy illustrations were created digitally, and the Koala illustrations were colored digitally — but originally created in pencil. There’s a definite difference in the two; there’s more texture, for one thing, in the Koala illustrations, and the Spy Guy illustrations channel more of a traditional cartoon vibe, which is fitting for this light and fun slapstick story.

Santoso, who lives in Australia, is an animation-studio concept artist/art director by day and illustrator by night! Here’s a bit more art from both books. Enjoy. …

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Jan De Kinder

h1 Friday, April 24th, 2015


(Click to enlarge spread)

Today over at Kirkus, I have a round-up of new nonfiction (mostly) picture books. That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll have art from each book.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about a Belgian import, Jan De Kinder’s Red (Eerdmans, March 2015). Today, I’m following up with some art from the book.

Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry �

A Raschka Moment

h1 Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

 


 
Last week, I chatted over at Kirkus with Paul B. Janeczko about The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by Chris Raschka. So today I am following up with two spreads from the book.

Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Marie-Louise Gay

h1 Tuesday, April 21st, 2015


“I shake my ideas around and turn them upside down and look at them flying out the window like a flock of birds. Suddenly, I know who lives in the forest … a giant,
a shy young giant with birds nesting in his hair. His story starts here …”


 
If you saw last year’s Any Questions?, written and illustrated by Canadian Marie-Louise Gay, who has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, you may recognize the above illustration. It’s from the book, and it’s Marie-Louise herself, hard at work in her studio. (Some of my favorite illustrator interviews have been the ones where artists send illustrated “author photos,” but I digress.)

Any Questions?—a finalist for Canada’s 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration, as well as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year—was released last August by Groundwood Books, and it was then that I contacted Marie-Louise about an interview. I’ve admired her work over the years, and then along comes this excellent book, an exploration of what it means to be creative, as well as imagined conversations with children about writing and creating art — ones based on real conversations she’s had at school visits over the years. Booklist praised the book’s “empowering” message — “that creativity is messy and fun!” Hear hear.

Yes, that was last year. Sometimes I get busy. But better late than never. But she’s also just released (this month, in fact) the adventure novel The Traveling Circus, written with her partner, David Homel, and also published by Groundwood. So, I meant to post this interview so late. Yes, I MEANT TO DO THAT. (Ahem.)

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #428: Featuring
Beatrice Alemagna and Sergio García Sánchez

h1 Sunday, April 19th, 2015


– From Nadja Spiegelman’s and Sergio García Sánchez’s
Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure


 

– From Beatrice Alemagna’s Little Big Boubo
(Click to enlarge)


 
I’m kickin’ it all international today with Italian author-illustrator Beatrice Alemagna, born in Bologna, and Sergio García Sánchez, who is a cartoonist from Spain.

If I had a dime for every time an illustrator here at 7-Imp has named Beatrice Alemagna as an inspiration, well … I’d be in Italy now. Yep. Why not? Italy sounds good right about now.

Last year she wrote and illustrated Little Big Boubo—on shelves here in the States this month, thanks to Tate Publishing—and I’ve got some spreads from it today. This book had me at its first lines:

Hello! My first name is Boubo.

My last name is Boubo too.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Lauren Castillo

h1 Friday, April 17th, 2015




“I run to my dad. I’m really bawling. ‘I’m not for sale, am I? You wouldn’t sell me, would you?’ My dad drops the garden chair he’s holding. ‘Not for a million, trillion dollars,’ he says. ‘Not ever, ever, ever.’ He wipes my nose.
Suddenly my mom’s there and we are all hugging at once.”
– Sketch, line art, and final art from Eve Bunting’s
Yard Sale,
illustrated by Lauren Castillo

(Click each to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about a Belgian import, Jan De Kinder’s Red (Eerdmans, March 2015). That is here.

* * *

Since I wrote last week (here) about Eve Bunting’s Yard Sale (Candlewick, April 2015), illustrated by Lauren Castillo, I’ve got some art from the book, as well as some of Lauren’s early sketches and line art for some of the spreads.

Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry �

50 Objects and 50 Books with Paul B. Janeczko

h1 Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Whenever I think about a new anthology project, I always look for two things. First of all, I want the project to be original. I never want an anthology to be seen as ‘just another Janeczko collection.’ Secondly, I always want my readers to reach a little when they read the poems in my collections.”

* * *

Today over at Kirkus I talk to poet Paul B. Janeczko, whose newest collaboration with illustrator Chris Raschka, The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects, marks his 50th book.

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

 

Photo of Janeczko used by permission of Candlewick Press.