Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #757: Featuring Lian Cho

h1 Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

Mary Lee Donovan’s A Hundred Thousand Welcomes (Greenwillow), illustrated by Lian Cho and coming to shelves in October, is like honeysuckle to a bee for young language-lovers — and also a very welcome read (excuse the bad pun) for those moments when the goings-on in the world get you down.

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The Tiny Star

h1 Thursday, August 19th, 2021

“Once upon a time, although this happens all the time, a tiny star fell to earth.”

This is the opening line of Mem Fox’s The Tiny Star (Knopf), illustrated by Freya Blackwood and originally published in Australia in 2019. It will on shelves here in the U.S. in October. A star falls to earth and, we learn at the page-turn, “turned into a baby!” As you can see, Fox is utterly matter-of-fact about this, the notion that stars regularly land on our planet and turn into humans — so matter-of-fact and plainspoken that it’s remarkably easy to accept, as unexpected as it may be to read.

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This Very Tree: A Visit with Sean Rubin

h1 Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

“My leaves gave people shade. My branches gave birds a place to rest.
And each year, I was one of the first trees to blossom.
My flowers let everyone know that spring was coming.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Sean Rubin’s This Very Tree (Henry Holt, May 2021), another 2021 picture book offering that marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, is based on, as Sean explains below, research around trauma and its treatment. Dr. Lucy Guarnera (Sean’s wife) taught him, as he notes in the book’s acknowledgments, what it would look like for the survivor tree — the Callery pear tree planted near the Towers in the 1970s, which survived the Towers’ falls — to “experience its trauma and recovery as a human would.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #756: Featuring Bob Shea

h1 Sunday, August 15th, 2021

It’s a good day to visit Chez Bob by Bob Shea.

Bob is a very hungry alligator, but he’s also lazy. His solution? He opens a birdseed restaurant on his nose in order to attract the birds he’d like to snack on. Birdseed may be the one and only thing on the menu, but Bob does attract a visitor at Chez Bob. After that first bird tells all his friends about the new place, Bob becomes “the talk of the trees. Birds flew in from all over the world to eat on Bob’s face.”

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“Slow readers savor the story!”:
Hudson Talbott’s A Walk in the Words

h1 Friday, August 13th, 2021

“A whole page of text looked like a wall — keeping me out. By now, everyone in my class was reading book after book, except me. What if they found out that I couldn’t keep up?”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Hudson Talbott’s A Walk in the Words (Nancy Paulsen Books, September 2021).

That review is here, and below are some more spreads from the book.


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Some Cosmic Math Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

“We’re moondust and star shine all circling the sun …”
(Click spread to enlarge)

“How the World Adds Up” is the subtitle of Susan Hood’s newest picture book, We Are One (Candlewick), illustrated by Linda Yan (her picture book debut) and coming to shelves next month. It is precisely because not a lot of our world today does seem to add up (in non-mathematical ways) that I find this book so comforting. It’s a primer on early math concepts, and it’s a reminder that we’re all connected to something larger than ourselves.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #755: Featuring Aaron Becker

h1 Sunday, August 8th, 2021

“A tree stood steel-straight and proud at the foot of the towers that filled its sky.
It grew, mostly unnoticed, silently marking the seasons.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

We will soon mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It’s hard to believe. Children’s literature will acknowledge this with more than one book (more soon here at 7-Imp about one such picture book from author-illustrator Sean Rubin, which was released in May), and today I have one from author Marcie Colleen and illustrator Aaron Becker. Survivor Tree (Little, Brown) will be on shelves this month.

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Now That Night is Near

h1 Thursday, August 5th, 2021

“Come now little one, it’s time to go to sleep.
All the little children are tucked up in bed.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Today’s book was first published in Swedish in 2019 as Alla Ska SovaNow That Night is Near, written by the great Astrid Lindgren and illustrated in gouache, ink, watercolors, colored pencils, pastels, and acrylics by Swedish-Dutch author-illustrator Marit Törnqvist. The English version is now on shelves (May 2021, Floris), and as you can see above in the book’s opening spread, it is an invitation.

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Teaching the Truth

h1 Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021


I’m taking a small break from sharing picture book art to signal-book this excellent opinion piece (from just yesterday) at the New York Times from Nashvillian Margaret Renkl, an essay that touches on children’s books too. Click on the image above to be taken to the piece, and if you can’t access it but you contact me, I’ll glady summarize it for you.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #754: Featuring Kazue Takahashi

h1 Sunday, August 1st, 2021

“That evening Mayu went to the forest mailbox with her letter.
Her heart beat faster as she put her letter into the box. Then she ran home.”

Those of you who still correspond with friends and family via letter-writing know that to receive a letter from a friend, sitting there in your mailbox amongst all the credit card applications, is to receive a gift. In fact, I received one such gift this week, which brightened my day. Kyoko Hara’s newest illustrated chapter book for children, The Mailbox in the Forest, is a tribute to letter-writing. Originally published in Japan in 2007, it will be on U.S. shelves in September and was illustrated by Kazue Takahashi. (Fans of the fabulous Kuma-Kuma Chan books will recognize that name.)

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