Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

Drawing on Walls Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

“Here is Keith Haring painting a mural with hundreds of children in Tama City, Japan. Keith draws the outlines and the kids fill them in with their own designs.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Note that today’s book, as the subtitle tells us, is “a” story of legendary artist Keith Haring. It’s not “the” story of Keith Haring, because it’s not as if only one story could capture his life and his spirit. This subtle word choice is one of many thoughtful details that went into the creation of this spectacular picture book biography.

Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring (Enchanted Lion, May 2020), written by Matthew Burgess and illustrated by Josh Cochran, opens with the spread pictured above, which so perfectly communicates the essence of Keith’s artistic vision—and legacy. At this page turn, we then meet Keith as a child. …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #699: Featuring Julie Völk

h1 Sunday, July 12th, 2020

“I know it might take a little while.
But that’s okay—I can wait.”

Sepideh Sarihi’s My Favorite Memories (Blue Dot Kids Press, August 2020) is a truly international affair. This story comes from an author born in Iran, who has lived in Germany for nearly a decade now. Illustrator Julie Völk is Austrian, and the book was translated from the German by the award-winning translator Elisabeth Lauffer. The original German-language edition of this book was released in 2018.

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Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures

h1 Thursday, July 9th, 2020

(Click spread to enlarge)

Khalil lives in a new house. He lives upstairs, and downstairs lives elderly Mr. Hagerty, whose life is signficantly more quiet than the “big and busy and noisy” lives of Khalil’s family. The two tenants share a backyard, and each loves it. Mr. Hagerty works in his garden; Khalil hunts bugs and “interesting rocks.”

This is the story of Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures (Candlewick, May 2020), written by Tricia Springstubb and illustrated by Elaheh Taherian.

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True Inscrutability Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Louis: “I wish I was alone. …”
(Click image to read poem in its entirety)

I Wish is a Dutch import, originally released in 2011 and now on American shelves (March 2020), thanks to Elsewhere Editions. Translated by David Colmer, this striking collection of poems, over a hundred pages long, was written by famed Dutch writer Toon Tellegen (a 2006 finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award) and includes portraits by the award-winning Flemish illustrator Ingrid Godon.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #698: Featuring Rahele Jomepour Bell

h1 Sunday, July 5th, 2020

(Click to enlarge)

Today, I’ve some spreads from A. E. Ali’s Our Favorite Day of the Year (Salaam Reads, June 2020), illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell. It’s a sweet, earnest story — one about budding kindergarten friendships and learning to accept diverse ways of life. Other than one’s home, where else but in classrooms can we better instill such an appreciation in children? Pictured above are the book’s endpapers, which depict symbols from various cultures around the world.

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Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy

h1 Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

“White sand. Green field.” The first spread of Tara Dairman’s Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy (Putnam, May 2020), illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan, is divided into horizontal strips — one image, dominated by copper colors, of a dry, hot desert and the second, dominated by lush greens, blues, and purples, of fields that have seen plenty of rain. Turn the page to meet the families who live in each locale.

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Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer

h1 Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Today, I’ve got some spreads from one of my favorite summer reads, Gillian Goerz’s Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer (Dial, July 2020). Gillian also shares some early sketches and such from this, her first graphic novel. (Pictured above are drawings of the two main characters.)

This is the story, set in Canada, of two girls who strike up a friendship and — bonus! — solve a mystery together. But that basic summary doesn’t quite capture the many delights of this book. It’s a story whose biggest strength lies in its detailed, whip-smart characterizations.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #697: Featuring Charly Palmer

h1 Sunday, June 28th, 2020

“I could get in some laughs with inside toys —
cars and games that bring much joy.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I know I’ve said here before at 7-Imp that my favorite thing about Instagram is the feed of artist and illustrator Charly Palmer (whom I got to interview back in 2017). If you missed his recent cover art for Time, see it here. Magnificent.

So, I was happy to see he’d illustrated a new picture book that, somehow, I missed back in May but finally read this past week. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship, written by Markette Sheppard, is the story of a boy who must play inside on a rainy day — and decides to take his imaginative play to the next level.

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The Feeling of Beauty Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, June 25th, 2020

It’s my pleasure to share some spreads today from Tessa McWatt’s Where Are You, Agnes? (Groundwood), illustrated by Zuzanna Celej and coming to shelves in early August. This is McWatt’s picture book debut, and it’s a deeply contemplative, thoughtfully-executed story.

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The Camping Trip

h1 Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

An early study of Ernestine and her father
(Click to enlarge)

Ernestine has been invited to go camping at Cedar Tree Campground with her Aunt Jackie and her cousin Samantha. She’s excited, though a bit worried her father might miss her too much. It’s her first camping trip. What can she do when she wakes in the middle of the night, scared and ready to go back home?

This is the newest picture book from Jennifer K. Mann, The Camping Trip (Candlewick, April 2020), and it’s another satisfying, well-executed tale from her about children’s everyday anxieties and how they overcome them. Bonus: This one has s’mores!

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