Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

Nervous Children and Magic Pencils Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


“‘No!’ said Joe.”
Spread from Anthony Browne’s What If …?
(Click to enlarge)


 
Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Anthony Browne’s What If …?, published by Candlewick this month. This was evidently first published last year but sees its U.S. release this year. That is here, and I’m following up with a bit of art from the book today at 7-Imp.

I’ve also got a spread from Browne’s The Little Bear Book, which was originally published in 1988 but re-released by Candlewick this year.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #392: Featuring Zack Rock

h1 Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Hey, look! It’s an animated GIF in which debut author-illustrator Zack Rock is showing us a spread being painted. I hope the animation is working for everyone.

It’s good to have Zack back at 7-Imp. In 2012 (here), his artwork was featured on one of my Up-and-Coming Illustrators Sunday posts, and now his first book is out with Creative Editions. In fact, if you look again at that post from two years ago, you will see that he included two images from this new book back then. (Also, it’s a fun post to re-read, since he talks about studying at England’s Cambridge School of Art with scholar Martin Salisbury. Zack described it as “a no-holds-barred, steel cage death match of mutual respect and encouragement.”)

The new book is called Homer Henry Hudson’s Curio Museum and will be released in mid-August. “Everything has a story,” the book opens, and Zack’s is a beguiling one. Henry is a bulldog, who owns a museum of curios from all over the world. He proudly displays several in the book and tells readers about them — from a Conatusaurus Skull from the Late Jurassic Period to a Humble Willow Root Cane. The collection includes delightfully bizarre artifacts, and Homer is a fine storyteller. I like the art in this book (illustrations that the Kirkus review describes as possessing “touches of humble elegance”), and the writing is outstanding. (“My job is to keep the place spick-and-span,” Henry says when we first meet him. “My eyesight isn’t what it used to be, but I’m a proper Magellan at nose navigation. You’d be surprised how well a 6th-century Byzantine bedpan keeps its distinctive aroma.”) Zack Rock is one to watch.

I’m going to let Zack talk now and share some of his artwork. Enjoy.

p.s. If you visit his 2012 7-Imp post, you can spot Maurice Sendak, Shaun Tan, and Lisbeth Zwerger in one of the illustrations from this book.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today,
Plus Art from Princesse Camcam, Lizi Boyd,
Richard Scarry, and Hervé Tullet

h1 Friday, August 8th, 2014


– From Hervé Tullet’s Mix It Up!


 

– From Princesse Camcam’s Fox’s Garden


 

– From Lizi Boyd’s Flashlight


 

“So Chicken Little and Henny Penny and Ducky Lucky and Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey hurried off down the road to tell the king the sky was falling.
And on the way they met Foxy Loxy.”

– From Richard Scarry’s Best Little Golden Books Ever!
(Click to enlarge)


 
Today over at Kirkus, I take a look at Liniers’ new picture book What There Is Before There Is Anything There, to be released by Groundwood Books next month.

That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about a small handful of new picture books. Since you know I always like to follow up with art, today I have art from each book. It’s all below. (Please note: The colors in the spreads from Richard Scarry are a bit off; the colors are a bit brighter than they appear in the book.)

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today,
Plus Some Art from Bob Graham

h1 Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Today over at Kirkus, I chat with acclaimed author-illustrator Diane Dillon. Pictured above is Diane with her late husband, Leo.

That link is here.

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A couple weeks ago, I chatted with Australian author-illustrator Bob Graham, one of my favorites. That link is here, and I’m following up below with art from three of his books.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Because I Want Even More of Julia …

h1 Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Hey, my blog’s still working! It probably just needed a vacation, which is precisely what I did last week. So. Well, that worked out. We are both relatively well-rested.

I’m playing a bit of catch-up this week, and today here is how I will start:

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Ben Hatke’s latest book, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures (First Second), which will be out in early September. That was here.

So, today I have some art from the book, as well as (in no particular order) what Ben describes as “some of the preparatory/mock-up/notebook stuff.” (Also, over at Facebook, Matthew Winner of the Let’s Get Busy Podcast described this book as “Miyazaki-esque,” which I love. He also wrote about it here.)

I don’t know about you, but I could look at even just Ben’s sketches all day.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

Hey, my blog said it forgives me, and I’m back in
(just in time for a week-long blog break, though) …

h1 Monday, July 28th, 2014


“‘Children, stand up.’ Mother smiled. They pushed their chairs back and stood up.
‘This is your sister. … Loretta Mason Potts … but it’s not Potts any more.
She has come to live with us—at last.’”


 
Granted, I’m not so sure what I did to my blog, but it’d had enough of my nonsense and packed its bags last week and went to some remote island resort — and without leaving me the keys. As I noted in yesterday’s quickie post (it had to be brief, lest the blog kick me out again), I just couldn’t get in to edit a post without the blog hanging on me and kicking me out repeatedly, but my smart tech-support husband managed to figure it out. At least we think … we hope that it’s finally fixed.

BUT … I had planned on announcing a week-long blog break anyway (for other reasons), which I’m still going to do. I can leave you with this art below, though. It’s what I had intended on posting last Friday. A couple weeks back, I wrote about The New York Review Children’s Collection’s reissue of Mary Chase’s children’s novel Loretta Mason Potts (pictured above), originally published in 1958 and illustrated by Harold Berson. So, I have some art from that book today. Bonus: The folks over at the New York Review also sent some art from some of their other reissues, which makes me very happy. (This means there’s art below from the likes of Lillian Hoban, Marc Simont, and William Pène du Bois, to name a few. I embiggened their names here, just ’cause I like seeing their art and get excited.)

Also: Over at Kirkus on Friday, I wrote about Ben Hatke’s newest project, a picture book called Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. That link is here.

Next week I’ll have some art from Ben Hatke, as well as some from Bob Graham, since I chatted with him last Thursday.

Enjoy the art below … And I will be back here at 7-Imp in about a week.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, July 24th, 2014

It’s sometimes hard to come out from behind my stories and articulate reasons for things, as the stories are not written that way. I don’t go into them with a reason or issue — only that the characters will treat each other with respect and tolerance. And that their dogs can do anything they like around the house. The rest will hopefully follow.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Bob Graham, pictured here, whose books I consistently like. He chats with me about his newest book, Vanilla Ice Cream, coming from Candlewick in August, as well as what’s next for him.

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from some of Bob’s books.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Bob Graham used with permission of Candlewick Press.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #391: Featuring Barbara McClintock

h1 Sunday, July 20th, 2014


Author-illustrator Barbara McClintock is here today to talk about creating the artwork for Beverly Donofrio’s Where’s Mommy?, released in March by Schwartz & Wade, which Kirkus calls “irresistible.” This is a companion book to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, released back in ’07. Those of you familiar with the first title will know that Maria is Mary’s daughter, and Mouse Mouse is Mouse’s daughter. In this new book, Maria and Mouse Mouse are (separately) looking for their mothers, their experiences and goings-on fully parallel, as McClintock gives us a peek into each one’s home and surroundings.

Soon, Barbara will also see the release of another 2014 illustrated title, Jim Aylesworth’s My Grandfather’s Coat (Scholastic), which has already received two starred reviews. (Barbara also discusses below some other new projects. Fans of Adèle & Simon will be happy.) I haven’t seen My Grandfather’s Coat yet, but maybe she can come back to talk about it, especially since she’s also interested in talking further about the March Leave Your Sleep exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, as well as the Leave Your Sleep Carnegie Hall concert (back in April), which had, in Barbara’s words, “images from the book projected big as a barn behind the stage. Maybe [we can have] a discussion about ways picture books extend beyond their printed avatars.” (If you’re not familiar with Leave Your Sleep—with Natalie Merchant—you can visit this 2012 7-Imp post.)

I’d love to discuss those things, but for now, let’s look at Where’s Mommy?

I thank Barbara for sharing …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Friday, July 18th, 2014


Anyone else remember Loretta Mason Potts, written by Mary Chase and originally published in 1958? That’s (mostly) the subject of my Kirkus column today, as the book was just reissued by The New York Review Children’s Collection. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I chatted (here) with author-illustrator Matt Phelan about his 2014 projects, Burleigh Mutén’s Miss Emily (Candlewick), released back in March, and his own picture book, Druthers (also from Candlewick), coming in September. (Pictured above is an early sketch from Druthers.)

Today, we’ll look at a bit of art from each book, as well as some sketches from Matt. I thank him for sharing.

Enjoy.

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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Lisa Brown

h1 Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

It’s a sort of miracle that this breakfast interview is even happening, since both author-illustrator Lisa Brown and I are not morning people. Oh wait, right. It’s a cyber-breakfast, but still … If it were a real, face-to-face breakfast, you can bet that we’d be having our chat over an afternoon snack, despite the name of this blog.

Another thing we share in common? A deep and abiding love for coffee (which certainly helps make our mornings easier), so I’m glad she was willing to come have pretend coffee with me today so that we could see lots and lots of her art. In fact, she says her usual breakfast is “a cup of coffee, then some toast and peanut butter, maybe some fruit smoothie if there is any left over from my husband and son, who will have been awake and functioning WAY before I shuffle into the kitchen in my pajamas, exhausted with the effort of having to wake up and shuffle into the kitchen. Then more coffee.” I can get behind these multiple rounds of coffee.

This year, Lisa saw the release of two illustrated titles, Lemony Snicket’s 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy (McSweeney’s McMullens, February 2014) and Cathleen Daly’s Emily’s Blue Period, which just received a starred Horn Book review.

I love to follow Lisa’s work, and it was good to have a chance here to ask her what she’s up to next. There is a freshness and warmth to her watercolors that can be terrifically child-friendly, but there’s also an edge to many of her books (especially for older readers) and paintings. (She’s doing a sketch a day this year, as you’ll read below, which you can follow here.) As Martha Parravano writes in that Horn Book review, her work can be elegant. Yet she also embraces the enigmatic, as with 29 Myths. And embracing the enigmatic is always good. (Embracing the Enigmatic. Band name. I call it!)

I thank Lisa for visiting this morning and sharing as much art as she does.

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