Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

JooHee Yoon’s Up Down Inside Out

h1 Friday, September 20th, 2019

“People in glass houses should not throw stones.”
(Click to enlarge)

I always like to see what author-illustrator JooHee Yoon is up to. (Remember when she first visited 7-Imp back in 2011?) Coming to shelves in early October (from Enchanted Lion Books) is Up Down Inside Out, in which Yoon takes a string of idioms and depicts them literally.

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The Hundred-Year Barn

h1 Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’m sending you to BookPage today for my review of Patricia MacLachlan’s The Hundred-Year Barn (Katherine Tegen Books, September 2019), illustrated by Kenard Pak. That is here, and then if you want to come back here to 7-Imp Land, I’ve some spreads from the book today.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #655: Featuring Guojing

h1 Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Those of you who follow picture books closely may remember this 2015 publication, The Only Child. Named one of the New York Time’s Best Illustrated Children’s Books for that year, it was created by author-illustrator Guojing. She’s back with a new wordless book (Schwartz & Wade, September 2019), called Stormy, the story of a stray dog who finds a new home.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #654: Featuring Daniel Egnéus

h1 Sunday, September 8th, 2019

I am happy to see a new picture book illustrated by Daniel Egnéus, who has illustrated two of my favorites this year (see here and here). This is Wendy Meddour’s Grandpa’s Top Threes (Candlewick, September 2019), and it a moving look at grief — and how it affects a child and his grandparent. It was evidently first published in the UK as Tibble and Grandpa.

“Henry was talking,” the book opens. “But Grandpa was gardening. Again.” I love this. We see young Henry on the verso; it appears that he is expounding in great detail on one topic or another, finger in the air as if to accentuate his point. On the recto, there is Grandpa. Yes, he’s gardening, but he seems lost in thought. Or maybe just lost.

Henry asks his Mom why Grandpa is always gardening, to which she tells him: “Just give him some time.” Henry fails to reach his Grandpa — until, that is, he engages him in the top three game. “What are your top three sandwiches?” he asks him one day. Grandpa’s face lights up a bit. Then they discuss their top three jellyfish, trains, and days-out. The latter is Grandpa’s idea, asking his grandson what he’d like to do that day. (“The zoo. The swimming pool. The park,” Henry exclaims.)

The life seems to be seeping back into Grandpa, thanks to his ebullient grandchild, filled with joy and a bustling energy. It is when Henry asks Grandpa who his “top three Grannies” are that it is revealed Grandpa is mourning the loss of his wife. (See the spread below.) It is a deeply felt moment, tender and restrained.

Meddour writes with a delightful specificity: Henry’s answers to the top three game are detailed, often funny, and reveal much about his personality. She succinctly captures Grandpa’s grief (“Grandpa made a little grunty noise”). Read the rest of this entry �

Picture Books, Picture Books, and More Picture Books

h1 Thursday, September 5th, 2019


Ready to talk about picture books?

Head this way. . . .


h1 Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Here’s a post to highlight a book it makes me happy to see on shelves, especially given the often disparaging cultural conversations around women (in particular) and aging. But Wrinkles (Phaidon, September 2019) from the artist known as JR is supposed to be a book for children, so does it work for them? I think so.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #653:
Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Christina Rycz

h1 Sunday, September 1st, 2019

It’s the first Sunday of the month (welcome, September), when I typically feature an illustration student or someone newly-graduated. Today, I welcome the talented Christina Rycz, who just graduated from the School of Visual Art’s MFA program. She shares lots of wonderful art today and shares a bit about herself. Let’s get right to it, and I thank her for visiting today.

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My Kirkus Q&A with Cece Bell

h1 Friday, August 30th, 2019

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a chat with author-illustrator Cece Bell about her new Chick and Brain beginning reader series. The first book, on shelves next week, is called Smell My Foot!, which is a very funny book. Expect howls of laughter from the beginning readers you know.

If you want to read our chat, you can head here.

Below, I have some early sketches from Cece, as well as some final art (and other fun stuff). I thank her for sharing!

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Spencer’s New Pet

h1 Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Over at BookPage, I’ve a review of Jessie Sima’s Spencer’s New Pet (Simon & Schuster, August 2019). It takes a surprising turn, this one. The review is here.

Here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #652: Featuring
My Chapter 16 Q&A with Derrick Barnes

h1 Sunday, August 25th, 2019

This past week, Tennessee’s Chapter 16 posted a Q&A I did with author Derrick Barnes, who will be at Nashville’s Southern Festival of Books this October. He talks to me about his newest picture book — The King of Kindergarten (Nancy Paulsen Books, July 2019), illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton — as well as the success of last year’s award-winning Crown. You can click on the image above to head to our chat.

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