Archive for the 'Picture Books' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #686: Featuring The Drawing Brigade

h1 Sunday, April 12th, 2020

Today I’m highlighting The Drawing Brigade, a healthcare outreach project started by author-illustrator Bethany Barton and author-illustrator Katherine Roy. The two began this as a response to the growing COVID-19 crisis, and their mission is, as they put it, to “deliver joy through drawing to our nation’s healthcare workers during this time of need.”

They are asking anyone who wants to contribute, young and old, to make drawings to thank healthcare workers; take a photo of their drawing; and send it to them. From there, they will take the artwork and digitally send it to hospitals so that staff there can display the artwork on their screens and/or print it out for their staff rooms, as well as share them on the Drawing Brigade’s social media platforms. Pictured above is a recent contribution from Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell.

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My Friend Earth

h1 Thursday, April 9th, 2020

In her newest picture book, the lovingly designed My Friend Earth (Chronicle, February 2020), author Patricia MacLachlan personifies Earth as a girl, just waking from a winter nap. And illustrator Francesca Sanna makes her a brown girl — she is a loving girl who sees everything in nature. She also guides creatures to safety; she tends the earth and its animals; she guards creatures in the ocean; she pours the rain, blows and stills autumn winds, and — once winter returns — “sprinkles the snow.” The story comes full circle when she lies down again in winter for a nap.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #685: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Avani Dwivedi

h1 Sunday, April 5th, 2020

It’s the first Sunday of a new month. The days may be running together, but I’m pretty darn sure it’s the first Sunday in April. A first-Sunday means I feature the work of an illustration student or newly-graduated one. Today, I welcome Avani Dwivedi, who graduated, as she tells you below, from MICA last spring. She’s here to tell us a bit about herself, as well as share some of her richly colored, vibrant illustrations. (Pictured above is part of an illustration from her thesis project, which she discusses below.) Let’s get right to it, and I thank her for sharing today.

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¡VAMOS! Let’s Go Eat

h1 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

As I was reading this book for about the fifth time the other day, knowing that I wanted to write about it, I started making notes about what I was seeing. They ended up being joyous grunts, like: “The textures! The colors! The DETAILS!”

Yes, you get all of this — and more — in Raúl the Third’s ¡VAMOS! Let’s Go Eat (Versify, March 2020), colored by Elaine Bay. This is the follow-up to last year’s ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market. We revisit Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé in this bilingual adventure; this time they discover on page one that they are needed at el Coliseo right away. Lucha Libre 5000 will be taking place there that night, and we all know from the first book that Little Lobo loves wrestling — and wrestling star El Toro, who appears in this new book as well.

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We Are Water Protectors

h1 Tuesday, March 31st, 2020


Early sketch and final spread: “TAKE COURAGE! I must keep the black snake away
From my village’s water. I must rally my people together.”

(Click each image to enlarge)

Today, illustrator Michaela Goade shares some process images and final art from the making of Carole Lindstrom’s new picture book, We Are Water Protectors (Roaring Brook, March 2020). I am so pleased she shares these images; I feel like I’m standing right next to her drawing table, which is thrilling (and not just because I haven’t left my home in over two weeks).

Carole, born and raised in Nebraska, is Anishinaabe/Métis and is tribally enrolled with the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe. Michaela, who makes her home in Alaska, is of Tlingit descent and is tribally enrolled with the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Their new book is a rallying cry for environmental justice from indigenous peoples. Writes Carole in the book’s closing note:

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #684: Featuring Felicita Sala

h1 Sunday, March 29th, 2020

I’ve three glorious spreads below from Dianne White’s Green on Green (Beach Lane, March 2020), illustrated by Felicita Sala. In a spare and eloquent rhythmic text, White takes readers through the seasons of a year — from spring to winter. “Yellow the flower,” the book begins. “Yellow the seed. Yellow and black the buzzing bee.”

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Lauren O’Hara on Madame Badobedah

h1 Thursday, March 26th, 2020


I don’t know about you all, but I’m in the mood today for a light-hearted, free-spirited kind of tale, and you can find that in Sophie Dahl’s Madame Badobedah, coming to shelves in early April from Walker Books and illustrated by Lauren O’Hara. Lauren visits today to talk about illustrating this story, and she shares some process images and art.

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Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies

h1 Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

“What do things look like? Really? I often think about that.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a few spreads today from an illustrated novel, originally published in Swedish in 2017. Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies will be on shelves in May from Groundwood books and has been translated by B. J. Epstein. This lyrical, deeply felt story (which received Sweden’s August Prize, as well as the Snöbollen award) was inspired by the paintings, letters, and diaries of Swedish artist Berta Hansson, who was born in 1910 and died in 1994.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #683: Featuring Susanna Chapman

h1 Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

(Click image to enlarge)

Today’s art is from illustrator Susanna Chapman — who, lucky me, is local to me. (She lives in Nashville.) She recently shared this drawing on Instagram — I love the idea of deferred hugs — and I secured her permission to share it here. She also has a time-lapse video of the drawing to heighten, as she puts it, the time-based hug experience. Susanna says the time-lapse video is more meaningful to her, since she misses the time element of hugging people. So, here it is, the drawing in action:

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Rob Dunlavey on David Elliott’s In the Woods

h1 Friday, March 20th, 2020

Today, illustrator Rob Dunlavey visits to talk about illustrating David Elliott’s In the Woods (Candlewick, April 2020), a poetry collection that explores 15 creatures in their woodland habitats — from little (the millipede) to large (the moose). Elliott kicks things off with the bear and wraps it all up, gracefully, with the deer. In between, there’s awe, humor, and always keen observation in these short, exquisitely crafted poems. Rob’s illustrations eloquently capture the light and shadows of these homes in the woods, and today, he talks about the creation of some of these spreads.

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