Archive for the '7-Imp’s 7 Kicks' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #543: Featuring Suzy Lee

h1 Sunday, July 16th, 2017

“This beautiful day …”
(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Richard Jackson’s This Beautiful Day (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, August 2017), illustrated by Suzy Lee.

That is here, and below are a couple more spreads from the book.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #542: Featuring Christian Robinson

h1 Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Christian’s art in the studio, sans text
(Click to enlarge)

Poet Julie Fogliano has a way with words, and in her newest picture book, When’s My Birthday? (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press), illustrated by Christian Robinson, she’s at her most child-friendly (which is saying a lot, since I think her previous books are inviting to—and delightful for—child readers). This one will be on shelves in September.

I was just about to type that birthdays are extra-special days for children, but hell. I get excited on my own birthday too, and (you can ask my friends) I’m a bit of a birthday bad-ass — in that I can tell you when your birthday is if we are good friends. Or I can, at the very least, get a few days close to it. (I always assume EVERYONE can do this, but evidently not.) It’s a fun party trick. And that’s because they’re little holidays for everyone — it’s your one special day to celebrate your very existence. I recently got into a conversation with my daughters about how I think most holidays are over-rated, and when they asked what the best holiday is, I had to say, simply: Birthdays.

This is a picture book (a tall, vertically-oriented one, as if the book itself is a giant candle) that celebrates the thrill children get when anticipating a birthday and all that comes with it — cakes, chocolate, candles, parties, presents. Even wishes. It’s a heap of unfettered joy, this one. Fogliano’s text is infectiously rhythmic and perfectly paced—this one begs to be shared aloud—and she even sprinkles in some nonsense words (“I’m just dreaming of my bluuuurfday” and “time for cakey / wakey wakey”). The text is from the point-of-view of an unnamed narrator (though we see one young girl multiple times), first wondering when the birthday will come; then dreaming of what the celebration will be like; and then, suddenly, “in the morning it’s my birthday!” Here, the child can hardly sleep from the excitement, but when she finally does, it’s “happy snore and snore to me!”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #541: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Sophie Page

h1 Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

It’s the first Sunday of the month, and that means that here at 7-Imp I showcase the work of a student or debut illustrator. Today, I’ve got the artwork of Sophie Page, a mixed media and 3D illustrator and a recent RISD grad. Sophie is based in Brooklyn.

Sophie talks a bit about her work below, and I thank her for visiting and sharing today. Let’s get to it. (Pictured above is If Only He Stayed a Bear Forever, one of her personal pieces and her take on the fairy tale “Snow-White and Rose-Red.”)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #540: Featuring Julia Denos

h1 Sunday, June 25th, 2017

I saw this image, created by author-illustrator Julia Denos, on Instagram this week, and I secured her permission to share it here. I like it. It makes me think of not sweating the small stuff in life. You can click on it to see the entire image in her sketchbook.

When I asked her about it, she wrote:

I’ve been really moved lately by exploring space and local nature. There is so much to learn. Finding stories in the nonfiction of stars and flowers and trees.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #539: Featuring Dow Phumiruk

h1 Sunday, June 18th, 2017

It’s a pleasure to have Dow Phumiruk’s artwork here at 7-Imp today. Her illustrations for Jeanne Walker Harvey’s Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, May 2017) mark her debut in picture books.

This picture book biography starts with Maya’s childhood in “her house full of light and open spaces.” Her parents, Harvey explains, had fled China for the U.S., and her childhood was filled with art. Having been inspired as a child to study architecture one day, she studied overseas. It was during her last year of college that she entered the contest to design the Vietnam War memorial. Her design—entered anonymously, as all of the submissions were—was chosen out of 1,421 entries:

“Simple yet strong. Creative and new. But when they found out Maya was the winner, the judges were shocked. She wasn’t famous. She was a young woman still in school. …”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #537: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Mika Song

h1 Sunday, June 4th, 2017

I love the first Sunday of each month here at 7-Imp, because that’s when we all get to see the work of student or debut illustrators. Today, author-illustrator Mika Song visits. She’s not a student, and her newest book is not her debut. But she’s still relatively new to children’s lit, and I’m happy to showcase her work today. Let’s get right to it, because she tells us a bit about her work and shares some artwork and sketches below. I thank her for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #536: Featuring Isabelle Arsenault

h1 Sunday, May 28th, 2017

I’ve got a BookPage review of Isabelle Arsenault’s newest picture book, one she both wrote and illustrated. Colette’s Lost Pet was just released (Random House); my review is here over at BookPage; and I’m following up with some art from the book here at 7-Imp today, thanks to Isabelle.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #535:
Featuring Two Picture Book Reviews

h1 Sunday, May 21st, 2017

I’m doing something a little bit different today. I have two picture book reviews over at BookPage to which I’m sending you, if you’re so inclined to read them — Tom Brenner’s And Then Comes Summer, illustrated by Jaime Kim (Candlewick, May 2017)—that review is here—and Carol Murray’s Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, May 2017), illustrated by Melissa Sweet. That review is here.

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Tennessee, school is wrapping up. In fact, this week is the last week for my own daughters, and everyone is ready for summer. Both of these books are just right for this time of year.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #534: Featuring Mother’s Day

h1 Sunday, May 14th, 2017

(Click to enlarge)

You kickers may remember me featuring a book back in February, called If I Had a Little Dream (Paula Wiseman Books). It was written by Nina Laden, and I featured some of Melissa Castrillon’s artwork from it—and linked to my BookPage review of it—here at 7-Imp.

When I was wondering which artwork to feature today, Mother’s Day, I thought of the last page of that picture book — and managed to get that illustration to share with you here.

Isn’t it lovely?

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #533: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Jia Liu

h1 Sunday, May 7th, 2017

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means the work of a student or debut illustrator here at 7-Imp. Visiting today is Jia Liu, who graduated from the MFA Illustration Practice Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016 and who is currently represented by Painted Words. She is also applying for an artist visa that would allow her to keep working here in the U.S.

Jia also studied picture books and illustration in China and has two books published there. “I will have two picture books coming out in 2018 [here in the U.S.],” she tells me, “published by Boyds Mills Press. I created work for children’s magazines and learning companies, as well as Port Discovery Children’s Museum. I was the student scholarship winner of SCBWI 2016.”

Below is a selection of Jia’s sketchbook images; illustrations from her new book and magazine, as well as work from an alphabet book she did at MICA; and a bit of her personal work. (She loves to draw animals.) Terrific Tongues will be her first book here in the U.S. and will be published in 2018 by Boyds Mills Press. You Can’t Hurt Me, No will be her second picture book from Boyds Mills Press, to be published the same year. “I Don’t Need Friends!,” she adds, “is a story written and illustrated by me. I am still looking for publishers.”

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