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

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #443: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Amanda Driscoll

h1 Sunday, August 2nd, 2015


“Together they battled sea monsters …
dodged icebergs …”

(Click to enlarge)


 
It’s the first Sunday of the month (welcome, August!), so I have a debut author-illustrator today. But she’s also local talent (local to 7-Imp Land, that is), and I always like to shine the spotlight when I can on local picture book-creators.

Amanda Driscoll’s first book, Duncan the Story Dragon (Knopf, June 2015), is the story of a dragon who loves to read. As you can probably guess, his problem is that, though his imagination catches fire when he reads, so do his books. Quite literally. All Duncan wants to do is finish a book. So many plots; so many questions. “I want to read those two wonderful words,” he says, “like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake … ‘The End.'” Eventually, Duncan finds a friend to read to him, but I won’t ruin the entire story for you.

Amanda is a graphic designer and artist and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. She’s here today to tell us more about herself, this debut picture book, and her work. I thank her for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #442: Featuring Beatrice Alemagna

h1 Sunday, July 26th, 2015


“This morning I heard my sister says these words:
‘birthday—Mommy—fuzzy—little—squishy.’
‘Oh, no!’ I thought. ‘She’s going to give Mom the most amazing present!’
I had to do something too. But what?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Today I’ve got some illustrations from Beatrice Alemagna’s The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy. Originally published in France last year, it’s coming to American shelves in September from Enchanted Lion Books.

Look closely on the title page spread, and you’ll see a quote from Fifi Brindacier (a.k.a. Pippi Longstocking, as she’s known in France):

It’s best for young children to live an orderly life. Especially if they order it themselves.

I love this, and it’s the perfect fit for this story, in which a five-and-a-half-year-old girl named Edith (but her friends call her Eddie) sets out to find a fuzzy little squishy.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #441: Featuring Cece Bell

h1 Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Good morning, fellow imps. I’m highlighting a bit of artwork today from award-winning author-illustrator Cece Bell’s newest picture book, I Yam a Donkey!, published by Clarion Books in June.

There are several things I like about this book (whose story starts on the title page itself)—its humor, its memorable two main characters, its irreverence—but my favorite thing is that it is inherently subversive, if you consider the existence of prescriptive linguistics, which is concerned about the rules governing what people should or shouldn’t say (rather, how they say it). Descriptive linguistics is concerned with how language is used, instead of telling people how to use language properly.

Prescriptive linguists would shake their fist at this entertaining story, complete with a tongue-in-cheek moral, and that is part of its beauty. Or, as the Publishers Weekly review notes, “pedants who can’t adapt will be left in the dust.” And that’s because it’s all about a donkey who has a particular way of talking, though the stubborn and opinionated grammarian yam he meets keeps telling him he’s talking incorrectly. Or, as the vegetables watching it all go down (well, most of it) put it, it’s a “big fight about grammar.” The ending is delicious in more ways than one, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

I was just about to tell you all about Cece’s art for the book, rendered in china marker and acrylics, but you can see for yourself below.

p.s. Here’s my 2008 breakfast interview with Cece. (Was it really seven years ago?)

 
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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #440: Featuring Mordicai Gerstein

h1 Sunday, July 12th, 2015



 
I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Mordicai Gerstein’s newest picture book, The Night World (Little, Brown, June 2015). That is here if you want to read all about the book.

I’ve got some art today here at 7-Imp from the book, and Mordicai also sent some early roughs from the book. “As you will see,” he tells me, “the ruffs are very close to the final art.”

They roughs are, indeed, similar to the final art, but if you’re an illustration fan like me, you love to see these kinds of comparisons, so I’m going to post Mordicai’s roughs and follow each one with the final art as seen in the book.

I thank him for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #439: Featuring Akiko Miyakoshi

h1 Sunday, July 5th, 2015


It just so happens that my very favorite medium in picture book illustration is charcoal. I get all googly-eyed when I see it done well. But that’s not the only reason I love this book from author-illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi, The Tea Party in the Woods, coming in August from Kids Can Press and originally published in Japan back in 2010. The visuals here are pure magic and filled with intriguing details, and the story is one of mystery and friendship.

A young girl, named Kikko, awakes to a “winter wonderland.” She heads out to deliver a pie to her Grandma, the one that her father, who has already set out for Grandma’s house, left behind. This is all slightly reminiscent of the classic tale “Little Red Riding Hood” in that the girl’s destination involves her grandmother, and her skirt and winter hat are bright reds (much like Red’s cape) in a sea of white snow and dark charcoals. But that’s where the similarities end: There’s no menacing wolf here.

Instead, she is fairly sure after heading out that she spots her father ahead, and in an effort to catch up to him, she falls in snow drifts and the pie box is crushed. She follows her father anyway to “a strange house. Has it always been here? Kikko wondered.”

 

“Kikko followed her father all the way to a strange house. Has it always been here? Kikko wondered. She couldn’t remember having seen it before.
She watched as her father went inside.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #438, the Love-Wins Version:
Featuring Christian Robinson

h1 Sunday, June 28th, 2015



 

My one giant kick this week—all wrapped around kicks one to seven—is the news from the Supreme Court on marriage equality for all. It was a wonderful day on Friday when the news was announced, and it’s a new day in America. Today’s image is from Christian Robinson. (For those interested, the roosters can be purchased here at Red Cap Cards or as a print from Gallery Nucleus.)

Love wins, y’all!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

Oh, and the necessary spiel:

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * * * * *

Illustration is copyright © 2015 by Christian Robinson and used by his permission.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #437: Featuring Jessixa Bagley

h1 Sunday, June 21st, 2015



“That evening, Buckley and Mama went for a walk.
Buckley brought along the little boat he had made especially for Papa
with a note attached that said, ‘For Papa. Love, Buckley.'”


 
I read a brand-new picture book this week, which I found really moving. It’s from debut author-illustrator Jessixa Bagley (pictured below), originally from Portland, Oregon, and now living in Seattle. “[M]y love of picture books,” Jessixa writes at her site, “has been the constant goal my entire life and has always been a working focus.”

Boats for Papa (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2015), which will be on shelves at the end of this month, is about Buckley, an anthropomorphized beaver who lives with his mother in a tiny house by the sea. “They didn’t have much, but they always had each other.” Buckley’s father is gone. One doesn’t really know why—I suppose it’s possible he took off for one reason or another—but it’s also perfectly plausible that he has died. Readers who look closely will see loving family photos, which include Buckley’s father, on the walls of the house.

[Note: Plot spoilers below!]

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #436: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Louis Fratino

h1 Sunday, June 14th, 2015

I am breakin’ the 7-Imp rules this weekend and featuring a newly-graduated illustrator just one week after featuring another debut illustrator. (I normally do this the first Sunday of each month.) But, hey, rules are made for breaking.

My guest, Louis Fratino, graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art just under a month ago, majoring in Painting and concentrating in Illustration. He tells me he likes to draw more than anything, though his studio work is mostly oil on canvas.

Below is more from Louis, including some of his artwork. I thank him for visiting. I hope we see his work in (published) books one day.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #435: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Sarah Kaufman

h1 Sunday, June 7th, 2015


“Even the huge rhinoceros is walking on stilts.”
(Click to enlarge)


 
I’ve got some local talent today, Nashville artist Sarah Kaufman, whose picture book The Circus (Greenleaf Book Group) is out on shelves. She will also have a book launch next Saturday, June 13, at Parnassus Books at 2:00 p.m., where she will do a reading and answer questions.

As you’ll read below, Sarah used some of her existing paintings to create this book. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person recently, and she has a real passion for children’s literature and learning even more about picture book-making. (This is the first picture book she’s both written and illustrated.) She has a BFA in Painting and an MAT in Education and taught for many years. She’s a big believer in nurturing children’s creativity: “Look at art, make art, read books, and write stories,” she says. “That creativity is in everyone; it just needs a little encouragement.”

Below, she tells us more about herself and shares some paintings from the book. I turn things over to her now, and I thank her for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #434: Featuring Jason Chin

h1 Sunday, May 31st, 2015

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Miranda Paul’s beautiful Water Is Water (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, May 2015), illustrated by Jason Chin. That is here. Today, Jason is sharing a bit of art from the book, as well as a few early sketches. I thank him for sharing.

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