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

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #377: Featuring Elizabeth Rose Stanton

h1 Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Good morning, all.

Author/illustrator Elizabeth Rose Stanton visits 7-Imp today to talk about her debut picture book, Henny, which was published by Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster in January. The painting above, called Ignition, is not from that book, but I like it and it makes me laugh.

Henny is the story of a chicken who has arms, and below Elizabeth tells us how she came to this premise, what reactions have been (the creeptacular painting below is my second favorite), and she also tells us a bit about what she’s up to next. I thank her for visiting and for sharing lots of art.

Henny, by the way, is packing her bags and learning her French. Her story will be published in France by Seuil Jeunesse in 2015. Bon voyage, Henny.

Here’s Elizabeth …

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #376: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Christine Allen

h1 Sunday, April 6th, 2014

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I welcome a student or new illustrator. Today, Christine Allen visits. Christine, who lives in Colorado, studied painting and is transitioning into illustration. She tells us more about herself below, so let’s get right to it.

I thank her for visiting … Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #375: Featuring Manuel Monroy

h1 Sunday, March 30th, 2014

“‘Why are you doing that?’ asked Chepito as his mother stood at the stove, cooking eggs and frying beans. … ‘These eggs and beans will make you really strong.’ …”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Today’s featured book won’t be out till June. Yes, June! Sorry to be posting about it so early — I try not to make a habit of this.

Why Are You Doing That? (Groundwood Books) is a picture book for very young readers, written by Elisa Amado and illustrated by Manuel Monroy. Elisa is an author and translator, born in Guatemala. Manuel is one of Mexico’s most celebrated illustrators. It’s a companion to their first picture book, What Are You Doing? (2011).

In this book, a young boy, named Chepito, explores his environment one morning—from his mother, cooking breakfast, to his neighbors, flattening dough and milking cows and feeding chickens—all the while asking in his sing-song way (as if he’s a bird), “Why are you doing that … What for? What for?” All the patient, accommodating adults answer him; this is a gentle read about curiosity and rural communities and not only where food comes from, but also how we nurture our bodies and the animals that feed us. It even closes with a short glossary. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #374: Featuring Katherine Tillotson

h1 Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

This morning, we’re going to meet a dog, who is—in the words of illustrator Katherine Tillotson—a little more than a scribble and a smudge.

Shoe Dog (Richard Jackson/Atheneum Books for Young Readers), written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Katherine, hits bookshelves next week. It tells the story of one very enthusiastic dog, adopted from a shelter, who loves to chew shoes. His owner—whom McDonald calls She, Herself—scolds the dog, but he repeatedly gets into trouble. Shoe Dog most certainly loves his cozy and warm home, where he’s so happy to be, but he struggles to behave. No worries. She, Herself eventually comes up with just the right solution, involving a cat. Of sorts.

Katherine is here today to tell us how she created the illustrations for this story — and what inspired her to do so. The story, particularly the artwork, are nothing short of “totally ebullient,” as the starred Kirkus review puts it. Shoe Dog is all action, energy, and bounce—I mean, right? Just look at him up above there—and it’s fascinating to read how Katherine put him together, as well as to read about the tools she used for everything that surrounds our naughty, but loving, protagonist.

So, let’s get right to it. I thank Katherine for sharing. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #373:
Featuring Sophie Benini Pietromarchi

h1 Sunday, March 16th, 2014

(Click to enlarge)

In The Color Book, to be released by Tara Books next month, Sophie Benini Pietromarchi explores color with child readers in a multitude of ways. “If you ask me,” she writes on page one, “I would have preferred to color quietly, instead of talking. I’m marking this great white page with blue ink, but ideally, I would rather not have written any words at all. Color speaks for itself better than words can — you can ‘feel’ color, and it goes straight to your heart.” But despite this, she notes, she wrote the book to invite children to “get to know colors” — by playing with them, contemplating their subtleties and meanings, considering the emotions that they evoke. It’s what she calls a color dance.

It’s a book both poetic and practical. She opens by relaying the feelings she remembers from her childhood — all based on colors. She then explores what colors are capable of by creating a character for each one (the Red Dragon, Mrs. Brown Snail, etc.), and she further discusses colors and moods by devoting an entire chapter to them. In the book’s second section, “The Basics,” she discusses such things as primary colors, complementary colors, and contrasting colors. And she closes the book by suggesting readers create their own books that explore color; her suggestions for readers’ color books are detailed, and child readers could easily follow along.

Pietromarchi, who both wrote and illustrated the book, uses collages, photos, and found objects in nature to lay it all out, and with an infectious passion for art, she invites readers to make connections and create art meaningful to them.

Here are a few more spreads … Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #372: Featuring Toni Yuly

h1 Sunday, March 9th, 2014

“through the flowerbed …”
– From
Early Bird

Good morning, dear kickers. Today, we are visited by debut author/illustrator (and librarian!) Toni Yuly, who proves, as you can read below, that it’s never too late to get your start in children’s literature.

I’m going to get right to Toni, since she talks here about her work and how she got into picture books. But first let me say that her debut picture book is called Early Bird. It was released by Feiwel and Friends in January. The illustrations for this story for very young readers were rendered in pen and ink and digital media; Yuly uses thick lines and bright colors, and the text is well-suited to beginning readers. In their starred review, Booklist writes, “it’s unusual for a book this straightforward to accomplish several things, but this succeeds,” describing this as a book that makes learning fun.

In this post today, Toni shares some images from Early Bird; her greeting card collection, Kokoro; and her current project and next book, called Night Owl.

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #371: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Jaime Kim

h1 Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

(Click to enlarge)

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means a student illustrator will share some artwork this morning. Today it’s Jaime Kim, who is one of the winners of this year’s SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Student Illustrator Scholarship. This means, I believe, that she will soon head to New York City to meet picture book artists, editors, and art directors, so what a great time to feature her work.

Jaime is a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, is originally from South Korea, and has lived in the U.S. since the age of 18.

She tells us more about herself below, too, so let’s get right to it, and I thank her for visiting.

Jaime: There once was a little girl who could not sleep very well, because she was afraid of the dark. Then, one day her fear went away after she received a complete collection of picture books as a gift from her parents. Her fear went away when her mother read a picture book to her, and she could sleep easily at night.

This is a story of my childhood, and this is how picture books first became part of my life. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #370: Featuring William Grill

h1 Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

“After 16 long months, the crew had found solid ground. Dehydrated and hungry,
each man ate and drank until he was full. But their troubles were not over yet,
as the coastline was exposed to the elements, and a cruel blizzard set in for days …”

(Click to enlarge)

Today’s featured book is Shackleton’s Journey (February 2014), written and illustrated by British artist William Grill. This is a book that marks the centenary since polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, his attempt with a crew of men to make the first land crossing of Antarctica. It was considered the last expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Now, let me make something clear about this book right up front. The copy of this book that I have is incomplete. Long story, but think of it as like a sampler, so I will not be able to provide anything like a traditional review. (As noted on this page of my site, I don’t consider 7-Imp a traditional review blog anyway—my focus is more on illustrations—but still … just making clear that I haven’t seen the book in its entirety yet.)

Anywhoozles, with nonfiction it’s especially important to note the back matter of books; in particular, you must ask if the author included his/her sources. I can’t tell you that about this book, since my copy is not complete, but I can tell you the art is beautiful, and that’s going to be my focus today. Also that it comes from Flying Eye Books, the children’s imprint of Nobrow Press, who care about high-quality book production and design. This means it has things like an illustrated cloth spine. (Happy sigh.)

And how about that illustration above? HOO BOY. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #369:
Featuring Lena and Olof Landström

h1 Sunday, February 16th, 2014

(Click to enlarge)

Have I ever said here at 7-Imp how much I love the work of Swedish author and illustrator duo Lena and Olof Landström? Well, I do. I see that in the old days of 7-Imp, back when images were tragically small, I once posted about Boo and Baa. (And, oh! The Benny books by Barbro Lindgren and illustrated by Olof! Oh, how I love those books, which once appeared in this post I co-wrote with Adrienne Furness.)

The Landströms’ latest book, Pom and Pim, does what I think the Landströms always do so well: They tell wonderfully droll stories that are all about the types of daily dramas (and traumas — see the ice cream-induced tummy ache below) that very young children really care about.

Pom and Pim was originally published in 2012, and this first American edition (which I think will be on bookshelves in March) comes from Gecko Press. (Yes, Gecko published last Sunday’s book as well, but hey, on the whole they make really entertaining books.) It tells the story of a young boy with his favorite toy, who head out on a warm day to explore and play. What follows is a series of good-luck / bad-luck moments, ending with one moment that could be seen as either good or back luck, depending on how full or empty one’s glass is. (This book would be great paired with either Linda Ashman’s Rain!, illustrated by Christian Robinson, or Jeff Mack’s Good News, Bad News.) Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #368: Featuring Komako Sakai

h1 Sunday, February 9th, 2014

If someone were to ask me who some of my favorite author-illustrators for very young children are—those who make books, that is, geared at preschool readers—I’d say that Komako Sakai is most assuredly one of the names at the top of that list.

This month, Gecko Press released the first American edition of Sakai’s Hannah’s Night, which was first published in Japan in 2012. It’s the story of a very young child, who wakes at night and, after failing to wake her sister, explores her home with her cat, Shiro. There’s mystery and wide-eyed wonder (the dark house at night) and mischief here (Hannah giggles as she takes her sister’s music box, notebook, and coloring pencils back to her own bed to play with), and the youngest of readers will thrill at Hannah’s free reign of the home, independent of any grown-ups telling her what or what not to do. There are moments of beauty, too, such as when Hannah hears cooing and heads to the window to see the “prettiest dove she’d ever seen,” something she’s not likely to see during the hustle and bustle of her day.

Sakai’s thick brushstrokes bring a vibrant texture to the story, and I’m enamored with the dark, navy blues of Hannah’s world at night. These are deep, rich shades, made all the more striking when the sun starts to come up — just as Hannah finally gets sleepy.

If her books are any indication, Sakai knows young children very well. Here’s some more art from the book. Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �