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

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #526:
Featuring Lemniscates and Isabelle Simler

h1 Sunday, March 19th, 2017

“Trees have their heads in the clouds …”
— From Lemniscates’s
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The wings of blue morpho butterflies sparkle against the morning glories.”
— From Isabelle Simler’s
The Blue Hour
(Click to enlarge spread)

This post today is brought to you by my love for the color blue.

Today, I’ve got some illustrations from Isabelle Simler’s The Blue Hour, which was originally released in France in 2015 but arrived on U.S. shelves last month (Eerdmans). Trees (Candlewick Studio, March 2017), written and illustrated by Lemniscates, has a 2015 copyright date, but I’m unsure if it was previously published elsewhere. You can read here all about the artist behind the name Lemniscates. (Please note that some of the colors in some of these illustrations from The Blue Hour today appear a bit brighter than they do in the book. I tried to fix that but was unable to. It’s all the more reason to go find a copy of the book for yourself, right?)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #525: Featuring Jon Klassen

h1 Sunday, March 12th, 2017

I’ve got a BookPage review of the very funny Triangle, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick, March 2017). The review is over here at their site, if you want to read about it. And I’m following up with a couple of spreads from the book today. (They are below. Pictured above is the book’s cover, actually.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #524: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, K-Fai Steele

h1 Sunday, March 5th, 2017

I’m pleased to welcome illustrator K-Fai Steele to 7-Imp today. K-Fai loves to draw and write and won the Portfolio Mentorship Award at the 2015 Los Angeles conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also contributes to this blog, along with a handful of other picture book folks.

When K-Fai contacted me about an article she wrote recently (linked below), I visited her site and immediately asked if she’d like to visit 7-Imp so that I could showcase some of her art. She does so below, as well as talks about her work. She is the first Sunday illustrator ever to include her own kicks in her post. This makes me happy.

Let’s get right to it, and I thank her for visiting.

p.s. There’s even more art from her on Instagram.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #523: Featuring Holly Hobbie

h1 Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Today, I’ve got some art from Holly Hobbie’s newest book, A Cat Named Swan (Random House, February 2017). This is one for pet-lovers of all stripes, but especially cat fans — and a story about pet-adoption that is sweet but never saccharine. (P.S. I still can’t get over Hobbie’s Hansel and Gretel from 2015. SO CREEPY-GOOD. There’s art from it here at 7-Imp in a conversation about scary books I had with Betsy Bird, Travis Jonker, and Minh Lê.)

(Also, it’s always so bizarre for me to even type “Holly Hobbie,” since my favorite doll as a kid—like, I never let it go and it ended up with this warped and misshapen rubber face from all my hugging—was a Holly Hobbie doll.)

I love how A Cat Named Swan opens: “Then he was alone.” Hobbie drops us right into the center of a story with little to no context about how a kitten ends up deserted. But that context doesn’t matter: The crux of the story is that the kitten’s family is suddenly gone, and he is stuck alone on dangerous streets. He ends up in a shelter and actually quite likes it. (“The new place was safe. Boredom was better than misery.”) And then it happens: He is “swept away” by a family, who names him Swan and calls him Swansie, and acclimates to his new home and surroundings.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #522: Featuring
Jason Carter Eaton, Mark Fearing, and Gus Gordon

h1 Sunday, February 19th, 2017

— From Jason Carter Eaton’s The Catawampus Cat,
illustrated by Gus Gordon


“Vlad and Törr couldn’t agree on whose horde got the popcorn kernels and whose got the half-eaten sandwiches. So they each declared crumb war on the other.
Their battles raged all night long.”
— From Jason Carter Eaton’s
Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians!,
illustrated by Mark Fearing
(Click to enlarge spread)


Author Jason Carter Eaton is a funny guy. Case in point is his newest picture book, Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians! (Candlewick, February 2017). I’ve got a review over at BookPage—that review is here—and, because you know I get twitchy if I can’t show you art, this morning I’ve got a couple of spreads from the book right here at 7-Imp. The book was illustrated by Mark Fearing.

But THERE’S MORE. While we have Jason on the mind, I thought I’d also show some illustrations from his next book, on shelves in March, The Catawampus Cat (Crown Books for Young Readers). This one is illustrated by Australian artist Gus Gordon (who visited 7-Imp way back in 2010 and whose art from 2013’s Herman and Rosie is here). Gus sent some spreads (sans text) from the book. I love this book, which has a lot to say about seeing the world from one’s own unique angle, and I think that pretty much Gus was the perfect illustrator for this one. It is filled with laugh-outloud details for those who look closely enough. (In fact, I’m opening this post with a tiny detail from one of the spreads, though it’s hard not to open with an image of the catawampus cat himself. Anyway, in this spread, which you’ll see below, a whole bunch of townfolks appear, but this little moment—which you’ll miss if you blink—made me laugh out loud. I think that both Jason and Gus must understand what a funny word “pants” is.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #521: Featuring Melissa Castrillon

h1 Sunday, February 12th, 2017

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Nina Laden’s If I Had a Little Dream (Paula Wiseman Books, February 2017), illustrated by Melissa Castrillon. That is here, if you’d like to read all about the book.

This is a snug, gentle book, and it’s Castillon’s debut as an illustrator. Here are a couple more spreads.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #520: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, James Serafino

h1 Sunday, February 5th, 2017

It’s the first Sunday of the month, dear Imps, which means I have a student or newly-graduated illustrator. Today, it’s James Serafino, who graduated from the School of Visual Arts and tells me that children’s books are his primary passion in life and that he loves to share and learn and talk about them as much as possible.

Let’s get right to it, and I thank James for sharing his artwork.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #519: Featuring
Marsha Diane Arnold and Renata Liwska

h1 Sunday, January 29th, 2017


“until …”
(Click to enlarge spread)

I’m taking a moment this morning to highlight one more 2016 picture book, Marsha Diane Arnold’s Waiting for Snow (Houghton Mifflin, November 2016), illustrated by Renata Liwska. (This title is fitting, given we get very little snow here in the South.)

Marsha visits today to talk about this tender, endearing story and what’s next for her. She titled what you will see from her below “Lessons in Patience,” which is also a fitting way to summarize this book. In it, Badger makes it loud and clear that he’s tired of waiting for the snow to come, despite the more philosophically-bent Hedgehog reminding him in more ways than one that “it will snow in snow’s time,” just as the crocuses always bloom in their own time every Spring. All Badger has to do is wait, but that’s easier said than done.

Let’s hear more from Marsha about the book, and I’m peppering the post with some of Renata’s beautiful spreads — and even an early sketch or two.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #518, the I’m-at-Midwinter Edition

h1 Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Dearest Imps, I should probably apologize that two Sundays in a row now I’ve had no art for you (though I DO HAVE KICKS TODAY!). Last week I was down for the count with some sort of cold/flu/heaven-only-knows-what, and this weekend I’m at ALA Midwinter. I’m typing this on Thursday night, as I’m leaving Friday and will be there until the big awards announcements on Monday.

I’ll be moderating a picture book panel discussion on Saturday, which will be fun. I’m also awfully excited that, for the first time, I’ll get to be in the room where the awards are announced. I always watch the live webcast from home every year, so this will be a blast. Best of all, a friend gave me some badges for my family to be able to join me at (some of) the conference, so my daughters, who are big readers, will get to see the exhibit floor (with ALL THE BOOKS SO MANY BOOKS), as well as hear the awards announcements with me.

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Interrupting the Regularly Scheduled Programming …

h1 Sunday, January 15th, 2017

This may be the first Sunday ever in the blog’s history that I don’t have art to show you, but I’m under the weather and being vertical and at a computer is not good. So, I’ve no art (well, I had some planned, promise), and I’ve no kicks. I’m going to go lie down again. Do tell me your kicks. They will be cheery to read.

[As a reminder, 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.]