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

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #709: In Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

h1 Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Hello, dear Imps. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was saying that I had plans for a Sunday post that I was temporarily setting aside so that I could mark the death of an American luminary. I’d like to do this again. I’m taking this space here today, given the news of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to mark this profound loss.

On social media, I noticed that various children’s book illustrators were paying tribute—with either previous illustrations of Ginsburg or ones they’d drawn on the spot when they heard the sad news this weekend. I’m sharing some of those here today. (I know there must be many, many more, but here is just a small handful.)

Pictured above is a painting from illustrator Rahele Jomepour Bell, who says this is “the piece of her I made while I was thinking about her.” Here are some more tributes. …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #708: Featuring Ben Hatke

h1 Sunday, September 13th, 2020

Julia’s back!

Remember Ben Hatke’s introduction to Julia in 2014’s Julia’s House for Lost Creatures? (I wrote about it here, and Ben shared some art and preliminary artwork here.) She will return later this month in Julia’s House Moves On (First Second), and her fans will be delighted.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #707: Featuring Rachelle Baker

h1 Sunday, September 6th, 2020

“Some words, when they CONNECT with the right people, become almost like potions or spells. These words become magical. That’s the way it was with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and verbs. She understood, almost intuitively, how and why verbs are not just words about being, but doing. Verbs are words that move the world forward.”

Let’s take a look today at a new picture book about politician Shirley Chisholm, who made history in 1968 by becoming the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. This biography—Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb! (Dial, July 2020), illustrated by Rachelle Baker—comes from author Veronica Chambers, who writes in a closing “personal note” that, as a child growing up in Brooklyn, she remembers seeing posters (“SHIRLEY CHISHOLM FOR CONGRESS”) in her neighborhood. She writes that “because of Shirley Chisholm, I thought, ‘I could be a congresswoman.’ After all, I passed a picture of a woman who looked a lot like me, who had that job.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #706: Featuring Sydney Smith

h1 Sunday, August 30th, 2020


I’ve a review over at BookPage of one of the most splendid picture books you will see this year. I Talk Like a River (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, September 2020), written by Jordan Scott and illustrated by Sydney Smith, is nothing less than a masterpiece.

My review is here, so you can read my thoughts over there if you are so inclined.

As always, I have some spreads from the book to show you here at 7-Imp today, but illustrator Sydney Smith also shares some preliminary images (for which I thank him). If you read 7-Imp, you’ll know from previous Smith visits that you’re in for a treat. Pictured above is an early painting from Sydney, followed by the final art (the opening to the book’s dramatic double gatefold spread).


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #705: Featuring Temi Coker, Alexis Franklin, Omar T. Pasha, and Jenna Stempel-Lobell

h1 Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

I know I regularly post here at 7-Imp about picture books and illustration, but sometimes I see a book cover that blows me away. In this case, it’s the cover art (pictured above) for the YA novel Punching the Air, written by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam and coming to shelves next month. I read an early copy, and it’s a beautifully crafted and compelling story.

How about that cover art, right? See below to take in the whole package, the cover with its lettering. The jacket art is by Temi Coker; the portrait is by Alexis Franklin; and the jacket design and lettering is by Jenna Stempel-Lobell. (I highly recommend following all of them on Instagram — respectively, @temi.coker; @alexis_art; and @jstempellobell. I don’t know about you all, but that’s my primary reason for being over at Instagram — to see art.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #704: Featuring Meilo So

h1 Sunday, August 16th, 2020

I’m pleased today to share some spreads from Deborah Hopkinson’s Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterlies (Chronicle, August 2020), illustrated by Meilo So. It’s an empowering story about children working together as grassroots activists, and it’s a smart pairing of text and illustration.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #703: Featuring Jutta Bauer

h1 Sunday, August 9th, 2020

“… play with my children …”
(Click to see spread in its entirety)

I don’t want to say too much about today’s book, a German import written and illustrated by Jutta Bauer. And that’s because Selma (Gecko Press), coming to shelves next month, is a slim, small book, and I don’t want to steal from you the wonders of reading it for the first time. And it’s a small book that asks a big question: What is happiness?

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #702: Featuring Gaku Nakagawa

h1 Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

“My message is very simple: Economic growth and progress must add to
human happiness, not take away from it.”

(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Today, dear Imps, I have an unusual picture book import for you. The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out was originally published in Japan in 2014 and will be on American shelves in mid-August, thanks to Enchanted Lion Books. Translated by Andrew Wong, edited (in the original Japanese edition) by Yoshimi Kusaba, and illustrated by Gaku Nakagawa, it is a picture book adaptation of Uruguay President José Mujica’s 2012 speech to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, during which he asked: “Can we really talk about the solidarity of humankind and kindness to each other, or even togetherness, when we are constantly competing to outdo each other?”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #701: Featuring Sonia Sánchez

h1 Sunday, July 26th, 2020

Forgive me, dear Imps, for writing about a picture book that won’t be on shelves till September, but I can’t help myself. Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away (Candlewick), written by Newbery Medalist Meg Medina and illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, is the story of two best friends. They have one final day of play before one of them leaves for her new home. It’s moving day, but the two girls make the most of their last hours together.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #700: In Tribute to John Lewis

h1 Sunday, July 19th, 2020

From Book Two of the March trilogy


Hello, dear Imps. I had plans for today’s post that I am temporarily setting aside, given the news of the passing of Representative John Lewis. It’s a tremendous loss, and I want to do something here at 7-Imp to mark it.

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