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

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #718: Featuring Mike Orodán

h1 Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

“Over, under, across, through. Around the world, construction crews build overpasses, underpasses, bridges, and tunnels — ways for people to get from one place to another. But what about the animals that live in these places?”

This is the opening of Katy S. Duffield’s splendid Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals (Beach Lane, October 2020), illustrated by Mike Orodán. Readers see creatures of all stripes misplaced by human-made constructions for the purposes of transportation — animals fearfully traversing under giant bridges, freezing in a car’s headlights, hiding from construction equipment, and more. But we also read that around the world, “in search of solutions, animal lovers come together.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #717: Featuring Seou Lee

h1 Sunday, November 15th, 2020

Let’s take a look at a picture book debut, shall we? Seou Lee is an author and animator, and thanks to Arthur Levine’s new imprint, Levine Querido, we get to see her try her hand at picture books. Bye, Penguin! (October, 2020), orginally published in Korea, is a (nearly) wordless adventure — a penguin’s inadvertent (but very thrilling) one.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #716: Featuring This Is Your Time

h1 Sunday, November 8th, 2020

I don’t have illustrations for you today, dear Imps, as I normally do. But I want to take a moment to highlight a book that will be on shelves next week — This Is Your Time (Random House), written by civil rights activist and icon Ruby Bridges.

This is a short (64 pages) and small but powerful book. Ruby Bridges, as you know if you know your American history, was the first Black student—at the age of six—to desegregate an all-white elementary school. We’ve all seen the images of Ruby being escorted by four federal marshals on her first day at William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans on November 14, 1960. Ruby was the subject of the Norman Rockwell painting on this book’s cover.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #715: Featuring Sarah Williamson

h1 Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Today, author-illustrator Sarah Williamson visits to talk about creating Elevator Bird (Knopf), which will be on shelves in late November. I’ll let her tell you about the story below.

Sarah’s brightly colored illustrations are filled with the kinds of little offbeat details that make this a book that children will pore over. And fans of the Eloise books may be especially delighted, given the book’s posh hotel setting. Sarah shares some spreads below, as well as some early sketches from the book.

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

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #714: Featuring James Otis Smith

h1 Sunday, October 25th, 2020

Black Heroes of the Wild West: Featuring Stagecoach Mary, Bass Reeves, and Bob Lemmons, released by Toon Graphics last month, is the first book that James Otis Smith has both written and illustrated. It’s a book that shines a light on Stagecoach Mary, Bass Reeves, and Bob Lemmons—in three separate sets of comics. But there’s also a good deal of additional information provided, particularly in the book’s detailed backmatter. It all adds up to a book that gives readers a perspective on U.S. history that is not often seen and spotlights Black figures in history that have been routinely overlooked. The caption for the painting A Dash for the Timber (1889), which is included in the book’s introduction, says it all: ” … [R]enowned painter of the West Frederic S. Remington shows cowboys as a group of white men. In fact, a large number were Mexican or Native American, and as many as one-third were African American.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #713: Featuring Kasya Denisevich

h1 Sunday, October 18th, 2020

“My ceiling is someone’s floor, and my floor is someone’s ceiling.”

Today, it’s a pleasure to share some spreads from Neighbors (Chronicle, September 2020), the debut picture book from Kasya Denisevich, a Russian-born author-illustrator now living in Barcelona. These illustrations were rendered in ink, and the book’s typeset is called Kasya Hand—a font created from the author’s handlettering.

“[I]f you stop to think about it … My ceiling is someone’s floor, and my floor is someone’s ceiling.” A young girl moves into a new apartment—number 12 in Building 2 at 3 Ponds Lane. She considers who lives in the building: “If I could stretch my hand through that wall, I could actually touch someone. And that someone is my new neighbor!”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #712: Featuring Ashley Wolff

h1 Sunday, October 11th, 2020

(Click spread to enlarge)

It’s a pleasure today to welcome author-illustrator Ashley Wolff, who talks about a new version of an old book.

Only the Cat Saw was originally published in 1985, and as you’ll read below, Ashley had an opportunity to update it. This new version, on shelves in June of this year (Beach Lane Books), is the story of a small multiracial family on a farm. While they bustle about, getting ready for bed after a busy day, the cat is the only one to see the sun set; fireflies at night; an owl; a shooting star; and more. The text is spare and rhythmic with pleasing repetition, and Ashley’s richly colored illustrations are deliciously textured. Young children, who wonder what their pet sees at night, will delight in this warm, cozy story.

Thanks to Ashley for visiting today to share more about this updated version. And don’t miss her September visit with Jama Kim Rattigan to talk in even more detail about the book. (That is here.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #711: Featuring Kenneth Kraegel

h1 Sunday, October 4th, 2020

I love the newest book from author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel. It’s a board book called This Is a Book of Shapes (Candlewick, September 2020), and it is suprising and fun and subversive.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #710: Featuring Jaime Zollars

h1 Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Dragons, anyone?

Jaime Zollars’s The Truth About Dragons (Little, Brown, September 2020) is, at heart, a friendship story. More specifically, it’s about the ways in which we perceive others. “The stories about dragons are true,” we read on the first spread: They are a danger. But this is not a book for rushing through; look closely as you turn each page. You’ll see dragons … in mismatched socks. Dragons in the cafeteria. Dragons in a library. Dragons in music class. And, if you look even closer, you’ll see dragons who have turned—or are turning—into classmates. Could it be the first day of school?

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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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