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

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.

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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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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #433: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Julie: “P. Zonka is a Friesian Bantam.”

If I were really organized, you would have read this post months ago at the dawn of Spring. It’s a very Spring’y book, and it also has a lot to do with eggs, which are also very Spring’y. But sometimes I’m just slow. Better late than never, though. Right?

There is a closing note in Julie Paschkis’ new picture book about how she and her family have an annual party where they gather together with friends to decorate eggs and eat yummy food. She makes particular mention of pysanky, Ukrainian decorated eggs, and a brilliant, decorated egg is an integral part of the story in this bright and beautiful book, P. Zonka Lays an Egg (Peachtree, March 2015). When I say bright, I’m talking a primarily sunny yellow palette, punctuated by other warm and lovely colors.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #432: Featuring Elly MacKay

h1 Sunday, May 17th, 2015

(Click to enlarge)

I love to see the paper-cut artwork of author-illustrator Elly MacKay, and I reviewed her newest book from Running Press, Butterfly Park, here at BookPage. It will be on shelves in June.

Today, I follow up the review with some art from the book and a few other images Elly sent along. I thank her for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #431: Featuring JiHyeon Lee

h1 Sunday, May 10th, 2015

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of JiHyeon Lee’s debut picture book, Pool, released by Chronicle this past week and originally published in South Korea in 2013.

Here’s the review if you want to read all about the book, and below is a bit more art.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #430: Featuring Frank Viva (sorta)

h1 Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Dear kickers, I’m battling an ugly stomach bug this weekend, and since it’s best to be horizontal, I’ve got a short post today. I was going to feature the work of another illustrator, but I’ll have to do that later this week, since it was a much longer post.

I reviewed Frank Viva’s Outstanding in the Rain (Little, Brown, April 2015) over at BookPage (that is here), and I had planned on securing some of the beautiful spreads from the book to show you all. But again … you know, dastardly bug.

Instead, to keep things short so that I can lie back down, I’ll point you to these recent and quite wonderful posts at other places, posts all about the book — and with lots of art.

* Post at 32 Pages
* Post at Brain Pickings
* Write-up at the New York Times

Please do tell me: What are YOUR kicks this week?