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

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.]

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #517: Featuring Anne Hunter

h1 Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Dear Imps, I know it’s 2017 and all that, but let’s look back one more time to 2016 and the publication (in March) of author-illustrator Anne Hunter’s Cricket Song (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). It’s a lovely book, and it need not go by unblogged about.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #515: Featuring Rowboat Watkins

h1 Sunday, December 25th, 2016

(Click to enlarge)

Merry Christmas, dear Imps! Isn’t it kinda cool that it’s on a Sunday this year? I do think I’ll skip seven separate kicks today, though you all are welcome to leave yours, and just wish you a happy holiday instead. But it’s good to be able to do so on the big day itself.

My Christmas gift to you is this fantastic image from author-illustrator Rowboat Watkins. (When you’re done opening presents, read this 2015 visit with him, if you haven’t already.) I love it more than rum-laden egg nog and snow angels combined. Do click on the image to embiggen it; I love the timestamp detail. I think one of the best things about 2017 is that Rowboat will have a new picture book on shelves. Pete with No Pants will be out in May. (I just had to look up the month, and I’m pleased it’s my birthday month. It’s as if the publishing field knows how eager I am to read it. I mean, not really, but I can pretend.) You did click on the title to see that wonderful cover, yes? Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #514: Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Dear Imps, did you read this year Matt Phelan’s exceptionally good graphic novel, Snow White? I wrote about it here at Kirkus in September. It’s one of my top-five favorite books from this year. (I don’t ever really do lists or Caldecott predictions, but this one is very special, and yes, I’d definitely put it in the top five.) And here is where Matt stopped by 7-Imp to share early sketches and such from this beautiful book.

Today, Matt is sharing a holiday image he made (and I think he made it just for this post, for which I am grateful). If you read his beautiful book, you know the chilling importance of the ticker tape.

But here the ticker tape is singing a holiday tune for us. I love it. Big thanks to Matt.

I’ll post the cover here again at 7-Imp, because really, if you haven’t read it yet, what is stopping you?

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #513: Featuring Isabelle Arsenault

h1 Sunday, December 11th, 2016

“The river’s soil nurtured a garden where Louise and her family grew geraniums, peonies, asparagus, and cherry trees; apples and pears, purple tamarisk,
pink hawthorn, and sweet-smelling honeysuckle.
Along its banks, her father planted poplars.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got some spreads today from Amy Novesky’s superb March picture book, Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois (Abrams), illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. This is an exquisite biography of Bourgeois, the French-American artist known for her sculpture and installation art.

The book opens with Louise as a young girl and places a particular emphasis on her close relationship with her mother, who restored tapestries and actively taught young Louise about the repair of fabrics and about “form and color and the various styles of textiles.” Novesky likens Louise’s mother to a spider, quoting Bourgeois who once said about her mother: “Deliberate … patient, soothing … subtle, indispensable … and as useful as an araignée.” The author also uses the river near Louise’s chilhood home as a theme in the book as well: “The river provided flowers and fruit, a lullaby, and a livelihood.” Read the rest of this entry �