Archive for the 'Nonfiction' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus (and Chapter 16) This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Brian Pinkney

h1 Friday, January 19th, 2018


— From the poem, “Smothered”


 
Today over at Kirkus, I’ve two brand-new picture books that are, in part, about the emotional intelligence of children (and, well, rabbits).

That is here.

Over at Tennessee’s own Chapter 16 today, I have a Q&A with author Matt de la Peña and illustrator Loren Long. They will be in Nashville soon talking about their newest picture book, Love. That Q&A is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Andrea Davis Pinkney’s and Brian Pinkney’s Martin Rising: Requiem for a King (Scholastic, January 2018).

I’m following up with some art from the book today, but I also highly recommend you head to the Horn Book’s site and watch this video interview with Andrea about the book. I watched that earlier this week and enjoyed it.

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Love Wins

h1 Tuesday, January 9th, 2018


“Paula the cat / not thin nor fat / is as happy as house cats can be …”
(Click to enlarge and read poem in its entirety)


 
I’ve a few spreads today from Nikki Giovanni’s I Am Loved (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, January 2018), illustrated by Ashley Bryan.

This is a collection of primarily free verse poems from Giovanni — some previously published and the rest, brand-new. The poems are about memory, loss, friendship, and family — and (delightfully) there’s one about a house cat, “not thin nor fat,” who tires of her view and heads out to sea (pictured above). “Quilts,” a poem dedicated to artist Sally Sellers, comes from the point of view of an elderly woman, who likens herself to a “fading piece of cloth.” The ending is striking in its poignancy:

When I am frayed and stained and drizzled at the end
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #558: Featuring Maya Christina Gonzalez

h1 Sunday, October 29th, 2017


“… cuando conozco a alguien / me sonrojo tímido como / Marte en martes /
when I meet someone new / I turn red like Mars / on Tuesday …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
If you’re having trouble waking up this morning, today’s illustrations from Maya Christina Gonzalez might just do the trick. I’ve got here today some of her bright, vivid artwork for Francisco X. Alarcón’s Family Poems for Every Day of the Week / Poemas familiares para cada dia de la semana (Children’s Book Press / Lee & Low Books, October 2017).

These are poems, published posthumously (the award-winning Alarcón died last year), celebrating family and community for each day of the week. Evidently, the entries are based on Alarcón’s own childhood experiences with his family. Each entry is published in both Spanish and English, including the fascinating opening author’s note about the days of the week and how their names came about. The book’s playful font and typography keep readers on their toes, and the poems strike various tones. “I can barely open / the shut oysters / of my sleep eyes” on Mondays, Alarcón writes, yet Saturdays are joyous: “I feel thrilled and free / like a hummingbird / in the Garden of Eden.”

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Snooping Out Stories with Jack

h1 Friday, October 20th, 2017

All of us should assume that young writers know the particulars of their world better than we know their world.”


 

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve a chat with award-winning author Jack Gantos about his wonderful new book for upper elementary and middle-grade students, Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2017).

That is here.

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Photo above of Jack at the 2017 Eric Carle Honors was taken by Johnny Wolf Photography.

Song of the Wild

h1 Tuesday, September 26th, 2017


“White wings, as delicate as paper,
and a body lighter than a cupcake …”

(Click to enlarge spread and see full text)


 
Here’s a quick post to show you a bit of art from a book, coming to shelves in early October, that will catch the eye of young readers. Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals comes from children’s book author and zoologist Nicola Davies. I always love to see what she’s up to, and this book, with illustrations from Petr Horáček, is a wonderful offering. As the title indicates, it’s a “first book” of animals, geared at young children — and great for browsing, over a hundred pages as it is.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Katherine Roy

h1 Friday, September 15th, 2017



 
Today over at Kirkus, I’m reading between the lines, so to speak. That is here.

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Last week, I talked here with author-illustrator Katherine Roy about her newest picture book, How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild (David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook Press, September 2017). Today, she follows up with some beautiful sketches from her research trip to Kenya, a bit of a peek into her process, and some final art from the book. (Pictured above is an early sketch.)

Enjoy!

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My Kirkus Q&A with Katherine Roy

h1 Friday, September 8th, 2017

I think change starts with education, and since writing/illustrating is my background and my skill set, drawing and informational storytelling is what I have to offer kids. The book and the presentations and my blog are tools, but the dream is to contribute to science and education — to make it dynamic and engaging, one page (or one video) at a time.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Katherine Roy, pictured above, about her newest picture book, How to Be an Elephant (David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook Press), coming to shelves in mid-September.

That Q&A is here.

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Photo of Katherine taken by Brian Futterman.

Chris Barton on Dazzle Ships . . .

h1 Thursday, August 17th, 2017

I love research, and in the case of this book, my main research challenge wasn’t the volume of information or number of sources. … Instead, the big challenge was navigating the potential for tangents and sprawl in my search for a through-line.”

 

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Chris Barton, pictured here, about his newest picture book, Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion (Millbrook/Lerner, September 2017), illustrated by Victo Ngai.

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the book here at 7-Imp.

Until tomorrow …

 

This Is How We Do It

h1 Thursday, August 10th, 2017



 
I talked to Matt Lamothe last week at Kirkus (here) about about This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World (Chronicle, May 2017).

Today here at 7-Imp are some spreads from the book.

Until tomorrow …

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Around the World with Matt Lamothe

h1 Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

The choice to use real children, instead of made-up characters for the book, felt like a natural way to make the experience of a different culture authentic and relatable. I remember as a kid learning about other cultures in books, and a typical page would show ‘Pierre lives in Paris and loves to eat baguettes.’ … By using real kids, not only does the reader learn about cultural specificity, but they also see that people are individuals within their culture and that they have their own unique day that may or may not line up with prevailing cultural expectations.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Matt Lamothe, pictured here, about This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World (Chronicle, May 2017).

That Q&A is here. Next week, I’ll have some art from the book here at 7-Imp.

Until tomorrow …