Archive for the 'Nonfiction' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Don Brown,
Emily Carroll, Zack Giallongo, and Ben Hatke

h1 Friday, August 21st, 2015


– From Ben Hatke’s Little Robot


 

– From Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet, illustrated by Zack Giallongo


 

– From Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistant, illustrated by Emily Carroll


 

– From Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans


 

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books from debut author-illustrators. Good stuff, these books. That link is here.

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Last week, I had a graphic novel round-up, so I’m following up today here at 7-Imp with a bit of art from each book — Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2015); Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistance, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Candlewick, August 2015); Ben Hatke’s Little Robot (First Second, September 2015); and Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet (First Second, September 2015), illustrated by Zack Giallongo. To boot, I’ve got a bit of art from last year’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.

Enjoy!

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus (and Chapter 16) This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Shane W. Evans and James E. Ransome

h1 Friday, August 7th, 2015


“We worked together a lot. But we played a lot, too. We really loved to go fishing. Sometimes I would complain when I didn’t get a bite right away,
but my granddaddy always said, ‘Patience, son, patience.'”
– From
Granddaddy’s Turn
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“As long as Lillian still has a pulse, she is going to vote—and so she keeps on climbing, keeps on seeing, this time the second march from Selma.
This march also ends on the bridge, in a prayer ….”
– From
Lillian’s Right to Vote
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about two new Asian picture book imports. That link is here.

Also, over here at Chapter 16, I talk to Deanna Caswell, the author of Beach House (Chronicle, May 2015), illustrated by Amy June Bates.

* * *

Last week I wrote here about two new picture books that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights Act — Michael S. Bandy’s and Eric Stein’s Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box (Candlewick, July 2015), illustrated by James E. Ransome, and Jonah Winter’s Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Schwartz & Wade, July 2015), illustrated by Shane W. Evans.

Today I’ve got a bit of art from each book. Enjoy.

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A Visit with Artist Keith Mallett

h1 Tuesday, August 4th, 2015


“And let’s say one day when you were a little older,
you sat right down at a black piano and you commenced to play …”


 
There’s a new picture book biography on shelves, Jonah Winter’s How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, June 2015), illustrated by Keith Mallett (pictured right). The book opens in a tremendously inviting way:

Here’s what could’ve happened if you were born a way down south in New Orleans, in the Land of Dreams a long, long time ago.

Let’s say you had a godmother, and she put a spell on you because she was a voodoo queen. …

Voodoo queen? Hoo boy, my attention is piqued.

Author and illustrator go on to lay out the musician’s early life and rise to fame, as well as his contributions to jazz. They address the whole who-invented-jazz conundrum—“And, to tell the truth of it, maybe Mister Jelly Roll didn’t invent jazz, not exactly, ’cause it took a lot of cooks to make that stew … but he sure did spread it around the towns”—and in an informative closing author’s note [“How Jelly Roll Morton (Might Have) Invented Jazz”], Winter goes into more detail about this and what distinguished Morton from his fellow musicians. Robin Smith captured the book well in the Horn Book’s review: “Much like jazz itself, Winter has created a book filled with ebbs and flows, rhythm and rhyme, darkness and light, shadow and sunshine.”

This is Mallett’s first picture book, though he’s been an artist and designer for more than thirty years. His acrylic paintings in this bio, bustling with energy and filled with beguiling shadows, are rich and reverent. He’s visiting today with some art (sans text) and early sketches from the book — and to talk a bit about his work. He even shares a bit of other art (not from this biography). I thank him for visiting.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Julie Morstad

h1 Friday, July 24th, 2015


“…Finally, she steps onto the stage alone … and sprouts white wings, a swan.
She weaves the notes, the very air into a story. All those sitting see.
They stare—Anna is a bird in flight, a whim of wind and water.
Quiet feathers in a big loud world. Anna
is the swan.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got some French picture book imports. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Laurel Snyder’s Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, illustrated by Julie Morstad (Chronicle), coming to shelves in August 2015. Today, I’ve got some spreads from it.

Enjoy.

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A Moment with the Art of Ted & Betsy Lewin

h1 Thursday, July 16th, 2015


“We saw magnificent Masai warriors, called Marons,
and women mantled in beautiful beadwork.”

(Click to enlarge)


 
Last week at Kirkus, I chatted with Betsy and Ted Lewin about their new book, How to Babysit a Leopard: And Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2015). That Q&A is here.

Today, I follow up with a bit of artwork from the book.

Enjoy.

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Globe-Hopping with the Lewins

h1 Thursday, July 9th, 2015

As children we were both fascinated by a book called I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson. It’s about her and her husband Martin’s travels to wild places around the world. We both aspired to their kind of life, and our childhood dreams came true. Our book is the culmination of all our travels. … We wanted to make this a true representation of what it felt like to be in these places. It would be less than honest if we made all our adventures look like a piece of cake.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Betsy and Ted Lewin, pictured here, about their new book, How to Babysit a Leopard: And Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook, June 2015).

That link is here.

Next week, I’ll have a few of the watercolors from the book.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of the Lewins used by their permission.

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Steve Jenkins, Rick Lieder, and Emmanuelle Walker

h1 Friday, June 5th, 2015


– From Helen Frost’s Sweep Up the Sun,
illustrated by Rick Lieder

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“Cherries, berries. / Pluck and feed. / Leaving a dropping / full of seed.”
– From April Pulley Sayre’s
Woodpecker Wham!,
illustrated by Steve Jenkins

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

“C is for cranes, both whooping and crowned.
C is for cockatoos, crests abound.”
– From Jean Roussen’s
Beautiful Birds,
illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker

(Click to enlarge spread slightly)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Douglas Florian’s How to Draw a Dragon. That link is here.

* * *

I am following up today here at 7-Imp with art from three books I wrote about here last week — Jean Roussen’s Beautiful Birds, illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker (Flying Eye Books, March 2015); Helen Frost’s Sweep Up the Sun, illustrated by Rick Lieder (Candlewick, March 2015); and April Pulley Sayre’s Woodpecker Wham!, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Henry Holt, May 2015).

Enjoy the art.

Please note: The text in some of the Woodpecker Wham! spreads below differs from what was printed in the final book. My image captions show the final text.

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Marvin Bileck and Ashley Bryan:
One Unique Collaboration Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015


“Spades for the circling turrets / Clubs for the towers above /
Diamonds for sparkling windows / And hearts for love …”
(Click to enlarge)


 

Do you know one reason I like to keep my eye on what Alazar Press is doing? They have previously published the work of Ashley Bryan (see this older 7-Imp post), and they’re doing it again this year. But this time it’s a very unusual collaboration they’re bringing into the spotlight, one that’s been 50 years in the making.

The book is called By Trolley Past Thimbledon Bridge and was released in early May. Once upon a time, Marvin Bileck—illustrator of Rain Makes Applesauce, a 1965 Caldecott Honor Book—created the illustrations for the only children’s manuscript written by Virginia Woolf. However, her estate withdrew the text after more than a decade of Marvin’s work. Ashley Bryan then stepped in to collaborate with Bileck on a new text, securing the help of the legendary Jean Karl, who founded Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Still, though, the book has taken decades to see light of day — and now it is on shelves, thanks to Alazar.

“When [Bileck] told his friend Ashley Bryan,” an opening note from Bileck’s wife states, “they began playfully bantering back and forth with words here and there, in and out of the drawings, and that’s how By Trolley Past Thimbledon Bridge came into being.” It’s a set of ten poems with a hand-lettered text all throughout the book, as well as Bileck’s delicate, whispery illustrations. “Bileck and Bryan capture the stuff of dreams in this mesmerizing and multifaceted pageant,” writes the Kirkus review.

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A Raschka Moment

h1 Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

 


 
Last week, I chatted over at Kirkus with Paul B. Janeczko about The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by Chris Raschka. So today I am following up with two spreads from the book.

Enjoy!

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Harry & Winnie: Friends Forever and Even Longer

h1 Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


“In 1919, just before Harry returned to Winniepeg, he made another hard decision.
He decided that Winnie would stay at the London Zoo permanently.
Harry was sad, but he knew Winnie would be happiest in the home she knew best.”

This week over at BookPage, I’ve got an interview with author Sally M. Walker. Her newest picture book is Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh (Henry Holt, January 2015), illustrated by newcomer Jonathan D. Voss. It’s a fascinating story and one I didn’t know.

Our Q&A is over here at BookPage, and below I have some art (and backmatter images) from the book.

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