Archive for the 'Nonfiction' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Daniel Egnéus

h1 Friday, June 14th, 2019

“When the sun rose, the peppered moths dozed on lichen-covered branches.
Silent, still, they hid.
Someone else was looking for food.
Who was the best hidden? Who would survive?”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a new book celebrating math by Spanish author-illustrator Miguel Tanco.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Isabel Thomas’s Moth: An Evolution Story (Bloomsbury, June 2019), illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. Here today at 7-Imp are some spreads from the book.


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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Cindy Derby

h1 Friday, May 10th, 2019

“polka dot polka dot / you are not at all what i thought …”
(Click to enlarge spread and read poem in its entirety)

Over at Kirkus today, I write about new picture books from Stephen Savage and Fiona Woodcock.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Shannon Bramer’s Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children (Groundwood, March 2019), illustrated by Cindy Derby. I’m following up here today with a few spreads.


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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Lorena Alvarez, Ivan Brunetti, and Mordicai Gerstein (and Others!)

h1 Friday, April 12th, 2019

— From Lorena Alvarez’s Hicotea


— From Mordicai Gerstein’s I Am Hermes!


— From Ivan Brunetti’s Comics: Easy as ABC!

At Kirkus today, I’ve got a visually rich new picture book about celebrating family.

That is here.

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Over at Kirkus last week, I wrote here about Lorena Alvarez’s Hicotea: A Nightlights Story (Nobrow, March 2019); Mordicai Gerstein’s I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods (Holiday House, April 2019), and Comics: Easy as ABC!: The Essential Guide to Comics for Kids (April 2019) from TOON Books and Ivan Brunetti (and other comics artists). Today, I’ve got some art from each book.


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Lion of the Sky

h1 Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Last week at Kirkus, I wrote here about Laura Purdie Salas’s Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons (Millbrook, April 2019), illustrated by Mercè López.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book. (Tomorrow, Soyeon Kim — the illustrator of the other book mentioned in last week’s Kirkus column — will visit to talk about creating the artwork for Elin Kelsey’s You Are Never Alone.)


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My Kirkus Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka

h1 Friday, August 31st, 2018

The best I can describe it would be to tell you it was like the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Professor Umbridge punishes Harry by making him write lines over and over with a Blood Quill. Every time Harry writes something on paper, the words get seared into the back of his hand. So there were moments when it was painful and difficult to make this book. My beautiful studio space would get transformed into that small kitchen in Worcester where difficult moments played out. That being said, there were also many wonderful moments to relive. Those scenes brought me great joy, and when the book was finished, I sort of had to mourn the loss of my grandparents all over again. It was truly a gift to spend that time with them again.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka about his graphic novel memoir, Hey, Kiddo, coming to shelves in October.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

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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