Archive for the 'Nonfiction' Category

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 …

My Kirkus Chat with Seymour Simon

h1 Thursday, July 20th, 2017

When I write, I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in trying to teach facts. The facts may change, but the enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

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This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to author-illustrator Seymour Simon about his newest nonfiction picture book and his career of making books for children, which has spanned over 300 books and nearly 50 years.

That is here.

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Photo of Seymour Simon © Charles Harbutt and used by permission.

My Kirkus Q&A with Leda Schubert

h1 Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Who invented the hot shower? I owe most of my first lines to that brilliant person. I can research and write and think and suffer, and then one morning—if lucky—the shower gods deliver a sentence. It is that sentence that allows me to stop researching endlessly and begin to write ….”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Leda Schubert, pictured here, about her new picture book biography of Pete Seeger, Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2017), illustrated by Raúl Colón.

That Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Leda’s photo taken by Bear Pond Books.

 

My Kirkus Q&A with Dave Roman

h1 Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

It is frustrating to see how a willful ignorance is becoming almost a badge of honor for certain people. You see a lot of dismissive statements that are contrary to how science works. So, I think teaching kids that scientists work as a community of fact-checkers who never stop questioning and challenging our assumptions about the world is probably more relevant than ever.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author/illustrator Dave Roman about his work as the series editor for First Second’s Science Comics series of nonfiction graphic novels. I wanted to know, in particular, what it’s like to offer these science titles in a day and age of science-denial, which is what he addresses in the quote above.

The entire Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Dave’s self-portrait above used by permission of First Second.

Greg Pizzoli and The Quest for Z

h1 Wednesday, June 21st, 2017


“… He plunged his knife into its flesh,
but the snake turned out to be very much still alive ….”


 
Over at BookPage, I talk to author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli about his newest picture book, The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon (Viking, June 2017). It’s a book that is, as I note in my review, a complex and intriguing look at a man for whom European imperialism was unsuccessful — certainly a topic rarely addressed in most K-12 curricula. That Q&A is here, and my review of the book is here.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book.

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Where John Keats Meets Chris Raschka . . .

h1 Tuesday, April 25th, 2017


“For nothing would he do / But scribble poetry …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
It’s National Poetry Month, and I’m specifically marking it today—though I hope you celebrate it year-round by reading poetry no matter the month—with the beautiful A Song About Myself: A Poem by John Keats (Candlewick, March 2017). Keats evidently wrote this poem in a letter to his young sister, Fanny, while he was visiting Scotland, and now it’s in picture-book form, illustrated by the one, the only Chris Raschka. (Ezra Jack Keats also illustrated this back in ’65 as The Naughty Boy, published by Viking Press.)

“When John Keats was just twenty-two,” Raschka writes in the book’s closing Illustrator’s Note, “he decided to get out of London and go for a walk. … Arrived in the hills of Scotland, he wrote a letter to his sister. … And at the end of traveling twenty miles through the mountains he wrote …: ‘We have walked through a beautiful country to Kirkcudbright—at which place I will write you a song about myself.’ This is where his poem sits in the letter — a poem he did not think much of and which does not really have a title.” Raschka adds:

John Keats is remembered as one of the greatest romantic artists of all time …. He can also be remembered as a loving brother, who wanted to make his sister laugh with a funny little rhyme ….

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
R. Gregory Christie, Nate Powell, and Eugene Yelchin

h1 Friday, February 3rd, 2017


From John Lewis’s and Andrew Aydin’s March: Book Two,
illustrated by Nate Powell

(Click to enlarge)


 


“‘IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST ELOQUENT PROFOUND AND UNEQUIVOCAL PLEAS FOR JUSTICE AND THE FREEDOM OF ALL MEN EVER MADE BY ANY PRESIDENT,’ telegrammed Dr. King as soon as the speech was over.”
— From Shana Corey’s
A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech,
illustrated by R. Gregory Christie


 

From Carmen Agra Deedy’s The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!,
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

(Click to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books that make me wish I could snap my fingers and be in an elementary language arts classroom right about now. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about the third book in John Lewis’s and Andrew Aydin’s March trilogy (Top Shelf Productions), released last year and illustrated by Nate Powell; Carmen Agra Deedy’s The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (Scholastic, January 2017), illustrated by Eugene Yelchin; and Shana Corey’s A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and coming to shelves from NorthSouth Books in April.

Today, I’ve got art from all three books in the March trilogy, as well as art from Yelchin and Christie.

Until Sunday …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chris Appelhans and Steve Light

h1 Friday, January 6th, 2017


— From Steve Light’s Lucky Lazlo


 

“A greyhound, a groundhog,
a found little
roundhog.”
— From Emily Jenkins’s
A Greyhound, a Groundhog
(Click to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Patricia McKissack’s superb new book. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Emily Jenkins’s A Greyhound, a Groundhog (Schwartz & Wade, January 2017), illustrated by Chris Appelhans, as well as Steve Light’s Lucky Lazlo (Candlewick, December 2016).

I’m following up with some art from each book today, and Steve also shares some thoughts on Lazlo, as well as some early sketches and such. I thank him for sharing.

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