Archive for the 'Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #269: Featuring Shane W. Evans

h1 Sunday, February 19th, 2012


(Click to enlarge)

I know that tomorrow we celebrate President’s Day and that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has already passed, so forgive my blatant disregard of the calendar here. But I wanted to show a few illustrations from a book I meant to highlight in January. (Not to mention we should celebrate King any day of the year. For a more presidential post, should that be your desire today, see my Kirkus column from yesterday.)

Shane W. Evans’ We March, released last month by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, is the simple and elegantly-told account of one family’s march in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Filled with just nine short sentences (and I mean some as short as “We sing”), Evans lets the focus here be on the people involved, shining a spotlight on their determination and spirit. I love what Evans does with lines (what the Publishers Weekly review calls his “angular characters”) and how you can see his very brushstrokes on the characters’ faces — and even in the textured backgrounds. (The art I’ve got here today, though not a lot and not full spreads, speaks way better than I, so be sure to take a look.)

With a palette getting progressively warmer as the story unfolds, it culminates in a luminescent spread of King himself giving his historic speech, the sun rising in shimmering yellows behind his head. It’s lovely. Read the rest of this entry �

Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight #5:
An Interview with Italian Illustrator, Maurizio Quarello

h1 Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Maurizio Quarello

Jules: It’s time to welcome again the very smart Italian blogger with kickin’-good taste, Cristiana Clerici (pictured right), for another spotlight on international illustration. Today, she’s interviewing Italian illustrator Maurizio Quarello, pictured above, who talks about his work, what being stubborn will get you in this field, the appeal of cinema with regard to his work, his inspirations, and how his books initially only get a five-minute window with him. (I love that part.) As always, I am grateful that Cris stops by here to show me and 7-Imp readers what is happening in contemporary picture books over in Europe. To get the low-down on what I call Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlights, visit this page of the site. I thank her kindly for contributing today. I shall kick back with my coffee and take in their conversation.

Without further ado, here is Cris. Enjoy.

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Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight #5:
An Interview with Spanish Illustrator, Javier Zabala

h1 Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Jules: It’s time to welcome again the very smart Italian blogger with kickin’-good taste, Cristiana Clerici (pictured here), for another spotlight on international illustration. Today, she’s interviewing Spanish illustrator Javier Zabala, who talks about his work, his teaching, how his mother’s impromptu drawing competition when he was a child led to his career as an illustrator, what having courage means when working in the field, what it means to work “open-heartedly,” and much, much more. As always, I love that Cris stops by here to show me and 7-Imp readers what is happening in contemporary picture books over in Europe. To get the low-down on what I’m calling Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlights, visit this page of the site. I thank her kindly for contributing today. I shall kick back with my coffee and take in their conversation. (And I would like to know if Javier’s ever been told he looks like Nathan Fillion, but see why it’s better for Cris to be in charge of these interviews?)

Without further ado, here is Cris. Enjoy.

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Cris: Complete with mischievous glances and easy-going conversations, often enriched by the expression “hombre,” Javier Zabala embodies all the Spanish pleasantness and the professionalism that only a great artist has when it’s time to open up to others — with humility and generosity.

I met Javier in Macerata, during one of the courses he does with Ars In Fabula — Fabbrica delle Favole, where I was allowed to observe him at work with his students. What mostly struck me about him is the mixture of empathy and severity he keeps during his classes, as much as in his private life he wisely mixes sensitivity and humor, shyness and gushiness.

These qualities shine through in his artwork as well, with all its little curious references, its wisely-balanced colours, its characters sketched in his peculiar style, and those atmospheres so frankly masculine that filter through his tables. Read the rest of this entry �

Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight #4:
Maurizio Quarello’s take on Bluebeard

h1 Thursday, January 27th, 2011


Barbe Bleue by Charles Perrault, illustrations by Maurizio Quarello, Milan Presse, Collection Albums Classiques, 15 April 2010
(Click to enlarge cover.)

Jules: It’s time to welcome again Cristiana Clerici (pictured here) for another international picture-book spotlight. And today she treats us all to an Italian illustrator and French book.

As a reminder, these posts are all Cristiana’s doing, since I asked her last year to stop by 7-Imp when the mood strikes her to show us what is happening in contemporary picture books over in Europe. In this case, it’s one Italian illustrator’s take on the demented, bloodthirsty aristocrat Bluebeard of the classic tale by Charles Perrault. In case you missed it earlier, to get the low-down on what I’m calling Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlights, visit this page of the site.

I thank her kindly for contributing today. You can click on each image below to super-size it and see in more detail.

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Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight #3:
Il Grande Alfredo by Spider (aka Daniele Melani)

h1 Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Jules: It’s time to welcome again Cristiana Clerici (pictured here) for another international picture-book spotlight. Today, she’s reviewing a 2010 Italian picture book, written and illustrated by Spider. Yes, Spider. Also known as Daniele Melani. And this is all Cristiana’s doing—this entire post—and I’ll try not to intrude, but can I just say now right off the bat, hubba whoa to the very surreal art pictured below (not to mention the Beckett-esque tale)? Okay, I said it. Done. It’s some eye-popping stuff, and I love that Cris (I’m gonna call her Cris, as if we’re best friends way over in Italy who have cappuccinos and, I dunno, hazel cinnamon rolls and mini frittatas every morning while gabbing about picture books in a small, rustic cafe in some remote Italian town) … Where was I? Oh, I love that Cris stops by here to show us what unpredictable and peculiar (this is a compliment) stuff is happening in contemporary picture books over in Europe. In case you missed it earlier, to get the low-down on what I’m calling Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlights, visit this page of the site.

I thank her kindly for contributing today. You can click on each image below to super-size it and see in more detail.


Il Grande Alfredo by Spider, Orecchio Acerbo Editore, 2010

Cristiana: The Great Alfredo is the greatest clown of all time: he performs incredible acrobatics, he tells irresistible jokes, he does anything he can to make his public laugh. Why, you are wondering? Because laughing is good for your health. It’s scientifically-proven data, and the Great Alfredo is the scientist of laughter. Read the rest of this entry �

Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight #2:
An Interview with Illustrator Eva Montanari

h1 Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

I may not be able to fly to Italy and have coffee with the ebullient and very smart children’s-lit blogger Cristiana Clerici (pictured below), as I’d like to do, but every once in a blue moon I pull myself together and have something that might resemble a clever idea. And in September of this year, it was to invite Cristiana to 7-Imp, whenever the mood strikes her, to help me shine the spotlight on international picture book titles. Real coffee and meeting Cristiana in person would trump cyber-coffee any day, but I take what I can get. To get the low-down on what I’m calling Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlights, visit this page of the site.

Today, Cristiana makes blogging easy for me, as she sent me the content for the below interview with Italian author/illustrator Eva Montanari (pictured right), and I had the distinct pleasure of formatting the images and text. The rest is all Cristiana — and Eva, of course, who muses on the creative process; her teaching and turning the “modest and inspired doodles” of her students into narrative threads; exploring the new territories of her art; rediscovering childhood joys in her illustrations; the joys (yes, joys) of making mistakes in one’s art; and lots more. So, I turn the keyboard over to Cristiana (who not only conducts these interviews, but also then translates them for us readers), and I thank her and Ms. Montanari for their contributions to 7-Imp and picture book discussions.

Cristiana: Last summer, I went to Macerata, where illustration classes are held for those who would like to become children’s books illustrators. I had been invited by Ars In Fabula, who organized those courses, to see how their Master works, since it had already brought about excellent results (for instance, just to mention the most recent ones, La Governante by Sara Gavioli, or the new version of I Promessi Sposi by Umberto Eco, published with Scuola Holden and illustrated by Marco Lorenzetti). Read the rest of this entry �

Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight #1:
Giovanna Zoboli and Camilla Engman’s Too Late

h1 Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I’m so pleased that today marks Italian blogger Cristiana Clerici’s first contribution to 7-Imp. You may remember from this early September post that I invited her to come on over to the 7-Imp salon to discuss international picture book titles whenever the mood strikes her. Lucky for me, she was all fired up about that idea. You may also remember from my introductory post on Cristiana that over at her blog, The Tea Box, where she will cross post these reviews and interviews, she is following books from all over — with special attention to Italy, the United States, the UK, France, Spain, and South American countries. And she maintains three pages in three languages over at The Tea Box (Italian, English, and French). Hubba whoa did you say? Yes, hubba WHOA. Impressive, indeed.

Cristiana is working on an interview with the very talented Italian illustrator Eva Montanari, which she’ll also post over here, once she wraps that up. Today she’s contributed a review of the book you see pictured below, written by one of the leading authors in Italian children’s literature and illustrated by a Swedish artist. The book is being published in France by Hélium. It’s looking for a publisher in other countries, says Cristiana. (More information can be found here.)

Without further ado, here’s Cristiana to tell you more about it, and I thank her kindly… (By the way, I need a clever title for Cristiana’s series of sorts. Any ideas? It’s late, and “Cristiana Clerici’s International Spotlight” is the best I can do.)


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7-Imp Welcomes Cristiana Clerici:
An International Collaboration

h1 Thursday, September 9th, 2010

When I first chatted online with blogger Cristiana Clerici, who lives in Parma, Italy, and writes at the wonderful Tea Box, she told me that her blog was an ambitious idea and that she hoped she’d be good enough for it. Well, I think she’s proven that she is.

Over at The Tea Box, Cristiana shares her love of books, particularly international picture books. She maintains three pages in three languages (Italian, English, and French), so most of her time goes into translating her own posts. Wow, huh? I mean, wow just wow. I don’t think I’ll further complain about being busy; here at 7-Imp, I’m writing in only one tongue. Not three. And not maintaining three separate pages. Wow again.

Her goal over at The Tea Box? To aid libraries who are willing to implement or improve upon their collection of international titles; to assist editors who are looking for new, interesting titles; and to simply entertain and enlighten curious readers. She is following books from all over — with special attention to Italy, the United States, the UK, France, Spain, and South American countries. Read the rest of this entry �

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