Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

My Kirkus Q&A with Patricia MacLachlan

h1 Thursday, September 14th, 2017

I think that my slow process of becoming blind is a great reason for this book. When I now look in the mirror, I look like an impressionist painting — interesting perhaps, but not clear. What I do see is my childhood, sharp and clear. Someone Like Me grew out of my memories, a wonderful world that now serves me.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan, pictured here, about her newest picture book, Someone Like Me (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, July 2017), illustrated by Chris Sheban, and much more.

That Q&A is here.

Next week, I’ll follow up here with some of Chris’s art from the book. (I also have a lovely, art-filled interview with Chris I’m eager to post but which I’m ridiculously behind on. I hope to post that soon!)

Until tomorrow …

My Kirkus Q&A with Katherine Rundell

h1 Thursday, August 31st, 2017

I grew up in part in Zimbabwe, and the wild freedom I had then still, I think, acts as an engine to my days. That raw happiness that is possible in childhood is such a gift. But I also remember being dismayed, when I was between seven and thirteen, when people repeatedly told me childhood was the happiest time in life. There is so much of the world that feels opaque and impenetrable at that age, and you are so dependent on the unruly race of adults. Children are fierce, passionate creatures. I think sometimes we treat children and their lives as far more simple than they could possibly be; I want my books, if possible, to act against that impulse.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Katherine Rundell, pictured here, about her newest novel, The Explorer (Simon & Schuster), coming to shelves in mid-September.

That Q&A is here.

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Photo of Katherine Rundell taken by Blair Mowat.

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Lauren Tobia

h1 Friday, July 14th, 2017


“‘Shh!’ she said. ‘Amazing Anna Hibiscus is busy growing up.'”
— From Atinuke’s
You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus!, illustrated by Lauren Tobia
and coming to shelves in September


 

Bao Phi, photographed by Anna Min


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a Q&A with author Bao Phi, pictured above. We talk about his new picture book, A Different Pond (Capstone, August 2017), illustrated by Thi Bui.

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

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Also pictured above is an illustration from the Anna Hibiscus chapter book series. I mentioned in last week’s Kirkus column that new titles are coming out in the Fall (Kane Miller), and so today I have some of Lauren Tobia’s illustrations from those new books. More artwork is below.

Enjoy!

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Eva Eriksson

h1 Friday, July 7th, 2017


“Then Ella put the two heart halves on the ground. She laid them close together so they made a whole heart. …’Rest in peace, dear hearts!'”


 
Today at Kirkus, on account of a summer slump, I’ve got Seven Impossibly Good Bits of Book News. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about lazy summer (re)reading and mentioned Rose Lagercrantz’s See You When I See You (Gecko Press), illustrated by Eva Eriksson and coming to U.S. shelves in August of this year. It’s a wonderful addition to this wonderful series. Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some illustrations from that.

Enjoy!

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Jay Fleck and Charise Mericle Harper

h1 Friday, June 9th, 2017


— From Charise Mericle Harper’s The Good for Nothing Button!


 


“Point of view (where you are) can affect what you see …”
— From Susan Hood’s
Double Take! A New Look at Opposites,
illustrated by Jay Fleck
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got two brand-new picture books, beautiful stories about making it through the rain in more ways than one.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about the deep thoughts of Charise Mericle Harper’s The Good for Nothing Button! (Disney, May 2017) and Susan Hood’s Double Take! A New Look at Opposites (Candlewick), illustrated by Jay Fleck and coming to shelves in June.

I’m following up with some art from each book today.

Enjoy!

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Things That Make Me Happy to See . . .

h1 Thursday, June 1st, 2017



 

Normally, when I do a Kirkus Q&A, as I did last week, I follow up the following week with art here at 7-Imp from the picture books I write about. I have no art for you this week, since my Q&A last week was not about a picture book. But I’m still doing a quick post. Wanna know why?

My Q&A (here) was with Deborah Heiligman, and we talked about her new book, Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, published by Henry Holt in April. Yesterday, it up and won the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in the category of Nonfiction, which made me happy to see!

In fact, all their choices in all categories were so good that it’s too hard to single out any other one book. Check out all the winners here.

Congrats to all!

My Kirkus Q&A with Deborah Heiligman

h1 Thursday, May 25th, 2017

I thought I knew everything about Vincent, but then I was in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in the summer of 2011, and I saw a mention of Theo. Next to a painting, it said something about how Theo supported Vincent. I was bowled over. I probably gasped. I had forgotten he had a brother, and I had no idea that Theo had supported him. I knew right away that I wanted to write a book about the brothers someday.”

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What’s that? You want a recommendation for a great book? I’ve got one: Deborah Heiligman’s Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, published by Henry Holt in April, a book officially geared at the late middle-grade/YA crowd but which I say is for all ages. It’s the best book I’ve read this year, and I’m pleased that Deborah chatted with me about the book over at Kirkus. I enjoyed our conversation.

That is here today.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Deborah taken by Matt Peyton.

Summer Reading with Kwame

h1 Thursday, May 11th, 2017



 

Here’s my favorite thing that Kwame Alexander says today in our Kirkus chat about how he’s been named the 2017 National Summer Reading Champion for the Collaborative Summer Library Program:

When I asked him what he would say to a kid who tells him summer isn’t for reading, he responded: “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just read them a poem.”

That Q&A is here.

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Photo credit: Donnie Biggs.

Catching Up with Tim Miller

h1 Tuesday, May 9th, 2017


“In the dust and dirt at the bottom of the spring, the monster grabbed Collin
and dragged him off in the direction of an impossibly huge coin pile.”
— Early character sketch and final art from Mark Riddle’s
Margarash,
illustrated by Tim Miller

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Did you all see Mark Riddle’s Margarash (Enchanted Lion), released last November and illustrated by today’s return guest, Tim Miller? It was one of my favorite picture books of 2016, so gloriously bizarre and altogether unlike any other picture book released that year. It’s the story of a monster, named Margarash, who lives “in the deep, dark cave that lies below the cushions and springs of your couch” and one boy’s attempt to outwit him. In the end, it is, as the Kirkus review put it, a “sweet tale of a mutual passion and an unlikely friendship.”

Last Fall, Tim and I started chatting via email about the book, as well as some of his forthcoming books, and we are just now wrapping up that chat. What can I say? I got busy. He got busy. These things take time. Given my lateness in posting, now those forthcoming books are published books. Moo Moo in a Tutu (Balzer + Bray), the story of a curious, adventurous cow and his friend Mr. Quackers, was released last month. And it marks Tim’s debut as both an author and illustrator. We also talk today about his spot illustrations for Tom O’Donnell’s Hamstersaurus Rex books. (Hamstersaurus Rex, the debut, was released last October from HarperCollins, and Hamstersaurus Rex vs. Squirrel Kong releases next month.)

Let’s get right to it! It’s definitely time. I thank Tim for visiting 7-Imp again.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #531: Featuring Brian Floca

h1 Sunday, April 23rd, 2017


“… Then an idea came to her. She found her nanny’s mop and
took the stringy part off the stick. She tied the stringy part to the crocodile’s head.
The yarn in the mop was the same shade of brown as Princess Cora’s hair.”

(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


 
Good morning, one and all. I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Laura Amy Schlitz’s Princess Cora and the Crocodile (Candlewick, March 2017), illustrated by Brian Floca. Such a good book, all 80 pages of it. If you want to read all about it, head here.

Today here at 7-Imp is a bit of art from the book.

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