Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer

h1 Tuesday, June 30th, 2020



 
Today, I’ve got some spreads from one of my favorite summer reads, Gillian Goerz’s Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer (Dial, July 2020). Gillian also shares some early sketches and such from this, her first graphic novel. (Pictured above are drawings of the two main characters.)

This is the story, set in Canada, of two girls who strike up a friendship and — bonus! — solve a mystery together. But that basic summary doesn’t quite capture the many delights of this book. It’s a story whose biggest strength lies in its detailed, whip-smart characterizations.

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Some History-Smashing Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, June 9th, 2020


“[I]t’s more likely that the Pilgrims’ meal included fish, shellfish, and eels.
(Try telling your family you’d like to have eels for Thanksgiving dinner this year,
in honor of the Pilgrims, and let me know how that goes!)”


 
“It totally didn’t happen this way!” says a Mayflower Pilgrim on the cover of Kate Messner’s The Mayflower (Random House, July 2020), illustrated by Dylan Meconis.

If you had to summarize this book in one sentence, that would about cover it. This is the first in Messner’s new series, called History Smashers, though as I understand it, this book is publishing simultaneously with Women’s Right to Vote, another book in the same series. (I haven’t seen that one yet.) The Mayflower will be on shelves early next month, and I’ve got a galley of this refreshing book.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #694: Featuring the 2020 BGHB Winners

h1 Sunday, June 7th, 2020



 
If you are familiar with the book Saturday, written and illustrated by Oge Mora, you’ll recognize the characters in this image above. It’s Ava and her mother, the unforgettable duo of the story. Oge posted this image on Instagram recently, and she wrote: “Um…look what rockstar librarian @lizzeppelinii made!! Bout passed out when I saw it. SO COOL.” The librarian’s name is Liz Braithwaite, and she’s a children’s librarian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also sewed Pokko! I’m in love.

I’m sharing this, because on May 27 the winners of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced, and Saturday won in the Picture Book category. I always look forward every summer to the announcement of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, but I’m feeling especially celebratory this year, because I had the pleasure of chairing this year’s awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. Last Sunday, I had wanted to do a bit of celebrating of the winners, but I posted something else instead. But here’s some celebrating at 7-Imp today — a short something about each book. Come October, they will all be celebrated at the Horn Book’s (online) awards ceremony. Details on that later. Read the rest of this entry �

The 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

h1 Thursday, May 28th, 2020



 

I had the pleasure of chairing the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. The awards were announced yesterday. The books we fell in love with are pictured here, but you can head here to the Horn Book for more details.

The Phantom Twin

h1 Tuesday, April 28th, 2020



 
Today, author-illustrator Lisa Brown visits to share some process images from the creation of her newest book, a graphic novel called The Phanton Twin (First Second, March 2020). It’s the story of conjoined twins — the Peabody Sisters, Isabel and Jane — raised, since the age of three, in a carnival sideshow.

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Won’t You Cyber-Join Us?

h1 Thursday, April 16th, 2020



 

This Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m. CST / 3 p.m. EST, two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry will do a live-streamed event via Crowdcast with Brookline Booksmith, an indie bookstore in the Boston area. I will chat with her a bit about her work, including her new novel in verse, and there will be a Q&A as well. Won’t you join us?

Here’s the info.

My Chapter 16 Q&A with Lois Lowry
(Featuring Artwork from Kenard Pak)

h1 Monday, April 6th, 2020


“A blinding light came. A roar. A vibration. / And after that, silence.”
(Click image to see poem, “Takeo,” in its entirety)


 
Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16 today, they have a double feature for fans of Lois Lowry — a review I wrote of her new novel, On the Horizon: World War II Reflections (Houghton Mifflin, April 2020), illustrated by Kenard Pak. And they also have a transcription of a phone chat she and I had, during which Lowry talks about writing this book and lots more.

The interview is here. The review is here.

And here today at 7-Imp are a few illustrations from the book.

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Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies

h1 Tuesday, March 24th, 2020


“What do things look like? Really? I often think about that.”
(Click spread to enlarge)


 
I’ve a few spreads today from an illustrated novel, originally published in Swedish in 2017. Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies will be on shelves in May from Groundwood books and has been translated by B. J. Epstein. This lyrical, deeply felt story (which received Sweden’s August Prize, as well as the Snöbollen award) was inspired by the paintings, letters, and diaries of Swedish artist Berta Hansson, who was born in 1910 and died in 1994.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #681: Featuring Anke Kuhl

h1 Sunday, March 8th, 2020



 
I read just this morning about a well-reviewed book about sex, aimed at children and written by a sex educator, causing all kinds of controversy at a Massachusetts school. To be clear, I haven’t read that particular book, but generally speaking these kinds of stories bum me out. Children deserve, for many reasons, straight-up talk about their changing bodies, sex, and gender identity, and at least here in the South, I find that many adults would just like to pretend students don’t have curiosity about these things all. (What passes for sex education here is pretty dismal.)

That’s one reason I was happy to read Tell Me: What Children Really Want to Know about Bodies, Sex and Emotions (Gecko), a German import (originally published in 2014 and translated by Shelley Tanaka) now on shelves here in the U.S. It is written by Katharina von der Gathen and illustrated by Anke Kuhl. And it is a breath of fresh air. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #665: Featuring Ashley Bryan

h1 Sunday, November 24th, 2019


Today I’ve got some spreads from one of my very favorite 2019 books — Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, October 2019). This is a 112-page picture book memoir that chronicles the award-winning author-illustrator’s (often harrowing) experiences in the segregated army of World War II (he was drafted in 1943 while an art student at Cooper Union) and, essentially, how his love of art got him through. This is the first time Bryan writes publicly of his war experiences and shares them with the wider world.

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