Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

A Moment with Emily Gravett’s Art — and Sketchbook

h1 Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Last week, I talked over at Kirkus with poet and author A. F. Harrold about his children’s novel, The Imaginary, released overseas last year but coming to American shelves in early March from Bloomsbury. That conversation is here. Today, I’m following up with some of Emily Gravett’s art from the book, as well as some peeks into her sketchbook for this one. (That’s an early sketch pictured above.)

I thank her for sharing. Enjoy the art.

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A Conversation with A. F. Harrold

h1 Thursday, February 19th, 2015

I think poetry and writing for children have something in common, which I think of as ‘get on with it.’

Children’s stories that are full of waffle and verbiage are boring. We want the story to kick off as quickly as we can and to tell us only what we need and to roll downhill like a snowball until the end.

And poetry is similar: It’s all about cutting and cutting until all you have left are the handful of words that do the job.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to British author and poet A. F. Harrold, pictured here, about his children’s novel, The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett and originally released in the UK last year. It will come to American bookshelves in early March.

That link is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the book, as well as some of Emily’s early sketches.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of A. F. taken by Naomi Woddis and used by his permission.

The Real World at a 45-Degree Angle

h1 Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

See that post title? It’s a phrase that illustrator Nicholas Gannon once used when he visited 7-Imp back in 2011. (I’m fond of the phrase.) Back then, Nicholas was an unpublished author-illustrator, but now he’ll see the publication this year (later in the Fall) of his first illustrated children’s novel, The Doldrums (Greenwillow). I find this exciting.

Today, in honor of this news, I’m sharing a few peeks inside the book. Be sure to visit that 2011 post, if you’re so inclined, to see even more art from Nicholas. In fact, you can read there the genesis of this book; it all started with The Doldrums Press.

Congrats to Nicholas!

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A Visit with Illustrator Ana Juan

h1 Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

I’m happy to have here at 7-Imp this morning some new artwork from Spanish illustrator Ana Juan, one of my favorites. Ana is the illustrator of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, as well as picture books and, here in the States, many New Yorker covers. The fourth book in the Fairyland series, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, will be on shelves in early March. Pictured here today are the illustrations from the book. (Under each illustration is the name of the chapter from which it comes.) Just above is the illustration from one of the book’s final chapters, “The Spinster and the King of Fairyland.”

I also asked Ana about these books and her work, including her January New Yorker cover in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Here she is below, in her own words.

I thank her for visiting.

[There’s more Fairyland art in this 2011 7-Imp post, as well as a Q&A with Valente.]

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Seven Questions Over Shots with Nick Bruel

h1 Tuesday, January 13th, 2015


(Click to enlarge)


 

Author-illustrator Nick Bruel is serious about breakfast. When I ask him what pretend-breakfast-of choice we’ll pretend-have over pretend-coffee this morning, his answer is detailed (right after my own breakfast-lovin’ heart):

Choice? Well, the finest breakfast dish I ever had was an oatmeal crème brulee from a hotel somewhere in Miami. It was dessert; it was breakfast; it was oatmeal; it was sugary; it was delicious, and I’ve never had anything like it since. But my typical breakfast of choice is some nice, fresh, untoasted sourdough bread and a quality olive oil for dipping. I especially like a mushroom-roasted garlic oil that comes from a shop in Tarrytown, NY, called Pure Mountain Olive Oil.

Years ago when I traveled in China, my favorite breakfast dish was what Westerners here call congee, which is a hot rice porridge accompanied by at least half a dozen small dishes filled with assorted items, like egg or pickle or vegetables. You scoop out some of the hot rice mush into your bowl and add whatever you feel like from the smaller dishes. If you do it right, it can be delightful.

I have a lot to say about breakfast. I like breakfast.

Nick’s Bad Kitty, one of children’s literature’s most refreshingly naughty characters, appeared ten years ago—“Bruel’s little black star is perhaps the hammiest, most expressive feline ever captured in watercolors,” wrote Kirkus at the character’s debut—and it’s safe to say things haven’t been the same for Bruel since. Bad Kitty’s adventures began with a picture book, which then turned into a bestselling chapter book series.

But Nick started out with picture books and returns to them, in part, this year with the release this month of A Wonderful Year (our purple friend above comes from this story), already the recipient of a handful of positive reviews, some starred.

Nick talks about that new book, and much more below, and I thank him for visiting. As you’ll read, we may have a few shots with our coffee. (What? I’m up for just about anything.)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Michael Emberley

h1 Friday, December 5th, 2014

This morning at Kirkus, I write about a Christmas story, straight from Sweden and originally published there in 2012 — Ulf Stark’s The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits, illustrated by Eva Eriksson. It’s available in the States now, thanks to Floris Books.

That link is here.

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Since I wrote here last week about the anniversary edition of two of Robie H. Harris’ excellent books for children about puberty and sexuality, I’m sharing some illustrations from them today. Michael Emberley, who will visit 7-Imp soon for a breakfast interview, illustrated them. You can click on each spread to see it in more detail.

Until Sunday …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Alexis Deacon

h1 Friday, November 21st, 2014


(Click to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Bárður Oskarsson’s The Flat Rabbit, released by Owlkids Books in September. That link is here.

Last week, I wrote about Russell Hoban’s Jim’s Lion, which has been re-imagined as a graphic novel (Candlewick, November 2014) with the illustrations of Alexis Deacon. That link is here, and above and below are some spreads from the book, as well as the cover of the 2001 picture book with art from Ian Andrew.

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Hook, Heidi, and Hendrix

h1 Thursday, November 20th, 2014


“Though she couldn’t tell for certain from her vantage point, Jocelyn did not expect to find a single corset on the entire island. She was utterly charmed. Even so, the girl knew that somewhere down there, amidst all the wonder, a terrible beast was waiting. Reminds me a bit of my first wedding day.”


 
Just last week, dear Imps, I chatted over at Kirkus with author Heidi Schulz about her debut novel, Hook’s Revenge (Disney-Hyperion, September 2014), illustrated by John Hendrix. That link is here, but I wanted to follow up with some art from Hendrix today. Above and below are some of his interior illustrations from the book.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Sci Fi Before Breakfast: A Visit with Tony DiTerlizzi
and Some Bonus Art from Ralph McQuarrie

h1 Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


An early sketch of Otto from DiTerlizzi’s WondLa trilogy
(Click to enlarge)


 

Ralph McQuarrie’s art from
Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony DiTerlizzi


 
Caldecott Honor illustrator and author Tony DiTerlizzi is visiting 7-Imp this morning for an in-his-own-words type of piece, meaning I’m going to hand the site over to him to share some art and talk about his new books. I asked him about wrapping up his WondLa trilogy, which he just completed; Book III, The Battle for WondLa, was released in May. In this third and final installment of the illustrated science fiction fantasy trilogy, Eva Nine is on the run — yet is the only one capable of bringing peace to the humans and aliens of Orbona.

I also asked Tony what it was like to be asked to adapt the original Star Wars trilogy into a picture book for children, which is precisely what Lucasfilm asked him to do. The book, Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, features the existing artwork of concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, who was the artist behind the original Star Wars trilogy, and was released by Disney Lucasfilm Press in October.

Tony shares some process sketches and final art from WondLa, as well as some spreads from the Star Wars picture book adaptation. Here’s Tony in his own words, and I thank him for visiting.

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Cartoon-Me Interviews Red Panda and Hippo …

h1 Friday, November 14th, 2014


As you can see, I’m doing something totally different today.

That’s the cartoonized version of me up there, interviewing the two main characters of an upcoming graphic novel for children, called Hippopotamister. Springing from the mind of comics creator John Green (pictured right), who lives in Brooklyn and is best known for Teen Boat, his collaboration with Dave Roman, Hippopotamister is Green’s solo debut. It’s a comic geared at younger children and tells the story of Hippo and his friend, Red Panda. They live in the city zoo but head out to get jobs in the bustling world of humans. (Hippo becomes the titular Hippopotamister — just to survive out in the big city.) Red Panda finds the occupational world challenging, and even though Hippo excels at each job he secures, Red Panda manages to get them fired. The book is scheduled for an early-2016 release from First Second.

You can read a great process essay from John here at School Library Journal, as well as this interview at The Beat. (P.S. Mr. Schu got cartoonized, too.)

I thank John for visiting. This makes the second time I’ve interviewed wise-crackin’ animals. (Punk Farm was my first.)

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Art is copyright © 2014 by John Green and used by his permission.

Photo of John Green taken by Ellen B. Wright.