Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

Putting First Ladies First

h1 Thursday, January 19th, 2017


I’ve got an interview over at Kirkus today with Ruby Shamir and Matt Faulkner, the author and illustrator of What’s the Big Deal About First Ladies, released this month by Philomel. We talk about leaving the book’s final page empty until the election results came in, what surprising things they learned in their research, and much more.

That is here. I’ll have more art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

Until tomorrow …

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WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT FIRST LADIES. Copyright © 2017 by Ruby Shamir. Illustrations © 2017 by Matt Faulkner and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Philomel Books, New York.

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Brian Pinkney

h1 Friday, January 13th, 2017

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got Nikki Grimes’ excellent new poetry collection. That is here.

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Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some of Brian Pinkney’s illustrations from Patricia C. McKissack’s Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood (Schwartz & Wade, January 2016) — as a follow-up to last week’s column.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #514: Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Dear Imps, did you read this year Matt Phelan’s exceptionally good graphic novel, Snow White? I wrote about it here at Kirkus in September. It’s one of my top-five favorite books from this year. (I don’t ever really do lists or Caldecott predictions, but this one is very special, and yes, I’d definitely put it in the top five.) And here is where Matt stopped by 7-Imp to share early sketches and such from this beautiful book.

Today, Matt is sharing a holiday image he made (and I think he made it just for this post, for which I am grateful). If you read his beautiful book, you know the chilling importance of the ticker tape.

But here the ticker tape is singing a holiday tune for us. I love it. Big thanks to Matt.

I’ll post the cover here again at 7-Imp, because really, if you haven’t read it yet, what is stopping you?

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The Art of Christina Balit

h1 Thursday, December 15th, 2016

“A giant the size of a palm tree lumbered in. His teeth were boar tusks, his blubbery lips flopped against his chest, his eyes burned like torches, his nails curled into lion claws. He picked me up and felt me like a butcher feels a lamb. …”

Last week, I chatted here with Donna Jo Napoli about her new book, Tales From the Arabian Nights (National Geographic, October 2016), illustrated by Christina Balit. Here today is a bit of art from the book.


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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus
What I Did Last Week, Featuring Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin

h1 Friday, December 9th, 2016

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got resistance on the mind. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas (Floris, September 2016), written by Nora Surojegin and illustrated by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin. Today, I have a few illustrations here from the book.


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My Kirkus Chat with Donna Jo Napoli

h1 Thursday, December 8th, 2016

The tales come in so many different forms, and they deal with so many different topics. It was exceedingly difficult to choose just a few and still do justice to the sources. I wanted to give the reader a sense of the intricate and decorative nature of the structure of the whole, as well as an appreciation of the breadth of genres. But even more important than that was to select stories by the nature of what they would mean to Shah Rayar and how they could help him and Scheherazade expose their souls to one another.”

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Today over at Kirkus I talk with the one, the only Donna Jo Napoli, where we discuss her new book, Tales From the Arabian Nights (National Geographic, October 2016), illustrated by Christina Balit.

That Q&A is here today. Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have some illustrations from the book.

(P.S. One of my favorite parts of this Q&A? “David Wiesner and I have made a graphic novel, a first for both of us, called Fish Girl.”)

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Photo of Donna Jo used by her permission.

A Visit with Hatem Aly

h1 Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Because my family and I moved to a new house in the middle of this year and since moving is so time-consuming, it left a huge dent in my 2016 novel-reading. I’m trying to get caught up now on what I’ve read are some of the best middle-grade and YA novels of the year. However, one book I did read-aloud to my children, even in the midst of our move, was Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog (Dutton, September 2016), illuminated by Hatem Aly. And we all three enjoyed this tale of . . . well, I like best how it’s described at the New York Times, Soman Chainani calling it “equal parts swashbuckling epic, medieval morality play, religious polemic and bawdy burlesque.”

As you read above, the book is illuminated. That’s right. Illuminated, as medieval texts are. These images are from Hatem Aly, who visits 7-Imp today to share sketches and images and talk about this book. As Gidwitz says in the book’s opening: Read the rest of this entry �

Today, I’m Grateful for . . .

h1 Thursday, November 24th, 2016

I long ago stopped thinking of progress as a straight line. In some ways science was more open to women before the twentieth century, when it had a less practical bent and was seen as a way to worship God’s world. Of course, women were still excluded from professions, by law more than the sorts of bullying we sadly see now, but loving parents fostered the talents of daughters even when they weren’t sure that they could pursue cherished work beyond the home.”

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One thing I’m grateful for on this Thanksgiving Day is my Kirkus chat with Jeannine Atkins. We discuss her new novel in verse, Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science (Atheneum, August 2016).

That Q&A is here today.

I hope you’re seated around a table with those you love and feeling grateful.

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Photo of Jeannine taken by Peter Laird and used by her permission.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #507: Featuring Harriet Muncaster

h1 Sunday, October 30th, 2016

In the spirit of Halloween, British author-illustrator Harriet Muncaster visits 7-Imp today to tell us all about her series, Isadora Moon, which features a girl who is half-vampire and half-fairy.

Let’s get right to it, and I thank her for visiting.

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My BookPage Chat with Melissa Sweet

h1 Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

“Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time, waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. … Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”
(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)

I’ve got an interview with Melissa Sweet over at BookPage. Go, go, go read it if you’re so inclined, because I really enjoyed our phone chat. That is here over in BookPage land.

We discussed her brand-new biography. It’s called Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2016) — and it’s some book. Here at 7-Imp today, I’ve got some studio images and preliminary images from Melissa, as well as a bit of final art (which you can come back and look at when you’re done with the interview). That is below. I thank Melissa for sharing.

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