Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

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

h1 Friday, October 31st, 2014

All storytelling has its backbone in realistic fiction. So many kids, even at a surprisingly young age, are eager to read scary stories. I tried to fill that gap. ‘Scary’ thrills them. It makes their hearts beat faster. … To me, the great sentence is: The door knob slowly, slowly turned. That delicious moment of anticipation, of danger climbing the stairs. I’ve tried to provide those chills, while still resolving each book in a safe way.”

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Over here at Kirkus yesterday, I talked to author James Preller, quoted above, about his Scary Tales series from Feiwel & Friends. The latest, The One-Eyed Doll, was recently released. Perfect for Halloween reading. We also chat about his middle-grade novels and school visits.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the Scary Tales books. They are illustrated by Iacopo Bruno.

Today at Kirkus, I write about some picture book imports — that is, those picture books originally published in other countries but now on American shores. That link will be here soon.

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Last week, I wrote here about two early chapter books, one featured more in-depth on Wednesday of this week. Below are some illustrations from the other book, Rose Lagercrantz’s My Heart is Laughing, illustrated by Eva Eriksson (Gecko Press, May 2014). Enjoy the art.


“It was so high they had to go and find a chair so they could climb up it.
They climbed for hours pretending to be monkeys.”

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When Terrifying Leaps of Faith Pay Off:
An Art- and Sketch-Filled Q&A with Abby Hanlon

h1 Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Last week at Kirkus, I wrote about two new chapter books for children, and today I’m going a bit more in depth with one of them, Abby Hanlon’s Dory Fantasmagory, released by Dial earlier this month. (I promise to have some art here at 7-Imp from the other chapter book this coming Friday.)

I’m smitten with Dory Fantasmagory, but you can read why in that column, if you’re so inclined. Today, Abby—who was featured here at 7-Imp back in 2012 at the release of her debut picture book—visits to share some illustrations from the book, some early sketches, and to talk about Dory a bit.

I thank her for visiting. Read the rest of this entry �

The Art of Raúl Colón

h1 Tuesday, October 14th, 2014


“When Leontyne performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1955, she blew open the door that Marian left ajar. Six years later, Leontyne landed
her first lead role with the Met. …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Since I’ve got a review of Raúl Colón’s Draw! (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, September 2014) over at BookPage, I thought I’d follow up with some illustrations from the book today. The review is here, and the art is below.

But, while we’re on the subject of Colón, I’ve also got some illustrations from two other books he has illustrated this year — Juan Felipe Herrera’s Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes, which was published in August by Dial, and Carole Boston Weatherford’s Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century, coming this December from Knopf. (Pictured above is an illustration from Weatherford’s book.)

Enjoy the art …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Bagram Ibatoulline

h1 Friday, September 12th, 2014

Today at Kirkus, I write about two picture books, Chieri Uegaki’s Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, illustrated by Qin Leng, and Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner Frank Morrison. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about two wonderful new books for budding, young photographers, Susan Goldman Rubin’s Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, and Ruth Thomson’s Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World’s Most Memorable Photographs. I’ve got a bit of art from Ibatoulline today.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus and BookPage This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Gary Kelley

h1 Friday, August 22nd, 2014


“Dismissed by much of white America as ‘darkies playing soldiers,’ porters, butlers, hotel doormen, elevator operators—2,000 strong—volunteered for the cause.”


 
Today over at Kirkus, I’m shining the spotlight on Barbara Bottner’s Miss Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome!), illustrated by Michael Emberley. That link is here.

Also, yesterday at BookPage my interview with author-illustrator Cece Bell went up, as well as my review of El Deafo, her graphic novel. That is all linked here. And remember: I featured art from El Deafo back in June. That’s here.

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Last week, I wrote here about J. Patrick Lewis’ Harlem Hellfighters (Creative Editions, August 2014), illustrated by Gary Kelley. And guess what? I saw yesterday that it up and won an Original Art Award from the Society of Illustrators. See here for more information and the other winners.

I have some art from this book today. Enjoy.

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Hey, my blog said it forgives me, and I’m back in
(just in time for a week-long blog break, though) …

h1 Monday, July 28th, 2014


“‘Children, stand up.’ Mother smiled. They pushed their chairs back and stood up.
‘This is your sister. … Loretta Mason Potts … but it’s not Potts any more.
She has come to live with us—at last.’”


 
Granted, I’m not so sure what I did to my blog, but it’d had enough of my nonsense and packed its bags last week and went to some remote island resort — and without leaving me the keys. As I noted in yesterday’s quickie post (it had to be brief, lest the blog kick me out again), I just couldn’t get in to edit a post without the blog hanging on me and kicking me out repeatedly, but my smart tech-support husband managed to figure it out. At least we think … we hope that it’s finally fixed.

BUT … I had planned on announcing a week-long blog break anyway (for other reasons), which I’m still going to do. I can leave you with this art below, though. It’s what I had intended on posting last Friday. A couple weeks back, I wrote about The New York Review Children’s Collection’s reissue of Mary Chase’s children’s novel Loretta Mason Potts (pictured above), originally published in 1958 and illustrated by Harold Berson. So, I have some art from that book today. Bonus: The folks over at the New York Review also sent some art from some of their other reissues, which makes me very happy. (This means there’s art below from the likes of Lillian Hoban, Marc Simont, and William Pène du Bois, to name a few. I embiggened their names here, just ’cause I like seeing their art and get excited.)

Also: Over at Kirkus on Friday, I wrote about Ben Hatke’s newest project, a picture book called Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. That link is here.

Next week I’ll have some art from Ben Hatke, as well as some from Bob Graham, since I chatted with him last Thursday.

Enjoy the art below … And I will be back here at 7-Imp in about a week.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Friday, July 18th, 2014


Anyone else remember Loretta Mason Potts, written by Mary Chase and originally published in 1958? That’s (mostly) the subject of my Kirkus column today, as the book was just reissued by The New York Review Children’s Collection. That link is here.

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Last week, I chatted (here) with author-illustrator Matt Phelan about his 2014 projects, Burleigh Mutén’s Miss Emily (Candlewick), released back in March, and his own picture book, Druthers (also from Candlewick), coming in September. (Pictured above is an early sketch from Druthers.)

Today, we’ll look at a bit of art from each book, as well as some sketches from Matt. I thank him for sharing.

Enjoy.

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TOONs Thursday: Some Art from
Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès,
Lorenzo Mattotti, and Yvan Pommaux

h1 Thursday, July 3rd, 2014


“And then, one morning, their father announced he was taking them with him to work.”
– From Neil Gaiman’s
Hansel & Gretel, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti
(Click to enlarge)


 

From Yvan Pommaux’s Theseus and the Minotaur
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


 

From Fred’s Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure
(Click to enlarge)


 
Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted with designer and editor Françoise Mouly about TOON Graphics, the new imprint from TOON Books. That conversation is here, and today I follow up with some art from the imprint’s three debut titles — Neil Gaiman’s Hansel & Gretel, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti; Yvan Pommaux’s Theseus and the Minotaur; and Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure from Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès, who went simply by Fred.

Enjoy.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Edwin Fotheringham and … well, the Wyeths

h1 Friday, June 13th, 2014


“In college, he still dreamed of fields and woods and home. But by his junior year in 1820, he also found new things to love: reading stacks of books, discussing them with friends, and recording ‘new thoughts’ in a journal. He named his journal The Wide World. His thoughts took him everywhere. And when he finished school and set out on his own, he wondered: Could he build a life around these things he loved?”
– Art from Barbara Kerley’s
A Home for Mr. Emerson, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
(Click image to enlarge)


“Ann loved dolls but Andrew’s favorites were trains, a hook and ladder that pumped real water, and his toy soldiers. When he was six, N.C. painted his portrait.
Andrew wouldn’t hold still. N.C. gave him the toy fire engine to hold, but he kept moving, so N.C. left the hands unfinished.”
– From Susan Goldman Rubin’s
Everybody Paints!:
The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, since Father’s Day is upon us, I write about some of my favorite picture books featuring fathers. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about two new biographies, Barbara Kerley’s A Home for Mr. Emerson (Scholastic, February 2014), illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, and Susan Goldman Rubin’s Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (Chronicle, February 2014).

Today, I’ve got a bit of art from the Emerson book, and Edwin is also sharing a few sketches and a few words below.

I’ve also got some spreads from the Wyeth biography. It turns out that (legally-speaking), I can post some art from the Wyeth book, if I include the spreads in their entirety. No problem. I’ll share them here. I’ve been a long-time fan of the art that has come from the Wyeth clan—my bookshelves groan under my collection of Wyeth books—and I hope you enjoy the spreads here today.

Until Sunday … Read the rest of this entry �

A Bit of Absurdity Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The beginning of my week has been busier than usual, which means I’m stragglin’ here, folks, so I’ll be brief today.

I have some art this morning from James Kochalka’s The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza (First Second, March 2014). It features a rather dim-witted, three-eyed pink alien with three teeth; his companion, Super Backpack; and their dangerous journey to deliver a pizza. Throw in a Magic Robot, a Gonk that likes to bonk, a Glorkian supercar, some Glorkian kung fu, some self-directed punching in the face, some space and time disruptions, and lots of banter and bright colors, sure to please lovers of both comics and graphic novels — especially fans of the absurd. The Kirkus review calls it “vibrantly weird and wonderful,” and School Library Journal calls it “interestingly subversive.” Ah, you had me at subversive. (And weird.)

I’ve heard/read discussions lately about the intense, heavy subject matter of many books for children today. For one, I’m currently reading this with own daughters. This is a conversation that never seems to go away. Swings like a pendulum, that one. Rest assured, there are no, say, deceased parents, natural disasters, or crippling class issues in The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza. Yes, we need all kinds of books (and, thus far, my girls are riveted by Lamana’s book), but sometimes you just need the straight-up madcap ones, the ones good for a hearty laugh.

Did I mention my eyes are crossing from fatigue today? That’s all I’ve got, and let’s hope I was mildly to moderately articulate. Here’s some more art (the first four pages of the book, actually).

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �