Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Don Brown,
Emily Carroll, Zack Giallongo, and Ben Hatke

h1 Friday, August 21st, 2015


– From Ben Hatke’s Little Robot


 

– From Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet, illustrated by Zack Giallongo


 

– From Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistant, illustrated by Emily Carroll


 

– From Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans


 

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books from debut author-illustrators. Good stuff, these books. That link is here.

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Last week, I had a graphic novel round-up, so I’m following up today here at 7-Imp with a bit of art from each book — Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2015); Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistance, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Candlewick, August 2015); Ben Hatke’s Little Robot (First Second, September 2015); and Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet (First Second, September 2015), illustrated by Zack Giallongo. To boot, I’ve got a bit of art from last year’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.

Enjoy!

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Katherine Applegate: My Kirkus Q&A

h1 Thursday, August 20th, 2015

I don’t think there are many middle-grade children’s books that talk about the ‘working poor’ — about the stresses that come when parents juggle multiple low-paying jobs and there still isn’t enough food on the table or maybe even a place to call home. Children may not know what being ‘food insecure’ means, but they understand much more than we give them credit for, especially when it comes to money.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Katherine Applegate about her new middle-grade novel, Crenshaw (Feiwel and Friends), coming to shelves next month.

That conversation is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Katherine used by her permission.

Catching Up with Liz Garton Scanlon

h1 Thursday, August 6th, 2015

It became clear to me that [my character’s] family had religious traditions and that she was going to be reckoning with the comfort and the challenges of those traditions as part of her coming-of-age. Then, as Paul fleshed out as a science kid, I realized that faith and science were going to get to play off of each other, which I thought was awesome (and daunting). I worried that readers on ‘either side’ would be offended, but I really believe that discussions around religion and science are way too polarized, so it felt both true and worth it to look at them in a true and blurrier way.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Liz Garton Scanlon about her first middle-grade novel, The Great Good Summer (Beach Lane Books), released this May.

We also talk about her forthcoming picture book, In the Canyon (also Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Ashley Wolff and coming to shelves this month.

That conversation is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art and early sketches from In the Canyon, thanks to Ashley.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Liz used by her permission.

The Return of Dory

h1 Thursday, July 30th, 2015


Final art:
“That night my brain keeps waking me up with so many questions.”


 

Above: Early sketch


 
Today, author-illustrator Abby Hanlon shares some final art and early sketches from Dory and the Real True Friend (Dial, July 2015), which she and I talked about last week here at Kirkus.

Enjoy the art. …

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Abby and the Really Truly Good Book

h1 Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

I pick up my kids every day from the school bus at 2:45, so within an already tight production schedule, I have a limited time each day to work. But that also means I have limited time to worry. When I’m working, I focus on making the best book possible for myself, my kids, and my editor. Beyond that, I don’t allow myself to think too much about how the book is going to be received, because those thoughts are so counter-productive to creative work.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Abby Hanlon, pictured here, about her newest book, Dory and the Real True Friend (Dial, July 2015), which sees the return of one of my favorite characters. (Dory, of course.) That link is here.

Last October (here), Abby and I talked about the first book, Dory Fantasmagory. It’s an art-filled post, my favorite kind of post.

Both of these books are the kind of funny that makes your sides hurt from all the laughing.

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

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Abby taken by Sophie Elbrick and used by her permission.

A Moment with the Art of Ted & Betsy Lewin

h1 Thursday, July 16th, 2015


“We saw magnificent Masai warriors, called Marons,
and women mantled in beautiful beadwork.”

(Click to enlarge)


 
Last week at Kirkus, I chatted with Betsy and Ted Lewin about their new book, How to Babysit a Leopard: And Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2015). That Q&A is here.

Today, I follow up with a bit of artwork from the book.

Enjoy.

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Globe-Hopping with the Lewins

h1 Thursday, July 9th, 2015

As children we were both fascinated by a book called I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson. It’s about her and her husband Martin’s travels to wild places around the world. We both aspired to their kind of life, and our childhood dreams came true. Our book is the culmination of all our travels. … We wanted to make this a true representation of what it felt like to be in these places. It would be less than honest if we made all our adventures look like a piece of cake.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Betsy and Ted Lewin, pictured here, about their new book, How to Babysit a Leopard: And Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook, June 2015).

That link is here.

Next week, I’ll have a few of the watercolors from the book.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of the Lewins used by their permission.

A Chat with Jeanne Birdsall

h1 Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Because both Skye and Batty grew out of parts of my personality (as did Jane and Rosalind, though not so much), some of the tensions between the two sisters came from internal struggles of my own. … [W]riting about Batty’s struggles was hard. I had to spend a lot of time re-living scared and lonely parts of my childhood.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Jeanne Birdsall, pictured here, about the latest novel in the Penderwick series, The Penderwicks in Spring (Knopf, March 2014).

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Jeanne taken by William Diehl and used by her permission.

Author Tracey Baptiste on The Jumbies

h1 Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The stories about jumbies were part of regular conversations when I was growing up. People talked about La Diablesse and douen and all the other, as if they’re walking down the road or lived at your neighbor’s house. They were very much alive to me, even though I knew they were probably just stories. And I also read and listened to fairy tales, which were just as scary, but they were also in books that were so beautifully illustrated, and I felt like all the kids who grew up hearing jumbie stories got cheated. Where were our fairy tale books? Where were our beautiful illustrations? I figured I’d have to make those books myself.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a middle-grade novel on the mind. I talk to author Tracey Baptiste, pictured here, about her newest novel, The Jumbies (Algonquin, April 2014), a book unlike any other you’ll read this year.

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Tracey taken by Latifah Abdur Photography and used by her permission.

Jay Hosler and Sentient Beetles Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Here’s a book I’ve been wanting to blog about for a while, Jay Hosler’s Last of the Sandwalkers (First Second, April 2015). If you haven’t seen an early copy of this book, you’re in for a treat, especially if you love science and/or graphic novels. That’s because it’s a graphic novel created by a biology professor/entomologist and cartoonist, and it tells the story of Lucy, a beetle (a “sandwalker”), who loves to explore and investigate. She lives in a community of beetles, which includes a group of elders who harbor a secret about the world beyond the palm tree in the desert where they live. Lucy, who puts the spunk in spunky, heads out into the wild world to discover its secrets, even breaking the rules to do so — and learns that beetles aren’t the only creatures in the world.

This is an entertaining story that packs in a lot of science — but also much more. As the Publishers Weekly review notes, Hosler “mingles themes of family, forgiveness, and freedom of ideas, and even manages to make big-eyed, mandibled crawlers emotive without getting too cartoony.” There’s a lot of adventure packed into this graphic novel.

First Second invited Jay, pictured above, to visit a small handful of blogs and share, at each one, an original drawing, as well as beetle facts. An original drawing. I just couldn’t say no, given that 7-Imp is, for all intents and purposes, an art blog. And I’m happy to post about the book, given it’ll be a big hit, in particular, with children who love to read about science (but not limited to just them, by any means). Pictured above is the Bark Beetle. They’re characters in the book, but below are all kinds of fun facts about them, straight from Jay:

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