Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #608,
the 2018 Southern Festivals of Books Edition

h1 Sunday, October 14th, 2018

That’s a post title with a handful of numbers, now isn’t it.

Here’s what I’m doing this weekend, and it’s a little bit different. I’m typing this on Friday, because tomorrow (Saturday, which will be yesterday when you read this) I will be at the wonderful Southern Festival of Books alllll day. I will not only be able to kick back and hear a lot of talented authors and illustrators speak (here’s the line-up), but I will also interview Justice Sonia Sotomayor about her two new children’s books. I’m excited to meet her, to say the least.

For Tennessee’s own fabulous and informative Chapter 16, I did an online Q&A with Madame Justice, which you can read here. I also interviewed British author and illustrator Cressida Cowell (whom I hope to hear speak on Saturday) about her newest fantasy novel for children. That is here. (Pictured here is Justice Sotomayor’s adaptation for middle-grade readers of her bestselling memoir.)

I will share seven separate kicks next week. Today (Sunday, the day you’re reading this — confused yet?), all seven kicks (plus some) are that it’s my youngest daughter’s birthday! She is officially a teenager today. We shall party down all day.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

My Kirkus Q&A with Jarrett J. Krosoczka

h1 Friday, August 31st, 2018

The best I can describe it would be to tell you it was like the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Professor Umbridge punishes Harry by making him write lines over and over with a Blood Quill. Every time Harry writes something on paper, the words get seared into the back of his hand. So there were moments when it was painful and difficult to make this book. My beautiful studio space would get transformed into that small kitchen in Worcester where difficult moments played out. That being said, there were also many wonderful moments to relive. Those scenes brought me great joy, and when the book was finished, I sort of had to mourn the loss of my grandparents all over again. It was truly a gift to spend that time with them again.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka about his graphic novel memoir, Hey, Kiddo, coming to shelves in October.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #600: Featuring Ian Schoenherr

h1 Sunday, August 19th, 2018

— From Chapter 16, “Angelus”: “I pressed into a corner as the hounds, desperate to attack, bayed round me. ‘Back,’ cried a huntsman striding in, whip in hand.”

I’m doing something a little bit different today. I’ve not got a picture book for you this morning, dear Imps. I have a novel.

This is one of my favorite books this year, Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s The Book of Boy (Greenwillow, February 2018). I like it so much that I’m reading it a second time — this time, I’m reading it out loud to my daughters.

“This story, like another, begins with an apple,” the book begins. This is the tale, set in Europe in 1350, of a boy who can talk to animals. His name is merely Boy. He is physically disfigured and mercilessly mocked for it. He is called a hunchback, and when he meets a mysterious pilgrim, named Secundus, in the medieval town of France where he lives, his life changes forever. In fact, when Boy leaves with Secundus (Secundus is impressed with his ability to jump and climb) to help the pilgrim find the seven relics of Saint Peter — rib, tooth, thumb, toe, dust, skull, tomb — it’s the first time Boy ever leaves the only home he’s ever known. He pilgrims to the city of Rome with Secundus in the hopes that Saint Peter can remove his hump and make him a real boy.

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The Unwanted

h1 Thursday, August 9th, 2018

“In 2016, the European Union and Turkey decide refugees sneaking into Greece by boat from Turkey will be returned to Turkey. The Europeans promise to resettle officially registered Syrians from Turkish camps, a tiny fraction of all the refugees in Turkey.”

As a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week with Don Brown, I’ve some art today from The Unwanted: Stories of Syrian Refugees (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2018).

Until tomorrow. …

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My Kirkus Q&A with Don Brown

h1 Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

[V]isiting Greece underscored the human scale of the tragedy. It was happening to ordinary men, women, and children, no different than my family and neighbors. The visit left me determined to tell the refugees’ story with both accuracy and sympathy. They don’t deserve less.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator Don Brown about his latest graphic novel, The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …


h1 Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Last week, I chatted here at Kirkus with Antoine Revoy. We discussed his eerie debut graphic novel, Animus (First Second, May 2018).

Today here at 7-Imp, I’m following up with some art from the book.

Until tomorrow …

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My Kirkus Q&A with Antoine Revoy

h1 Thursday, July 19th, 2018

I love working in full color, but I considered that this story would be better told in black and white, because it would give more emphasis to textures. Animus is about looking at things which are very familiar more closely, or in a different way (tree bark, stones, insects), so this was both a practical and esthetic choice. ”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with Antoine Revoy about his debut graphic novel, Animus.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

Vera Brosgol’s Be Prepared

h1 Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Last week, I chatted here over at Kirkus with author-illustrator and graphic novelist Vera Brosgol about her new graphic novel, Be Prepared (First Second, April 2018).

Today, I’m following up with some art from the book, plus some preliminary artwork Vera sent along. (Pictured above is a sketch from Vera’s pitch for the book.)


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My Kirkus Q&A with Vera Brosgol

h1 Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Honestly, I was resistant to doing a childhood memoir. I feel like there are a lot of them these days — and good ones. The world didn’t need one from me. My publisher asked me to at least think about it, and I did, crankily. Crank crank crank. But as soon as the camp angle occurred to me, all my crankiness went out the window. I knew I could make a funny book that would be a blast to draw and be different from what’s out there. I’m always telling people about the outhouse. The outhouse needed to be immortalized!”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator and graphic novelist Vera Brosgol, whose middle-grade graphic novel, Be Prepared, arrived on shelves in April.

The Q&A is here. Next week, I’ll follow up here at 7-Imp with a bit more art from the book.

Until tomorrow . . .

Partying with Fox + Chick

h1 Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

I’m hosting a party for The Party today. That is, author-illustrator Sergio Ruzzier visits to talk a bit about his new picture book, a collection of three stories called Fox + Chick: The Party: And Other Stories (Chronicle, April 2018). He also shares some preliminary images and artwork from the book.

As you will read below, this is a series of three stories about two endearing characters, Fox and Chick, with the promise of a second book to come next year. As you will also read below, Sergio returns to comics for the book’s format, and the results are wonderful. This is a set of stories that follows in the grand tradition of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories or James Marshall’s George and Martha stories. Only the comics format differs. You know you have in hand a book that will strike a chord with developing readers, much as Lobel’s and Marshall’s books did, when the personalities of the book’s duo are so clearly established on the first page of the first story in merely four small panels. (Chick is fussy and somewhat mercurial; Fox is centered and possesses an everlasting patience for his small friend.)

I’m going to move over now and give Sergio the 7-Imp mic, because you will learn more about the three stories within the book from his words and art below. I thank him for sharing. Read the rest of this entry �