Archive for the 'Intermediate' Category

Won’t You Cyber-Join Us?

h1 Thursday, April 16th, 2020


This Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m. CST / 3 p.m. EST, two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry will do a live-streamed event via Crowdcast with Brookline Booksmith, an indie bookstore in the Boston area. I will chat with her a bit about her work, including her new novel in verse, and there will be a Q&A as well. Won’t you join us?

Here’s the info.

My Chapter 16 Q&A with Lois Lowry
(Featuring Artwork from Kenard Pak)

h1 Monday, April 6th, 2020

“A blinding light came. A roar. A vibration. / And after that, silence.”
(Click image to see poem, “Takeo,” in its entirety)

Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16 today, they have a double feature for fans of Lois Lowry — a review I wrote of her new novel, On the Horizon: World War II Reflections (Houghton Mifflin, April 2020), illustrated by Kenard Pak. And they also have a transcription of a phone chat she and I had, during which Lowry talks about writing this book and lots more.

The interview is here. The review is here.

And here today at 7-Imp are a few illustrations from the book.

Read the rest of this entry �

Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies

h1 Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

“What do things look like? Really? I often think about that.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a few spreads today from an illustrated novel, originally published in Swedish in 2017. Sara Lundberg’s The Bird in Me Flies will be on shelves in May from Groundwood books and has been translated by B. J. Epstein. This lyrical, deeply felt story (which received Sweden’s August Prize, as well as the Snöbollen award) was inspired by the paintings, letters, and diaries of Swedish artist Berta Hansson, who was born in 1910 and died in 1994.

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #681: Featuring Anke Kuhl

h1 Sunday, March 8th, 2020

I read just this morning about a well-reviewed book about sex, aimed at children and written by a sex educator, causing all kinds of controversy at a Massachusetts school. To be clear, I haven’t read that particular book, but generally speaking these kinds of stories bum me out. Children deserve, for many reasons, straight-up talk about their changing bodies, sex, and gender identity, and at least here in the South, I find that many adults would just like to pretend students don’t have curiosity about these things all. (What passes for sex education here is pretty dismal.)

That’s one reason I was happy to read Tell Me: What Children Really Want to Know about Bodies, Sex and Emotions (Gecko), a German import (originally published in 2014 and translated by Shelley Tanaka) now on shelves here in the U.S. It is written by Katharina von der Gathen and illustrated by Anke Kuhl. And it is a breath of fresh air. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #665: Featuring Ashley Bryan

h1 Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Today I’ve got some spreads from one of my very favorite 2019 books — Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, October 2019). This is a 112-page picture book memoir that chronicles the award-winning author-illustrator’s (often harrowing) experiences in the segregated army of World War II (he was drafted in 1943 while an art student at Cooper Union) and, essentially, how his love of art got him through. This is the first time Bryan writes publicly of his war experiences and shares them with the wider world.

Read the rest of this entry �

Willow and Moon

h1 Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott this morning, guest poster and librarian extraordinaire Alec Chunn writes about two graphic novels that I myself have read and liked this year. (In fact, he was the one who suggested I read the one pictured above-left.) The two books are Mai K. Nguyen’s Pilu of the Woods (Oni Press, April 2019) and Jen Wang’s Stargazing (First Second, September 2019).

I really like what he has to say about the two books, so I’m sending you in the direction of his post today. That is here.

“You know that book about a family who
eats breakfast in the shower and the mom
wears a dress that’s made out of live chickens?”

h1 Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

As I’ve made clear before here at 7-Imp, I’m a fan of Abby Hanlon’s Dory Fantasmagory books. I think Abby taps into something real (and often quite poignant) with these books; in the hands of a lesser author, Dory’s antics would be altogether cloying. But Abby seems to know how to write about childhood in a way I think is authentic. She depicts children as they are — in all their glorious weirdness, that is — and not in ways that an adult thinks they should be. (We see a lot of the latter in children’s books.) It’s hard to get books for this age right, and I think Abby gets it just right.

Read the rest of this entry �

Raina Telgemeier’s Guts

h1 Friday, September 13th, 2019


Hello! For just a moment anyway.

I’m sending you to the Horn Book’s site today for a review I wrote of Raina Telgemeier’s newest graphic novel for children, Guts (Graphix, September 2019). The review is here, and the book? It’s good stuff.

Until Sunday . . .

Sea Sirens

h1 Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Over at Chapter 16, I’ve got a review of Amy Chu’s graphic novel, Sea Sirens (Viking, June 2019), illustrated by Nashville art Janet K. Lee.

That is here, and here today at 7-Imp are some spreads from the book.


Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Lorena Alvarez, Ivan Brunetti, and Mordicai Gerstein (and Others!)

h1 Friday, April 12th, 2019

— From Lorena Alvarez’s Hicotea


— From Mordicai Gerstein’s I Am Hermes!


— From Ivan Brunetti’s Comics: Easy as ABC!

At Kirkus today, I’ve got a visually rich new picture book about celebrating family.

That is here.

* * *

Over at Kirkus last week, I wrote here about Lorena Alvarez’s Hicotea: A Nightlights Story (Nobrow, March 2019); Mordicai Gerstein’s I Am Hermes!: Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods (Holiday House, April 2019), and Comics: Easy as ABC!: The Essential Guide to Comics for Kids (April 2019) from TOON Books and Ivan Brunetti (and other comics artists). Today, I’ve got some art from each book.


Read the rest of this entry �