Archive for February, 2010

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #153: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lori Nichols

h1 Sunday, February 7th, 2010

“‘What if the wind picks up? Well, then, we’ll be
cowboys riding through a desert in the middle of a deadly dust storm.'”

(Click to enlarge image.)

It seems like I say this on the first Sunday of every month, when I feature a student illustrator or illustrator otherwise new to the field here at 7-Imp, but I’ll say it again: A month’s already gone by? It’s February? Wasn’t it New Year’s Day just yesterday? Maybe it’s having young children in the home that makes time seem to fly. Or perhaps everyone feels this way. Either way, I seem to be doing a double-take this morning.

On this, February’s first Sunday, I welcome up-and-coming illustrator (and soft-sculpture artist) Lori Nichols. She brings us, as you can see above, Kitty and Piggy. Lori sent me the entire text from which these featured spreads this morning come, and I hope, based on what I saw, that Kitty and Piggy find a publisher. Remember how last Sunday you joined me in celebrating an illustrator who can create engaging illustrations for the wee’est of preschoolers — and manages to do so without being excessively cloying about it? I think Lori has that gift, too.

Kitty Asks What If? is the title (or perhaps just working title) of this text, and it centers around two friends — one porcine protagonist prone to great worry and his feline friend, who seems to excel at … well, easing such worries. (Have mercy, we Piggies most desperately need you Kitties in our lives.) When Kitty asks in the opening spread, “Hi, Piggy. Wanna play?”, Piggy’s worried about the threat of rain. Kitty pretty much says, pshaw, my friend — but with the gentleness of a good comrade, don’t you know:

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Poetry Friday: A School Library Is…

h1 Friday, February 5th, 2010

It’s always a good Poetry Friday when J. Patrick Lewis stops by.

Many elementary schools this time of year are celebrating the 100th day of school. Yup, we’ve been counting out one hundred Cheerios and one hundred M&Ms with our kindergartener here in the Danielson home. Pat shares this new poem with us this morning, which celebrates school libraries on the 100th day of the school year. “I was thinking,” he told me, “that this might be a good time to recognize the most important room in every elementary school.”

Thanks, Pat. This one’s fun.

“A School Library Is”
(as told in book titles with a twist)

A Child’s Garden of Voices
The Dewey Day
Picka Picka Bloom Room
The Habbit
Boyful Joise
Make Hay for Booklings
Feast o’ the Fun and Best Until June
The House at Ooh Corner
Amazing Space
Mall of the Wild
Where the Read Fun Grows
Vowl Boon
The Higher Tower of Lucky
The Blizzard of Ahhs

[Actual book titles above, in reverse: sesreV fo nedraG s’dlihC A; yaD ywonS A; mooB mooB akcihC akcihC; tibboH ehT; esioN lufyoJ; sgnilkcuD rof yaW ekaM; !kerhS; nooM eht ‘o tseW dna nuS eht ‘o tsaE; renroC hooP ta esuoH ehT; ecarG gnizamA; dliW eht fo llaC; idieH; sworG nreF deR eht erehW; nooM lwO; ykcuL fo rewoP rehgiH ehT; zO fo draziW ehT]

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Great Kid Books today. Enjoy!

On Being an Alice Fan Right Now

h1 Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Now, isn’t that the Mad Tea-Party as you’ve never quite seen it before? That comes from the mind of illustrator Oleg Lipchenko, but more on that in a minute.

It’s about to be a good time to be a fan of the novel for which Lewis Carroll was most famously known, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or—in the words of Martin Gardner—“a very curious, complicated kind of nonsense.” And the reason it’s about to be a good time to be an Alice fan? This new film adaptation. Publishers are already taking advantage of the upcoming Alice craze, including Chronicle books, who have recently released this. (More on that later, since—as the Illustration Junkie I am—you can bet I’m dying to see that one.)

Another case-in-point? Illustrator (and designer and teacher) Bill Carman, who has visited 7-Imp several times and whom, I swear, I should bring on as a consultant or something, tells me that Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California, is planning an upcoming exhibit, a tribute show, called “Curioser and Curioser: Inspired by Alice in Wonderland.” Here’s the link with the information; the exhibit begins February 27th. (How much do I love that they’re also featuring “Zombies in Love,” but I digress.)

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What It Means to Be Real

h1 Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Image in the public domain.

“The bad Rabbit would like some carrot.

He doesn’t say ‘Please.’ He takes it!”

— From Beatrix Potter’s The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit, 1906

You can file this post away in the I Was Remiss to Not Tell You About This in ’09 category. But sometimes late is better than never.

In October of last year, Roaring Brook released the great Anita Silvey’s Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book: Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life. In this book, Silvey shares the results of having posed the following question to well-known Americans in a wide range of fields (authors and illustrators, actors, scientists, reading experts, critics, editors, teachers, athletes, politicians, financiers, and much more): What children’s book left a lasting impact on you — and why? Silvey divides the book into six separate sections, based on common themes in her subjects’ responses (some also taken from statements already in print and interviews): Inspiration, Understanding, Principles & Precepts, Vocation, Motivation, and Storytelling.

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