Archive for April, 2010

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #162: Featuring Old-Skool
Michael Foreman

h1 Sunday, April 11th, 2010

“…All at once the general came upon a field of beautiful flowers.
Never had he seen such a wonderful sight…”

(Click to enlarge spread.)

I’ve got a couple of spreads to share this morning from the 50th anniversary edition of author/illustrator Michael Foreman’s first illustrated title, The General (published by Templar Books). And that’s ’cause I adore Foreman’s work and oh heavens why wouldn’t I take any and every opportunity to feature him? Read the rest of this entry �

A Visit with Author Alison McGhee,
Sprinkled with Beautiful Art from Taeeun Yoo

h1 Thursday, April 8th, 2010

“So many doors in all your days, so much to wonder about.
Who will you be and where will you go? And how will you know?”

{Note: All the spreads and sketches from So Many Days can be enlarged to see in greater detail, if you just click on the images.}

So, here’s something I’ve always wanted to do: Chat with author Alison McGhee. And she’s here today to help me realize that goal. Alison is the author of a whole slew, to be precise, of really wonderful picture books I’ve admired over the years, but she also writes for all ages. And I mean ALL, and this I love. She is, in point of fact, a former Pulitzer nominee and a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

If, by some wild chance, you don’t recognize her name, you very likely will recognize some of the books she’s penned for children and teens. Here are just a few, in no particular order. Call it a random sampling of Alison-McGhee greatness: Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Tao Nyeu

h1 Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

I don't know about you, dear readers, but I want to be where Tao is in this picture.Tao Nyeu is an illustrator relatively new to children’s literature on whom I have a close eye (as well as Kirkus, who wrote in their review of Tao’s first title that it was an “intriguing, nuanced debut from an artist to watch”). She’s quickly becoming one of my favorites and sealed the deal with the artistry on display in her latest book, Bunny Days, released by Dial Books in January. Bunny Days features three slapstick tales of six curious rabbits; one paternal, ever-patient, and very wise Bear; and Mr. and Mrs. Goat, who are simply about their chores in the countryside, only to have their plans foiled by the inquisitive rabbits. The writing is good, and there’s a lot of humor, but it’s Nyeu’s stylized art that really stands out, what Publishers Weekly once described as possessing an “Art Nouveau-meets-psychedelic feel.” And if you saw her 2008 debut, which initially began as an MFA project, Wonder Bear, you know what I mean.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #161: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Adam Gudeon

h1 Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Well now, what a beautiful day it is in my world, and I fervently hope it’s beautiful in yours, too. No matter how you celebrate it, happy Easter to my dear, sweet readers. (Yes, I mean that “sweet” business. I can say without reservation that no one’s ever been mean here at 7-Imp Camp and that you all are not only mighty well-behaved, but also collectively one classy bunch.) And happy Spring, too. Do you see here in the illustration to the left that we’re all having some pancakes for breakfast this morning? Did you bring your forks?

I do hope that at least a few of you take a break from egg-hunting today to come see the work of brand-new author/illustrator Adam Gudeon, whose first picture book is scheduled for release in Fall 2011. That’s right: It’s the first Sunday of the month—and BOY HOWDY, HOWDY BOY I never thought March would end, what with Tennessee’s freaky-long, freaky-cold (for us) winter, but I digress—and it’s on these first Sundays that I shine the spotlight on a student illustrator or someone otherwise new to the field. Adam is brand-spankin’-new to the field, and it looks like the field will benefit from it. He’s here to show us some art work, tell us what he’s up to, and tell us how he got to that place. I thank him for stopping by. (Oh, and I thank him truly and madly and deeply for the kind comments on 7-Imp below. We can’t move forward till I express that gratitude. Okay. Done. Now Adam gets the floor.)

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Seven Impossible Interviews
Before Breakfast #84: Joyce Sidman
(And an Early Poetry Friday Treat)

h1 Thursday, April 1st, 2010

You’d think I would have timed today’s interview with children’s poet Joyce Sidman, pictured here in her happy place, to mark the very first day of National Poetry Month 2010. But, no sirree, I’m simply not that organized. But what good timing, as Joyce is one of the country’s most talented children’s poets and has brought us some excellent picture books. (Or, if you want the professional’s opinion: “Her skill as a poet accessible to young people is unmatched.” And that would be School Library Journal.) And, though I can’t claim any master organization on my part on this first official day of a month-long poetry celebration, I’ve very simply always wanted to chat with Joyce, have her over to the 7-Imp ranch (it was the 7-Imp bungalow on Tuesday; I’m feeling more expansive today) to talk about her work.

Joyce also has a brand-new poetry collection out, illustrated by Beckie Prange and released by Houghton Mifflin this month, titled Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. It’s everything I expect from a poetry-meets-science Joyce-Sidman title: The evocative poetry, at its heart, celebrates life; honors its mysteries; and gently nudges readers to open their eyes already to our always beautiful, but oft-ignored, natural world. “Sidman’s words are vivid and affectionate,” writes Publishers Weekly about the new book, which—as the sub-title tells you—celebrates the biologically prosperous species of the world. “Sidman delights with another gorgeous collection of poems,” adds Kirkus.

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