Archive for September, 2010

7-Imp Welcomes Cristiana Clerici:
An International Collaboration

h1 Thursday, September 9th, 2010

When I first chatted online with blogger Cristiana Clerici, who lives in Parma, Italy, and writes at the wonderful Tea Box, she told me that her blog was an ambitious idea and that she hoped she’d be good enough for it. Well, I think she’s proven that she is.

Over at The Tea Box, Cristiana shares her love of books, particularly international picture books. She maintains three pages in three languages (Italian, English, and French), so most of her time goes into translating her own posts. Wow, huh? I mean, wow just wow. I don’t think I’ll further complain about being busy; here at 7-Imp, I’m writing in only one tongue. Not three. And not maintaining three separate pages. Wow again.

Her goal over at The Tea Box? To aid libraries who are willing to implement or improve upon their collection of international titles; to assist editors who are looking for new, interesting titles; and to simply entertain and enlighten curious readers. She is following books from all over — with special attention to Italy, the United States, the UK, France, Spain, and South American countries. Read the rest of this entry �

Meet Bink & Gollie

h1 Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“I don’t think either Kate or I knew what we were doing when we decided to write a book together, but it turned out to be so dang much fun. We went into the project wanting to write about two friends, one tall, one short (no surprises there), and we tossed them a sock just to see what they’d do with it. And the whole thing went from there.” –
Author Alison McGhee on
Bink & Gollie, co-authored with Kate DiCamillo

See above? Meet Bink. Meet Gollie. They are the stars of one of the best books I’ve seen in all of 2010, written, as noted above, by Alison McGhee and Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Tony Fucile, and soon to be on bookstore and library shelves from Candlewick (mid-September publication date, I believe). That above quote comes from a brief chat I had with Alison yesterday when I asked her about the creation of this little gem.

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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Julia Denos
(with visits from authors Cecil Castellucci and Erica S. Perl)

h1 Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

For one of Julia Denos’s recent illustrated titles, Erica S. Perl’s Dotty, Publishers Weekly had this to say about her artwork: “Denos’s…paintings are an unadulterated delight, combining the naïf styling of scribbly children’s drawings for the creatures and the easy, playful elegance of pattern book illustrations from the 1950s.” I like this, because “unadulterated delight” would be a good description of my very first response to her art work, years ago, when I first discovered it. Just don’t call her illustrations “cute”; as you’ll see below in her responses to the Pivot Questionnaire, that may not be her favorite descriptor. But that’s just the thing about her artwork: On the surface, it seems light and cheery, what with her lush, luminescent watercolors, but look carefully. It’s not all easy-breezy sunny flowers and fashionable young ladies. Denos injects a just-right, subtle drama into her work. As one reviewer for Cecil Castellucci’s Grandma’s Gloves (the other of Julia’s 2010 illustrated titles) wrote, “she also shows a real gift for portraying both characters and a setting marked by loss.” And Julia’s other strong suit? Her distinctive, can-spot-it-from-a-million-miles-out-in-space style, all her own.


“I run to her, and she folds me in her fleshy arms for a big kiss. She smells like earth and coffee and hair spray and perfume. Those are my favorite smells.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #183: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Lindsay Ward

h1 Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Don’t you want to know more about this little bird? I do. This collage illustration comes from freelance illustrator Lindsay Ward, who is here in the 7-Imp pad on this first Sunday of the month, in which I like to feature up-and-coming illustrators. It is from an upcoming book she is doing with Penguin in Spring 2012, called Blue & Egg. (That title is subject to change, she tells me.) “This will be the second author/illustrator project I have done,” she added. “It is about a little bird who lives in Central Park. One morning a snowball lands in her nest, but Blue thinks it is an egg. She spends the rest of the book trying to find Egg’s mother, while developing a friendship with Egg. Soon, Spring comes and Egg is melting. Blue tries to help save her friend. The ending has a quiet surprise and highlights that friendship always wins out in the end.”

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The Library of the Early Mind in Nashville…

h1 Friday, September 3rd, 2010

FYI for you fellow Southerners:

The official time and place for the Nashville screening of The Library of the Early Mind at the Southern Festival of Books:

One Impossible Visit from Jon Scieszka Before Breakfast (with a few illustrators stopping by…hey, let’s make it a party!)

h1 Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Roll out the red carpet: Jon Scieszka is here—wait! That’s right. He’s no longer the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. That title has been handed to the honorable Katherine Paterson. But Jon, you may remember, was the inaugural ambassador, appointed such in 2008 by the Library of Congress. And I can’t help but still envision him with that lovely, stylish sash.

It’s a pleasure to have the acclaimed author and the very funny Jon visit again. (Surely, you all don’t need an introduction? If so, how about I do it simply this way: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs; The Time Warp Trio series; The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales, which got some Caldecott love; and Trucktown. ‘Nough said?) He’s here to talk about his new science fiction book/multimedia project, Spaceheadz, written with Francesco Sedita, but while I have him here, I’m also taking the opportunity to ask him about how Guys Read is faring, about the great and abiding Stinky himself, whether or not we’ll ever be treated to more stories with this dynamic duo, and a few other things. And several folks stopped by to contribute art, since I seem to be physically incapable of doing posts sans illustrations.

First off, Spaceheadz, since you may be scratching your head and thinking, SpaceWHAT? What in the what the?… Well, here’s how it all begins (the cover and interior artwork for the book created by Shane Prigmore):


“Michael K. knew his first day in a new city was going to be weird. How could a first day at someplace in Brooklyn, New York, called P.S. 858 not be weird?”
(Click to super-size image.)

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