Archive for August, 2011

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Tim Egan

h1 Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Nope, that’s not author/illustrator Tim Egan, though I promise he’s pictured below in the interview. That’s Farmer Fred, one of my favorite picture book protagonists. He’s from Egan’s 2003 title, Serious Farm. Farmer Fred doesn’t smile much. “He wasn’t a sad fellow,” Egan writes, “just very serious.” He subscribes to the notion that there’s nothing funny about corn, not to mention there is no humor in tomatoes. (He kinda does have a point there, doesn’t he?) And, because he owns the farm, his farm animals are all extremely serious, too. See what I mean?

Until, that is, one night when Edna, the cow, declares that “it’s okay to be serious, but not all the time. We need some laughter.” Thus begins the animals’ secret plan to “make the farm more fun.” Read the rest of this entry �

Society of Illustrators’ 2011 Original Art Award

h1 Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The winners of the Society of Illustrators’ 2011 Original Art award have been officially announced at the Society’s site. Here’s the low-down.

Fun. I’ve said it before, but it was wonderful to have been asked to be a part of that jury. Now I’m thinking I should see if I can snag the artist holding the Gold Medal in her hands for a Q&A, don’t you?

My blogging pace is slow this week. I’ve got a manuscript deadline of my own to wrap up. Dangling citations (as in, I have a lot of them to wrap up before the weekend) is how I just put it to a friend and then realized that’d be a great band name. The Dangling Citations! I call it! (Also: Cowbell! I get to play cowbell. Called it.)

But I hope to be back Thursday. Until then, enjoy the cover of the Gold Medal winner, and please head on over to their site to see the Silver Medal winners, as well as more information in general:

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #231: Featuring Maria Zaikina
(Not to Mention Will You Join Me in Celebrating 7-Imp’s Birthday?)

h1 Saturday, August 6th, 2011

It’s the first Sunday of August (whoa, it feels like just yesterday I said that for January 2011), so it’s time to shine the spotlight on a student or new-to-the-field illustrator. And I’m doing the latter today — not a student, but an artist whose first illustrated picture book was just released this year (the only picture book this year, I can safely say, in which a sheep is slaughtered, grilled, and made into shish kebab). Maria Zaikina rendered the art in Lucine Kasbarian’s The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale, released by Marshall Cavendish in April, with layers of wax and oil paint and then cut away the layers to reveal the colors underneath. (Is this a sort of scratchboarding, perhaps?) I’m a nerd who, yes, reads reviews for fun, and I like how Kirkus described the illustrations as having, as you can see above, “an appealing, vigorous heft.” Yeah. What they said.

But, first. Quickly. It just occurred to me that it’s the five-year anniversary of 7-Imp. I’d almost forgotten. Back last month, when I realized a birthday was coming up, I figured I should do something special for the big five-year one. But then I got busy, and now I’m at a loss anyway. I’d really rather just do what I always do — feature some art. But I want to say, quickly: One of the reasons I started this blog five years ago—co-founded it, remember, with my best friend, who is still my best friend but just no longer a blogger (here’s the low-down)—was to connect with others and to keep my foot in the door of children’s lit. I was suddenly at home (my choice) with young babies, who were puddin’ heads (though screamy ones) and kept me on my toes, but altogether incapable of expounding on the latest and greatest in children’s lit with me. (All I was gettin’ was some goo-gah here and some baa-baa there.) I was no longer in a school library, where I could gab daily with teachers and other librarians who loved children’s and YA lit as much as I did. And I really missed that. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Gerald McDermott and Ken Min

h1 Friday, August 5th, 2011

“Monkey! Chattering Monkey.
He lived high in a tree on the banks of the wide, flowing river.”

(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I have a brief tribute to Tim Egan’s very funny books — all in good time, seeing as how his latest beginning reader title for children, Dodsworth in Rome, is out this year. The Kirkus link is here, if you’re so inclined to head over there and find out why THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT CORN.

Oh! Note to fellow Egan fans: He will be visiting 7-Imp for a breakfast interview in the very near future.

* * * * * * *

Last week’s column highlighted two new picture books, one featuring Indian-American protagonists and another one that tells a story from Indian folklore. That link is here, if you’d like to read more about the books, but today I share some art from them. Pictured above is the opening spread from Gerald McDermott’s Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India (Harcourt), and a couple more spreads from that are at the close of this post. First up is some of the artwork (without the text) from F. Zia’s Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji (Lee & Low Books), illustrated by Ken Min.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

One Impossibly Quick Note Before Breakfast

h1 Monday, August 1st, 2011

Mmm. Coffee.I’m out of town. May not be posting for a few days.

Seven apologies before breakfast.

But please carry on without me. Um, in the immortal words of Linda Richman, Ralph Fiennes is spelled neither rafe nor fines. Discuss. Alternately: The jelly bean is neither made of jelly, nor is it a bean. Discuss.

Until later….

(Where ever I may be at this exact moment, I very likely have a cup of coffee in hand. Hence, the image, though that coffee pictured there really needs some half-and-half. Quite possibly, a drop or two of Baileys Irish Cream. Also, I don’t think I’m capable of doing a post without an image. Discuss.)