Archive for October, 2012

“…Children [are] the most important audience
that a writer could hope to reach …”

h1 Thursday, October 11th, 2012

“Sama, of Vayam, and Karune, of Gamte, stepped into the garden together.
They sat under the tree. And they began to talk.
What do you think they said?”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Last week at the Kirkus Book Blog Network, I chatted with picture book author Lauren Thompson about her latest book, The Forgiveness Garden, which will be released later this month from Feiwel & Friends and which was illustrated by Christy Hale. You can see that Q & A here.

What I didn’t have room for over there last week were a few additional questions I had asked her about writing picture books in general, as well as one more particular question about this latest picture book. Below are those questions and responses, as well as some of Christy’s spreads from the book.


Jules: My daughters and I have enjoyed so many of your books over the years. What do you love about writing picture books? Why write them (which I’m glad you do) and not, say, adult fiction? Read the rest of this entry �

One Antarctic Adventure Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Today, I’ve got the sleek, slick, eye-catching artwork of Canadian illustrator and designer Frank Viva to grace 7-Imp. I should probably note that I’ve got manuscript revisions givin’ me the skunk eye of scorn—kinda like mouse over here—reminding me I should be focusing on them instead, so short posts may be the name of the game for a while here. (Well, short for me.)

Viva’s new book is called A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse (September 2012), and it’s one of those fantastic TOON Books/easy-to-read comics, which I’ve written about (most recently) here at Kirkus. This is a level-one book, meaning it’s for the newest of readers.

What we have here is the tale of a young explorer and his sidekick, Mouse. The two travelers visit the beautiful Antarctic to see the sights, ride the waves in their boat, meet some penguins, and see a whale. Mouse is anxious to get home—“can we go home now?” is his repeated refrain—since the waves make it hard to do much and, based on his appearance, he’s generally anxious and ready to be back on terra firma. The final endpaper punch line, however, gives readers the rimshot ending: “Can we go back there soon?” Mouse asks. (Isn’t that the way with children on many road trip adventures?) Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #300: Featuring … Er, Butterbeer

h1 Sunday, October 7th, 2012

It’s very rare that I don’t have the artwork of an illustrator to feature on a Sunday here at 7-Imp, and my apologies in advance that this is the case this morning. But we were away this week at Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade (the Muggle versions in Muggle Orlando, that is), otherwise known as The Place, In Case You Were in Any Doubt, That Proves Precisely Why J. K. Rowling is a Gazillionaire.

If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books, as my girls are, it’s a fun place to visit, particularly Ollivanders Wand Shop.

So, what I do have for you is a photo of the girls enjoying butterbeer, which we got here… Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Morning,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Lynne Rae Perkins

h1 Friday, October 5th, 2012

A portion of the back jacket illustration from Seed by Seed
(Click to enlarge)


This morning over at Kirkus, I write about David Ezra Stein’s Because Amelia Smiled. Ah. So good. Go read it and smile. (That link is here.)

* * *

Last week, I wrote about Esmé Raji Codell’s Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman, illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins. That link is here.

Today is a bit more art from the book.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

A Chat with Picture Book Author Lauren Thompson

h1 Thursday, October 4th, 2012

This morning over in Kirkus’ Book Blog Network, I chat with author Lauren Thompson, pictured here, about her latest picture book.

Lauren has written many picture books over the years that I’ve enjoyed — and shared with my own children. Her forthcoming book is called The Forgiveness Garden, and it’s illustrated by Christy Hale.

The Q&A is here this morning, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll follow up with a few more questions and responses from Lauren, as well as some more art from Christy.


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Photo credit: Carol Stevens.

Colin. Carson. Nashville. Tonight.

h1 Monday, October 1st, 2012

Carson Ellis and Colin Meloy; photo credit: Autumn de Wilde

Carson Ellis and Colin Meloy
(Illustrator/author photo for
Wildwood; Photo credit: Autumn de Wilde)

Hello, dear Imps. A quick calendar note:

If you live in or near Nashville, author and musician Colin Meloy and illustrator Carson Ellis will be speaking this evening at the Nashville Children’s Theatre, and I’ll be introducing them.

They’ll be discussing last year’s Wildwood, as well as the sequel, Under Wildwood, released this month (and both released by Balzer & Bray).

My favorite thing about this event is that it’s happening with the support in one way or another of Humanities Tennessee, Parnassus Books, the Nashville Public Library, and the children’s theatre — four of the best things about Nashville.

Here’s the info. Will I see you there?

[Note: The above photo was taken from my 2011 interview with Carson.]