Archive for June, 2013

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Zachariah OHora

h1 Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

How Zachariah OHora’s son inspired the character Nilson from his latest book
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No … wait just a second here …
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This morning I’m making lots of room at the 7-Imp breakfast table for Zachariah OHora and Nilson (pictured above), the tantrum-throwing star of Zach’s latest book, No Fits, Nilson! (Dial, June 2013), what Kirkus calls in their starred review an “amusing modern fable” and Pamela Paul at the New York Times describes as a “charmingly original take on an evergreen concern.” It’s a tight squeeze here at the table, and he nearly throws a fit about it, but Nilson just manages to fit. Plus, I gave him a gorilla eye lock, and he calmed down.

But it’s just Zach I’m going to chat with; Nilson’s busy eating some choco-banana ice cream. Zach says his breakfast-of-choice is a Dutch Baby. “Okay, that sounds weird,” he adds. “By ‘Dutch Baby,’ I mean the pastry made of eggs, flour, and butter in a skillet. Not the human.”

Zach’s debut picture book—Stop Snoring, Bernard!, which he both wrote and illustrated—up and won him the Society of Illustrators’ Founders Award (for new talent) in 2011. (That happened to be the year I juried for the Original Art award. The Original Art jury does not pick the recipient of the Founders Award, but I wholeheartedly cheered their choice that year anyway.)

Zach saw two picture book releases this year, which you’ll read about below — one written by the talented Lisa Wheeler. (This is the one book of his I’ve yet to see, and I must remedy this.) I loved Zach’s art as soon as I met it, and I’m pleased he’s sharing lots of it today over coffee. Let’s get to it. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #334: Featuring Quentin Blake

h1 Sunday, June 9th, 2013

“That night they dreamed of being a horse.”
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I’m going to be short and sweet about today’s featured picture book, primarily because I’ve only got one spread from it. But, since it’s Quentin Blake, I’m hardly complaining.

This is the first U.S. edition of Russell Hoban’s Rosie’s Magic Horse (Candlewick, February 2013), illustrated by Blake. (It was originally released in the UK, I assume, in 2012.) This was evidently the last picture book from Hoban, who died in 2011. (“Hoban’s books asked big questions, and the answers were sometimes murky and mournful,” Publishers Weekly has written, “but this last one is a happy farewell salute.”)

And the story is wonderfully bizarre. It is about, of all things, a discarded ice-pop stick, who is picked up by a girl named Rosie. Rosie puts this stick in her ice-pop stick collection in a cigar box. Suddenly, readers are inside the box, listening to the popsicle sticks talk: “Without our ice-pops, we are nothing.” But the newest stick in the collection dreams of being a horse. (See above. All the sticks, it turns out, dream of being horses.) Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Geneviève Côté and David A. Johnson

h1 Friday, June 7th, 2013

“And, today, she is nervous about her first day of school.”

“When everyone’s watching, I hide. I hide like the cat alongside the big chair.
I scrunch myself down and pretend I’m not there. When everyone’s watching, I hide.”

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Today over at Kirkus, I write about why I’m reading a lot of picture books this summer. (Well, more than I normally do.) That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote about two shy children in two new picture books, Heather Hartt-Sussman’s Noni Is Nervous (Tundra Books, to be released in July), illustrated by Geneviève Côté (who visited 7-Imp back in 2011), as well as Eileen Spinelli’s When No One Is Watching (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, February 2013), illustrated by David A. Johnson.

Today, I have art from both books, as well as some sketches from Geneviève. David also shares some images (very bottom of the post) from a recent project, called King John. (I believe it’s from A.A. Milne’s “King John’s Christmas.”)

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

A Visit with Jason Carter Eaton with
Art from John Rocco to Boot

h1 Thursday, June 6th, 2013

“So you want a pet train? Well, of course you do! Trains make awesome pets — they’re fun, playful, and extremely useful. Lucky for you, this handy guidebook contains everything you need to know to choose, track, and train your very own pet train. Ready? Then let’s head out and find some trains!”
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It’s early, and power isn’t going to surge through me till I get some coffee, but before I do so, I’m here to share some art and one very possible visit from Jason Carter Eaton before breakfast.

Last week, here at Kirkus, I chatted with author/illustrator John Rocco about his most recent picture book, Super Hair-o & the Barber of Doom (Disney/Hyperion, May 2013), as well as Jason Carter Eaton’s How to Train a Train, to be released this September from Candlewick. So, I have some art from each book today.

And, as noted, BONUS: Jason is here to say a bit about his book, which is so good, you all, that I’m eager for you to see it, come Fall. I was so super busy with work this week that I gave Jason some general guidance but asked him, as you’ll see below, to generally submit an in-his-own-words piece about this book.

Let’s get right to it. Jason and some Train art are first, followed by some art from Super Hair-o (as well as a childhood photo of John, other than this one, that inspired the book).

I thank Jason for visiting — and especially for his in-his-own-words entry, even if he had to thieve to do it. Read the rest of this entry �

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Ruth Paul

h1 Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

“Ruth Paul lives in an off-grid straw bale house in the middle of a paddock under a wind farm just outside Wellington, New Zealand,” says this site for Walker Books in Australia. And it’s to that straw bale house that I’m heading today (at least cyber’ly) to have breakfast with Ruth.

Ruth saw her U.S. picture book debut (Candlewick) this year with Hedgehog’s Magic Tricks, originally released last year by Walker Books. It’s a “story and artwork as delicate as milkweed floss,” wrote Kirkus Reviews.

I’ve corresponded with Ruth for a couple years now and was pleased to see her books released here in the States. Ruth even visited back in 2010, so be sure to visit that post if you want to see more of her art.

This morning we’re having, says Ruth, “knobbly poached free-range eggs (what’s left of them) with crispy free-range bacon (what’s left of it) on burnt toast, prepared and delivered by my kids. My husband has to make the good, strong coffee to go with it. We’ll plump up the pillows, let the sunshine in, and you can join me in your pyjamas for breakfast in bed.” I’m most excited about the good, strong coffee. Let’s get to it, and I thank Ruth for visiting. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #333: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Seung-Hee Lee

h1 Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

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Hello, dear Imps, to the beginning of June. June, I tell you! June already. Whoa.

Today, I welcome newly-graduated illustration student Seung-Hee Lee, since the first Sunday of every month is for illustration students or those brand-spankin’-new to the field. Seung-Hee comes to us by way of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was born in Seoul, Korea, moved to the U.S. as a teen, and currently lives in California.

Let’s get right to it. She tells us a bit about her work below and shares some of her detailed, imaginative art. I thank her for sharing today. Read the rest of this entry �