Archive for July, 2013

The Boy Who Loved Math

h1 Friday, July 12th, 2013

Today over at Kirkus, I write about Deborah Heiligman’s outstanding picture book biography of famed Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdös, illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

It’s called The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös, and it’s a beautiful book.

That link is here.

Pictured here is LeUyen’s depiction of Erdös.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have some more art and early sketches from her.

Should I say that this is a picture book biography you can count on? Er, no. That’d be painful, right?

Pretend I didn’t. Carry on.

See you Sunday.

Vanessa Brantley-Newton on Colors, Emotion, & Sound

h1 Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Can it really be Thursday already?

The week has raced by.

Today over at Kirkus, I chat with author/illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton, pictured here, about two of her recent illustrated titles, Amy Novesky’s Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her and (to come this Fall), Marie Harris’ The Girl Who Heard Colors.

That Q&A is here today.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some art and sketches from Vanessa.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo courtesy of Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

From the Desk of Intern Susan:
A Chat with Artist Jennifer Uman about Jemmy Button

h1 Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Quick Note from Jules: Even though I’m not sure how to summarize what I do or what I want to be when I grow up, I have an intern this summer. She’s in charge of this post today, and by the way, she’s great! But, since she introduces herself so briefly below, I want to tell you a bit more here:

Susan previously worked as a preschool teacher and is now finishing up her Master’s degree in Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She just moved to New York City and is also an aspiring author. She’s been assisting me with various types of work this summer; she’s not only assisted me where she can, for one, on the picture book grad course I’m teaching, but she’s also listening in on the lectures (and reading lots of picture books on her own, as I’m having my students do), ’cause she’s eager to learn like that. Susan is also interested in my freelance writing, as well at my blogging at 7-Imp, so I invited her to do some guest posts. This is her first. Welcome, Susan!

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Hello, 7-Imp readers!

This is Susan A. Johns here, intern/ teaching assistant/ general errand-doer and go-getter to our beloved Jules. A few weeks ago, I had the distinct privilege of dropping by 7-Imp headquarters to sift through some of the beautiful and creative picture books circulating around the Danielson house. There were so many thought-provoking stories surrounded by such vibrant illustrations, I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I was engrossed in childhood nostalgia and drawn to the ways in which I could bring these books into my preschool classrooms. Read the rest of this entry �

2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Recipient

h1 Monday, July 8th, 2013

I don’t want to teach people anything with my books. I want to tell them unusual and hopefully fun stories about problems big and small — about fear, identity issues and other things that affect us humans, both children and adults.

Curious about the work of Argentinian illustrator Isol, who won the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award? Here’s an informative video about her work:

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #338: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Tim Miller

h1 Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Meet Big Baddy, pictured above.

He comes from Tim Miller, who is visiting 7-Imp today, since it’s the first Sunday of the month, when I like to feature student or newly-graduated illustrators. Tim doesn’t have a website up, but that won’t stop me from showing you all some of his artwork anyway.

Tim calls himself a “satirical illustrator who specializes in Picture Books.” He studied at the School of Visual Arts, where he earned his Bachelor’s in Cartooning and his Master’s in Art Education. He is currently based in New York City. Wait, this illustration tells you what you need to know: Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Divya Srinivasan and Olivier Tallec

h1 Friday, July 5th, 2013

“Grandpa told us stories about when he was a kid. He used to come to this same house with his five brothers and cousins. They did tons of hilarious things together.
It was funny because it all sounded just like me and my cousins, except that back then they went swimming in the river since the city pool didn’t exist yet.”
— From Charlotte Moundlic’s
The Bathing Costume: Or The Worst Vacation of My Life, illustrated by Olivier Tallec

“The seahorses were staring. For how long, she wondered! She inked the water to hide her blushing, and took off. She wanted to get away, far from goggling eyes.”
— From Divya Srinivasan’s
Octopus Alone
(Click to enlarge spread)

This morning at Kirkus, I write a bit about what it’s like to attend your first ALA conference, which I just did. And I share some thoughts on why this particular conference was so enjoyable. That link is here.

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If you missed it last week at Kirkus, I chatted here with author/illustrator Divya Srinivasan. And on Friday, I wrote here about Charlotte Moundlic’s The Bathing Costume: Or The Worst Vacation of My Life (Enchanted Lion, May 2013), illustrated by Olivier Tallec and originally released in France in 2011.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got art from The Bathing Costume, as well as art from Divya (some spreads from Octopus Alone, released in May from Viking; some spreads from Little Owl’s Night, released in 2011 from Viking; and a few portfolio pieces from Divya).

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Wild Things

h1 Thursday, July 4th, 2013

(Click to enlarge — Hey, I never thought I’d type that about
something with my own name on it)

Because some of you who weren’t at this past weekend’s ALA conference have asked me: This is the postcard (cover anyway) that Candlewick made for distributing at this past weekend’s conference. This will not be the book’s final cover, but it’s the general idea. One of my ALA roomies—the one and only Allie Bruce, Children’s Librarian at Bank Street College Library—read the beginning portion of our manuscript (since Betsy and I were actually in the same physical space and needed to wrap up some work on it) and didn’t scream in agony. She claims to have enjoyed it, in fact. Whew.

I wish Peter D. Sieruta were here to see this cover, but the ALA event we had to honor and remember him (the primary reason I attended ALA this year) went well, and his brother, John Sieruta, gave him such a lovely tribute. Big thanks to Stephen Barbara for organizing, hosting, sponsoring the entire event.

Publication date should be April 2014!

Remembering Holly Meade …

h1 Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

To the Still Earth Say, I am Flowing

I read this sad news today, that author/illustrator Holly Meade has left us at the age of 56.

Holly’s work was simply beautiful. Pictured above is a print from my 2009 interview with her. I’ve always really liked that piece of artwork, in particular.

Her artwork has also appeared here and here at 7-Imp. Her watercolor collages in Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s 2011 picture book, Naamah and the Ark at Night, was one reason it was one of my favorite picture books of 2011.

The book that won her a Caldecott Honor has always been a top picture book for me:


May her family find comfort during this difficult time, and may her legacy live on in her exceptional illustration work.

Cut, Insert, Fold, Fly, woodblock print, 2006

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All images are posted from previous interviews or posts and were initially used with permission.