Archive for August, 2013

Bully: A Visit with Laura Vaccaro Seeger

h1 Thursday, August 15th, 2013

(Click to enlarge)

Pictured above is an early image from Caldecott Honor medalist Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Bully, released in July from Neal Porter/Roaring Brook. A little birdie (named Neal Porter, in fact) told me months ago that Laura created the illustrations for this book with a twig and hand-made paper. I knew I wanted to learn more about this, and I sent Laura a few questions a while back. I thank her for taking the time to share today. (We’ve each had a busy summer, but she’s finally had time to answer and I’ve finally got time to post.)

If you haven’t seen the book, the story of a bullied bully who becomes a bully himself, Laura tells us a lot about it below. So, let’s get right to it. Read the rest of this entry �

From the Desk of Intern Susan:
A Chat with Author/Illustrator Amy Young

h1 Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

“Then my mother said, ‘I just want to take a bite out of his fat cheeks!’
Oh no. Even Mom wanted to eat him. I ran and got her an apple.”

Quick Note from Jules: This is the second post from my Summer 2013 Intern, Susan Johns, who has been assisting me with various types of work for the past few months and who is really eager to learn more about writing and publishing. Her first post—and more about Susan—is here.

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Hello again, 7-Imp readers! First, let me say a quick thanks for all the kind words of encouragement after my first post. You sure know how to make a gal feel welcome around here! This summer has been such a treat, and I will be sad to see it come to a close. But, worry not! You’re not rid of me yet. Jules has been helping me with two very exciting interviews over the past few weeks, and I’m excited to be sharing the first one with you today.

Leafing through the stacks of books at the Danielson house, it is hard not to become overwhelmingly entrenched in fandom-ly mystic wonder. As I poured over the blissfully endless words and pictures, this book immediately struck me. The art has a unique comic quality, the text is built to work for a wide range of readers, and I immediately connected to the story in its seemingly simple, incredibly humorous, and cleverly subtle messages about sibling relationships.

Young protagonist Thomas doesn’t think his little brother Nathaniel is all that interesting. In fact, all he really does is poop and scream. But, when the grown-ups in the house talk about “eating him up,” Thomas steps in to protect Nathaniel from ending up on the dinner table. I got in touch with author and illustrator Amy Young to chat about Don’t Eat the Baby! [Viking, May 2013] and how she got to where she is today. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #343: Featuring Bruce Eric Kaplan

h1 Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Last week at Kirkus, I wrote about Bruce Eric Kaplan’s Cousin Irv from Mars (Simon & Schuster, June 2013). This book makes me laugh, and I say much more about it at that Kirkus link, which is here.

Today, I’ve got some art from the book.

I wrote here (back in 2010) about Kaplan’s last picture book, Monsters Eat Whiny Children (also Simon & Schuster, 2010), also wonderfully demented and funny.

I’m glad he makes picture books.

Enjoy the art below. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Up To at Kirkus Today

h1 Friday, August 9th, 2013

Today, over at Kirkus, I have a three-picture-book round-up, which includes the book pictured above. That link is here.

On Sunday, I’ll have some illustrations from the subject of last week’s column, Cousin Irv from Mars.

Until then …


h1 Thursday, August 8th, 2013

After this post here at 7-Imp last year, I ended up getting a very early copy of Aaron Becker’s debut picture book, Journey. I loved it so much that one morning I, no kidding, called an emergency picture book coffee-shop meeting with two friends who love picture books as much as I do, ’cause I just had to show them this book. We sat over our cups of strong coffee and ooh’ed and aah’ed a lot.

The book’s finally out, and I chat with Aaron about it over at Kirkus this morning. That link is here.

Later (maybe next month), he’s going to come visit 7-Imp for a longer interview, filled with lots of art.

Until tomorrow …

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Leila Rudge

h1 Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

That’s illustrator Leila Rudge. She’s eagerly awaiting the breakfast we’re going to have this morning. “As it’s a special occasion,” she said, “I’ll have fat, fluffy pancakes with crispy bacon and a fried banana. Pile ‘em up!” I’m in!

Droll. Charming. Understated. These are all adjectives that have been used to describe her illustrations. Rudge was born in England and currently makes her home in Australia, but some of her illustrated books, such as Meg McKinlay’s No Bears (Candlewick, 2012), have been published here in the States. Her newest book, Ted, which she both wrote and illustrated, is currently only available in Australia but will be out in the UK and U.S. early next year.

Leila shares lots of art today, including all kinds of peeks into her sketchbooks, which I very much enjoy, given that—as you’ll see below—she’s not committed to just one style of drawing, the one style we end up seeing in her published illustrations. As an art-lover, I find this fascinating to see.

I thank her for sharing, and let’s get right to it. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #342: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Kate Berube

h1 Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Well, dear Imps, it’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I invite to the breakfast table a student or recently-graduated illustrator.

This morning, it’s Kate Berube, who lives in Portland, Oregon. Pictured above is one of her pieces, called Lonely, which I very much like. (Maybe the end of the story-in-waiting in this illustration can be that the boy and the dog finally meet, you think?) Kate tells us below all about her work, and she also shares here a good handful of artwork, for which I thank her. (She also let me pick some favorites from her site and post those in addition to what she sent me.)

Let’s get right to it, shall we? Welcome to Kate … Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Isabelle Arsenault

h1 Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Spread from Jean E. Pendziwol’s Once Upon a Northern Night,
illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault:
“Once upon a northern night / I sent the frost / to dance on your window /
and make a frame. / It twirled and twisted, / curled and coiled, / spiraled and spun, / climbing around the edges of the glass / but leaving the middle /
as smooth and clear as the frozen pond.”

(Click to see spread in its entirety)

Spread from Fanny Britt’s Jane, The Fox & Me,
also illustrated by Arsenault

(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Bruce Eric Kaplan’s Cousin Irv from Mars, which makes me laugh. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Jean E. Pendziwol’s Once Upon a Northern Night, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault and released this month from Groundwood Books.

Pictured above is an illustration from this beautiful picture book, but also pictured there is a spread from Fanny Britt’s new graphic novel, Jane, The Fox & Me, also illustrated by Arsenault, translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou, and to be released next month from Groundwood. This is the tenderly-wrought story, originally published in French in 2012, of a girl named Hélène, who doesn’t fit in at school and whose former friends now shun her. Hélène finds solace in her copy of Jane Eyre, as well as her Kate and Anna McGarrigle records. Hélène is none too pleased to find out she’ll have to attend a required nature camp with her classmates, “four nights, forty students, our whole class.”

Betsy Bird has a detailed review here of this deeply-felt story of despair and loneliness, which turns toward the light at its close and ends on a note of hope and friendship.

Below is one more spread from each book. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Sealed (and Stomped) With a Kiss

h1 Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Early sketch

Final art
(Click to enlarge spread)

Stomp! Roar! MWAH!

I reviewed David Ezra Stein’s newest picture book, Dinosaur Kisses (Candlewick), over at BookPage. That link is here. The book will be released in several days, as you can see at the BookPage link.

So, you can read about it over there, but here at 7-Imp today I’ve got some early sketches from the book (as well as a bit more final art), which David sent. These are process pics, he told me — “from early style ideas, to character design, to some sketches, to more finished work. … You will see a few Mama Squirrels in there. I was working on that around the same time.”


Read the rest of this entry �