Archive for October, 2013

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #352: Featuring Taro Miura

h1 Sunday, October 13th, 2013

“The Tiny King ate alone at a big, big table.
A huge feast of delicious food was laid out every day.
But the Tiny King was just one tiny person.
He could never finish so much food all by himself.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a Tiny King.”

That’s the opening to Taro Miura’s The Tiny King, originally published in Japan in 2010 but released here in the States by Candlewick just last week. This is the story of how one very diminutive ruler lived alone in a huge castle, save his “army of big soldiers with long spears and stern faces.” As you can see above, he eats alone at a big, big table — and, in fact, he does just about everything alone.

Things like giant bathtubs are no fun, if you’re splishing and splashing by yourself (even if there are water fountains). A big white horse might be some company, but not if you’re so tiny that you fall off every time you try to ride it.

You get the idea. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Up To at Kirkus Today,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Daniel Nevins and Marije Tolman

h1 Friday, October 11th, 2013

“And Jacob said to Rebekah, his mother, ‘But Esau is a hairy man and I am a smooth man. If my father touches me, he will think me a thief and I will bring upon myself his curse and not his blessing.’ His mother said, ‘Your curse, my son, will be upon me. Now, listen and go; bring them to me.'”
(Click to see spread in its entirety)

“Flamingoes obtain their color from the shrimp and algae they eat.”
(Click to enlarge)

Today at Kirkus, I write about Amy Schwartz’s newest picture book, Dee Dee and Me. Regular 7-Imp-goers will know I really like Amy’s picture books, and with this new one she, once again, doesn’t disappoint. That link is here.

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Last week at Kirkus, I chatted here with Asheville artist Daniel Nevins about creating the artwork for Amy Ehrlich’s With a Mighty Hand (Candlewick, August 2013). Today, I’ve got a little bit of art from the book, including the image at the very top of this post.

And I also wrote here about Jumping Penguins, an international import written by Jesse Goossens and illustrated by Marije Tolman. Featured here today is some art from that book, too. (Please note that some of the spreads featured here from this book are different from the English-language version — both art, in some instances, and text. The cover is also slightly different.)

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #351: Featuring Ingrid Godon

h1 Sunday, October 6th, 2013

“It’s raining outside, but not too much. Just as much as it needs to, thinks the big one as he watches the little one run ahead of him toward the water. The big one thinks just how much he loves this little one, with his funny ideas and his funny boots. He can’t remember if he also had these kinds of ideas in his head when he was still little.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Happy Sunday, all.

Have you all been following the picture book coverage at the New York Times? There is a new children’s book editor over there, Sarah Harrison Smith, and I like her taste in picture books.

Case-in-point: Just this week she wrote here about the book I’m featuring today. The book is Sylvie Neeman’s Something Big, illustrated by Ingrid Godon (Enchanted Lion, September 2013), an import originally published in 2012 as Quelque Chose de Grand. Neeman is Swiss, and Godon was born in Belgium. This one was translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick.

This is the story of an adult and child (“the big one” and “the little one”) and an intimate snapshot of their day. The big one is clearly a caretaker of some sort; I assume it is the boy’s father, but it could be a grandfather or uncle. The young boy is troubled, because he wants to “do something big.” As the boy attempts to explain what he means, he gets increasingly frustrated, as he finds it difficult to nail what he means with just the right words. For instance, when he says that maybe “it looks a little like a lighthouse by the ocean,” since “it has the ocean all around it and there’s light at night,” the adult suggests that what the boy wants is to build a lighthouse by the ocean. Nope. As adults are wont to do, he’d misunderstood altogether, but he’s really only trying to help the boy suss out what he means. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Up To at Kirkus Today,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Nikolai Popov, David Roberts,
Fabricio VandenBroeck,
Ian Wallace, Linda Wolfsgruber,
and a Whole Bunch of Comic Book Artists

h1 Friday, October 4th, 2013

From “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” an English tale; Art by Graham Annable

This morning at Kirkus, I write about an intriguing international import called Laughing Penguins, written by Jesse Goossens and illustrated by Marije Tolman. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote about a handful of story collections (of one sort or another). That’s here, and this morning I have art from each book. For each one, you’ll see some art, followed by its cover.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

With a Mighty Hand

h1 Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

This morning over at Kirkus, I chat with Asheville artist Daniel Nevins about creating the artwork for Amy Ehrlich’s With a Mighty Hand (Candlewick, August 2013), which consists of Ehrlich’s adaptation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, told as a single narrative. Sub-titled The Story in the Torah, it’s one of the most beautifully designed books I’ve seen this year.

That link is here, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll have a bit of art from it.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Daniel Nevins used with his permission.

The Evolution of a Picture Book Cover
(And Other Goodness from Illustrator Cece Bell)

h1 Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Pictured here are author/illustrator Cece Bell (winner of a 2013 Geisel Honor Award) and her husband, New York Times bestselling author Tom Angleberger. (At the very bottom of this post is an alternate image of the duo, which makes me laugh — a photo more fitting to the book that is the subject of this post today.)

In June of this year, Clarion Books released Tom’s Crankee Doodle, illustrated by Cece, a very funny cartoon take on the classic song “Yankee Doodle” — and I’m just a bit slow in blogging about it. But better late than never, right? Right.

And, since lots of professional reviewers have already praised this picture book and I’m posting months later than I intended, I’ll summarize here: Kirkus called it a “historical hoot full of goofy, eye-rolling goodness”; the Horn Book called it a clever “absurdist deconstruction of the familiar song,” adding that it’s “giddily imagined”; Booklist called it “laugh-out-loud” funny; and School Library Journal called it a “great read-aloud.” Why this traditional song, which nearly all elementary-aged students sing with glee but great confusion (it is a nonsense song after all), hasn’t been spoofed in a picture book already (at least it hasn’t been to my knowledge) is a surprise to me. But leave it to Tom and Cece. … This is sure to elicit lots of laughs from young readers.

Cece is visiting today to share rejected cover images, as well as title page illustrations; some early sketches and layouts and such; and some final art from the book, too. “All those covers,” she told me, “are all the different ones that I presented to Clarion. I don’t usually do that many mock-ups, but it was kind of tricky to set the right tone for this one.”

As made clear by the very existence of this blog, I’m a ginormous picture book fan, and so I enjoy seeing things like Rejected Covers (and, as always, things like sketches and early lay-outs). And I figure some of my readers might like to see that, too, so let’s get to it. I thank Cece for sharing the images. Read the rest of this entry �