Archive for November, 2013

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #356: Featuring Theodore Taylor III

h1 Sunday, November 10th, 2013

“DJ Kool Herc noticed that dancers danced crazy hard during the breaks in the song when the lyrics ended and the music bumped and thumped. Herc knew that’s what dancers wanted so he plugged in two turntables instead of one. He put the same record on both turntables. He set it up so that when once record ended its break, he could flip over to the other turntable and play it again. Doing this over and over, he made a ten-second break last for ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes or more.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Today I’ve got the artwork of illustrator Theodore Taylor III. Taylor is an artist, designer, and photographer, who lives in Washington, D.C., and this is his picture book debut. It’s Laban Carrick Hill’s biography of Clive Campbell, When the Beat Was Born (Roaring Brook, August 2013). Campbell was also known as DJ Kool Herc and is the DJ (born in Jamaica but raised in the Bronx) considered the creator of hip hop.

Hill opens the biography with Clive as a young, music-loving child, dancing around the house to vinyl records. His childhood hero was a DJ, named King George, who threw large neighborhood house parties. Though Clive—who desperately wanted to be a DJ—was too young to attend, he’d watch King George set up for the parties. (“Clive had never seen so many records.”)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Yusuke Yonezu

h1 Friday, November 8th, 2013

Today at Kirkus, I’ve got the latest picture book from Canadian author/illustrator Anne Villeneuve, Loula is Leaving for Africa, which is all kinds of entertaining. That link is here.

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Last week (here), I wrote about Yusuke Yonezu’s board book, We Love Each Other (Minedition, November 2013). Above is an illustration from this cleverly-designed book, and below are some spreads.


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Hey … Did Someone Just Steal My Coffee Mug?

h1 Thursday, November 7th, 2013

“The various bad odors, smells, and aromas that occasionally befoul your home
are almost always the work of the Stinkers.”

(Click image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)

Hmm … Can’t find my mug. Could be a little household thief.

Last week at Kirkus, I chatted with William Joyce about his newest picture book, The Mischievians (Atheneum, October 2013). That is here, and today I’ve got a bit of art from the book.

Since this book is a catalog of everyday “things that make mischief, make mayhem, [and] make noise” (think: lost homework, missing keys, that kind of thing), Joyce has been inviting children on his recent book tour to create their own dastardly creatures of mayhem. He shared a few of those with me today (from Hunter’s Creek Elementary in Houston, Texas), and they are posted here as well. Here’s one, The Eye-Stealer. He—you guessed it—steals eyeballs (AIEE!), and he was discovered by a young scientist, named Blake. Keep your eyes peeled for The Eye-Stealer, I say.

Enjoy the rest. (There’s a bit more art from the book below, as well as three more child-created Mischievians.) Read the rest of this entry �

This, That, and the Other

h1 Monday, November 4th, 2013

[Edited to Add, Tuesday morning — I meant to say one more thing, dear readers: I am PERPETUALLY behind on email. I get a lot of blog-related emails. I am months behind, but I am making chinks in the stone and slowly getting caught up. If you’ve emailed me about something and you’re thinking I’m rude and incommunicative … well, no, all my emails this morning, as I try to catch up, begin with “sorry it took me months to reply.” Is it weird to wish I had a 7-Imp Administrative Assistant? Anyway, I hope to get back to everyone soon.]

I don’t tend to do news’y-type posts here at 7-Imp, but it’s just time for a few announcements that I find worthwhile for one reason or another:

First, I just have to share this. My favorite musician, Sam Phillips, recently wrote this:

I’ve decided to make November “Art Month.” It seems like a more interesting way to kick off the holidays. Some say that food is the new rock n’ roll, so I say that art is the new food.


Okay, the announcements. I decided to use rock-and-roll hands, instead of boring bullets:

I’m currently in the second year of my two-year term as a member of the ALSC Grant Administration Committee for the American Library Association. It’s truly inspiring to read about what many innovative and enthusiastic librarians across the country are doing. We were encouraged to remind librarians about these grants; as you’ll see, some deadlines have passed, but not all of them. Please spread the word, librarians, and consider applying (if eligible). There are some great opportunities here.

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Speaking of ALSC/ALA, I’m honored to be on the ballot for the Newbery 2016 committee, posted here.

Voting for ALSC members isn’t till Spring, but no matter the results, I am, as I said, honored to even be named there.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #355: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Dasha Tolstikova

h1 Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Guess what I did in October?

  1. I bungee jumped from the skid of a helicopter into the caldera of a raging volcano, coming within over 500 feet of a pool of molten lava.
  2. I decided to take the month off from blogging, and all the posts you saw here were really composed by my clone, ’cause I’m like THAT with a super smart clone scientist.
  3. I completely forgot about my 7-Imp first-of-the-month student illustrator feature and just skipped October altogether.

Yep, it’s the third one, though I didn’t even make the first one up. (You can evidently pay over $10,000 to do that in Chilé.)

So, on the first Sunday of each month here at 7-Imp, I feature either student illustrators or illustrators brand-spankin’-new to the field, and I just completely blanked on the first Sunday of October — though, to be sure, it was a treat to see the work of Ingrid Godon.

But guess what else? I am more than making up for it today with the work of Dasha Tolstikova, who graduated just last year from the School of Visual Art’s Master’s program in illustration. Here she is — and with lots more of her art. I thank her for visiting.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 Friday, November 1st, 2013

Yesterday at Kirkus, I chatted with Mr. Moonbot himself, William Joyce, pictured here. He is up to all kinds of mischief—or at least cataloging it—in his new picture book, The Mischievians.

And he is very serious about his work, as you will read.

That chat is here.

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Today, I’ve got some thoughts on an exceptional new board book from designer and illustrator Yusuke Yonezu. It’s called We Love Each Other.

I don’t title my own columns over there, but the editor who did gave this one just the right name: Comfort and Warmth in Shapes.

That is here.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have art from both books.

Until Sunday …

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Photo of William Joyce by Tony Reans and used with permission.