Archive for June, 2014

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #388: Featuring John Burningham

h1 Sunday, June 29th, 2014

” … the shadow of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG
chased after them over the ground.”

(Click to enlarge)

“Sylvie asked a little bear to come back with her.
He did and slept in her bed.”

(Click to see spread from which this illustration comes)

I’m keeping things incredibly brief today. There’s been a lot of moving of furniture in our home (made all the more complicated by the fact that our house is tiny), and it’s been a lot like moving, as well as a game of Tetris. I’m about to fall right over, and it’s a tiny miracle I’m even getting this post up.

John Burningham is one of my favorite illustrators of all time. Today’s post celebrates the fact that he has two new illustrated titles out — The Way to the Zoo (Candlewick, August 2014) and the 50th anniversary edition of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, coming from Candlewick in August.

Burningham created the original illustrations for Chitty, the only children’s book Ian Fleming wrote. (Fleming, as the story goes, wrote it for his son.) Published in 1964, it was then adapted to film four years later (with a screenplay by Roald Dahl, no less), as well as a 2002 musical. This deluxe anniversary edition of the novel is beautifully-designed (ah, silver endpages), and Burningham’s dynamic illustrations are expertly reproduced in all their glory.

The Way to the Zoo is a brand-new picture book and includes many things I’ve come to love about Burningham’s books over the years — secret passageways, adventures, and intrepid, young protagonists in a (mostly) adult-free world, to name but a few. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chris Gall,
Carter Goodrich, Christian Robinson, & Marc Rosenthal

h1 Friday, June 27th, 2014

— From Carter Goodrich’s Mister Bud Wears the Cone


— Early art from Kelly DiPucchio’s Gaston,
illustrated by Christian Robinson


— From Kathi Appelt’s Mogie: The Heart of the House,
illustrated by Marc Rosenthal


— From Chris Gall’s Dog vs. Cat

This morning over at Kirkus, I’m doing things very by the book. This involves Bob Staake’s My Pet Book, Rilla Alexander’s The Best Book in the World, and Jen Bryant’s The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. That link is here.

* * *

Last week (here) was all about the dogs of summer. I’m following up with art today.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Spreading the Good Word about Visual Literacy

h1 Thursday, June 26th, 2014

In our increasingly visual culture we expect readers to respond to pictures. Yet when children approach third grade, there’s mounting pressure to narrow their reading to chapter books — books with no pictures at all. My mission with the new line of TOON Graphics is to make books for readers ages 8 and up that offer both rich text and captivating image — books that promote both verbal and visual literacy.”

This morning over at Kirkus, I chat with designer and editor Françoise Mouly about the launch of TOON Graphics, and I’ll follow up here at 7-Imp next week with some art from their three debut titles.

The Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo used with permission of Françoise Mouly.

Manners 101 with Daniel Miyares

h1 Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Cover sketch

Over at BookPage, my review of Daniel Miyares’ Pardon Me! (Simon & Schuster, June 2014) is up. It’s here. This is a picture book with a delicious (in more ways than one) twist before breakfast. Or, more like as breakfast. Today I’m following up with a bit of art from the book, as well as some extra images from Miyares that show the book’s development — sketches from the book dummy, images that didn’t make the cut, and development art for the finishes.


Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #387: Featuring Kazuno Kohara

h1 Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Have any of you seen Kazuno Kohara’s newest picture book, The Midnight Library (Roaring Brook, June 2014)?

I’m taken with it, and I love to see her linocut illustrations.

I reviewed The Midnight Library here for BookPage. So, if you’d like to read more about the book, you can head over there.

Today I’m following up with some illustrations from the book. The one pictured here to the left is toward the end of the book when the little librarian and her owls head upstairs to read one last book before bedtime.

And below is a bit more art.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Raúl Colón, Eva Eriksson,
Rudy Gutierrez, and Dave McKean

h1 Friday, June 20th, 2014

Illustration from Bo R. Holmberg’s A Day with Dad (2008),
illustrated Eva Eriksson

This week over at Kirkus, I’ve got a pack of dogs — Mogie, Mister Bud, Zorro, and Gaston, as well a cat and dog showdown from Chris Gall. That link is here.

* * *

Last week (here), I rounded up a few good Father’s Day picture books (both old and new), so today I follow up with a bit of art from each.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Rascal and Nana: Following Up
with Lauren Castillo with Art and Sketches …

h1 Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Pictured above: The final illustration from The Troublemaker
and images from
Nana in the City
(Click last two images to enlarge)

Since I chatted here at Kirkus last week with Lauren Castillo, I gotta follow up with some art. Thanks to Lauren for sending some images along for today’s post. We have here things like early sketches and character studies from The Troublemaker (Clarion, June 2014), and she’s also giving us a sneak-peek at Nana in the City, coming this September (also from Clarion).

If you want more of Lauren’s work, she also recently visited Mr. Schu, as well as Joanna Marple.

Enjoy … Read the rest of this entry �

Catchin’ the Number Five Bus …

h1 Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

You may remember that a while back here at 7-Imp, I mentioned Philip and Erin Stead’s brand-new site, Number Five Bus Presents …. They’re chatting it up with book people over there and have posted several conversations. Earlier this week, I chatted with them.

That chat is here. It was fun, and I thank them for having me.

Until tomorrow …

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Kevin Sherry

h1 Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

That really should say six questions over breakfast. And no Pivot Questionnaire, which my visitor today, author-illustrator Kevin Sherry, opted out of. This is fine. He’s a busy guy, because as you can see here, he doesn’t just create books. He also dons his big blue bear head to entertain crowds of dancing children, guitar in hand (which you can read about below).

Kevin’s got a brand-new book out. Let me say first: If, by chance, you aren’t familiar with his books, I’ve got seven words for you. (Wait, that is not half as dramatic as something like two words for you, but moving on …) I’m. The. Biggest. Thing. In. the. Ocean. Those are the seven words and the title of his debut picture book, which is a favorite of mine and such a superb story time choice for the wee young crowd. (I’m lookin’ right at you, story time librarians.) The starred Kirkus review for this book says, no less, that “waves of exuberance” emanate from this book, and it’s true. This debut was in 2010, and ever since then, I watch his new releases with interest. Also, I’ve wanted to interview him since then. Better late than never!

The new book is Turtle Island (Dial, May 2014). It’s about friendship and community, and not surprisingly (for fans of his debut book), opens with “I’m a giant turtle, and I’m as BIG as an island.” For this new story, Sherry penciled, inked, and then painted with watercolors. Oh, and his upcoming new chapter book about cryptids (image below) looks mighty fun, too.

As for our breakfast today, Kevin works morning shift at a restaurant, “so I ended up eating a lot of pieces of baguettes, and I found myself feeling a little sluggish, so I started eating oatmeal with apricots and toasted almonds, ’cause we got the apricots and almonds in the restaurant, and I feel myself feeling better and not being hungry for a while.” I like how he said that in one breath. It might be hard to keep up with him this morning, but I’ll give it a try.

I thank him for visiting and sharing lots of his art. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #386: Featuring Brian Floca

h1 Sunday, June 15th, 2014

(Click to enlarge)

“The seal’s coat was silvery brown. She was eight feet long—as long as a long surfboard—and she weighed twelve hundred pounds — as much as fifteen Labrador retrievers. The people of Christchurch knew there was something very special about her. She was strong and powerful and regal — like Elizabeth, the Queen of England. And so they named her, Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas.”
(Click to enlarge)

Good morning, all. First up, it’s Father’s Day, so happy Father’s Day to you dad-readers out there. And happy Father’s Day to all the father figures in our lives. (It just so happens that I wrote here on Friday about some great picture books about fathers — and even some grandfathers can be spotted in some of those pages.)

This morning, Caldecott medalist Brian Floca is sharing some sketches from his latest illustrated book, Lynne Cox’s Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas (Schwartz & Wade, May 2014), and I’ve got some art from the book as well. And, since Atheneum Books for Young Readers just re-issued (in early June) Brian’s Five Trucks (pictured left), originally released back in 1999 by DK Publishing, I’ve got some art from that as well. And Brian has some early sketches from that book to share, too.

Lynne’s Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas opens with an Author’s Note about how Lynne once traveled to New Zealand (she is a world-renowned long-distance swimmer and writer and headed there to swim some lakes near Mount Cook), and it was there that she met a boy named Michael, standing along the Avon River near the city of Christchurch, who asked her if she was looking for Elizabeth. When she asked who it was that they meant, the boy explained that Elizabeth was an elephant seal, and both the boy and his sister told Lynne the story of the “Queen of the Seas.”

Read the rest of this entry �