Archive for March, 2015

A Peek into Roller Girl

h1 Thursday, March 12th, 2015


Last week at Kirkus, I had a lovely conversation (here) with Victoria Jamieson about her graphic novel, Roller Girl (Dial, March 2015). Today, she shares some early sketches and final art (without text) from the book.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

A Visit with Darren Farrell

h1 Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Author-illustrator Darren Farrell (or is it Shel Silverstein?) visits 7-Imp this morning to talk about his work and to give me a sneak-peek at his upcoming 2015 book, Stop Following Me, Moon! (pictured above). I asked him about his inspirations, and then he took it from there, as you’ll see below.

This is Darren’s third picture book, his most recent being last year’s Thank You, Octopus! from Dial Books, which the Horn Book described as a “hilarious nautical comedy of errors.” And never was there a weirder or more wonderful bedtime companion than Octopus. Bleep, blarp, bloop.

Let’s get right to it. I thank Shel Darren for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #422: Featuring Kristof Devos

h1 Sunday, March 8th, 2015

This morning, I’ve got some spreads from Pimm van Hest’s Weatherboy, illustrated by Kristof Devos. The book was first published last year in Belgium and Holland and has been translated from the Dutch by Clavis Publishing. It is on shelves this month, and pictured above is the cover art.

It’s the story of a boy whose moods dictate the weather: “When he was happy, the sun shone, and when he was sad, the clouds cried too.” Everyone starts to call him “Weatherboy” and make terrible demands upon him. When folks want warm weather for the beach, they hope for illness to beset him so that he’ll have a fever. If their sunflowers need rain, they ask him to cry. This makes him sad, which casts his village into a dark fog. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Eva Erikkson and Sydney Smith

h1 Friday, March 6th, 2015

— From JonArno Lawson’s Sidewalk Flowers,
illustrated by Sydney Smith

“Dad lifted me up so I’d be closer to the stars that were far, far away. ‘Some of them don’t even exist,’ he said. ‘They’ve gone out already.’ ‘But we can still see them,’ I said. ‘Yes, we can see their light,’ said Dad. ‘It may take several hundred years to arrive here.’ I looked at the stars that weren’t there. And Dad went on telling me their names and carrying me. ‘The Swan,’ he said. ‘The Harp. Big Dog.'”
— From Ulf Stark’s
When Dad Showed Me the Universe,
illustrated by Eva Erikkson

(Click to enlarge spread)


This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Michael Morpurgo’s Half a Man, illustrated by Gemma O’Callaghan, and J. Patrick Lewis’s The Wren and the Sparrow, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg. That link is here.

* * *

Today I’ve got some art from JonArno Lawson’s Sidewalk Flowers, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Groundwood, March 2015), as well as Ulf Stark’s When Dad Showed Me the Universe, illustrated by the great Eva Eriksson (originally released in Sweden in 1998 but coming to American shelves later this year). I wrote about both books here at Kirkus last week and want to share some art today.

Don’t miss Philip Nel’s post on Sidewalk Flowers, and here Roger Sutton talks to Lawson.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

Victoria Jamieson and Roller Girl

h1 Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The issue of friendships ending was certainly central for me, and it was the concept I was most interested in exploring in the book. Although the details of the story are different, the heart of the issue—the pain of a slipping friendship—was from my own experience.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I have a back-and-forth with author-illustrator Victoria Jamieson, pictured here, about her first graphic novel for children, Roller Girl, which will be on shelves next week — and which is really good.

That link is here.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the book, as well as some early sketches and such.

Until tomorrow …


Photo of Victoria taken by Herminio Jacome and used by permission of the author.

Christopher Myers’ My Pen

h1 Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

“But I know my pen can do anything, anywhere. There are a million pens in the world and each one has a million worlds inside it. So if you have a pen,
see what you can do—let those worlds inside your pen out!”

(Click to enlarge and spread in its entirety)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Christopher Myers’ newest picture book, My Pen (Disney-Hyperion, March 2015).

That review is here, and I’m following up today with a few spreads from the book.


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From Zine to Picture Book: Greg Pizzoli
Discusses the Making of Tricky Vic

h1 Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli visits 7-Imp this morning to talk about his entertaining new picture book from Viking, Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower, on shelves next week — and a book, as you’ll read below, that started its life as a zine. It tells the story of the sly and brilliant con artist Robert Miller, who later became Count Victor Lustig and who is known, as the title tells you, as the “Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower.” It’s a fascinating story with a smart closing Author’s Note from Pizzoli. (“Stay sharp” are his final words to readers.) And he created the art using pencil, ink, rubber stamps, halftone photographs, silkscreen, Zipatone, and Photoshop. Many of the photos in the book come from a Paris trip he took years ago, but then again, you can read a lot more about this below.

Greg has a couple more books coming out this year, but he may actually visit again at a later date to discuss those. Right now, it’s a Tricky Vic kind of morning. Let’s get to it. Grab your coffee and get ready to get conned. I thank him for visiting.

Oh, and by the way: Greg mentions Mac Barnett below, which makes me think of his new book, co-written with Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell and which also happens to be about conning (and practical jokes and all-things-mischief). It’s called The Terrible Two, and it was released in January by Amulet Books. It is very funny. It’s selling well and was recently optioned for a film adaptation, as Travis Jonker noted here. So, you’ve probably heard of it already. If not, I highly recommend it. No joking.

Now, I welcome Greg …

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Wild Things at Malaprop’s

h1 Monday, March 2nd, 2015

I’ll be in Asheville, NC, this weekend to speak about Wild Things at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café. If you live in the Asheville area, will I see you there? Hope so.

Here’s the information, and you can click on the image to see it more clearly:

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #421: Featuring Bryan Collier

h1 Sunday, March 1st, 2015

“But first I needed an instrument. The great thing about music is that you don’t even need a real instrument to play. So my friends and I decided to make our own.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I normally feature the work of a student or debut illustrator. I’m breaking my own 7-Imp rules today, however, to … well, not do that — simply because I like this book and want to show you all some spreads from it. This won’t be on shelves till mid-April. Forgive me for posting about it a bit early, but hey, it’s already March!

Trombone Shorty (Abrams) is the picture book autobiography from Grammy-nominated musician Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. Illustrated by Bryan Collier, Andrews kicks the book off with “”Where Y’at?”, explaining that the folks in New Orleans have their own way of living and their own way of talking. Young Andrews grew up in Tremé, where “you could hear music floating in the air.” His older brother played the trumpet, and Andrews would watch and pretend to play his own. Andrews and his family would delight in the Mardi Gras parades, which “made everyone forget about their troubles for a little while.”

Andrews and his friends made their own instruments until the day Troy himself found an old, beaten up trombone. He joined a parade, his brother shouting, “TROMBONE SHORTY! WHERE Y’AT?” Thus a nickname was born. Read the rest of this entry �