Archive for May, 2015

A Chat with Jeanne Birdsall

h1 Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Because both Skye and Batty grew out of parts of my personality (as did Jane and Rosalind, though not so much), some of the tensions between the two sisters came from internal struggles of my own. … [W]riting about Batty’s struggles was hard. I had to spend a lot of time re-living scared and lonely parts of my childhood.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Jeanne Birdsall, pictured here, about the latest novel in the Penderwick series, The Penderwicks in Spring (Knopf, March 2014).

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Jeanne taken by William Diehl and used by her permission.

A Visit with Ovi Nedelcu

h1 Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

From the sketchbooks

You may have seen this recent Horn Book article by Betsy Bird on illustrators who come from an animation background. Today’s visiting illustrator, Ovi Nedelcu, is one of those, and he’s here today to share artwork and talk about his experiences.

Ovi, a character designer and story artist who lives in Portland, has been working in animation full-time for the past fifteen years for various studios, such as WB, Disney, Cartoon Network, and Sony — but mostly at LAIKA, working on both Coraline and The Boxtrolls. He’s not new to publication—his first published work was for DC comics back in 1998, and since then he’s published a comic book series and has illustrated a couple of picture books—but Just like Daddy (POW! Kids Books), out on shelves now, is his debut as an author-illustrator. It’s the story of one preschooler’s grand perceptions of his father’s day, juxtaposed with the everyday reality of his 9-to-5 job. It’s a warm story propelled by Ovi’s expressive cartoon art.

Ovi also talks about the book below, so let’s get right to it. I thank him for visiting. Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #431: Featuring JiHyeon Lee

h1 Sunday, May 10th, 2015

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of JiHyeon Lee’s debut picture book, Pool, released by Chronicle this past week and originally published in South Korea in 2013.

Here’s the review if you want to read all about the book, and below is a bit more art.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus and Chapter 16 This Week

h1 Friday, May 8th, 2015

Today over at Kirkus, I write about the welcome return of the characters in two new picture book imports. One of those characters is pictured above. That link will be here soon.

Also, over at Chapter 16, I’ve got a write-up about the wonderful Children’s Festival of Reading that Knoxville, Tennessee’s Knox County Public Library puts on every year. There’s a great line-up of authors and illustrators who will be there next Saturday. And I’ll be moderating a picture book panel, which I’m looking forward to. That write-up is here.

Until Sunday …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #430: Featuring Frank Viva (sorta)

h1 Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Dear kickers, I’m battling an ugly stomach bug this weekend, and since it’s best to be horizontal, I’ve got a short post today. I was going to feature the work of another illustrator, but I’ll have to do that later this week, since it was a much longer post.

I reviewed Frank Viva’s Outstanding in the Rain (Little, Brown, April 2015) over at BookPage (that is here), and I had planned on securing some of the beautiful spreads from the book to show you all. But again … you know, dastardly bug.

Instead, to keep things short so that I can lie back down, I’ll point you to these recent and quite wonderful posts at other places, posts all about the book — and with lots of art.

* Post at 32 Pages
* Post at Brain Pickings
* Write-up at the New York Times

Please do tell me: What are YOUR kicks this week?

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Iacopo Bruno, Jamey Christoph, Kris Di Giacomo, & Christoph Niemann

h1 Friday, May 1st, 2015

“But Gordon’s most famous shot will be American Gothic. In the newspaper, the photo exposed to the nation the unfairness of segregation. Standing before the flag of freedom, cleaning lady Ella Watson holds the tools of her trade
and the hopes of her grandchildren.”
— From
Gordon Parks:
How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The people, however, didn’t like to be told what to eat.”
— From
The Potato King
(Click to enlarge spread)


“… Ben had a different idea.”
— From
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


— From Enormous Smallness

Today over at Kirkus, I wax devotedly about reading aloud to children. Yet again. (I’m pretty sure I just used “wax” all incorrectly, but I’m just gonna leave it on account of not having had any coffee yet.) That link is here.

Since last week (here) I wrote about a small handful of titles (mostly nonfiction), I’ve got art from each book today. They are: Matthew Burgess’ Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings (Enchanted Lion, April 2015), illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo; Carole Boston Weatherford’s Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America (Albert Whitman, February 2015), illustrated by Jamey Christoph; Mara Rockliff’s Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by Iacopo Bruno; and Christoph Niemann’s The Potato King (Owlkids, April 2015), originally published as Der Kartoffelkönig in 2013.

Enjoy the art … Read the rest of this entry �