Archive for August, 2015

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #447: Featuring Simona Ciraolo

h1 Sunday, August 30th, 2015

“I’d had my suspicions for a while that someone had replaced my sister with a girl who looked a lot like her. It had to be! …” Thus opens the new book from author-illustrator Simona Ciraolo (who brought us last year’s Hug Me), Whatever Happened to My Sister? This will be on shelves, come November, from Flying Eye Books. It’s the story of a young girl whose teenage sister is keeping her distance, as teenage sisters are wont to do. The girl, however, is filled with confusion and sorrow, given that they used to play together closely. “I am rather observant,” the girl notes, “yet the moment of the switch must have passed me by.”

There’s a real tender pain here as we follow the girl watching her sister, the latter fully engaged in typical teen activities (listening to music, watching television, hanging with her friends). The younger one tries to engage her sister yet can’t — and eventually she is moved to tears and hides behind the living room couch. But fear not: Her older sister finds her and they spend time together. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Jayme McGowan, Victoria Turnbull, & Phoebe Wahl

h1 Friday, August 28th, 2015

“Where I lead, Oscar follows.”
— From Victoria Turnbull’s
The Sea Tiger
(Click to enlarge)


“‘Shhh,’ said Sonya’s papa. ‘What might seem unfair to you
might make sense to a fox.’ And he told her a story. …”
— From Phoebe Wahl’s
Sonya’s Chickens
(Click to enlarge)


— From Jayme McGowna’s One Bear Extraordinaire

This morning over at Kirkus, I peek at some Fall 2015 picture book releases and how in many of them, you’ll be greeting old friends. That link is here.

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Last week I wrote here about the picture books of three newcomers, so I’ve got art (and, in some cases, preliminary images) from each book today. Those books are Jayme McGowan’s One Bear Extraordinaire (Abrams, September 2015), Victoria Turnbull’s The Sea Tiger (Candlewick, October 2015), and Phoebe Wahl’s Sonya’s Chickens (Tundra, August 2015).

Enjoy the art!

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My Rambling Thoughts Well After Breakfast

h1 Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Big thanks to Nick Patton for having me as a guest over at his place, The Picturebooking Podcast, this week.

He and I chat about blogging and why precisely those of us who do it do it, and we talk about 7-Imp and picture books.

AND lots of other stuff.

The link is here.

It was a pleasure to chat with him, and I appreciate the invitation to do so.

Until tomorrow …


Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Daniel Miyares

h1 Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Author and illustrator Daniel Miyares—whose most recent picture book is Float, published by Simon & Schuster in June (and the subject of my Kirkus column here)—visits for breakfast this morning. Normally, he tells me, he has merely a hot cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk in the fabulous mug his wife gave him, pictured below. (“She gets me,” he adds.) If he’s taking the time to sit down and eat in the mornings, he says, he goes with biscuits. “I grew up in South Carolina,” he tells me. “It’s kind of a requirement.”

Hey, I’m in Tennessee and get this, so biscuits and tea it is.

Daniel is relatively new to picture books, at least in the grand scheme of things, and I thank him for visiting today to tell me and my readers more about his career, his books thus far, and what’s next on his plate.

Let’s get right to it.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #446: Featuring Marc Boutavant

h1 Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

“‘You must tell me honestly if you’re getting angry,’ he went on.
‘It would be too bad if you didn’t tell me, squirrel. It would be insulting.'”
— From
The Day No ONe Was Angry


Title page art from Edmond, the Moonlit Party

Want to join me this morning, dear Imps, in looking at some artwork from French illustrator Marc Boutavant? I’m looking at two new books, in particular, here — Astrid Desbordes’ Edmond, The Moonlit Party, which was originally published in France two years ago but came to American shelves in June, thanks to Enchanted Lion Books, as well as Toon Tellegen’s The Day No One Was Angry. I believe Toon’s stories originally published in 2002, and this is the First American Edition from Gecko Press (March 2015).

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Don Brown,
Emily Carroll, Zack Giallongo, and Ben Hatke

h1 Friday, August 21st, 2015

— From Ben Hatke’s Little Robot


— From Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet, illustrated by Zack Giallongo


— From Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistant, illustrated by Emily Carroll


— From Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans


This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books from debut author-illustrators. Good stuff, these books. That link is here.

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Last week, I had a graphic novel round-up, so I’m following up today here at 7-Imp with a bit of art from each book — Don Brown’s Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2015); Marika McCoola’s Baba Yaga’s Assistance, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Candlewick, August 2015); Ben Hatke’s Little Robot (First Second, September 2015); and Ian Lendler’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet (First Second, September 2015), illustrated by Zack Giallongo. To boot, I’ve got a bit of art from last year’s The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.


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Katherine Applegate: My Kirkus Q&A

h1 Thursday, August 20th, 2015

I don’t think there are many middle-grade children’s books that talk about the ‘working poor’ — about the stresses that come when parents juggle multiple low-paying jobs and there still isn’t enough food on the table or maybe even a place to call home. Children may not know what being ‘food insecure’ means, but they understand much more than we give them credit for, especially when it comes to money.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Katherine Applegate about her new middle-grade novel, Crenshaw (Feiwel and Friends), coming to shelves next month.

That conversation is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Katherine used by her permission.

Keeping the Fires Stoked with Antoinette Portis

h1 Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Early sketch and final art: “Hurry!”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Author-illustrator Antoinette Portis joins me this morning for a lovely, long chat before breakfast. Last month over at BookPage, I reviewed Antoinette’s newest picture book, Wait (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, July 2015). That review is here.

Today, Antoinette talks all about the book and its evolution; her experience as a Sendak Fellow; the fine art of being content with discontent; her upcoming picture books (with art from each to share!); and much more. I thank her for visiting, and let’s get right to it.

[Please note that the colors in the larger versions of each image, should you choose to click on them, are slightly brighter than they appear in the book.]

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #445: Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Matt: “[This is a] key moment from the book
that didn’t change much from the sketch dummy.”

(Click each image—dummy and final art—to enlarge)

Good morning, all. Matt Phelan is visiting 7-Imp today to share some sketches and art from Michelle Knudsen’s Marilyn’s Monster, which was published by Candlewick in March of this year. It’s the story of a young girl waiting patiently for her monster; some of her classmates have them, you see, but Marilyn knows that your monster is supposed to find you. So she “tried to be the kind of girl no monster could resist.” Things don’t go as Marilyn quite expects them to, but I’ll leave that for you to discover if you read this on your own.

It’s a story with a lot of heart, and as the Publishers Weekly review puts it, “it’s a warm, gently funny reminder to chase down one’s dreams, rather than waiting for them to appear on the doorstep.” I love to see Matt’s sketches and to hear him talk about the progression of the artwork for the book.

And bonus! He’s also giving us a sneak peek today at some sketches from his upcoming graphic novel about Snow White. I thank him for visiting today. Let’s get right to it. …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What
I Did Last Week, Featuring Hanmin Kim & Genjirou Mita

h1 Friday, August 14th, 2015


“The leopard ran with loud, heavy steps.
— From Hanmin Kim’s
Tiptoe Tapirs


Cover art from Nankichi Niimi’s Gon, The Little Fox,
illustrated by Genjirou Mita

(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a graphic novel round-up. That link is here.

* * *

Today I’ve got some art from the two Asian imports I wrote about here last week — Hanmin Kim’s Tiptoe Tapirs, originally published in Korea but coming to shelves in October from Holiday House, as well as Nankichi Niimi’s Gon, The Little Fox (Museyon, May 2015), illustrated by Genjirou Mita and originally published in 1969.


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