Archive for December, 2015

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 Friday, December 11th, 2015


This morning at Kirkus, I write about my favorite of the 2015 holiday picture book titles I’ve seen.

That link is here. I’ll have art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

Until Sunday …

A Conversation with Özge Samanci

h1 Thursday, December 10th, 2015

I was afraid of making this book. It was perfect in my mind. I did not want to try and ruin it. But the idea was burning in me. … Living with a book in my mind that long was painful. It was like dragging a heavy suitcase wherever you go.”


Today over at Kirkus, I talk to Özge Samanci, pictured here, about her debut book, the graphic memoir Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey.

That Q&A is here today, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll follow up with some art from Özge’s book.

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Photo of Özge Samanci taken by Shirley Adams and used by permission.

The Illustrations of Cannaday Chapman

h1 Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Work-in-progress piece (as of April 2015)

Today, I’m showcasing some artwork from illustrator Cannaday Chapman. Shadra Strickland shared Cannaday’s site via social media, and I went and saw and liked. Cannaday then gave me permission to pull images from his site and share them here at 7-Imp.

As you can read here, Cannaday studied Illustration at SVA. His work hasn’t appeared in the world of children’s or YA lit, as far as I can tell (but can’t you see him doing something like YA covers)?


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #460: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Kerry Dwyer

h1 Sunday, December 6th, 2015

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means a student or debut illustrator visits. Today, it’s artist and illustrator Kerry Dwyer, who studied at RISD and has a “newly minted website in children’s book illustration after years in a career in television animation and gaming.” Kerry shares some more artwork below and tells us all a bit more about herself.

Without further ado . . .

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Keith Negley

h1 Friday, December 4th, 2015

“It’s not always easy being a tough guy …”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Over at Kirkus this morning, I write about Politics & Prose’s Third Annual Picture Book Panel, which I moderated in early November, with Jason Chin, Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Myers, John Parra, and Chris Soentpiet. The bookstore has posted a video link to the discussion, which is included in my write-up. I also include a link to the discussions, moderated by Leonard Marcus, from the last two years — for those of you who are really eager to hear picture book conversations.

All this is here at Kirkus today.

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I’ve got art today here at 7-Imp from Keith Negley’s Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too), published by Flying Eye Books in October, as a follow-up to my Q&A with Negley last week.

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Thanksgiving with dePaola

h1 Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

That’s what I did last week, that is. On Thanksgiving day at Kirkus, I wrote here about Tomie dePaola’s newest book, a slim and simple ode to gratitude, Look and Be Grateful, released by Holiday House in August.

I’m following up today with two spreads from the book. (And here’s the Horn Book’s recent chat with him.)

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Guojing’s The Only Child

h1 Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Guojing’s The Only Child, released just this week by Schwartz & Wade Books. This is one of the New York Times’ Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015.

The review is here, and below is some more art from the book.

Enjoy. …

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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Kate Samworth

h1 Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Author-illustrator Kate Samworth is joining me for a cyber-breakfast today with a big cup of black coffee and, she said, “since it’s a special occasion, an almond croissant.”

Kate’s debut picture book, Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual, was released last Spring by Clarion and went on to win the 2014 Kirkus Prize in the category of Young Readers’ Literature.

I wrote here at 7-Imp last year about this book (clearly, I was in my Sherlock phase), and here’s an excerpt:

“Now, this is one of the most bizarre picture books I’ve seen in a while, which at the very least brings to my mind this guy exclaiming things like ‘DON’T BE BORING.’ This book definitely has that goin’ for it.

This one is slightly macabre in spots, though I’ve sat here for entirely too long at my keyboard, thinking that ‘macabre’ isn’t precisely the word I want. How about this: The Publishers Weekly review (one starred review of several) calls it ‘unsettling and unforgettable.’ Booklist describes it as ‘original, somewhat disturbing, and wholeheartedly bizarre (but in a good way!).’ Yes, all those things, and I like it. … This is surely one of the most offbeat picture books I’ve seen in recent years.”

The book, a pretend futuristic catalog that sells bird parts so that you can build your own bird (“Renewing the World’s Bird Supply Since 2031”), shows off Kate’s immense talent with oils. Today, she’s here to share some art from the book, as well some early sketches, and she’s also going to talk a bit about what’s next for her. I thank her for visiting.

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