Archive for February, 2016

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Roger Duvoisin, Crockett Johnson, and William Steig

h1 Friday, February 12th, 2016

“It doesn’t pay to get too fonda /
Your python or your anaconda.”
— From
Consider the Lemming


— From the endpapers of Donkey-Donkey


“There was a little little bird.”
— From
The Happy Egg
(Click image to see spread with text and in its entirety)

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got Valentine’s Day on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about some recent and upcoming picture book reissues — Roger Duvoisin’s Donkey-Donkey, three books by Jeanne and William Steig, and The Happy Egg by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson. I’m following up today with art from each book.

[Please note: Some of the colors are slightly brighter in some of the art below. In the case of The Happy Egg, the yellow is significantly brighter than it appears in the book. Computers. What can you do?]


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A Moment with Rachel Isadora’s Art

h1 Thursday, February 11th, 2016

I’ve got some art today from Rachel Isadora’s I Hear a Pickle: (And Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!), published last month by Nancy Paulsen Books, as a follow-up to the Q&A I did with her last week at Kirkus.


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Bloom — And a Visit with David Small

h1 Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

“Once upon a time, in a beautiful glass kingdom,
there lived an unusual fairy named Bloom. …”

(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review here of Doreen Cronin’s Bloom, illustrated by David Small (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, February 2016).

As a follow-up to that, David is sharing today some early sketches/images from the book, as well as some thoughts about those preliminary images, and I’ve got some final spreads from the book too. (Please note that, in the final spreads, the colors appear slightly darker/bolder than they do in the book. Ah, computers.)

I thank David for sharing. Enjoy!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #469: Featuring Chloe Bonfield

h1 Sunday, February 7th, 2016

“Jack reached a hill and climbed to the top. No perfect trees were there.
He climbed down the other side. Nothing.
The perfect tree was really very hard to find.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got a review here over at BookPage of Chloe Bonfield’s The Perfect Tree (Running Press, January 2016). This is the debut book for Bonfield, who lives in London. I’m following up that review today with two spreads from the book.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Charlotte Voake
(And a Bit from David McPhail)

h1 Friday, February 5th, 2016

— From Beatrix Potter &
the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig
(Click to enlarge)


— From Say It!

Today at Kirkus, I look at some reissues that make me happy. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about, in part, Deborah Hopkinson’s newest picture book, Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig (Schwartz & Wade, February 2016), illustrated by Charlotte Voake. I’ve got art from that today.

And, because I love Voake’s illustrations so much, I’ve also got art here today from Say It!, which was reissued last September (Candlewick) with illustrations from Voake. The book was originally published in 1980 and was illustrated by James Stevenson. This reissue is oh-so beautiful.

AND … one more! Since we’re on the topic of Beatrix Potter, I’ve got a spread below from David McPhail’s Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box, which was released last October (Henry Holt).


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My Chat with Rachel Isadora

h1 Thursday, February 4th, 2016

I love telling stories, and I would say that writing and illustrating for children is not really different from writing or illustrating for adults. The plots might be more complicated, but the messages and connections with the reader are the same. That is why children and adults share joy when experiencing a book together.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Rachel Isadora, quoted here, about her new book — and about her career of making picture books for children, which began in the ’70s.

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

Two Things Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

I’m gonna resort to my favorite, the rock-and-roll hands:

I’m Chicago-bound on Friday to talk about blogging at the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books at National Louis University. Since 7-Imp is 10 years old this year, I could talk all day but instead have one hour to fill. If you’re in Chicago and signed up for this, come say hi. Here’s the info.


Here At Kirkus, I’m looking at The Stories in Between and “informational literacy and historical thinking.” (If you read it, you’ll see this is take-two on the column that was up for just a little while on Friday.)


I’ll be back later this week. Happy reading!