Archive for May, 2016

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Peter Brown, Milan Pavlovic, and Jillian Tamaki

h1 Friday, May 13th, 2016

“There was only one place Brightbill could have gone. The robot gravesite.
So Roz galloped northward.”
— From Peter Brown’s
The Wild Robot


“‘He’s here!’ she yelled, and ran outside. The moment her father stepped out,
Gertie threw her arms around him, and he
hugged her back so hard he lifted her off the ground.”
— From Kate Beasley’s
Gertie’s Leap to Greatness,
illustrated by Jillian Tamaki


“While I was spying on them, kind of wondering what Kabungo would say next, Miss VeDore looked up and said in her whispery way, ‘Have a seat, dear. And … some tea?'”
— From Rolli’s
Kabungo, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic

Over at Kirkus today, I write about Sergio Ruzzier’s new picture book, This Is Not a Picture Book! (Chronicle, May 2016). That is here. I’ll follow up next week with some art and preliminary images from the book.

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Last week, I wrote here about four new novels, and since three of them are illustrated (Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot, published by Little, Brown in April; Kate Beasley’s Gertie’s Leap to Greatness, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and coming by way of Farrar, Straus and Giroux in October; and Rolli’s Kabungo, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic and published by Groundwood Books in April), I’m sharing some art from them today. (Peter Brown threw in some early sketches, too.)


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My Kirkus Q&A with Denise Fleming

h1 Thursday, May 12th, 2016

I am pretty much the same person I was at age 4 or 5. I like the same things. I am still bossy and messy. Animals were my best friends then — and now. Still like to make things using bright colors. Abhor bedtime. Peanut butter, pickles, chocolate, and cheese and chips are my favorite foods. Have added iced tea. Want to touch things I am told not to. Not fond of combing my hair.

See, the younger ones are my peeps. I know them through and through. Those older ones are more complicated.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Dense Fleming, pictured here, whose debut picture book is 25 years old this year. At Kirkus, we talk primarily about her newest book, Maggie and Michael Get Dressed, but we chat about more, too.

That is here this morning.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Denise Fleming used by her permission.


The Best Thing You’ll Read All Day

h1 Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Click the image below for some wise words from author-illustrator Sergio Ruzzier.

Thanks, Sergio and the Nerdy Book Club.


7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #482: Featuring Isol

h1 Sunday, May 8th, 2016

(Click to enlarge)

Hello, dear kickers. I’ve got an alphabet book today, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It’s from Argentine author-illustrator Isol, who won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2013.

Daytime Visons: An Alphabet comes to readers this month by way of Enchanted Lion Books. Isol originally wrote it in Spanish. As she points out in the book’s closing note, “These images were first created using Spanish letters as Spanish is my mother tongue. Translating them into English involved a kind of reinvention. It was fun getting these scenes and characters to enter into a new conversation in English, where they found new ways to live together.” (She goes on to note that she had a lot of help from the wonderful Claudia Zoe Bedrick, as well as Elisa Amado.)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Irene Dickson, Emily Gravett, and Kazue Takahashi

h1 Friday, May 6th, 2016

— From Kuma-Kuma Chan’s Home:
“I walk into his home.
It smells slightly of bear.”

(Click to enlarge)


— From Bear & Hare—Where’s Bear?:
(Click to enlarge)


— From Blocks:
Note: The text here is different than it appears in the book.
(Click to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some new children’s lit novels on the mind. That link is here.

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Last week (here), I wrote about Kazue Takahashi’s Kuma-Kuma Chan’s Home (Museyon), originally released in 2001 in Japan but on U.S. shelves this month; Emily Gravett’s Bear & Hare—Where’s Bear? (Simon & Schuster), originally released two years ago but also on U.S. shelves, as of last month; and Irene Dickson’s Blocks (Candlewick, May 2016).

I’ve got some art from each book today. Enjoy!

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Throwback Thursday

h1 Thursday, May 5th, 2016

From Do You See What I See? —
“Up and down lines pull me up, up, up with them, until I feel as tall as a steeple and as taut as a stretched rubber band. I think of lofty trees, a lighthouse rising above the sea, a rocket soaring high into the sky, noble kings in flowing robes.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


From Do You Hear What I Hear? —
“I hear sounds everywhere around me. Sounds can do many different things. They can put me to sleep—like a lullaby. Or they can wake me up—like an alarm clock. They can take me by surprise—like a sneeze. Or they can follow me—like an echo.”
(Click to see spread in its entirety)

Isn’t that what the world of social media calls it? “Throwback Thursday”? I might have just gotten that all wrong.

Anyway. Last week, I chatted here at Kirkus with Helen Borten about the re-printing this year of picture books she created decades ago.

Today, I’m following up with art from Do You Hear What I Hear?, originally published in 1960, and Do You See What I See?, originally published in 1959 — which Flying Eye Books is giving new life.


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Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids

h1 Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

One of my favorite picture books of 2016 thus far is Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids (Roaring Brook, May 2016). I’ve got a review of it over at BookPage. That is here.

Today, Lane shares some early studies and sketches, as well as some final art from the book.


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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Brianne Farley

h1 Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Several weeks ago at Kirkus, I wrote here about Brianne Farley’s new picture book, Secret Tree Fort, published by Candlewick just last month. When I write about picture books over at Kirkus, I always like to follow up with art about a week later here at 7-Imp. I can’t write about picture books without also sharing art; it’s a compulsion. But then I got to talking to Brianne, pictured above in her home state of Michigan, about visiting for a full-on breakfast interview, instead of just sharing a few spreads. And here we are today: She’s joining me for a cyber-breakfast — her choice, which is a small cup of strong coffee, yogurt, and granola with fruit. “Or sometimes Grape-Nuts instead of granola,” she told me. “I’m 100 years old.” I’m down with that. I’ll be 100 years old with her. Grape-Nuts it is.

The guy pictured just above here on the left, who makes me laugh, is from Secret Tree Fort. I’d tell you all about how entertaining that book is, but you can also just visit the aforementioned Kirkus link, where I went on about it. And I had a lot of fun with this interview. I like seeing Brianne’s art and can’t wait to see what she does next. She also makes me laugh, and I hope one day we have a very real, non-cyber breakfast in person.

Should I say something overreaching here about how you should join me in this treehouse of an interview? Climb up the ladder and I’ve got the s’mores inside? Nah, let’s just get right to it. Enjoy ALL THE ART!

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The Mother of All Posts

h1 Monday, May 2nd, 2016


I joined a few other children’s lit folks over at Slate Magazine to discuss children’s books that celebrate motherhood. Click on the image above to see the gallery of titles.

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #481: Featuring David Litchfield

h1 Sunday, May 1st, 2016

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means that here in 7-Imp Land I take a look at the work of an up-and-coming illustrator. Today, instead of a student, I’ve got a debut author-illustrator. David Litchfield’s new book, The Bear and the Piano (Clarion), was evidently inspired (in part) by the White Stripes’ song “Little Room.” It was published in the U.K. last year but arrived on U.S. shelves at the beginning of this month.

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