Archive for June, 2016

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #487: Featuring Lynn Rae Perkins

h1 Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Good morning, dear Imps!

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Lynne Rae Perkins’s Frank and Lucky Get Schooled (Greenwillow, June 2016), which is such an excellent picture book. Normally, I like to link to these reviews from here at 7-Imp so that I can also show you some art from the book. But today, I don’t have art; I’m going to just link you to the review. And that’s because BookPage chose the book as a Children’s Top Pick for this month. This means they included two spreads from the book in their review, to which I enthusiastically say (because I’ve already had my coffee this morning and am capable of enthusiasm by this point), YAY!

So, you can head over here to read all about it and see that bit of art, which I highly recommend, because—as I’ve already noted and as I say in the review—it’s such a well-crafted book. And, if you love picture books as much as I do, you don’t want to miss it.

[Fun Fact, speaking of Ms. Perkins: Home Lovely is one of my favorite picture books of all time.]

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Yasmeen Ismail and Qin Leng

h1 Friday, June 10th, 2016

“… but I’m sweet and sour, not a little flower!”
— From Yasmeen Ismail’s
I’m a Girl!
(Click to enlarge spread)


“‘One of my dads is tall and one is short. They both give good hugs.'”
— From Sara O’Leary’s
A Family Is a Family Is a Family, illustrated by Qin Leng
(Click to enlarge spread)


Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got two new picture books that play with shape, line, color, and space in smart ways. That link is here.

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Last week, since I wrote here about Yasmeen Ismail’s I’m a Girl! (Bloomsbury, June 2016) and Sara O’Leary’s A Family Is a Family Is a Family (Groundwood, September 2016), illustrated by Qin Leng, I’m following up with art from each book today.


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Mischief with Marciano

h1 Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Over pie and coffee, I pitched Sophie a couple ideas. One was nothing more than a setting—a small city in southern Italy I had visited a dozen years earlier. The thing about Benevento is that it was totally infested with witches of all kinds, and for generations kids had to learn strategies on how to avoid them just to get through their day.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator John Bemelmans Marciano, pictured here, about The Witches of Benevento, his new chapter book series illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

That is here this morning. Next week at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some art from the series.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of John used by his permission.


Father’s Day at Slate

h1 Tuesday, June 7th, 2016


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

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #486: Featuring Lisa Brown

h1 Sunday, June 5th, 2016

“Inside the airport you stand in lines.
You stand in lines to get your ticket. You stand in lines to check your bags.
There are lines for the restrooms. There are lines to go through security.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Arriving just last month (is it already June?) on bookshelves was Lisa Brown’s newest picture book, The Airport Book (A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press). Have you seen it, dear Imps? It follows a family of four on a trip, who make their way through an airport. And it is, as the title tells you, all about the airport experience itself.

This makes me happy, because have I ever said that I love to people-watch in airports? I do. (The tearful goodbyes! The happy hellos! The relieved goodbyes! The resentful hellos!) And if you follow Lisa’s work, you know she does daily sketches, which are often of people. And I like her daily sketches very much. So, this book combines two very good things — that is, an airport with lots of Lisa Brown-rendered people in it.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Faith Ringgold

h1 Friday, June 3rd, 2016

“We are ALL Americans,
Just the same.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

This morning at Kirkus, I have two new picture books (one will be on shelves in September) all about defying labels. That is here.

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Last week, I talked here with Faith Ringgold. I’m following up today with two spreads (one above) from her new book, We Came to America (Knopf, May 2016).


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The Rabbit hOle, the world’s first ExploraStorium

h1 Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

By now, you may have already read about The Rabbit hOle, the ambitious new project from the owners of Reading Reptile, a children’s bookstore in Kansas City, Missouri. The video above is a great introduction to the project, and not just for the reference to rye whiskey.

This Kansas City Star article from April of this year is a good way to get the low-down on the project. As noted there, what Deb and Pete are going for is “a huge immersive museum and attraction called The Rabbit hOle, an ever-changing celebration of children’s literature. They’ve deemed it the world’s first Explorastorium.” They also like to think of it as a National Center for the Children’s Book. You could also watch this:

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