Archive for July, 2016

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #491: Featuring Antoinette Portis

h1 Sunday, July 10th, 2016

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Antoinette Portis’s entertaining new picture book, Best Frints in the Whole Universe (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, July 2016).

The review is here. Now, normally I’d share some spreads from the book here, but Antoinette actually already shared some spreads from this one here at 7-Imp. When she visited in August of last year to talk about Wait, she talked about Best Frints and shared a handful of spreads. So, if you want to check those out, they are here in this post — towards the bottom.

It was fun to give you all a sneak-peek of Best Frints last year, but it’s even better to see it on shelves now.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Greg Pizzoli, Salina Yoon, and Toni Yuly

h1 Friday, July 8th, 2016

— From Salina Yoon’s Duck, Duck, Porcupine!


“Cat is sleepy. He wants to nap.
Kitten is curious. She wants to play …”
— From Toni Yuly’s
Cat Nap
(Click to enlarge)


— From Greg Pizzoli’s What’s an Apple?

Today over at Kirkus, I look at Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? (coming to shelves in August from Simon & Schuster) in which Dan Richards and Jeff Newman explore what it looks like to a child when a parent stares into a cell phone. But mostly they tell an entertaining story. With floating elephants.

That is here.

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Last week I wrote here about Salina Yoon’s Duck, Duck, Porcupine! (Bloomsbury, May 2016); Toni Yuly’s Cat Nap (Feiwel & Friends, January 2016); and Marilyn Singer’s What’s an Apple? and What’s a Banana?, both illustrated by Greg Pizzoli and coming to shelves in August from Abrams.

I’ve got art from each book below, and Greg also shares some early character sketches and such.


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My Kirkus Q&A with Jeannie Baker

h1 Thursday, July 7th, 2016

I was lucky enough to have Raymond Briggs as one of my tutors at Art College. I think he has inspired me more than anyone. As a tutor, he was always very positive and encouraging. Initially, I had a very small and clichéd idea of what a children’s picture book should be. Raymond’s work made me realize the potential of a picture book — that its boundaries and possibilities are wide and exciting and, mostly, that I’m only limited by my imagination.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to Australian author-illustrator Jeannie Baker, pictured here, about her newest picture book, Circle (Candlewick, May 2016).

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

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Jeannie used by permission of Candlewick Press.


Seven Questions Over Lunch with Evan Turk

h1 Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

“Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the fertile Kingdom of Morocco formed near the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains of cool, delicious water to quench the dangerous thirst of the desert,
and storytellers to bring the people together.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

This is supposed to be Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Evan Turk but it’s lunch instead, since I’m slow in getting started today. That’s okay, because Evan says he’s not a breakfast-eater anyway. He is, however, a fan of coffee, which we can have any time of day. Of course.

Evan has illustrated what I think is one of the year’s most beautiful picture books, The Storyteller (Atheneum, June 2016), which is the first book he’s both written and illustrated. (The book’s opening spread is pictured above.) It’s a story within a story within a story, and it’s a visual tour de force. In August, we’ll see his illustrations for the follow-up to Bethany Hegedus’ and Arun Gandhi’s Grandfather Gandhi, which was released in 2014 and was the book that first introduced readers to his artwork. In Be The Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, Bethany and Arun examine how wastefulness can lead to violence.

Evan is here today to share lots of art from each book, as well as preliminary images of all sorts (boy howdy, does this guy do his research — and what beautiful research it is), and he talks a bit about what’s next for him. I thank him for visiting and, especially, for sharing so much art.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #490: Featuring Esmé Shapiro

h1 Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

It’s the first Sunday of the month, when I typically feature student or newly-graduated illustrators. I actually featured a student last week (just because), and today I’m doing something slightly different.

Back in September of 2014 (here), I featured the work of Esmé Shapiro, who had just graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with her BFA in Illustration. Esmé is now seeing the publication of her debut picture book, Ooko (Tundra Books, July 2016), so I thought it’d be fun to have her back. Pictured above is the cover.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Boris Kulikov

h1 Friday, July 1st, 2016

“‘You’re really going?’ his mother said.
‘Yes.’ Angus put on his backpack.
‘I’ll miss you.’
‘No, you won’t,’ Angus said, and left.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got some new emerging-reader books on the mind. That link is here.

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I’ve got a couple of spreads here today at 7-Imp from Patrick Downes’s Come Home, Angus (Orchard/Scholastic, July 2016), illustrated by Boris Kulikov. I wrote about the book here at Kirkus last week. You can click below to see one more spread.


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