Archive for January, 2017

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Brian Pinkney

h1 Friday, January 13th, 2017

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got Nikki Grimes’ excellent new poetry collection. That is here.

* * *

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some of Brian Pinkney’s illustrations from Patricia C. McKissack’s Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood (Schwartz & Wade, January 2016) — as a follow-up to last week’s column.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �

Following Up with Greg Pizzoli

h1 Thursday, January 12th, 2017

As a follow-up to my chat with author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli at Kirkus last week (where I learned what Rubylith is), I’ve got a bit more of his process images from Margaret Wise Brown’s North, South, East, West, coming to shelves this month from Harper.


Read the rest of this entry �

The Secret Project

h1 Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Coming in early February from Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter is a picture book for young children about the team of people who worked under cover to bring the world the atomic bomb, The Secret Project (Beach Lane Books).

I wonder: Have we seen this topic covered in picture books before? There’s Umberto Eco’s The Bomb and the General, published in 1966 and illustrated by Eugenio Carmi, but that’s fiction and hardly close. There’s Toshi Maruki’s Hiroshima No Pika, published in 1982, but that’s about the bombing itself and the destruction it caused. Right about now is when I wish my fingers had access to the kind of powerful database—that is, the kind I used to have when working in a library—that could do this search for me, a search beyond a Web search, to see what informational picture books may be out there. Still, I imagine any that may exist are geared at slightly older readers—such as books like Clive A. Lawton’s Hiroshima (2004), clearly aimed at middle-schoolers—while the Winters’ collaboration is squarely aimed at kindergarten to third-graders (at least according to the publisher). Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #517: Featuring Anne Hunter

h1 Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Dear Imps, I know it’s 2017 and all that, but let’s look back one more time to 2016 and the publication (in March) of author-illustrator Anne Hunter’s Cricket Song (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). It’s a lovely book, and it need not go by unblogged about.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Chris Appelhans and Steve Light

h1 Friday, January 6th, 2017

— From Steve Light’s Lucky Lazlo


“A greyhound, a groundhog,
a found little
— From Emily Jenkins’s
A Greyhound, a Groundhog
(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Patricia McKissack’s superb new book. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Emily Jenkins’s A Greyhound, a Groundhog (Schwartz & Wade, January 2017), illustrated by Chris Appelhans, as well as Steve Light’s Lucky Lazlo (Candlewick, December 2016).

I’m following up with some art from each book today, and Steve also shares some thoughts on Lazlo, as well as some early sketches and such. I thank him for sharing.

Read the rest of this entry �

My Kirkus Chat with Greg Pizzoli

h1 Thursday, January 5th, 2017

I’m really happy with how it came out, but it feels a little unreal. I have a finished copy of the book in my studio and I still feel a strong sense of disbelief when I see my name on the same cover as Margaret Wise Brown. It’s a huge honor.”

* * *

Wanna take to the air with me today with both Margaret Wise Brown and author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli?

Today over at Kirkus, I talk with Greg. We discuss his latest project, his illustrations for a never-before-seen manuscript from Margaret Wise Brown (Harper, January 2017).

That Q&A is here.

I’ll have even more process images and art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

Until tomorrow …


A Love Letter of a Review

h1 Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Early Gazelle sketch and a final spread: “Dear Gazelle,
For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you. …”

(Click second image to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of one of the funniest picture books I’ve read in a while, as in this right here, everyone, is how you do up a funny picture book. It’s Adam Rex’s XO, OX: A Love Story (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Books, January 2017), illustrated by Scott Campbell. I’ve been sharing this one with any and everyone who will humor me with my dramatic recitation of it.

The review is here. And today here at 7-Imp, Scott is sharing some early sketches and such. I’ve spent entirely too long lingering over his character roughs. So good, these drawings. So fantastic, these characters.

And I’ve got a few final spreads from the book, too.



Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #516: Featuring Carin Berger

h1 Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Work-in-process image and final illustration from
Good Night! Good Night!

It’s a miracle this post is even up. I’ve lost track of the days, as one is wont to do during the holidays. I’ve had fun not working (mostly), not making plans, and (mostly) not firing up my computer.

Happy New Year, dear Imps! It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I normally feature a student or debut illustrator, but I’m breaking the rules today. I’m happy to feature artwork from Carin Berger, which has become another 7-Imp tradition of sorts for me. It just occurred to me that there have been a few years (here and here, as but two examples) where Carin has visited the site to share art early in the year. So, I think 2017 should be no exception.

Read the rest of this entry �