Archive for March, 2017

What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today

h1 Friday, March 31st, 2017

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some new easy readers on the mind. (One is pictured above.)

That is here.

Until Sunday …

My Kirkus Q&A with Lorena Alvarez

h1 Thursday, March 30th, 2017

(Click to enlarge photo)


The idea of Nightlights came from a very early memory. When I was a kid, I used to stay awake at night, and I could see little color dots in the dark, like glitter. I used to imagine that I could catch those dots and release them, while drawing any shape I wanted. ”

* * *

This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to author-illustrator Lorena Alvarez about her new graphic novel, Nightlights (Nobrow, March 2017).

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp I’ll have some more spreads from the book.

* * * * * * *

Photo of Lorena Alvarez used by her permission.


h1 Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

(Click to enlarge cover)


I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Ed Galing’s Tony (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, February 2017), illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Such a beautiful book.

That review is here.

p.s. If you’re interested in more about this book, don’t miss Sarah Larson’s New Yorker article.

Until Thursday …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #527: Featuring Emily Gravett

h1 Sunday, March 26th, 2017

“He picked up stray sticks, he swept and he rubbed.
He polished the rocks, and he scoured and he scrubbed.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Emily Gravett’s Tidy ((Simon & Schuster, March 2017).

That review is here, and I’m following up today with a few spreads from the book.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Komako Sakai

h1 Friday, March 24th, 2017

“When she held the kitten, its tummy moved in and out and it purred deep in its throat. ‘Even though it’s so tiny,’ Hina said, ‘it’s alive.’ The kitten gave a little mew,
as if saying goodbye to its mother.”
— From Lee’s
The Lost Kitten, illustrated by Komako Sakai
(Click to enlarge)


— From Kimiko Aman’s The Fox Wish,
illustrated by Komako Sakai

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got the ladies on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about two new illustrated books from Komako Sakai — Kimiko Aman’s The Fox Wish (Chronicle, March 2017) and Lee’s The Lost Kitten (Gecko, April 2017). I’m following up today with art from each book.


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Jon Agee’s Life on Mars

h1 Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

I’ve got a BookPage review here of Jon Agee’s Life on Mars (Dial, February 2017). And I’m following up that review today here at 7-Imp with some spreads from the book.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #526:
Featuring Lemniscates and Isabelle Simler

h1 Sunday, March 19th, 2017

“Trees have their heads in the clouds …”
— From Lemniscates’s
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The wings of blue morpho butterflies sparkle against the morning glories.”
— From Isabelle Simler’s
The Blue Hour
(Click to enlarge spread)

This post today is brought to you by my love for the color blue.

Today, I’ve got some illustrations from Isabelle Simler’s The Blue Hour, which was originally released in France in 2015 but arrived on U.S. shelves last month (Eerdmans). Trees (Candlewick Studio, March 2017), written and illustrated by Lemniscates, has a 2015 copyright date, but I’m unsure if it was previously published elsewhere. You can read here all about the artist behind the name Lemniscates. (Please note that some of the colors in some of these illustrations from The Blue Hour today appear a bit brighter than they do in the book. I tried to fix that but was unable to. It’s all the more reason to go find a copy of the book for yourself, right?)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Elisha Cooper, Tao Nyeu, & Taeeun Yoo

h1 Friday, March 17th, 2017

— From Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat


— From Joyce Sidman’s Round, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
(Click to enlarge)


— From Kate McMullan’s Mama’s Kisses, illustrated by Tao Nyeu
(Click to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a bit of a Komako Sakai appreciation, given that she has two new illustrated books out this Spring.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Elisha Cooper’s Big Cat, Little Cat (Roaring Brook, March 2017); Joyce Sidman’s Round (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2017), illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; and Kate McMullan’s Mama’s Kisses (Dial, March 2017), illustrated by Tao Nyeu.

I’m following up with some art from each book today, and Elisha is here to tell us more about Big Cat, Little Cat.

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The Magic Touch of Staying in Closer Touch

h1 Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I’ve got something entirely different over at Kirkus today. Instead of talking to a picture book or middle-grade author or to an illustrator, I talk to a volunteer for a literacy program run by Ann Arbor’s Children’s Literacy Network. This non-profit organization’s program, called Staying in Closer Touch, unites incarcerated parents and their children through children’s books. I heard all about it on a recent visit to Ann Arbor and wanted to write about it, should other literacy non-profits want to learn more.

That Q&A with volunteer Bonnie Schramm is here. (Corduroy is mentioned in our chat. Hence, the image here.)

Until tomorrow …

Seven Questions Over Lunch with Viviane Schwarz

h1 Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Although I’ve featured art from her books over the last several years, the last time British author-illustrator Viviane Schwarz visited was 2009. (That was fun.) It’s a pleasure to have her visit today for some coffee. We’re having lunch, not breakfast, because I had a slow start to my day. But we’ll still have coffee, while she shows me some of her art, because she’s a fan. “I have one cup of black coffee,” she said when I asked her about breakfast, “on the sofa, watching whatever black-and-white movie is on. That is a good breakfast. An excellent breakfast is when it’s sunny, and I have time to cook up eggs and marmite soldiers and take them into the park to eat under a tree.”

I had to look up what marmite soldiers are, but I fully approve. I also approve of going to the park. (Right about now, I wish this weren’t a cyber-breakfast and that we were really heading outside.) And I think that what was once going to be breakfast would still serve as a great lunch.

Not only do I enjoy Viviane’s books and her artwork, but I enjoyed reading many of her responses today. I thank her for sharing art in this interview — and for creating some of the pieces, such as the one above, specifically for her 7-Imp visit.

Let’s get to it. ….

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