Archive for April, 2017

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #531: Featuring Brian Floca

h1 Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

“… Then an idea came to her. She found her nanny’s mop and
took the stringy part off the stick. She tied the stringy part to the crocodile’s head.
The yarn in the mop was the same shade of brown as Princess Cora’s hair.”

(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)

Good morning, one and all. I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Laura Amy Schlitz’s Princess Cora and the Crocodile (Candlewick, March 2017), illustrated by Brian Floca. Such a good book, all 80 pages of it. If you want to read all about it, head here.

Today here at 7-Imp is a bit of art from the book.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Maria Dek,
Matt Forsythe, Lois Long, and Marc Martin

h1 Friday, April 21st, 2017

— from John Cage’s Mud Book: How to Make Pies and Cakes,
illustrated by Lois Long


— from Marc Martin’s A River
(Click to enlarge spread)


“The forest grew still. The only sound was the wind rustling the leaves ….”
— From Kirsten Hall’s
The Gold Leaf, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
(Click to enlarge spread — the text here varies slightly from the text in the final book)


“The forest is full of burrows, hollows, and nests. …”
— From Maria Dek’s
A Walk in the Forest
(Click to enlarge spread)


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

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Maria Dek’s A Walk in the Forest (Princeton Architectural Press, April 2017); Marc Martin’s A River (Chronicle, March 2017); Kirsten Hall’s The Gold Leaf (Enchanted Lion), illustrated by Matthew Forsythe and arriving on shelves next month; and John Cage’s Mud Book: How to Make Pies and Cakes (Princeton Architectural Press, April 2017), illustrated by Lois Long.

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

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The Power of the Green Pants

h1 Thursday, April 20th, 2017

“‘Would you like to be in our wedding?’ Jo asked.
Absolutely,’ Jameson replied, staring deeply into Jo’s bright eyes.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Two of my favorite picture books thus far this year have the word “pants” in the title. “Pants” is, indeed, a fabulous word.

Today, as a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week with author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel, I have a bit of art from Green Pants (Candlewick, March 2017).

(More later on that other picture book …)

Until tomorrow …

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A Mighty, Mighty Peek at Picture-Book Process

h1 Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

One of my favorite things is when illustrator Tom Lichtenheld stops by 7-Imp to talk about the thought processes that go behind his work. (He’s done that at least once before.)

Today, he visits to talk about creating the artwork for Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, released earlier this year. This is the sequel to 2011’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (which has a great publication story). Bonafide bestsellers these books are. And this follow-up, which introduces some new characters, delivers the goods. Best of all in this new story, Skid Steer and Mighty Flatbed are explicitly she machines. Attagirls!

Let’s get right to it so that Tom can do his thing. I thank him for visiting.

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Remembering Patricia McKissack . . .

h1 Monday, April 17th, 2017


There have been several heartfelt tributes to author Patricia McKissack written in the past week or so, since her death on April 7. Tennessee’s own Chapter 16 pays tribute to her work at their site today, as she was born and raised here in middle Tennessee (and, as you will read, Nashville Public Library has some special art from one of her stories on its walls).

That is here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #530: Featuring Sydney Smith

h1 Sunday, April 16th, 2017

“We go so high I can see far out to sea.”

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Joanne Schwartz’s Town Is by the Sea (Groundwood, April 2017), illustrated by Sydney Smith. You can head here to read the review, but let me say one more time here at 7-Imp: This is one of the most beautiful picture books you’ll see this year. In fact, this is one of the most beautiful picture books you’ll ever see. (Those are some serious words, but I mean them.)

I’m following up here at 7-Imp today with some art from the book, and Sydney also sent what he calls some sketches and B-sides. I thank him for sharing.


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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Jacques Goldstyn

h1 Friday, April 14th, 2017

“To tell you the truth, I have a feeling I’m not like other people. …”
(Click to enlarge spread)

This week at Kirkus, I’ve got the outdoors on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Jacques Goldstyn’s Bertolt, so I’m following up with some art from the book today.


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My Kirkus Q&A with Kenneth Kraegel

h1 Thursday, April 13th, 2017

In nature, almost every surface is patterned or varied; tree bark, sand, grasses, even snow is made up of individual snowflakes, if you look closely. Human-made materials tend to be more uniform and monotone — plastic, drywall, paper. I think those natural surfaces that show more and more detail the closer you look are extraordinarily beautiful and, I suppose, that is what I am aiming for when I make a picture, a complexity that you don’t see at first glance.”

* * *

Today over Kirkus, I talk with author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel about his new picture book, Green Pants (Candlewick, March 2017).

That Q&A is here this morning.

I’ll have art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

* * * * * * *

Photo of Kenneth Kraegel taken by Brooke Collier.

A Letter to My Teacher

h1 Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Deborah Hopkinson’s A Letter to My Teacher (Schwartz & Wade, April 2017), illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. That is here, and I’m following up today with a bit of art from the book.

Until Thursday …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #529: Featuring Corinna Luyken

h1 Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Today, debut author-illustrator Corinna Luyken visits to talk about The Book of Mistakes (Dial), which will be on shelves in mid-April.

This beautiful book, which celebrates the imaginative, playful spirit of an artist letting mistakes guide her work, is more than just an embracing of the artistic process, both messy and lovely. It’s also quite the odyssey, one that takes readers on unexpected paths, opening minds and perspectives. I don’t want to say much more than that, because I wouldn’t want to ruin the reading experience for you. You really want to see this one — and not just for the journey of the mind it takes you on. The art is also exquisite and the palette, warm and inviting.

Another reason not to go on and on is that Corinna is here, visiting today to tell us all about the book — and share lots of art. I thank her for visiting! Let’s get to it so that we can hear more.

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