Archive for May, 2017

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Akiko Miyakoshi

h1 Friday, May 12th, 2017

“My mother carries me through the quiet streets.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Earth Day is every day. That’s what’s on my mind at Kirkus today, as I look at three brand-new picture books.

That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Akiko Miyakoshi’s newest picture book, originally released overseas in 2015, The Way Home in the Night (Kids Can Press, April 2017). I’m following up with some art from the book today.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �

Summer Reading with Kwame

h1 Thursday, May 11th, 2017


Here’s my favorite thing that Kwame Alexander says today in our Kirkus chat about how he’s been named the 2017 National Summer Reading Champion for the Collaborative Summer Library Program:

When I asked him what he would say to a kid who tells him summer isn’t for reading, he responded: “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just read them a poem.”

That Q&A is here.

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Photo credit: Donnie Biggs.

Catching Up with Tim Miller

h1 Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

“In the dust and dirt at the bottom of the spring, the monster grabbed Collin
and dragged him off in the direction of an impossibly huge coin pile.”
— Early character sketch and final art from Mark Riddle’s
illustrated by Tim Miller

(Click to enlarge spread)

Did you all see Mark Riddle’s Margarash (Enchanted Lion), released last November and illustrated by today’s return guest, Tim Miller? It was one of my favorite picture books of 2016, so gloriously bizarre and altogether unlike any other picture book released that year. It’s the story of a monster, named Margarash, who lives “in the deep, dark cave that lies below the cushions and springs of your couch” and one boy’s attempt to outwit him. In the end, it is, as the Kirkus review put it, a “sweet tale of a mutual passion and an unlikely friendship.”

Last Fall, Tim and I started chatting via email about the book, as well as some of his forthcoming books, and we are just now wrapping up that chat. What can I say? I got busy. He got busy. These things take time. Given my lateness in posting, now those forthcoming books are published books. Moo Moo in a Tutu (Balzer + Bray), the story of a curious, adventurous cow and his friend Mr. Quackers, was released last month. And it marks Tim’s debut as both an author and illustrator. We also talk today about his spot illustrations for Tom O’Donnell’s Hamstersaurus Rex books. (Hamstersaurus Rex, the debut, was released last October from HarperCollins, and Hamstersaurus Rex vs. Squirrel Kong releases next month.)

Let’s get right to it! It’s definitely time. I thank Tim for visiting 7-Imp again.

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #533: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Jia Liu

h1 Sunday, May 7th, 2017

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means the work of a student or debut illustrator here at 7-Imp. Visiting today is Jia Liu, who graduated from the MFA Illustration Practice Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016 and who is currently represented by Painted Words. She is also applying for an artist visa that would allow her to keep working here in the U.S.

Jia also studied picture books and illustration in China and has two books published there. “I will have two picture books coming out in 2018 [here in the U.S.],” she tells me, “published by Boyds Mills Press. I created work for children’s magazines and learning companies, as well as Port Discovery Children’s Museum. I was the student scholarship winner of SCBWI 2016.”

Below is a selection of Jia’s sketchbook images; illustrations from her new book and magazine, as well as work from an alphabet book she did at MICA; and a bit of her personal work. (She loves to draw animals.) Terrific Tongues will be her first book here in the U.S. and will be published in 2018 by Boyds Mills Press. You Can’t Hurt Me, No will be her second picture book from Boyds Mills Press, to be published the same year. “I Don’t Need Friends!,” she adds, “is a story written and illustrated by me. I am still looking for publishers.”

Read the rest of this entry �

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

h1 Friday, May 5th, 2017

Today over at Kirkus, I write about the new picture book from the very talented Akiko Miyakoshi. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Emil Sher’s Away (Groundwood, April 2017), illustrated by Qin Leng. I’m following up with a bit of art from it today.


Read the rest of this entry �

Art from Akin Düzakin, Roger Mello, and Claude Ponti

h1 Thursday, May 4th, 2017

“Is our planet the only one with life on it?
Or is the universe teeming with life?”
— From Jostein Gaarder’s
Questions Asked, illustrated by Akin Düzakin


I’ve got some art today as a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week with Kendall Storey, Co-director of Elsewhere Editions, the new children’s book imprint from Archipelago Books.

I’ve got art from Jostein Gaarder’s Questions Asked, illustrated by Akin Düzakin, to be released this month; Roger Mello’s You Can’t Be Too Careful!, released in April; and Claude Ponti’s My Valley, released in March.

Pictured above is an illustration from Gaarder’s and Düzakin’s book (and the cover to the left).

Below is a bit of art from the other two.


Read the rest of this entry �

I Pretty Much Never Miss This One . . .

h1 Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Here’s a quick post to remind those of you in and near Tennessee that it’s almost time for Knoxville’s Children’s Festival of Reading, which is one of the country’s best book festivals. You can click here to read about the authors and illustrators visiting this year (I’ll moderate a picture book panel discussion), and you can click here to read even more details about the festival.

See you there!