Archive for June, 2017

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #538: Featuring Matthew Cordell

h1 Sunday, June 11th, 2017

This week in the world of social media, I saw these pen-and-ink drawings done by author-illustrator Matthew Cordell, and I love them so. I asked for his permission to share them here, and voilà! Here they are. Evidently, he made these drawings while watching his daughter slayin’ it, as he put it, at a recent Matilda performance. Isn’t she fierce?

Actually, I stand corrected: It’s award-winning author-illustrator Matthew Cordell. Just last week, when the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced, Matt’s Wolf in the Snow was named an Honor book in the Picture Book category. (Here is where Matt and I chatted about it back in February.) Congrats to him! I was really happy with all those winning books.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Jay Fleck and Charise Mericle Harper

h1 Friday, June 9th, 2017

— From Charise Mericle Harper’s The Good for Nothing Button!


“Point of view (where you are) can affect what you see …”
— From Susan Hood’s
Double Take! A New Look at Opposites,
illustrated by Jay Fleck
(Click to enlarge spread)


Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got two brand-new picture books, beautiful stories about making it through the rain in more ways than one.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about the deep thoughts of Charise Mericle Harper’s The Good for Nothing Button! (Disney, May 2017) and Susan Hood’s Double Take! A New Look at Opposites (Candlewick), illustrated by Jay Fleck and coming to shelves in June.

I’m following up with some art from each book today.


Read the rest of this entry �

My Kirkus Q&A with Hope Anita Smith

h1 Thursday, June 8th, 2017

I’m a storyteller. I love telling stories. I’ve found poetry to be one of the most beautiful and effective ways to do that. Poems say what they have to say, and then they are silent. The rest is up to the reader – what they get out of them and how that makes them feel. I want them to feel something. I always want them to feel something.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author, poet, and illustrator Hope Anita Smith, pictured here, about her newest picture book, My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads (Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt, May 2017).

That is here.

Next week, I’ll follow up with some of her torn-paper art from the book.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo used by permission of Hope Anita Smith.

Doodles and Daydreams

h1 Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

“That night just as Sarabella was about to give up, a whale of a thought appeared on the horizon. The closer it go, the more beautiful it became. And though it was the most enormous creature she had ever seen, Sarabella felt unafraid. ‘Do you know what I think?’ asked the whale. ‘I can see what you think,’ replied Sarabella. ‘And so should everyone else,’ said the whale. ‘To share it, you’ve just got to wear it.’
Then the whale blew Sarabella a kiss before she swam off.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Today’s post is a bit of a preview. This September (from Dial Books), readers will see Judy Schachner’s Sarabella’s Thinking Cap, a picture book that is an explosion of color, as well as a tribute to those deep-thinking, philosophically-minded students in class who have trouble focusing, all on account of the boatloads of thoughts in their heads.

I’ve an F&G, and I like it. It’s more than a tribute to a child’s imagination; it’s a story that shows the reality of how challenging it can sometimes be for students like that to fit into the traditional classroom mold.

“Sarabella had no time for small talk,” the book opens. “In fact, she never talked much at all … because she was too busy thinking.” Sarabella, as her (similarly creative) family likes to put it, has her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds. She has “daydreams in her DNA,” her mother tells her. She comes home with report cards from her teacher, Mr. Fantozzi, who appreciates her creative mind, yet also feels the need to curtail the imaginative wanderings. In other words, he consistently notes, she needs to learn to focus.

Read the rest of this entry �

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #537: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Mika Song

h1 Sunday, June 4th, 2017

I love the first Sunday of each month here at 7-Imp, because that’s when we all get to see the work of student or debut illustrators. Today, author-illustrator Mika Song visits. She’s not a student, and her newest book is not her debut. But she’s still relatively new to children’s lit, and I’m happy to showcase her work today. Let’s get right to it, because she tells us a bit about her work and shares some artwork and sketches below. I thank her for visiting.

Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Mike Curato,
Rafael López, William Low, and Marc Martin

h1 Friday, June 2nd, 2017

“Crimson red is my favorite color because it is the color of the crimson rosella,
a parrot found in southeastern Australia, where I live.”

(Click to enlarge spread, created by Marc Martin)

Come dig deep with me over at Kirkus today.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about What’s Your Favorite Color? (an Eric Carle and Friends book, published by Godwin Books/Henry Holt), which features the work of a slew of talented authors and illustrators and will be on shelves in August. Today, I’ve got a small handful of spreads from the book.


Read the rest of this entry �

Things That Make Me Happy to See . . .

h1 Thursday, June 1st, 2017


Normally, when I do a Kirkus Q&A, as I did last week, I follow up the following week with art here at 7-Imp from the picture books I write about. I have no art for you this week, since my Q&A last week was not about a picture book. But I’m still doing a quick post. Wanna know why?

My Q&A (here) was with Deborah Heiligman, and we talked about her new book, Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, published by Henry Holt in April. Yesterday, it up and won the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in the category of Nonfiction, which made me happy to see!

In fact, all their choices in all categories were so good that it’s too hard to single out any other one book. Check out all the winners here.

Congrats to all!