Archive for November, 2017

Zack Rock’s Good Story

h1 Tuesday, November 14th, 2017


Author-illustrator Zack Rock visits 7-Imp again today to share preliminary images and art from his newest picture book, A Good Story (Creative Editions, August 2017). It’s the story of Assistant Bean Counter #1138, whose world is filled with numbers. “Numbers keep the world orderly and ordinary. You can always count on numbers!” At least this is the story that this accountant has been told all his piggy life. Things change when he ends up in a bookstore and discovers stories — and that some things that can’t be counted matter.

It’s a thoughtfully designed book — from the pages made to look like graph paper to the textured cover under the dust jacket — and Zack’s earth-toned paintings are detailed and textured. I always like to see what Zack is up to. Let’s get right to his images and commentary, and I thank him for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #560: Featuring April Pulley Sayre

h1 Sunday, November 12th, 2017

“Oh—it’s orange!
Red, be bold.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got some spreads today from April Pulley Sayre’s Full of Fall (Beach Lane Books, August 2017). It’s a beautiful book, very fitting for this time of year. I thought of it this week, as I drove down the tree-lined street to my daughters’ school. The fall leaves are pretty stunning at this time of year.

Perfectly paced and cadenced, Sayre’s flowing, rhyming text captures the wonders of autumn with a genuine, infectious wonder. She kicks off the book with a goodbye to summer and welcomes the surging colors of fall, with her focus on the leaves of fall trees. “The forest glows,” Sayre writes, as her detailed nature photos capture the season. The book closes with a welcome to winter, as well as some informational facts about the leaves of autumn. Visually, the book is eye-popping, as Sayre’s photography consistently is. Some spreads feature one photo, while others feature two or three, with unfussy white borders dividing them. All spreads are full-bleed — and glorious.

You won’t want to miss this one. Here are some more spreads. …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring James E. Ransome

h1 Friday, November 10th, 2017

“Before she was a suffragist / she was General Tubman …”
(Click to enlarge)

It may not be winter yet, but the cozy, winter picture books are already on shelves. I’ve got two at Kirkus today.

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Last week, I wrote here about Lesa Cline-Ransome’s and James E. Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet (Holiday House, November 2017). A spread is pictured above.

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My Kirkus Q&A with Sharee Miller

h1 Thursday, November 9th, 2017

The first thing I wanted to be when I was younger was a beautiful princess. The first representations of beauty we see are often princesses. They usually have long straight hair and Eurocentric features. I think this is the point when most girls start to think about their physical appearance, and I wanted little girls with natural hair to see themselves as beautiful princesses.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to debut picture book author-illustrator Sharee Miller about her new book, Princess Hair (Little, Brown, October 2017).

That Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Sharee courtesy of Darrell Hanley.

Silent Days, Silent Dreams

h1 Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

I’ve got a BookPage review (here) of Allen Say’s Silent Days, Silent Dreams (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, October 2017). I’m following up with art today.

This book has been the subject of a court case (here’s a summary, and here’s Scholastic’s statement). I’m glad it’s made its way to shelves.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #559: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Yuko Okabe

h1 Sunday, November 5th, 2017

It’s the first Sunday of the month, dear Imps, which means a student illustrator or newly-graduated illustrator here at 7-Imp.

Today, I welcome Yuko Okabe, a recent graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, who is now pursuing life as an illustrator in Boston. She also works as an artist for Mighteor, and she describes that work below.

Yuko is also currently creating a picture book with a couple of people and is becoming increasingly interested in picture books and children’s books.

I thank her for visiting. Here she is, in her own words . …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Nidhi Chanani, Molly Knox Ostertag, and Jackie Roche

h1 Friday, November 3rd, 2017

— From Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina


— From Samya Kullab’s Escape from Syria,
illustrated by Jackie Roche and colored by Mike Freiheit


— From Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Witch Boy

At Kirkus this morning, I’ve got Lesa Cline-Ransome’s and James E. Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet (Holiday House, November 2017).

That is here.

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Last week at Kirkus, I had a graphic novel round-up (here), so today I’m following up with some art from each book — Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Witch Boy (Graphix/Scholastic, October 2017); Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina (First Second, October 2017); and Samya Kullab’s Escape from Syria (Firefly Books, October 2017), illustrated by Jackie Roche and colored by Mike Freiheit.

Please note: The colors in the illustrations from The Witch Boy appear here a bit brighter than they do in the book.

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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

h1 Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

“When it’s your turn in the chair, you stand at attention and forget about
who you were when you walked through that door.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’m following up my Kirkus Q&A last week with the author and illustrator of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (Denene Millner Books/Bolden/Agate Publishing, October 2017), Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James, with some spreads from the book today.


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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Rebecca Green

h1 Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

I’ve got a post over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16 with local (to me) illustrator Rebecca Green, pictured here.

Her debut picture book, How to Make Friends with a Ghost, was released earlier this year. In fact, I featured some of her artwork here at 7-Imp in August, but her picture book is a particularly good Halloween read.

And, hey, it’s still Halloween week.

The Q&A is here.