Archive for October, 2018

A Parade of Elephants

h1 Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Despite the fact that you are seeing just one elephant here, I promise I have a parade of them for you today. Head over to BookPage, if you’re so inclined, for my review of Kevin Henkes’ A Parade of Elephants (Greenwillow, September 2018). That review is here.

Below are some spreads from the book.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #610: Featuring Arthur Geisert

h1 Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Arthur Geisert’s latest book, Pumpkin Island (Enchanted Lion, October 2018), is set in the very place the author-illustrator calls home — Elkader, a small city in northeast Iowa. In this story, a storm arrives, sweeping a pumpkin down the river. After it breaks into pieces and arrives on a small island, the seeds sprout, vines stretch, and before anyone knows it, the vines have stretched across the bridge and into town — and pumpkins begin to appear everywhere.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Rebecca Cobb and Nadine Kaadan

h1 Friday, October 26th, 2018

“Pushing back the war with every step.”
— From Nicola Davies’s
The Day War Came,
illustrated by Rebecca Cobb


“He opened the door and walked outside. When he reached the street,
it was completely empty. Everything was different. …”
— From Nadine Kaadan’s
(Click to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got three new picture books about knocking down walls.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Nadine Kaadan’s Tomorrow (Lantana, September 2018) and Nicola Davies’s The Day War Came (Candlewick, September 2018), illustrated by Rebecca Cobb.

I’ve art from each book today. Enjoy!

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Meet Yasmin Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

If you haven’t met Yasmin yet, by chance, I’m pleased to introduce her to you today. She is the star of Saadia Faruqi’s debut chapter book for beginning readers, illustrated by Hatem Aly (who visited 7-Imp back here in 2016). Meet Yasmin! (Picture Window Books, August 2018) includes four stories in which this curious, problem-solving second-grader puts her imagination to work — Yasmin the Explorer; Yasmin the Painter; Yasmin the Builder; and Yasmin the Fashionista. As you can tell from the cover sketch above, Yasmin has personality to spare.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #609: Featuring Sonja Wimmer

h1 Sunday, October 21st, 2018

“Princess Lois is a dentist. Not a single child comes to her clinic with fear.
She is married to Princess Maggie. Princess Maggie is a mail carrier.
She loves to deliver postcards from distant lands.”

(Click to see spread in its entirety)

Today, dear Imps, I’ve some art from an illustrator whose work it always makes me happy to see — German artist Sonja Wimmer. On shelves now is Dolores Brown’s The Truly Brave Princesses (published by NubeOcho earlier this month), illustrated by Wimmer and a book the Kirkus review calls a “not-so-subtle deconstruction of the princess myth.”

“Perhaps on more than one occasion you’ve seen a princess,” the book opens. “Maybe you didn’t realize she was actually a princess, because at that moment she was not wearing her crown.” Look closely, the book suggests: A princess can be anywhere. And then we are introduced to 18 of them, girls and women of various ethnicities, occupations, and personalities, who are depicted, via word and art, with such delightful idiosyncratic details that you find yourself lingering over each spread. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Carin Berger

h1 Friday, October 19th, 2018

Over at Kirkus today, I write about two new picture books — Nadine Kaadan’s Tomorrow and Nicola Davies’s and Rebecca Cobb’s The Day War Came.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I chatted with author-illustrator Carin Berger about the Pen and Ink Brigade’s newest project, the Blue Wave Collection. You can read all about that here.

In that conversation, Carin mentioned writing and illustrating All of Us (Greenwillow, May 2018) days after the 2016 election. I’ve some art from that today.


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Come One, Come All:
A Conversation with Anastasia Higginbotham

h1 Thursday, October 18th, 2018


A week from today at Parnassus Books, I’ll have a conversation with author-illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham about her newest picture book, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Dottir Press, September 2018). This book is part of her Ordinary Terrible Things series, which I’ve written about here. (Wanna see art from two previous books in that series? Head to this 7-Imp post.)

All the details about our conversation next week are in this handy-dandy image (above) that I didn’t even have to make, but here is more information at Parnassus’s site, should you need it.

Pearl: A Visit with Molly Idle

h1 Wednesday, October 17th, 2018


Early sketch and final spread: “Some tended to the towering forests of kelp
rising from the ocean floor.”

(Click each to enlarge)

Author-illustrator Molly Idle visits 7-Imp today to talk about her newest picture book, Pearl (Little, Brown, October 2018). It’s the story of a small mermaid, eager for a big job. When her mother tells her that Pearl’s job is to care for and keep safe a single grain of sand, Pearl is disappointed. She doesn’t truly hear her mother’s words: “The smallest of things can make a great difference, Pearl.” (And that’s all I’ll tell you about the plot so that I don’t ruin the read for you.)

Molly is here to talk today about creating the book, and she shares work-in-progress images and final art from this glimmering beauty of a thing, filled as it is with flowing lines, expert compositions, and a drop-dead gorgeous palette. Let’s get to it, and I thank her for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #608,
the 2018 Southern Festivals of Books Edition

h1 Sunday, October 14th, 2018

That’s a post title with a handful of numbers, now isn’t it.

Here’s what I’m doing this weekend, and it’s a little bit different. I’m typing this on Friday, because tomorrow (Saturday, which will be yesterday when you read this) I will be at the wonderful Southern Festival of Books alllll day. I will not only be able to kick back and hear a lot of talented authors and illustrators speak (here’s the line-up), but I will also interview Justice Sonia Sotomayor about her two new children’s books. I’m excited to meet her, to say the least.

For Tennessee’s own fabulous and informative Chapter 16, I did an online Q&A with Madame Justice, which you can read here. I also interviewed British author and illustrator Cressida Cowell (whom I hope to hear speak on Saturday) about her newest fantasy novel for children. That is here. (Pictured here is Justice Sotomayor’s adaptation for middle-grade readers of her bestselling memoir.)

I will share seven separate kicks next week. Today (Sunday, the day you’re reading this — confused yet?), all seven kicks (plus some) are that it’s my youngest daughter’s birthday! She is officially a teenager today. We shall party down all day.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Liz Anelli, Marianne Dubuc, and Oge Mora

h1 Friday, October 12th, 2018

— From Ross Watkins’s Dad’s Camera, illustrated by Liz Anelli


— From Marianne Dubuc’s Up the Mountain Path


“… And so Omu spooned out some thick red stew from the big fat pot
for her nice evening meal.”
— From Oge Mora’s
Thank You, Omu!
(Click to enlarge spread)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve a chat with author-illustrator Carin Berger about the Pen and Ink Brigade and their new initiative, the Blue Wave Project.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Marianne Dubuc’s Up the Mountain Path (Princeton Architectural Press, October 2018); Oge Mora’s Thank You, Omu! (Little, Brown, October 2018); and Ross Watkins’s Dad’s Camera (Candlewick, October 2018), illustrated by Liz Anelli.

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


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