Archive for May, 2020

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #693: Featuring Elise Gravel

h1 Sunday, May 31st, 2020

This image was created just this past week by author-illustrator Elise Gravel.

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The 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

h1 Thursday, May 28th, 2020


I had the pleasure of chairing the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards with fellow judges Sujei Lugo and Leo Landry. The awards were announced yesterday. The books we fell in love with are pictured here, but you can head here to the Horn Book for more details.

Greg Pizzoli on Two Little Trains

h1 Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

(Click image to enlarge)

Greg Pizzoli visits 7-Imp today to share lots of process images behind the creation of his illustrations for the reimagining of Margaret Wise Brown’s Two Little Trains (HarperCollins), released back in March. Brown’s manuscript was first published in 1949 and illustrated by Jean Charlot. Another version, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, was released in 2001. Clearly, it’s a book that endures.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #692: Featuring Susanna Chapman

h1 Sunday, May 24th, 2020

You all may remember this deferred-hug art from illustrator Susanna Chapman back in late March. Susanna visits 7-Imp again today to talk about creating the illustrations for Laurie Ann Thompson’s Elizabeth Warren’s Big, Bold Plans (Atheneum, May 2020).

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Flashing and Gleaming with Sue Fliess and Khoa Le

h1 Thursday, May 21st, 2020

“Swirl / Flow / Come and go”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Today, I’ve a few spreads from Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World (Millbrook, March 2020), written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Khoa Le. This is an exploration of light via a series of spare rhymes, as you can see in the spreads here — the light of fireflies, the lightning of a storm, rays of sunlight waking sleeping children, the light of a birthday candle, lights meant to heal, and much more.

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G. Brian Karas on The Village Blacksmith

h1 Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

“They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar.
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Illustrator G. Brian Karas visits today to talk a bit about his newest picture book, an adaptation of a poem originally written in 1840 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Village Blacksmith (Candlewick, April 2020) tells the story of a strong but humble village smithy, “his brow … wet with honest sweat.” He works, building a fence for a neighbor; worships at church; rests; and works again, “[w]eek out, week in, from morn till night.” Karas brings his world to vivid life with his soft mixed media illustrations, and he beautifully depicts the light and shadows of the smithy’s work (particularly its glowing embers and shining sparks), while we follow him through his days at the “flaming forge” and beyond, “[t]oiling — rejoicing — sorrowing — / Onward through life he goes.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #691:
Featuring Annemarie van Haeringen

h1 Sunday, May 17th, 2020

“I really want to fly. Mama says that you can do anything if you really want to. It’s true. You can see I’m already good at it. But my mama finds it hard to let me go.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

The Horn Book has posted my review of Annemarie van Haeringen’s My Mama (Gecko, March 2020), simultaneously published in New Zealand and translated from the Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke. That review is here, and today here at 7-Imp I’ve some spreads from the book. …

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Natalia Chernysheva’s The Return

h1 Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Originally published in 2014 as O regresso, Natalia Chernysheva’s The Return (Groundwood Books) hit shelves in the U.S. last Fall, and I missed it. Better late than never.

A woman leaves the bustling city on a bus and heads into a less-populated part of the country. In fact, the house at which she arrives seems to be in the middle of nowhere. When she reaches the house, she stands high above it, as if a giant. Standing outside is a miniscule elderly woman in a floppy yellow hat, looking up at the woman adoringly.

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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Vivien Mildenberger

h1 Tuesday, May 12th, 2020


Over at Chapter 16, I’ve a Q&A with Vivien Mildenberger, who illustrated Elisa Boxer’s account of a historic vote for women’s suffrage and what it has to do with an obscure Tennessee woman — The Voice that Won the Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History (Sleeping Bear Press, March 2020). Mildenberger also illustrated Lori Alexander’s All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World, published last year and the recipient of a Siber Honor.

The Chapter 16 Q&A is here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #690: Featuring Zhu Cheng-Liang

h1 Sunday, May 10th, 2020

“… you are what I like the very, very most in the world.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Today, I’ve some illustrations from Mary Murphy’s new picture book, What I Like Most (Candlewick, April 2020), illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang. This terrifically child-friendly story is told from the point of view of a young girl, who tells readers about her world and what she values in it.

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