Archive for June, 2020

Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer

h1 Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Today, I’ve got some spreads from one of my favorite summer reads, Gillian Goerz’s Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer (Dial, July 2020). Gillian also shares some early sketches and such from this, her first graphic novel. (Pictured above are drawings of the two main characters.)

This is the story, set in Canada, of two girls who strike up a friendship and — bonus! — solve a mystery together. But that basic summary doesn’t quite capture the many delights of this book. It’s a story whose biggest strength lies in its detailed, whip-smart characterizations.

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Welcoming Erika Long to The Niblings!

h1 Monday, June 29th, 2020

Many of you 7-Imp readers may know that I am part of a Facebook page and Twitter feed that serves as a resource page of sorts in the field of children’s literature. It’s called The Niblings, and I share it with other bloggers. Here’s the low-down (from back in 2013 when it was started).

We Niblings would like to welcome librarian extraordinaire Erika Long to our social media presence. This means that Erika will join us in sharing posts of interest in the field of children’s and YA lit. Erika’s social media presence is one of my favorites in this world, and I’m so pleased she’s joining us.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #697: Featuring Charly Palmer

h1 Sunday, June 28th, 2020

“I could get in some laughs with inside toys —
cars and games that bring much joy.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I know I’ve said here before at 7-Imp that my favorite thing about Instagram is the feed of artist and illustrator Charly Palmer (whom I got to interview back in 2017). If you missed his recent cover art for Time, see it here. Magnificent.

So, I was happy to see he’d illustrated a new picture book that, somehow, I missed back in May but finally read this past week. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship, written by Markette Sheppard, is the story of a boy who must play inside on a rainy day — and decides to take his imaginative play to the next level.

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The Feeling of Beauty Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, June 25th, 2020

It’s my pleasure to share some spreads today from Tessa McWatt’s Where Are You, Agnes? (Groundwood), illustrated by Zuzanna Celej and coming to shelves in early August. This is McWatt’s picture book debut, and it’s a deeply contemplative, thoughtfully-executed story.

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The Camping Trip

h1 Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

An early study of Ernestine and her father
(Click to enlarge)

Ernestine has been invited to go camping at Cedar Tree Campground with her Aunt Jackie and her cousin Samantha. She’s excited, though a bit worried her father might miss her too much. It’s her first camping trip. What can she do when she wakes in the middle of the night, scared and ready to go back home?

This is the newest picture book from Jennifer K. Mann, The Camping Trip (Candlewick, April 2020), and it’s another satisfying, well-executed tale from her about children’s everyday anxieties and how they overcome them. Bonus: This one has s’mores!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #696: Featuring Piret Raud

h1 Sunday, June 21st, 2020

Today’s featured picture book is from Estonian author Piret Raud, a book first published in France in 2016. Coming to shelves this August, Ellie’s Voice: or Trööömmmpffff was translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen and comes from Yonder, an imprint of Restless Books.

Ellie the bird is puzzled and sad to have no voice, especially when everyone and everything around her does: “The trees rustle. The waves crash. Even the rain sings when it falls.” When a trumpet washes ashore, Ellie is thrilled to create sounds with it, even if those sounds are awfully strange.

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Gaya Wisniewski’s My Bison

h1 Thursday, June 18th, 2020

“But before long, it was winter again. I knew the moment he returned. I could feel it.
The earth trembled. My friend was back!”

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)

I’ve some spreads today from Gaya Wisniewski’s My Bison (Princeton Architectural Press, March 2020). Wisniewski is a Belgian illustrator, now living in France, and this is her first book in English. It was first published in France in 2018.

“The first time I saw him, it was springtime.” A girl in her mother’s arms spots a bison, and daily she returns to the place she first met him. She befriends him, even bringing him food. The bison regularly leaves the forest where they play — “How lonely it was without him,” we read in the gir’s tenderhearted, first-person voice — but returns in the winters.

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Antoinette Portis’s A New Green Day

h1 Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

(Click cover to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at the Horn Book of Antoinette Portis’s A New Green Day (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, April 2020). That review is here.

Below, I’ve some pages from the book. If you read the review, you’ll see that the recto of each spread presents a riddle and the verso, the answer. Three examples of that are presented here, though I highly recommend you find a copy of the book, if possible, to hold in your hands. The page turns are compelling.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #695: Featuring Andrea Pippins

h1 Sunday, June 14th, 2020

“Your big dark eyes take in the world.
Will you be curious, like your uncle …”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Today, I’ve got some spreads from Andrea Pippins’s Who Will You Be?, released back in April by Schwartz & Wade, in which a parent wonders who her child will grow up to be.

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Surviving the Storm

h1 Thursday, June 11th, 2020

“Lightning gash! Windy lash!”
— From Susan Vaught’s
Together We Grow, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
(Click spread to enlarge)


“Where do you go when the sky turns gray —
When the grasses bend and the treetops sway?”
— From Linda Ashman’s
When the Storm Comes, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
(Click spread to enlarge)

Today, BookPage has a piece I wrote about two new picture books all about sheltering from a storm — Susan Vaught’s Together We Grow (Simon & Schuster, May 2020), illustrated by Kelly Murphy, and Linda Ashman’s When the Storm Comes (Nancy Paulsen Books, May 2020), illustrated by Taeeun Yoo.

That is over here at BookPage’s site, and here today at 7-Imp are some spreads from each book.


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