Archive for December, 2020

Setting Sail Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

I’m back! I return from my unintentional break from the online, networked world. A cyber-hello to one and all.

And just in time to tell you about a book published in October. I find myself at this time of year wanting to talk about the books I missed during the year. Better late than never to tell you about 2020 books that I hope you see before 2021.

And that book today is David Goodner’s Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island (Little, Brown), illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. This is the first title in a new chapter book series. I’m happy it exists and can’t wait to see the second book. It is especially intriguing to see the ways in which Tsurumi extends the text in this book, given passages like: “Kondo was big. Kezumi was little. They lived on an island with fruit trees and berry bushes and flitter-birds and fluffle-bunnies. …” Clearly, Goodner intended to give the illustrator a ton of space to let their imagination run wild, and Tsurumi does so — with entertaining results.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #723: An Unplanned Interruption …

h1 Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Hey, everybody. A quick note to say (from a McDonald’s parking lot where I’m stealing some WiFi) that I can’t do my previously planned post today, because we have been without cell service and WiFi for a couple days now, due to that car bomb that went off in Nashville and wreaked havoc with AT&T’s servers. I hope to be back soon with art and words!

Do tell me your kicks anyway. I may not be able to read them for a while, but I’ll be glad to see them once I’m online again.

Happy Holidays 2020

h1 Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

(Click image to enlarge)


This is a quick post to say happy holidays to all my 7-Imp readers. I will take some time off this week to spend the holidays with my family, but I’ll be back this coming Sunday.

I want to leave you with this beautiful image from author-illustrator Cindy Derby, who gave me permisison to post this here.

Merry merry! See you soon.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #722: Featuring Olivier Ganthier

h1 Sunday, December 20th, 2020

Today, let’s look at a book from a debut illustrator. I Want to Ride the Tap Tap, on shelves in late December (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), is written by Danielle Joseph and illustrated by Olivier Ganthier. Ganthier, known for his street art, was born and currently lives in Haiti, and this book captures daily life with a Black family there, Joseph even incorporating Haitian Creole words into the dialogue. I reviewed it for BookPage, and that is here — if you’re inclined to read more about it.

Below are some spreads.


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Small Walt Spots Dot

h1 Friday, December 18th, 2020

Perhaps today’s post will speak to those in the Northeast with their fresh piles of snow. (This Southerner is jealous.) It’s a new tale about Small Walt, the anthromorphic snow plow, from author Elizabeth Verdick and illustrator Marc Rosenthal. This new tale, Small Walt Spots Dot (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, September 2020), is partly dedicated to “everyone who has ever helped a stray find a home.”

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The Christmas Feast

h1 Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

In the mood for a French holiday import? Today, I’ve got some spreads from Nathalie Dargent’s The Christmas Feast (Eerdmans, August 2020), illustrated by Magali Le Huche. It’s a book the author says is inspired by her admiration for Scheherazade and her appetite for good food.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #721: Featuring Kevin Hawkes

h1 Sunday, December 13th, 2020

“Big or small, the task would suit Nate either way ….”
(Click to enlarge spread and read text in its entirety)


Today, I’ve got some illustrations from The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol (Candlewick, September 2020), a new picture book from Arthur A. Levine and Kevin Hawkes. This is what Levine describes as a pourquoi tale about the tradition of presents at Hanukkah. (You can read or listen here to a wonderful NPR interview with Levine about the book.)

Nate Gadol is Levine’s original mythical creation — a “great big spirit,” pictured above, who makes things stretch for families in need. He made a “tiny bit of oil last eight days and nights in the far-off long ago,” but he also will keep your flower fresh for longer, keep a dam strong in a storm, or even help you hold a long note while singing — if your life depended on it.

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Knowing the Name of a Bird

h1 Thursday, December 10th, 2020

Follow this girl’s binoculars (by hitting “Read the rest of this entry” below), and you’ll meet some beautiful birds in Jane Yolen’s Knowing the Name of a Bird (Creative Editions, August 2020), illustrated by Jori van der Linde.

It’s been a lousy year. We need to take in some beautiful birds, right?

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An Alphabet Adventure Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Lucky for me, things are coming up very Julie today at 7-Imp.

Author Julie Larios and author-illustrator Julie Paschkis (both language lovers) visit today to talk briefly about their newest picture book, Eek!: A Noisy Journey from A to Z (Peachtree, September 2020).

I reviewed this one for the Horn Book, and I don’t think that review will publish till later. But in summary: This is a mighty entertaining alphabet adventure. It is wordless, with the exception of some onomatopoeia and animal sounds. The adventure begins with a sneezing mouse (A is for “achoo”) and ends with that mouse falling asleep safely (Z is for “ZzZzZ”) — and in between there are buzzing bees, chirping birds, a cat, a dog who likes to chase cats, a raccoon on a bike, a pig in a sleek car, a harrumph’ing alligator, a bike accident, some tears but much joy, a parade, a lion (with a mane just right for snuggling mice), and much more.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #720: Featuring Qin Leng

h1 Sunday, December 6th, 2020

Let’s take a look today at A Year of Everyday Wonders (Abrams, December 2020), written by Cheryl B. Klein and illustrated by Qin Leng. I reviewed this one over here at BookPage, if you’d like to read more about it. It’s a charmer.

Here today at 7-Imp are some of the book’s illustrations …

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