Archive for May, 2021

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #745: Featuring Lucy Ruth Cummins

h1 Sunday, May 30th, 2021

“I rescue tiny creatures. It’s a special job. …”

Over at BookPage, I’ve a review of Curtis Manley’s The Rescuer of Tiny Creatures (Roaring Brook, June 2021), illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. As I note in the review, it’s a story that captures the experiences of quiet, observant, inquisitive children — those who may not be found in the midst of a big crowd at school but who are considerately looking out for those on the periphery.

That review is here, and below are some spreads from the book.

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Black (and Board Book) Joy

h1 Thursday, May 27th, 2021

“thick curl sun crown”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Ruth Forman‘s Curls (Little Simon, 2020), illustrated by Geneva Bowers, was released at the tail end of last year. It is a poem of a board book, a tribute to Black girls and the pride they have in their hair — big hair, soft hair, curly hair, beaded and braided hair, and more. Publishing on its heels is Glow (Little Simon, May 2021), a tribute to Black boys (also a board book by the same duo).

Forman said in a statement at the release of Curls:

In 2014, I personally witnessed that despite being in the time that we are in, and all of the work that has been done, children of color at a very young age — even three to four — are still often viewing themselves and their hair and skin color as less than.

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Ship in a Bottle:
A Visit with Andrew Prahin

h1 Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

It’s my pleasure to welcome Andrew Prahin to 7-Imp today. I reviewed his newest picture book, Ship in a Bottle (Putnam, May 2021), for BookPage — that review is here, if you’d like to go read about it — and then invited him to come share some process images behind the making of this very entertaining book. He shares generously today, and for that I thank him.

Let’s get to it!

p.s. Don’t miss this 2014 7-Imp post about Andrew’s debut picture book.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #744: Featuring Paul Schmid

h1 Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

Author-illustrator Paul Schmid’s newest book, a board book called Bunny! Don’t Play with Your Food (Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 2021), features an unforgettable (and determined) protagonist. Bunny gets a carrot for a snack, and what follows is nothing less than sheer drama (even some terror), thanks to Bunny’s abundant imagination. Bunny becomes a Bunnysaur, a Tiger Bunny, a Space Hero, a Giant Sea Monster, and even a zombie. Such drama, spawned by this one snack.

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2021 So Far . . .

h1 Thursday, May 20th, 2021


Martha and I are wiping the cyber-dust off of Calling Caldecott over at the Horn Book to check in on the year thus far in picture books.

Head here for more!

Oscar’s Tower of Flowers

h1 Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

(Click spread to enlarge)

Lauren Tobia sees her author-illustrator debut in Oscar’s Tower of Flowers (Candlewick), on shelves this month. It’s the beautifully executed story of one very young boy’s successful acclimation to time away from his mother — and his gift to his immediate community.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #743: Featuring Claire Keane

h1 Sunday, May 16th, 2021

I love a good story about a misfit. Enter Kelly DiPucchio’s Not Yeti (Viking, May 2021), illustrated by Claire Keane. I’ve a review of this one over at BookPage.

That review is here. Below are some spreads.


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The People’s Painter: A Visit from Evan Turk

h1 Thursday, May 13th, 2021

Cynthia Levinson’s newest picture book, The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art (Abrams, April 2021), illustrated by Evan Turk, is a force of nature. The book chronicles the life, starting from his childhood in Lithuania, of Shahn (1898-1969), the Jewish artist and activist whose figurative paintings and posters aligned with his social justice causes.

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“Who Wants What … and Do They Get It?”:
A Visit with Katherine Tillotson

h1 Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

“And Little Billy has the best.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’m heading back to last Fall today in order to share a picture book that was published then that I loved, the late and exceedingly talented Richard Jackson’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff: The FULL Story (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, September 2020), illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. I reviewed this one for the Horn Book; that review is here.

Katherine visits today to talk a bit aout creating the illustrations for the book — I thank her for sharing — and as I revisit the book, I’m impressed all over again. Jackson’s writing is delicious (just look at the sentence construction alone in the second final spread below), and Tillotson’s illustrations are remarkably textured — and filled with great mischief!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #742: Featuring Yevgenia Nayberg

h1 Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Mona Lisa may live in Paris, but in Yevgenia Nayberg’s Mona Lisa in New York (Prestel, March 2021), she finds herself on an adventure in the Big Apple.

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