Archive for December, 2021

When I Wake Up

h1 Thursday, December 30th, 2021

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Seth Fishman’s When I Wake Up (Greenwillow, December 2021), illustrated by Jessixa Bagley — an adventurous tribute to the imagination of children and a day’s endless opportunities. And here at 7-Imp today, Jessixa shares things like early sketches and character tests, and some final spreads are also pictured below. I thank Jessixa for sharing. (Pictured above is an early character sketch.)

The review is here.

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Tohby Riddle’s Nobody Owns the Moon

h1 Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

“The fox is one of the only wild creatures in the world that can
successfully make a life for itself in cities.”

I recently heard two friends and colleagues — Betsy Bird and Susannah Richards — sing the praises of this Autralian import, originally published in 2008 and on American shelves this year (October). Then I unexpectedly received a review copy and understood precisely what they meant. Tohby Riddle’s Nobody Owns the Moon (Berbay Publishing) is nothing short of spectacular.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #775: Featuring Tim Miller

h1 Sunday, December 26th, 2021

Here’s a snowy holiday image from author-illustrator Tim Miller. I always love to see his work.

I hope all of you reading this had a happy holiday, however you celebrate it!

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My Wish For You . . .

h1 Thursday, December 23rd, 2021


Author-illustrator Carson Ellis created this lovely image, and I secured her permission to share it here.

Happy holidays from 7-Imp (which is to say: me)!

The Star Tree

h1 Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

“When they reached the top, they saw the old man hanging gold stars on a tree.
The stars twinkled in the moonlight and cast a golden glow on the bare branches and the snow beneath. Everyone stopped and stared in wonderment.”

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)

Christmas is upon us, so how about a holiday picture-book import? Gisela Cölle’s The Star Tree (NorthSouth, September 2021), translated by Rosemary Lanning, was originally published in Switzerland in 1997 and is now on American shelves.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #774: Featuring Bryan Collier

h1 Sunday, December 19th, 2021

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’m sending you to the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott today to read, if you’re so inclined, Monique Harris’s wonderful post on Bryan Collier’s illustrations for We Shall Overcome (Orchard Books). This is a picture book adaptation of the classic gospel / protest song, and I believe it will be on shelves at the end of this month. (It might already be on shelves, but it’s hard to tell anymore with the shipping delays we’re experiencing in this country and the ways in which that has affected book publishing.)

And because you know I like to share art, you can head back here when you’re done reading Monique’s post to see some spreads from this book. More are pictured below!

Monique’s post is here. Enjoy!

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Thank You, Neighbor!:
A Peek at Ruth Chan’s Drawing Table

h1 Thursday, December 16th, 2021

It is a pleasure to have Ruth Chan visit 7-Imp today to share some preliminary images and final art (and neighbor photos!) from Thank You, Neighbor! (Harper, September 2021)

“Every day, we go for a walk,” the book opens. The child (who has, hands down, the best shirt) and pet dog you see pictured above take a walk through their truly diverse and inclusive neighborhood — taking their time (“even when the neighborhood is crowded”), stopping to say hello to neighbors, chatting with community workers (“our neighbors [that] keep us safe”), noticing how their neighbors take care of each other, and always saying “thank you,” even when things get busy. That’s the gist of the narrative here, and it somehow feels revolutionary in today’s world.

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h1 Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Kyra Teis’s Klezmer! (Kar-Ben, November 2021) is a book bursting with joy. It features a Jewish child, the one you see above, who visits her grandparents in New York City (“Uptown, Downtown, and Lower East Side”), revels in the Jewish folk music known as klezmer, and celebrates its firm hold in both past and present: “Klezmer’s oldish, and newish, like jazz, but it’s Jewish. Yesteryear’s hits strive to jive with new riffs.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #773: Featuring Paul O. Zelinsky

h1 Sunday, December 12th, 2021

“Christmas tree and menorah light / Red and green and blue and white
Stronger together / Shining bright!”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Sometimes you set out to write about a picture book and, before you do, you read a review of it or someone else’s thoughts on the book. And then you’re utterly ruined for articulating your thoughts, because … well, that person did such a good job. That’s how I feel about author Laurel Snyder’s recent piece at the New York Times on Lee Wind’s Red and Green and Blue and White (Levine Querido, October 2021), illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Laurel does a beautiful job of capturing this book’s special-ness. And she does so in such a direct way, with no word acrobatics or clichéd review-speak. (If you’re interested in reading her piece and can access it, it’s here.)

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Circle Under Berry

h1 Thursday, December 9th, 2021


I loooove Carter Higgins’s Circle Under Berry (Chronicle, September 2021), a book I think we’ll still be reading and talking about in 20 years. Over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott, Travis Jonker pays tribute to this engaging concept book.

That is here.