Archive for March, 2022

Emile and the Field

h1 Thursday, March 31st, 2022

“There was a boy named Emile
who fell in love with a field.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Emile and the Field (Make Me a World, March 2022), written by Kevin Young and illustrated by Chioma Ebinama.

It’s one of the most exquisite picture books you’ll see this year.

The review is here, and here today at 7-Imp are some spreads.

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The Song of the Nightingale

h1 Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

(Click spread to enlarge)

Tanya Landman’s The Song of the Nightingale (Candlewick Studio) will be on shelves here in the U.S. next month, and it’s a beauty. Illustrated by Laura Carlin and first published in the UK two years ago, it bursts with color and life.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #788: Featuring Marianne Dubuc

h1 Sunday, March 27th, 2022

In the world of picture books, we see a lot of hero journeys, which usually involve the hero returning home. I love Marianne Dubuc’s Bear and the Whisper of the Wind (Princeton Architectural Press, March 2022), originally published in French in 2020, because the protagonist takes a different kind of journey, the kind that takes him away from home and the kind that is hard to explain — but nonetheless necessary.

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Dress-Up Day / Día de disfraces

h1 Thursday, March 24th, 2022

“There was going to be a big costume party at school.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I loooooove to see the books of author-illustrator Blanca Gómez, who lives in Spain, and she has a new picture book on shelves now from Abrams. It is being released in both a Spanish (Día de disfraces) and English version (Dress-Up Day), and because I couldn’t pick which to share today, I’ve got spreads in both Spanish and English. Dedicated to “all those who know the feeling,” this is a story about a moment of deep insecurity that turns into one of triumph.

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A Sneak Peek at Yellow Dog Blues

h1 Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Here’s an early sneak peek at a picture book coming to shelves in September of this year — Alice Faye Duncan’s Yellow Dog Blues (Eerdmans), illustrated by Chris Raschka. I got to hear all about this book during this chat I had earlier this year with the author. It’s the lyrical story of Bo Willie, who is distraught to find the doghouse empty: The boy’s “puppy love” is gone. “Sometimes life is a mystery. Love is a mountain climb. The blues grabbed me like a shaking chill.”

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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Carsen Smith

h1 Monday, March 21st, 2022


It was very fun to talk for Tennessee’s Chapter 16 to comedy writer Carsen Smith about the new sci-fi series she co-wrote with James S. Murray — Area 51 Interns.

Our chat is here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #787: Featuring Barbara Chotiner

h1 Sunday, March 20th, 2022

“Spring arrived. The snow melted. …”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

This past week, the Horn Book posted “Picture books for National Poetry Month 2022” at their site. It’s a great round-up, and in that list is a book I reviewed for them — the playful Moving Words About a Flower (Charlesbridge, March 2022), written by K.C. Hayes and illustrated by Barbara Chotiner. If you’d like to read about it, that review is here (along with some other wonderful picture books). Here today at 7-Imp are some spreads.


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Chester van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme

h1 Thursday, March 17th, 2022

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Chester van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme (Little, Brown, April 2022), written by Avery Monsen and illustrated by Abby Hanlon. Teachers and librarians, meet your next Best Read-Aloud.

The review is here, and below are some spreads.


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Always Leaving: A Photo Essay by Zahra Marwan

h1 Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

Illustration on the dedication page of Where Butterflies Fill the Sky
(Click image to enlarge)

Zahra Marwan is a fine artist who, this month, sees the publication of her debut children’s book, Where Butterflies Fill the Sky: A Story of Immigration, Family, and Finding Home (Bloomsbury, March 2022). The book captures her family’s story of immigration from Kuwait, in which they were considered stateless, to New Mexico. The art in this deeply felt story is filled with motifs that represent her memories of home — and the city in the U.S. that she and her family made home. (In fact, a closing note about the art provides even more details about what readers see.)

Today at 7-Imp, Zahra contributes a photo essay about her immigration experience. Below that are some spreads from the book. I thank her for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #786: Featuring Richard Jones

h1 Sunday, March 13th, 2022

“We keep our fire safe in a playpen / where we feed it,
mostly leftovers from the woods …”

(Click illustration to read the poem, “Fireplace,” in its entirety)

Dear Imps, pull up your cyber-chairs (and bring your best coffee and favorite breakfast dishes) to read about this poetry collection from award-winning poets Ted Kooser (former U.S. Poet Laureate) and Connie Wanek. They joined forces for Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play among Figures of Speech (Candlewick, March 2022), illustrated by Richard Jones, and the results are immensely satisfying. “The poems in this book,” Kooser writes, “are about fooling around, about letting one’s imagination run free with whatever it comes upon.” Adds Wanek: “[I]t’s fun to listen for voices from unexpected places.”

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