Archive for July, 2022

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #805: Featuring Chuck Groenink

h1 Sunday, July 31st, 2022

One of Chuck’s early illustration tests

Illustrator Chuck Groenink visits today to share some early sketches from Tanya Rosie’s Mum, Me, and the Mulberry Tree (Candlewick, July 2022), a book that both author and illustrator dedicate to their respective Mums.

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Bea and Mr. Jones Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, July 28th, 2022

“‘I’ve had it with kindergarten!’ Bea Jones said to her father
as he was sitting down to breakfast. …”

(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Here’s a post to celebrate 40 years of the work of author-illustrator Amy Schwartz by way of taking a look at her debut picture book, which has been reissued in a new edition by Penguin Random House. Bea and Mr. Jones arrived on shelves in 1982, and this new anniversary edition has what the publisher calls “gentle updates to the design,” which includes a larger trim size and a new dust jacket illustration.

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Everything in Its Place

h1 Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Ah! This book! Pauline David-Sax’s Everything in Its Place (Doubleday, July 2022), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, really gets introverts. It’s a story for those children with their small social circles, for those children who are energized by their alone time, and for those who would rather read a book alone than make that fearful entrance onto a playground with children playing in groups. And it is sensitively told and playfully, beautifully illustrated.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #804: Featuring Antoinette Portis

h1 Sunday, July 24th, 2022

“and the sun shines”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Antoinette Portis’s ebullient and sun-dappled A Seed Grows (Neal Porter Books, June 2022) is a thing of beauty. It captures the life cycle of a flower — in this case, a healthy, glowing sunflower. The entire text consists of one long sentence and then one final short one that brings everything full circle. The images — which feature visually rich colors, textures, and patterns — are bright and bold and will engage the young children, particularly the emerging readers, at whom this book is aimed.

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Into the Clouds with Air Miles

h1 Thursday, July 21st, 2022

“He flew higher than ever before.
He flew farther than ever before.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Sadly, we lost author-illustrator John Burningham in 2019. But his fans will be happy to see one final story from him — Air Miles (Candlewick, June 2022), which features the main character from Motor Miles. (Motor Miles was published in 2016. Click here to read about Motor Miles and here to see some spreads.)

The story here is based on an idea of John’s, though the text was completed by his friend Bill Salaman and illustrated by John’s wife, the one and only Helen Oxenbury. The book also includes three of John’s illustrations, and his thumbnail sketches adorn the endpapers.

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A Joyride Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

“A tractor has wheels. A llama has no wheels.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

One of the funniest picture books you’ll see this year might fly so low under the radar that you’ll miss it. Here’s me doing my small part to ensure you don’t. Shannon McNeill’s Wheels, No Wheels (Tundra Books) arrived on shelves last month.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #803: Featuring Mariana Chiesa

h1 Sunday, July 17th, 2022

Originally published in Argentina in 2018 and translated into English by Elisa Amado, Suniyay Moreno’s The Youngest Sister (Greystone Kids, May 2022), illustrated by Mariana Chiesa, brings readers a day in the life of a Quechua girl who lives in a mountain village in Argentina: “In the mountains, far from Vaca Huañuna, on the other side of the river, the mum, the five sisters, the seven cousins, and the two children of Swallow the peon had slept in the hut that night.”

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Don’t Worry, Murray

h1 Friday, July 15th, 2022

“Good morning, Murray!” says the owner of a pup in David Ezra Stein’s thoroughly entertaining Don’t Worry, Murray (Balzer + Bray, June 2022). Readers never see the narrator, whose words make up the entirety of the dialogue in this rewarding story, your next best story-time read.

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The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back

h1 Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

“The house stood bright and full, brimming with warmth and the smell of freshly baked sweets. As dinner was served, there was a knock at the door.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at the Horn Book of Jonathan Stutzman’s The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back (Candlewick, August 2022), illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

That review is here, and below are some spreads from the book. It’s tricky to share spreads when it’s a book that feature die-cuts, but let’s hope you can find a copy of this one to see for yourself anyway.

[Note: Reading this review at their site may require a subscription to the Horn Book.]

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #802: Featuring Viola Halle Ruzzier

h1 Sunday, July 10th, 2022

It may have been a ridiculously long time since I’ve done a regular 7-Imp feature with a student or unpublished illustrator (mea culpa), but today I’m going to do so again. It’s my pleasure to welcome Viola Ruzzier to 7-Imp. Viola, who recently completed college at a school in Canada, did not major in art or illustration (though her father, who is an award-winning illustrator, knows a thing or two about it). As you’ll read below, she studied science and embarked upon a book project that involves illustrated stories. It’s called Science Stories: A Little Volume for People Who Like Science and Stories. And it is, just as it sets out to be, informative and entertaining. (You will see in some of the pages below that Viola’s distinctive voice — particularly, her dry wit — is one of the best things about the book.)

I’m going to turn things over to her so that she can tell us more about this story collection. I thank her for visiting.

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