when she secretly listened to the crew singing songs late at night.”
You know, I’m all the time here at 7-Imp having pretend breakfasts with authors and illustrators, when they’re really just cyber (the breakfasts, that is, not the people), but this morning I will have actual breakfast with the two author/illustrators featured here today. Or at least coffee. And I’m excited to meet them.
Here in Nashville this weekend, we are celebrating the Southern Festival of Books, and I will be hosting the session this afternoon for author/illustrators Matt Phelan and Bob Shea (and, as mentioned, get to meet up with them before-hand for a cup ‘o’ joe). Opening this post is an image from one of Bob Shea’s newest picture books, Dinosaur vs. the Library (Hyperion, September 2011); the cover and more images are below, as well as images from another of his new titles, which I haven’t seen yet but hope to today, called I’m a Shark (Balzer + Bray, May 2011). And below Bob’s dinosaur up there is an image from the Nellie-Bly portion of Matt Phelan’s newest graphic novel, called Around the World, published by Candlewick this month. I’ve got more art below from that as well.
If you’re not familiar with Bob’s books, you should run to the nearest library or bookstore and fix that. He’s illustrated many picture books others have written, and he’s both written and illustrated a handful of them himself. If you’re not familiar with his “Dinosaur vs. …” books, then I recommend you see his rendition of Dinosaur vs. the Potty here at the Texas Book Festival in 2010, I think it was, and also his mock Dinosaur vs. Writing Kids’ Books had me SNORT-LAUGHING (and has me all the more eager to hear him speak today):
I’m pretty sure Shea is some kind of picture book genius, especially when it comes to picture books for preschool and early elementary-aged kids. His illustrations damn near leap off the page with a manic energy that is infectious, and they are child magnets is what they are. Kirkus called Dinosaur vs. Bedtime a “high-volume attention-grabber that will have audiences roaring along enthusiastically,” and I think you could say that about nearly all of his books.
Aaaaaaand…..there’s so much more I’d like to say about his books, but let’s move on to Matt, as it’s Saturday night when I’m typing this, and
I still need to prepare for hosting their session tomorrow. Er, I mean, there’s a dinosaur challenging me to see who can get to bed first, as it’s also late as I type. DINOSAUR VS. JULES. Who will win?
Matt’s new book highlights the journeys of three intrepid explorers at the close of the nineteenth century, all inspired by French author Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. Cyclist Thomas Stevens attempted to circumnavigate the globe on bicycle—a penny-farthing, that is—in 1884. In 1889, journalist Nellie Bly attempted the same via ocean liner (followed by a special train car whisking her from California to New York with “cheering crowds in every town she passed through”). And in 1895, writer, adventurer, and retired sea captain Joshua Slocum set sail on a thirty-six-foot sloop, becoming the first person to sail around the world alone.
The School Library Journal review for Matt’s book notes the “small, specific pleasures of Phelan’s work.” I love that, because it’s a definite delight that comes from seeing his books.
And, again, so much more I’d like to say, but ack! … I have got to get goin’. Here’s a bit more from Matt’s book, followed by art from Bob’s Dinosaur vs. the Library and I’m a Shark. Enjoy.
where Nature still holds her primitive sway.”
AROUND THE WORLD. Copyright © 2011 by Matt Phelan. Published by Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. Images reproduced with permission of Matt Phelan.
All images from Bob Shea reproduced with his permission.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.
My three brief, though heartfelt, kicks:
1) The Southern Festival of Books. Matt. Bob. Other folks, too, whose sessions I hope to catch.
2) My youngest turned six this week, and we partied down.
3) Our baby kitten got very ill and spent the night at a hospital and we didn’t think he’d make it back home, but he turned a corner and is doing just fine now. WEIRD. But … whew.
NOTE: The October issue of The Bluegrass Special is out!
What are YOUR kicks this week?