What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Bonnie Christensen,
Violeta Dabija, Jui Ishida, and Brian Lies

h1 April 27th, 2012 by jules


From I. C. Springman’s More
(Houghton Mifflin, March 2012), illustrated by Brian Lies

This morning at Kirkus, I take a look at two picture book protagonists who make me laugh in Adam J. B. Lane’s Stop Thief! and Judith Rossell’s Oliver. If you’re so inclined to read it, the link is here this morning.

* * *

Last week, I wrote about some good, brand-new picture books for Earth Day. That link is here, if you missed it and want to read more. Below is some art from each book, including some early sketches and work-in-progress images from I. C. Springman’s More, illustrated by Brian Lies.

Enjoy.


“We grabbed our things, were on our way.”
(Click to enlarge)


“We drove out to the oceanside. / The sand was hot. The waves were wide. /
Tall grasses swayed. The salty air / Was soft and still and everywhere.”

(Click to enlarge)


Spreads from Laurel Snyder’s Good Night, Laila Tov
(Random House, March 2012), illustrated by Jui Ishida

* * *


“We plant a little seed or two or three or four or more,
then pat the soil, warm in the sun…”

(Click to enlarge)


“…and water and wait and wait and dream…and dream and wait some more.”
(Click to see entire spread)


“Greening, growing up and out, spreading roots way down below.
We water and weed and dream and wait and dream and wait some more.”

(Click to see entire spread)


“We water and weed and dream and wait and water and wait some more.”
(Click to enlarge)

Spreads from Bonnie Christensen’s Plant a Little Seed
(Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, May 2012)

* * *


The very first sketch for More, circa 1995
(See the
Kirkus column for Brian’s story about this book’s long path to publication)


Brian: “[A] very rough blue pencil sketch, either from 1995 or 2004, of the bird on one of its many nests, which became the basis for ‘Way too much.’”
(Click to enlarge)


Transfer for the “way too much” spread


Underpainting for the “way too much” spread


Final “way too much” spread
(Click to enlarge)


Beginning of “EVERYTHING!” spread


Underpainting for “EVERYTHING!” spread


“EVERYTHING!” spread in progress…


Final spread
(Click to enlarge)


The illustrator’s study: Junk

Sketches and early images from I. C. Springman’s More
(Houghton Mifflin, March 2012), illustrated by Brian Lies

* * *


“A leaf is a leaf— / a bit of a tree. / But when cool days come chasing, /
it also can be a … / Wind rider / Lake glider…”

Spread and cover from Laura Purdie Salas’s A Leaf Can Be…
(Millbrook Press, January 2012), illustrated by Violeta Dabija

* * * BONUS * * *

While Bonnie Christensen is here, she’s going to share a few spreads from Leda Schubert’s The Princess of Borscht. This was released last November by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, yet I never quite got around to posting about it, despite my best intentions. (You don’t want to miss Jama Rattigan’s February 2012 post on the book, as well as this post from just this week by Uma Krishnaswami.)

To summarize, this is the story of a young girl’s attempt to make borscht for her ailing, hospital-bound grandmother, though she’s never before cooked it. With a bit of help (and lots of bickering) from the neighbors, once she is back at Grandma’s apartment with the intent of cooking what her beloved grandmother requested, she manages to pull it off, even without a proper recipe. “Schubert hits just the right notes of sweet, sour, and salty in portraying a milieu in which operatic emotions, bickering, and sharp remarks are really a form of unconditional affection,” wrote Publishers Weekly, and “Schubert turns the story of a sick relative, not a particularly cheery topic, into a sweet and salty tale, warmed by Christensen’s lively sketches, about bickering Jewish neighbors and intergenerational caregiving,” wrote the New York Times last Fall.

Big thanks to Bonnie for sharing some illustrations from the book. Better late than never, yes?


“‘We’re here,’ Ruthie said. ‘It’s about time,’ Grandma said. ‘Give me a smooch.’
‘How do you feel?’ Dad asked. ‘I have pneumonia, so how should I feel?’ Grandma sounded hoarse. ‘Besides, a person could starve to death here.’ Ruthie was alarmed. ‘We’ll bring you something special.’”

(Click to enlarge)


“At Grandma’s apartment, Dad said, ‘I’ll help, but first I need a nap from all the driving.’ ‘It didn’t take that long to get here,’ Ruthie said, but Dad was already snoring. 1:30! Ruthie searched everywhere for the secret recipe.”
(Click to enlarge)


“…’We’ll go now,’ said the Tsarina, and the three ladies left, still arguing.
‘Thank you,’ Ruthie said, but nobody heard. She tasted the soup.
Something was missing, but there was no one to ask….”

(Click to see entire spread)

* * * * * * *

MORE. Copyright © 2012 by I. C. Springman. Illustrations © 2012 by Brian Lies. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York. All images and early sketches used with permission of Brian Lies.

GOOD NIGHT, LAILA TOV. Copyright © 2012 by Laurel Snyder. Illustrations © 2012 by Jui Ishida. Published by Random House, New York. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher.

PLANT A LITTLE SEED. Copyright © 2012 by Bonnie Christensen. Published by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, New York. Images reproduced by permission of Bonnie Christensen.

A LEAF CAN BE… Copyright © 2012 by Laura Purdie Salas. Illustrations © 2012 by Violeta Dabija. Published by Millbrook Press, Minneapolis. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher.

THE PRINCESS OF BORSCHT. Copyright © 2011 by Leda Schubert. Illustrations © 2012 by Bonnie Christensen. Published by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, New York. Images reproduced by permission of Bonnie Christensen.

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2 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Bonnie Christensen,
Violeta Dabija, Jui Ishida, and Brian Lies”

  1. Thanks for including my drawings/paintings in your blog, Jules. I’ve got to get to the library to look at the other beautiful books you mentioned!


  2. Thanks for the link. Slurp!


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