What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
The Brothers Hilts, The Sisters Klise,
and David Mackintosh

h1 July 27th, 2012 by jules

“The cloud of animals roused and rushed into the night. They weren’t mice at all.
They dipped and dived and surfed the air. They squealed with delight.”

(Click to enlarge)

“My grandpa’s name is Frank. Frank lives at our house, and he’s always around.”

“Grammy Lamby left the next morning,
but not without giving Larry the secret handshake.”

(Click to enlarge)

This morning at Kirkus, I write about Victoria Jamieson’s Olympig! That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote about two books, The Frank Show, coming in August from Abrams, from British designer and illustrator David Mackintosh, as well as Karina Wolf’s The Insomniacs, illustrated by The Brothers Hilts and to be released next month from Putnam. If you want to read about them, you can head over to last week’s column. Here today at 7-Imp I’ve got some art from each.

And, since we’re on the subject of really kickin’ grandparents (see The Frank Show), I’m also including some art in today’s post from Kate and M. Sarah Klise’s Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake, released by Henry Holt in early July. (No, they don’t go by “The Sisters Klise,” but I couldn’t resist typing that up there, following the Hilts as it is. And, yes, Ben and Sean Hilt go by “The Brothers Hilts.”)

Grammy Lamby tells the story of Larry, a little lamb whose grandmother is loud, larger-than-life, and full of personality — and not ashamed of it. When she visits, Larry clams up, embarrassed by her loud singing in church and annoyed by her secret handshake. It isn’t till a huge summer storm blows through their valley home and Grammy Lamby is prompted to get to work—cleaning up, patching roofs, and repairing windows—that Larry comes to comprehend what a fully-realized bad-ass she is, indeed. This is very much like the understanding the young boy in David Mackintosh’s The Frank Show comes to as well.

I love the picture books the Klise sisters have brought readers over the years, their domestic dramas, rendered in creamy, richly-colored acrylics. Three spreads from Grammy Lamby are featured here today.

[Note for those who like the art seen here today from The Brothers Hilts: They’re going to stop by for a breakfast interview one day in the near future.]

Enjoy all the art.


* * *


“But when Mrs. Insomniac found a new job, Mother, Father, and little Mika
traveled twelve time zones to their new home.”

(Click to enlarge)

“Mika wrangled her nighttime pets—an aardvark, an angel shark, a bandicoot and a small-eared zorro frisked in Mika’s room. A fennec fox lived under her bed,
and she fed him night beetles.”

(Click to enlarge)


* * *


(Click image to see entire spread from which it comes)

(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)

(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


* * *


“On the way home from church, Grammy Lamby suggested they walk through the park. ‘Someday we’ll go to Tanzania,’ Grammy Lamby said. ‘Just Larry and me. Won’t that be fabulous? A trip to Tanzania for Larry and me. Fabulous! Or would we rather go to the South Seas? Tanzania or the South Seas? We’d better plan on both.”
(Click to enlarge)

“Right before the train left, Larry took Grammy Lamby’s hand and gave it four squeezes. Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze. ‘I don’t know that handshake,’ Granny Lamby said. Larry giggled. ‘Here,’ he said. ‘I made you a present that will explain my secret handshake. But don’t open it until you get on the train.
I want you to be surprised.'”

(Click to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

THE INSOMNIACS. Copyright © 2012 by Karina Wolf. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by The Brothers Hilts. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York. All illustrations reproduced with permission of the publisher.

THE FRANK SHOW. Copyright © 2012 by David Mackintosh. Published by Abrams, New York. All illustrations reproduced with permission of the publisher.

GRAMMY LAMBY AND THE SECRET HANDSHAKE. Copyright © 2012 by Kate Klise. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by M. Sarah Klise. Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York. All illustrations reproduced with permission of the publisher.

10 comments to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
The Brothers Hilts, The Sisters Klise,
and David Mackintosh”

  1. I really love that illustration with the bats.

    I love the Klise sisters, too. Their chapter books are a lot of fun.

  2. I opened this post with that bat illustration for a reason. Soooo great.

    Adrienne, you’ll also love The FRAAAAAAANK Show. (Still singing that — for no reason, other than it just begs to be sung.)

  3. Lovely!

  4. Hi Jules, So I’ll just send you my email message here 🙂

    “I’ve seen over the past two days other bloggers posting about the KidLitCon coming up in September in NYC. Have you ever been to one of these? (I have not) The reason I ask is because it stood out to me that in the description of types of talks they are looking for they have one on “evaluating illustrations”. Now that’s obviously perfect for you and your interest in illustration is what got me started following your blog which was the first blog I ever found related to children’s books. For the past two years I was an art history major but extremely interested in illustration and specifically those in children’s books. And I constantly met with resistance about the possibility of writing my thesis on this topic since there’s this horrible and ridiculous divide between the “fine arts” and illustration. Luckily I’m now transferring to a new university for various reasons and will be majoring in Children’s Literature (!) and still minoring in art history, so I’m very excited.

    So anyways, the point of my email is to see whether you are even going to the KidLitCon and whether there’s a possibility that you would be interested in somehow doing something together on evaluating illustration? It’s just an idea I had so I thought I would tell you 🙂 Let me know what you think when you have a chance.”

    So that was my email 🙂 What do you think?

  5. Jess: Just emailed you!

  6. I haven’t been reading picture books since I started here at HPL, and I really have to figure out a system to make sure I see these new things as they come along, keep a list or something. It’s weird not unpacking boxes of new picture books once or twice a week, that’s for sure–and I don’t want to miss these good ones!

    Incidentally, I finally got to see Hippopposites yesterday. Hilarious and interesting. My favorite was front and side, with the thin line for side–brilliant, that is. I love a concept book that hits some different concepts.

  7. If only you were my neighbor or we had our literary commune, I’d just bring you picture books all the time.

    Oh, Hippopposites. So funny. And clever.

  8. […] adorable baby bear; a dancing egg; and even more happy happy joy joy (the wonderfully creepy bats from The Brothers Hilts being the one exception). So, I say it’s high time we got ominous and grim (and Grimm) around […]

  9. I love these illustrations of Grandpa Frank.

  10. […] in Boston, I had dinner with illustrators Sean and Belt Hilts (left), who visited 7-Imp in July and who are as nice as they are talented, as well as author/illustrator Scott Magoon (front). The […]

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