What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Vali Mintzi and Brian Pinkney

h1 March 29th, 2013 by jules

“And everyone remembered Shiraz, too — the girl with a brave heart,
who had listened and had understood that when people are sad,
they do not always know how to ask for what they need.”
— One of Vali Mintzi’s illustrations from
Rita Jahanforuz’s
The Girl With a Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran
(Barefoot Books, March 2013)

“Mama Nsoso spread her wings around her children. ‘Don’t worry, my babies,’
she said. ‘When morning comes, we will build an ilombe, a new house. It will have a
grass roof, mud walls, and a cozy nest inside. The wind will not blow in.
The rain will not drip in, and the dark night will not bother us.'”
— One of Brian Pinkney’s illustrations from
Janice N. Harrington’s
Busy-Busy Little Chick
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 2013)

(Click to enlarge image)


If you follow picture books closely, you know there’s been a lot of talk lately about this book, pictured left, by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen. The Dark will be released by Little, Brown next week, and I read an early copy a while ago.

And I really like it.

I wanted to write about it for Kirkus this week, yet I wanted to do something different. There have been already a handful of reviews of the book, and I wasn’t in the mood to hear myself yap about it.

I started thinking about what it must have been like to work as the editor on this story, so I contacted Susan Rich, the Little, Brown editor who worked on this one. My column this week is a Q&A with her, and it is here today.

I thank Susan for taking the time to chat with me about it, and next week I’ll have a bit more art from the book here at 7-Imp.

* * *

Last Thursday at Kirkus, I chatted with illustrator Brian Pinkney and author Janice N. Harrington, pictured below, about Busy-Busy Little Chick, their new collaboration from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, released in February. If you missed that Q&A, it’s here. Below are some illustrations from the book.

And last Friday, I wrote here about Rita Jahanforuz’s The Girl With a Brave Heart: A Tale from Tehran (Barefoot Books, March 2013), illustrated by Vali Mintzi. Below is one more illustration from the book. (And for those who want to see even more, I noticed that, if you click on the book’s cover here at the Barefoot site, you’ll see a slideshow of a few more spreads.)



* * *


‘Pruck! Pruck!’ clucked Mama Nsoso. ‘We will work tomorrow.
Today we will peck and gobble big fat worms.'”

(Click to enlarge spread)

“At last, he’d built a pile as round as a ripe melon.”

“Beside a tall tree she saw a beautiful new ilombe. It was as large as her wings spread wide-wide. It had smooth mud walls, a green grassy roof,
a clean leafy nest, and baby chicks running in and out.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


* * *


“‘I beg your pardon, who are you?’ asked Monir. Shiraz was puzzled. ‘It’s me, Shiraz. I’m so sorry I’ve been gone so long,’ she said. Monir laughed. ‘How can you be Shiraz?’ she said. ‘You don’t look at all like her — you’re far too beautiful!'”
(Click to enlarge illustration)

* * *

BUSY-BUSY LITTLE CHICK. Text copyright © 2013 by Janice N. Harrington. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Brian Pinkney. Spreads reproduced by permission of the publisher, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York.

THE GIRL WITH A BRAVE HEART: A TALE FROM TEHRAN. Copyright © 2010 by Rita Jahanforuz. Illustrations copyright © 2010 by Vali Mintzi. First U.S. publication by Barefoot Books, 2013. Illustrations used with permission of the publisher.

Brian Pinkney photographed by Christine Simmons.

Janice N. Harrington photographed by Rachel Eliza Griffith.

One comment to “What I’m Up To at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Vali Mintzi and Brian Pinkney”

  1. Love the cover for “The Dark”! You know how you see something every once in a while and go “Damn, I wish I’d done that”? . . . Yeah, this is one of those times.

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