What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
R. Gregory Christie, Nate Powell, and Eugene Yelchin

h1 February 3rd, 2017    by jules


From John Lewis’s and Andrew Aydin’s March: Book Two,
illustrated by Nate Powell

(Click to enlarge)


 


“‘IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST ELOQUENT PROFOUND AND UNEQUIVOCAL PLEAS FOR JUSTICE AND THE FREEDOM OF ALL MEN EVER MADE BY ANY PRESIDENT,’ telegrammed Dr. King as soon as the speech was over.”
— From Shana Corey’s
A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech,
illustrated by R. Gregory Christie


 

From Carmen Agra Deedy’s The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!,
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

(Click to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books that make me wish I could snap my fingers and be in an elementary language arts classroom right about now. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about the third book in John Lewis’s and Andrew Aydin’s March trilogy (Top Shelf Productions), released last year and illustrated by Nate Powell; Carmen Agra Deedy’s The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (Scholastic, January 2017), illustrated by Eugene Yelchin; and Shana Corey’s A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and coming to shelves from NorthSouth Books in April.

Today, I’ve got art from all three books in the March trilogy, as well as art from Yelchin and Christie.

Until Sunday …

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My Kirkus Q&A with Joe Todd-Stanton

h1 February 2nd, 2017    by jules

The books I loved best when I was a kid were always very detailed, so I probably pick narratives that will lend themselves to that style. Pretty much every mythology is so rich in back story and characters that it’s a great thing to hang a story around, because it gives you an instant, vast visual language you can then place your character into.”

* * *

Today over Kirkus, I talk with British author-illustrator Joe Todd-Stanton about his debut children’s book, Arthur and the Golden Rope (Flying Eye Books, February 2017), volume one in the Brownstone’s Mythical Collection series.

That Q&A is here.

I’ll have even more art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

Until tomorrow …

 

Seven Questions Over Breakfast with David Soman

h1 January 31st, 2017    by jules



 
Author-illustrator David Soman visits 7-Imp this morning for a cyber breakfast and gives just the right answer to my question about what he would like to have on our cyber-table. “Coffee,” he says. “Coffee and blueberry banana pancakes. With coffee. Sweet Sue’s, a great breakfast joint in somewhat nearby Phoenecia, New York, calls blueberry banana pancakes ‘blue monkeys,’ which is what we call them at home. I love them on the weekends. With coffee. Did I mention coffee?”

Coffee it is, and I’m pleased to say that David shares a whole bunch of art and preliminary images today. Pictured above is an illustration from last year’s The Monster Next Door, released by Dial in September. David both wrote and illustrated this one, though he’s most well-known for the series on which he collaborates with his wife, author Jacky Davis — the bestselling Ladybug Girl series. (If I’m counting correctly there have been over 20 sequels to the opener in the series, Ladybug Girl, published in 2008.) Let us also not forget 2014’s beautiful Three Bears in a Boat, one of my favorite picture books from that year.

But David’s first illustrated picture book, written by Angela Johnson, was published in 1989. He’s been making picture books for a while, in other words, and so it’s a pleasure to talk to him today about his work, his technique, his teaching, and much more. Let’s get to it, and I thank him for visiting today.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #519: Featuring
Marsha Diane Arnold and Renata Liwska

h1 January 29th, 2017    by jules

 

“until …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
I’m taking a moment this morning to highlight one more 2016 picture book, Marsha Diane Arnold’s Waiting for Snow (Houghton Mifflin, November 2016), illustrated by Renata Liwska. (This title is fitting, given we get very little snow here in the South.)

Marsha visits today to talk about this tender, endearing story and what’s next for her. She titled what you will see from her below “Lessons in Patience,” which is also a fitting way to summarize this book. In it, Badger makes it loud and clear that he’s tired of waiting for the snow to come, despite the more philosophically-bent Hedgehog reminding him in more ways than one that “it will snow in snow’s time,” just as the crocuses always bloom in their own time every Spring. All Badger has to do is wait, but that’s easier said than done.

Let’s hear more from Marsha about the book, and I’m peppering the post with some of Renata’s beautiful spreads — and even an early sketch or two.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus
What I Did Last Week, Featuring Anastasia Higginbotham

h1 January 27th, 2017    by jules


“We don’t get to keep everyone we love who has ever lived.”
— From
Death Is Stupid


 

“It’s in your nature to want to know. …”
— From
Tell Me About Sex, Grandma
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got marching and protesting (and children’s books, of course) on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about two books in Anastasia Higginbotham’s Ordinary Terrible Things seriesDeath Is Stupid, released last year, and Tell Me About Sex, Grandma, coming to shelves in April of this year. (Both books are from Feminist Press.)

I’m following up with some spreads from each book today.

Until Sunday …

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First Ladies with Matt Faulkner

h1 January 26th, 2017    by jules


“Carrie Harrison lived at the White House when electric lights were first installed there—and she was scared she’d get zapped by the switches. …”


 
Last week at Kirkus, I talked here to both author Ruby Shamir and illustrator Matt Faulkner about What’s the Big Deal About First Ladies, released this month by Philomel. Today, I’m following up with some spreads from the book.

Enjoy!

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The Land of Nod with Robert Hunter

h1 January 25th, 2017    by jules


“But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
A classic children’s poem by Robert Louis Stevenson is given new life in this picture book adaptation, illustrated by London-based illustrator Robert Frank Hunter.

The Land of Nod (Flying Eye Books) will arrive on shelves next month. In the illustrations, Hunter gives a young boy, the one who nightly visits the dream-world of Nod, a leg cast and set of crutches. The boy looks longingly out the window at children playing, but since he can’t join them, he retreats into the world of his imagination at night. His dreamscape is populated by the items in his bedroom and the rest of his home, all of them mammoth in size and the playground of his adventures. In one spread showing his entrance into the Land of Nod, he leaps across so many spectral items in his home — a chair, books, a piece of furniture, a vase. They form an otherwordly bridge of sorts, one awash in the cool blues of night. The toys on his bed join him on his surreal adventure. The mundane becomes the fantastical here. Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #518, the I’m-at-Midwinter Edition

h1 January 22nd, 2017    by jules

Dearest Imps, I should probably apologize that two Sundays in a row now I’ve had no art for you (though I DO HAVE KICKS TODAY!). Last week I was down for the count with some sort of cold/flu/heaven-only-knows-what, and this weekend I’m at ALA Midwinter. I’m typing this on Thursday night, as I’m leaving Friday and will be there until the big awards announcements on Monday.

I’ll be moderating a picture book panel discussion on Saturday, which will be fun. I’m also awfully excited that, for the first time, I’ll get to be in the room where the awards are announced. I always watch the live webcast from home every year, so this will be a blast. Best of all, a friend gave me some badges for my family to be able to join me at (some of) the conference, so my daughters, who are big readers, will get to see the exhibit floor (with ALL THE BOOKS SO MANY BOOKS), as well as hear the awards announcements with me.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Nikki Grimes, Frank Morrison, Brian Pinkney,
James Ransome, & Shadra Strickland

h1 January 20th, 2017    by jules


Illustration by Shadra Strickland: “Son, it is all too easy to let /
this world’s bullies puncture your / pride …”

(Click to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got two new picture books that aren’t afraid to speak frankly to children. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Nikki Grimes’s One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomsbury, January 2017). Here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got a selection of illustrations from the book.

Enjoy!

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Putting First Ladies First

h1 January 19th, 2017    by jules

 

I’ve got an interview over at Kirkus today with Ruby Shamir and Matt Faulkner, the author and illustrator of What’s the Big Deal About First Ladies, released this month by Philomel. We talk about leaving the book’s final page empty until the election results came in, what surprising things they learned in their research, and much more.

That is here. I’ll have more art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT FIRST LADIES. Copyright © 2017 by Ruby Shamir. Illustrations © 2017 by Matt Faulkner and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Philomel Books, New York.