A Place to Land

h1 December 17th, 2019    by jules

“Upstairs, alone in his suite, surrounded by rough drafts and scribbled notes on yellow legal pads, Martin saw Rosa, Fannie Lou, Emmett, Medgar, the children of Birmingham, and so many others — their faces forever seared into his memory.”
(Click to enlarge spread and read text in its entirety)

I’m sending you over to the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott today to read Martha V. Parravano’s superb post on Barry Wittenstein’s A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation (Neal Porter/Holiday House, August 2019), illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. There is so much to love about this book, and Martha captures a lot of it (with regard to the illustrations) in that post. It is here. Happy reading.

Below are a couple more spreads from the book. …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #669: Featuring Dasha Tolstikova

h1 December 15th, 2019    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Hello, imps! I don’t have a picture book for you today, but I do have this lovely piece of art from author-illustrator Dasha Tolstikova. She made this in honor of St. Lucia’s Day, a Scandinavian holiday celebrated this past Friday.

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Little Mole’s Wish

h1 December 13th, 2019    by jules

“‘Hi,’ he said, greeting the snowball with his nose.”

Little Mole’s Wish (Schwartz & Wade, November 2019), originally published in South Korea, is the U.S. debut for author-illustrator Sang-Keun Kim, who lives in Seoul. (I’m not precisely sure what this book’s relationship is to Little Mole’s Worry, evidently named the Best Picture Book of the Year in 2015 in Korea.) I’ve got some spreads here today from this gentle winter story (which Kirkus named one of their Best Picture Books of 2019), translated by Chi-Young Kim.

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When an Inquisitive Preschooler Saves the World

h1 December 10th, 2019    by jules

Power-hungry, tyrannical Doctor X-Ray, complete with an X-ray blaster and an indestructible battle suit, descends upon a busy shopping mall. He’s a mwahaha-villain of the dastardliest sort. Everyone flees in terror, except one little girl, who asks …


And repeatedly asks “why?” As young children are wont to do.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #668: Featuring Lucy Ruth Cummins

h1 December 8th, 2019    by jules

“That’s when Truman saw something he’d never seen before …”

Jean Reidy’s Truman (Atheneum), illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, was released back in July. I reviewed this one for the Horn Book, and I see that the author has posted the review here online. So, if you’re curious to read more about this picture book (which I recommend, as it’s such a good book), you can head there to read that.

This is a book that has been met with a whole host of (well-deserved) glowing reviews. Many people, myself included, seem to have fallen in love with Truman and Sarah this year. It’s a book that respects the courage necessary for children on the first day of school. And tortoises too.

I’ve some of Lucy’s spreads from the book to share here at 7-Imp today. Enjoy!

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Jessixa Bagley on Henry and Bea

h1 December 5th, 2019    by jules

“It’s always lucky to find someone who understands you, and that’s why Henry and Bea were the best of friends.” Thus opens Jessixa Bagley’s Henry and Bea (Neal Porter/Holiday House, October 2019), the emotionally resonant story of how to truly be there for a friend. Jessixa visits 7-Imp today to talk a bit about the book and share some early sketches.

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The Book Rescuer

h1 December 3rd, 2019    by jules

On the first page of The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, October 2019), author Sue Macy speaks invitingly to readers: “Kum aher. Sit down. I want to tell you a story. It starts a long time ago, when Aaron Lansky’s sixteen-year-old grandma left Eastern Europe for the United States.” In sepia tones, illustrator Stacy Innerst shows her packing a suitcase. And in it she places a few books in Yiddish. Those books never made it to her new home; her brother met her in New York City and, telling her that she must break with the past, threw her suitcase into the Hudson River.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #667: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 December 1st, 2019    by jules

This is actually week #666 of kicking, dear kickers, but (call me crazy) I couldn’t bring myself to assign such a grouchy number to this inviting image by author-illustrator Julie Paschkis. So, I muddled with the math.

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h1 November 26th, 2019    by jules

Ever enter a bad mood and then sweep up others into it? I know I do. The protagonist of Louise Greig’s Sweep (Simon & Schuster, September 2019), a British import illustrated by Júlia Sardà, also does this. And his bad mood makes for a good story.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #665: Featuring Ashley Bryan

h1 November 24th, 2019    by jules

Today I’ve got some spreads from one of my very favorite 2019 books — Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, October 2019). This is a 112-page picture book memoir that chronicles the award-winning author-illustrator’s (often harrowing) experiences in the segregated army of World War II (he was drafted in 1943 while an art student at Cooper Union) and, essentially, how his love of art got him through. This is the first time Bryan writes publicly of his war experiences and shares them with the wider world.

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