A Joyride Before Breakfast

h1 July 19th, 2022    by jules

“A tractor has wheels. A llama has no wheels.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

One of the funniest picture books you’ll see this year might fly so low under the radar that you’ll miss it. Here’s me doing my small part to ensure you don’t. Shannon McNeill’s Wheels, No Wheels (Tundra Books) arrived on shelves last month.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #803: Featuring Mariana Chiesa

h1 July 17th, 2022    by jules

Originally published in Argentina in 2018 and translated into English by Elisa Amado, Suniyay Moreno’s The Youngest Sister (Greystone Kids, May 2022), illustrated by Mariana Chiesa, brings readers a day in the life of a Quechua girl who lives in a mountain village in Argentina: “In the mountains, far from Vaca Huañuna, on the other side of the river, the mum, the five sisters, the seven cousins, and the two children of Swallow the peon had slept in the hut that night.”

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Don’t Worry, Murray

h1 July 15th, 2022    by jules

“Good morning, Murray!” says the owner of a pup in David Ezra Stein’s thoroughly entertaining Don’t Worry, Murray (Balzer + Bray, June 2022). Readers never see the narrator, whose words make up the entirety of the dialogue in this rewarding story, your next best story-time read.

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The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back

h1 July 12th, 2022    by jules

“The house stood bright and full, brimming with warmth and the smell of freshly baked sweets. As dinner was served, there was a knock at the door.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve got a review over at the Horn Book of Jonathan Stutzman’s The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back (Candlewick, August 2022), illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

That review is here, and below are some spreads from the book. It’s tricky to share spreads when it’s a book that feature die-cuts, but let’s hope you can find a copy of this one to see for yourself anyway.

[Note: Reading this review at their site may require a subscription to the Horn Book.]

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #802: Featuring Viola Halle Ruzzier

h1 July 10th, 2022    by jules

It may have been a ridiculously long time since I’ve done a regular 7-Imp feature with a student or unpublished illustrator (mea culpa), but today I’m going to do so again. It’s my pleasure to welcome Viola Ruzzier to 7-Imp. Viola, who recently completed college at a school in Canada, did not major in art or illustration (though her father, who is an award-winning illustrator, knows a thing or two about it). As you’ll read below, she studied science and embarked upon a book project that involves illustrated stories. It’s called Science Stories: A Little Volume for People Who Like Science and Stories. And it is, just as it sets out to be, informative and entertaining. (You will see in some of the pages below that Viola’s distinctive voice — particularly, her dry wit — is one of the best things about the book.)

I’m going to turn things over to her so that she can tell us more about this story collection. I thank her for visiting.

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If You’re a Kid Like Gavin

h1 July 7th, 2022    by jules

If You’re a Kid Like Gavin: The True Story of a Young Trans Activist (Katherine Tegen Books, July 2022), illustrated by J Yang, is written by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff. You can read Gavin’s true story here at the ACLU’s site. As you’ll see there, in 2015 Gavin sued his school board for discriminating against him in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. (You can read about the case here.) And he won. This celebratory picture book shares Gavin’s story but also serves as a rallying cry for children everywhere to stand up for equity, basic human dignity, and (specifically) the rights of trans students.

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“There was always some new kind of fun …”

h1 July 5th, 2022    by jules

If you haven’t seen Jacqueline Woodson’s newest picture book, be sure to find a copy of The World Belonged to Us (Nancy Paulsen Books, May 2022), illustrated by Leo Espinosa. It’s a story that captures childhood summer play on the streets of Brooklyn during the time Woodson herself was a child. It’s in past tense, as if Woodson herself is looking back. And it is a shot of joy.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #801: Featuring Molly Brooks

h1 July 3rd, 2022    by jules

Hello, Imps! I’m going to continue with a theme this week — I posted mid-week about a new children’s graphic novel that I love — and share some spreads today from yet another graphic novel, Kathryn Ormsbee’s Growing Pangs (Random House, May 2022), illustrated by Molly Brooks and colored by Bex Glendining and Elise Schuenke. This is the story of Katie, who is a rising sixth grader. She’s homeschooled (I love the way this graphic novel takes on the stereotypes that homeschooled students often face), and she struggles with worry — OCD, to be precise. It’s good stuff, and I have a review over at the Horn Book, should you want to read more about it.

That is here, and below are some spreads.


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Rachel Elliott’s The Real Riley Mayes

h1 June 28th, 2022    by jules

Happy Pride Month! It’s not over yet. Let’s celebrate with Riley Mayes. She’s the star of a new graphic novel from Rachel ElliottThe Real Riley Mayes (Balzer + Bray, May 2022). I’ve got a review of this one over at the Horn Book. A starred review — because it’s that good.

That review is here, and below is some art.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #800: Featuring Richard Jones

h1 June 26th, 2022    by jules

“Trace the drops … a dot-to-dot that
makes a secret map.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Meg Fleming’s meditative Wondering Around (Beach Lane, May 2022), illustrated by Richard Jones, is an ode to wondering at, observing, and engaging with the natural world and features children who “wander on the outside … and wonder on the in.”

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