Josie’s Lost Tooth

h1 August 15th, 2018    by jules

“Josie checked for a loose tooth every night.
But nothing ever moved, not even a bit.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I am always interested in seeing the latest picture book release from Jennifer K. Mann. Her stories possess such respect for the inner lives of children, and she captures domestic and school-related dramas so perfectly. (Here’s my 2016 7-Imp interview with her, if her books are new to you, by chance, and you want to explore.) Her newest picture book, Josie’s Lost Tooth (Candlewick), is no exception. It will be on shelves next month. Here’s a quick peek inside.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #599: Featuring E. B. Goodale

h1 August 12th, 2018    by jules

“Lula says: ‘This is hard work, Daddy.’ ‘It is,’ Daddy says.
‘But see what we’ve done already, even without Akaraka.’
‘Daddy!’ Lula laughs. ‘Akaraka can’t sweep.’ ‘Oh?’
‘She’s an imaginary girl.'”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Has anyone else noticed how many superb picture books former editor and now-author Richard Jackson has been penning? I tell you what, they have been some of my favorite picture book texts in the last couple of years. Last year’s This Beautiful Day, illustrated by Suzy Lee; last year’s All Ears, All Eyes, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson; and 2016’s In Plain Sight, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, are but a few examples. The legendary editor retired in 2005 and has taken up picture book-writing. Here is a great PW piece about him, published two years ago.

His newest picture book — A Kiss for Akaraka (Greenwillow), illustrated by E. B. Goodale — will be on shelves in late September. This is the story of a father and daughter (Lula) outdoors, raking leaves and discussing the girl’s imaginary friend, Akaraka. I just read the Kirkus review for the book, where the reviewer writes: “Questions about what we see and what we don’t see, what we know and what we don’t know ripple through this beguiling book like a playful October wind.” Ah, yes. Well-said. Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Laura Vaccaro Seeger

h1 August 10th, 2018    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some recommended picture books, all new to shelves, for back-to-school.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Blue (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook), coming to shelves this September. I’m following up today with a visit from Laura, who talks about her process, while sharing lots of art. I thank her for visiting.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Unwanted

h1 August 9th, 2018    by jules

“In 2016, the European Union and Turkey decide refugees sneaking into Greece by boat from Turkey will be returned to Turkey. The Europeans promise to resettle officially registered Syrians from Turkish camps, a tiny fraction of all the refugees in Turkey.”

As a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week with Don Brown, I’ve some art today from The Unwanted: Stories of Syrian Refugees (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2018).

Until tomorrow. …

Read the rest of this entry »

Brian Lies’ The Rough Patch

h1 August 7th, 2018    by jules

“He loaded up the pumpkin and drove to town.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Brian Lies’ The Rough Patch (Greenwillow, August 2018). The review is here, and Brian visits today to talk about the process behind this moving picture book. I thank him for sharing.

Let’s get right to it.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #598:
Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Amber Ma

h1 August 5th, 2018    by jules

Good morning, one and all. It’s the first Sunday of the month (August already? WHUT), and that means I have a student or newly-graduated illustrator visiting today. In this case, it’s the latter. I welcome Amber Ma today. I love to pore over her detailed, beguiling artwork, and since she tells you about it below, as well as generously shares lots of art, let’s get right to it.

Thanks again to Amber for stopping by today. …

Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Felicita Sala and Júlia Sardà

h1 August 3rd, 2018    by jules

“Mary opens her eyes, frightened. She tries to forget what she imagined.
She tries to think up a ghost story instead. And then, with a sudden jolt of excitement, she understands. She had already
found her ghost story! The monster coming to life. That is the story she will write. Finally, she has her idea. …”
— From Linda Bailey’s
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein,
illustrated by Júlia Sardà

(Click image to enlarge and read the full text)


“She trembled as she imagined a hand — huge, gray, and twisted —
appearing through the bed curtains. She saw the curtains part.
The creature stared down at her with bulging yellow eyes.
What did it want from her?!”
— From Lynn Fulton’s She Made a Monster,
illustrated by Felicita Sala
(Click image to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I write about Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s newest picture book, Blue.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Linda Bailey’s Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, illustrated by Júlia Sardà (Tundra, August 2018), as well as Lynn Fulton’s She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein, illustrated by Felicita Sala (Knopf, September 2018). Today I’m following up with art from each book.


Read the rest of this entry »

My Kirkus Q&A with Don Brown

h1 August 2nd, 2018    by jules

[V]isiting Greece underscored the human scale of the tragedy. It was happening to ordinary men, women, and children, no different than my family and neighbors. The visit left me determined to tell the refugees’ story with both accuracy and sympathy. They don’t deserve less.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with author-illustrator Don Brown about his latest graphic novel, The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees.

That is here, and next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more images from the book.

Until tomorrow …

Inside the Villains

h1 July 31st, 2018    by jules

Here’s a quick peek inside the tall, interactive picture book import Inside the Villains (Gecko), coming to shelves this September from French author-illustrator Clotilde Perrin. Here, readers meet classic fairy-tale villains, up close and personal — the Wolf, the Giant, and the Witch. Each villain is profiled on a large flap that opens left (strengths, weaknesses, “Things I Hate,” etc.), and a classic folk or fairy tale featuring the villain is included — a version of the Grimm Brothers’ “The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats”; the English fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”; and “Alyoshka and Baba Yaga.” (These portions of text are also illustrated.)

And the large portrait of each villain on the right side of each spread? They include flaps, levers, tabs, and even strings so that readers can open coats, peek inside minds (and even hearts), and see what’s in pockets and/or boots. Lift the wolf’s shadowy exterior, for instance, to see Grandma’s nightgown — and if you open that, there lies a spiral-shaped tab you can lift with a string that reveals the various fairy tale characters who make up the Wolf’s favorite snacks, all snug in his belly.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #597: Featuring Tove Jansson

h1 July 29th, 2018    by jules

” … Thingummy muttered, ‘Flazing blame.’
Bob said, ‘It’s hed hed rot!
Smorld up in woke — a sheadful drame,
When smorld is all we’ve got!'”

(Click to enlarge)

Here’s a picture book that arrived on shelves in April but was created in 1970 and is publishing for the first time in North America. The Dangerous Journey was the last picture book completed by the legendary Finnish author-illustrator Tove Jansson. This new edition, published by Drawn & Quarterly, was translated by Sophie Hannah.

Read the rest of this entry »