Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

A Short Breakfast Break

h1 Monday, August 29th, 2022


I’m taking off this week — I have a daughter to take to college — but will return on Sunday. I leave you with this excellent piece at The Hechinger Report, written by teachers Christie Nold and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca:

The wave of state legislation and school board policies restricting what educators can and can’t teach shows no signs of slowing. These efforts rely on a narrative that learning about the history of racism and white supremacy harms students — particularly white students, leaving them feeling guilty and ashamed. We emphatically reject this narrative; it in no way matches our combined 30-plus years of experience as public school teachers. It is not teaching about racism that endangers our students, but the curricular gag-rules that seek to perpetuate their miseducation.

Again, here’s the full piece. Happy reading.

Until Sunday …

Love in the Library

h1 Thursday, January 13th, 2022

“And the books were constant company. Which was nice. Tama loved books. Caught in their pages were worlds bursting with color and light, love and fairness. Pressed between their covers were words that planted seeds in the garden of Tama’s mind.
How magical that—even in Minidoka—such a small little library
could fit so much inside of its four walls!”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Over at BookPage, I’ve a review of Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s Love in the Library (Candlewick, January 2022), an exquisite piece of historical fiction illustrated by Yas Imamura.

Here is the review, and below are some more spreads.

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456 Chickens Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Jarrett Dapier’s Mr. Watson’s Chickens, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. This book is just what you didn’t know you needed until now!

That review is here, and below are some spreads.


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Tracey Campbell Pearson’s
Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

h1 Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

“Girls and boys come out to play …”
(Click spread to enlarge)

It’s good to see a new picture book that gives us a fresh look at Mother Goose rhymes — it’s not exactly a heyday now in the picture book world for traditional tales — and it’s also good to see a new book from Tracey Campbell Pearson (who is responsible for the very funny Bob and a handful of other well-crafted books).

I’m looking at an F&G of Tracey’s Girls and Boys Come Out to Play (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, April 2021), which is to say that not everything here is quite glued down. But it looks like the endpapers (both opening and closing) feature a short series of Mother Goose rhymes — “Hey, Diddle, Diddle”; “Humpty Dumpty”; “Jack and Jill”; and more. On the title page spread we see a young child reading a book of nursery rhymes, cat snuggling nearby and younger sibling on the floor, dozing next to the dog. And the next spread depicts nursery rhyme characters sitting on a brick wall. Will we see them throughout the book? On the opening spread (pictured above), there is the grand dame herself. Mother Goose stands on a rooftop. “Girls and boys come out to play,” we read.

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Over the Shop

h1 Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Want to take a peek at a beautiful, touching early-2021 picture book? After yesterday’s news, I do.

JonArno Lawson’s Over the Shop (Candlewick, January 2021), illustrated by Qin Leng, is on shelves now. Reading it is a superb way to start 2021.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #724: Featuring Stephen T. Johnson
and Romana Romanyshyn & Andriy Lesiv

h1 Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

— From Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv’s Sound: Shhh … Bang … POP … BOOM!


— From Stephen T. Johnson’s Music Is …

Who’s up for exploring the world of sound with me today? I’ve got two 2020 picture books here — Stephen T. Johnson’s Music Is … (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, October 2020) and Romana Romanyshyn’s and Andriy Lesiv’s Sound: Shhh … Bang … Pop … BOOM! (Handprint, October 2020). The latter was originally published in Ukraine and is translated by Vitaly Chernetsky.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #723: An Unplanned Interruption …

h1 Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Hey, everybody. A quick note to say (from a McDonald’s parking lot where I’m stealing some WiFi) that I can’t do my previously planned post today, because we have been without cell service and WiFi for a couple days now, due to that car bomb that went off in Nashville and wreaked havoc with AT&T’s servers. I hope to be back soon with art and words!

Do tell me your kicks anyway. I may not be able to read them for a while, but I’ll be glad to see them once I’m online again.

The Bear and the Moon

h1 Monday, November 30th, 2020

Today, I’m featuring one of my favorite picture books of 2020 — Matthew Burgess’s The Bear and the Moon (Chronicle, September 2020), illustrated by Cátia Chien.

My Horn Book review of the book is here, if you’d like to read more about it.

And here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some of the book’s beautiful spreads. Cátia also visits to share some early sketches and partial storyboards. I thank her for sharing.


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h1 Monday, November 16th, 2020

(Click cover to enlarge)


Over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott, I have the pleasure of writing about a handful of exceptionally good 2020 international picture books. Since Calling Caldecott is Caldecott-focused, we call them “Caldenotts” (a phrase coined by Thom Barthelmess). They are books from this year that are not eligible for the Caldecott Award, because they were originally published in another country or are illustrated by someone not living here in the U.S.

I love to follow picture book imports and was happy to write the post. It is here.

Chris Raschka’s In the City

h1 Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

“Clouds and treetops are their homes, / airy houses all their own.
Could a friend be waiting for me? / Too hoo, too hoo. / Coo coo, coo coo.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Chris Raschka’s beautiful In the City (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, September 2020).

That is here.

Below are some more spreads from the book.


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