Archive for October, 2015

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Emma Chichester Clark, Yann Kebbi,
Sangmi Ko, Rebecca Malone, Øyvind Torseter,
and Anton Van Hertbruggen

h1 Friday, October 30th, 2015

— From The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have
(Click spread to enlarge)


“Noah gently stroked his dog’s tummy. ‘Good boy,’ he whispered. …”
— From
Why Dogs Have Wet Noses
(Click to enlarge)


— “Soon Mini’s dog had attracted quite a crowd. …”
A Dog Wearing Shoes
(Click to enlarge spread)


— From Goodnight, Good Dog


— From Americanine: A Haute Dog in New York
(Click spread to enlarge)


“‘PLUM!’ shouted Emma. ‘VERY BAD GIRL!’ she said.”
— From
Love Is My Favorite Thing
(Click spread to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got two brand-new picture books, one which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2015 on Wednesday.

That is here.

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Last week I wrote here about the dog days of … well, Autumn. Here today at 7-Imp I have some illustrations from each book. There’s lots more art below.


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Of Moons and Magic with Melanie Crowder

h1 Thursday, October 29th, 2015

I was … rolling around the idea of negative emotions—grief, regret, shame—and how we allow them to form the walls that imprison us.

I wondered what that prison might look like if it were a tangible thing — and how a person would ever find their way free.”

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I chat with author Melanie Crowder today over at Kirkus about her new middle-grade novel, A Nearer Moon (Atheneum, September 2015).

That Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo taken by Tiffany Crowder and used by permission of Melanie.

“I have seen this … perhaps thirty times
and am still not anywhere near the bottom of it …”

h1 Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

“The old woman fed them steaming bowls of soup and creamy pudding. Once they had eaten their fill, she led her two young guests into a cozy room and tucked them into clean, warm beds. ‘Can you believe how lucky we are?’ Gretel asked drowsily.
‘It is hard to believe,’ said Hansel.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

In the spirit of Halloween this week, I’m sharing a conversation I started via email about a month ago with bloggers Betsy Bird, Travis Jonker, and Minh Lê about picture books that we find either delightfully unsettling or hard to nail down in some way or those that flat-out scare us. It’s hard to land on one good description for the books we ended up discussing, which is why I have the post title I do up there (it’s a quote that Travis mentions below). It’s not a very exciting title, and it’s not going to grab anyone’s attention, but I’ve never been good at that anyway. I didn’t want to use the word “scary” or “horror” in the title, ’cause that doesn’t quite fit as a description for all of these books. Something that gives you chills, after all, you can also find beautiful.

Let’s just get to it. Enough already, Jules. (Now I’m talking to myself.)

Oh, up above is a spread from Holly Hobbie’s newest book about Hansel and Gretel. I mean, LOOK AT THAT WITCH’S FACE. There’s another spread below, and it’s even scarier.

There’s also art in this post from Matt Myers, Erin Stead, Liniers, Eric Rohmann, and more.

Oh, and happy Halloween to all. May you get lots of treats.

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Robo-Sauce for Breakfast:
A Visit with Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

h1 Monday, October 26th, 2015

” … If only there were some sort of magical ‘Robo-Sauce’
that turned you into a giant awesome robot …”


Author Adam Rubin and illustrator Daniel Salmieri are visiting this morning to talk about their newest book, Robo-Sauce, just released by Dial last week. It’s the story of a boy who drinks a sauce that turns him into a robot, and after he concocts a robo-laser of sorts, he turns everything around him into a robot — including the very book he’s in. That’s right: The book has a one-of-a-kind moment—a sort of hybrid fold-out and dustjacket all in one with clear instructions for readers—that transforms the book into a robo-book. If you’re confused right about now, you can either a) read below, where Adam discusses this moment in the book; b) look at the images below of the fold-out moment itself; or c) watch Betsy Bird’s video about it. Better yet, find a copy of the book and experience it for yourself. It’s pretty great, and the story is very fun.

Our chat today is rather Robo-Sauce-centric, but maybe I can have these two back to 7-Imp another day to talk about the mighty funny Dragons Love Tacos (2012), not to mention this year’s Meet The Dullards, written by Sara Pennypacker (with art by Daniel here at 7-Imp). I also failed to ask them what their fascination with sauces is (salsa, robo-power-inducing sauce), so I’ll ask them that next time too.

I thank them for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi

h1 Sunday, October 25th, 2015

(Click to enlarge)

It’s not the first Sunday of the month, which is when I tend to do my student-illustrator features here at 7-Imp, but I’ve been rather unorganized lately and haven’t done one in a while. So, why not today?

This morning I’ve got some artwork from Ellen Shi, who graduated in the Spring from RISD. Ellen has been an SCBWI scholarship recipient and has had work chosen for shows at the Society of Illustrators. I love the image above. Beautiful, yes? Just watch out for those wolves. Always.

Ellen tells us about herself and her work below, so let’s get to it. And I thank her for visiting.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Kate Greenaway, Edward Lear, & Beatrix Potter

h1 Friday, October 23rd, 2015

— From Edward Lear’s The Book of Nonsense

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got a picture book round-up, and that is here. Woof woof. And, because I have some picture book imports in there: Woef woef. Ouaf ouaf. And voff voff. Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have art from each book.

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Today here at 7-Imp is a bit of art from Classic Children’s Tales: 150 Years of Frederick Warne, published in early October. I wrote about that here last week. I don’t have art here today from Randolph Caldecott, but I do have some Kate Greenaway, Edward Lear, and Beatrix Potter.

Enjoy. …

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A Peek at Jonathan Bean’s Drawing Table …

h1 Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted (here) with author-illustrator Jonathan Bean about his newest picture book, This Is My Home, This Is My School, which will be released next week from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Today, he shares not only a bit of final art from the book, but also early sketches and final inks from some of the spreads. If you’re wondering why he cut out portions of some of his drawings, as you’ll see below, he explains that in the Q&A. Here’s what he said last week:

With This Is My Home, This Is My School, I wanted that line to feel like it had been lived in and was beginning to fall apart some, as buildings will when they age and are occupied by energetically active people. So, I inked the whole thing with a hand-carved bamboo pen, often drawing at arm’s length. I also used cheap paper so that the work wouldn’t feel precious and so I wouldn’t worry about drawing things over and over. When, on the fifth or 10th or 13th time, I got a face or tree or stove I liked, I cut it out and pasted it to the Frankendrawing that I gradually completed like a puzzle.

Pictured above is an early cover sketch.

I thank Jonathan for sharing.

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True Olympians Before Breakfast

h1 Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

I had planned on a longer post today, but the 7-Imp server is being testy. Let’s see if I can get even this post up.

I’ve got a review at BookPage of Alexandra Boiger’s Max and Marla (Putnam, October 2015). That is here, and I’m following up here at 7-Imp today with some art from the book.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #454: Featuring Steve Light

h1 Sunday, October 18th, 2015


Remember how last week I had an older and lovely Julie-Paschkis sun? This week I’ve got a brand-new Steve-Light sun, and I thank him for letting me share it.

I’ve got just this one sun, since it’s been a busy week—my youngest daughter has turned ten and is celebrating with friends, and today we bury my father’s ashes—but I think this beautiful sun is pretty much all we need right now.

My kicks, one through seven, without any doubt: I have such kind and thoughtful friends, and I’m grateful for each of them.

What about you?

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Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Chris Riddell and Jim Field

h1 Friday, October 16th, 2015

— From A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young


— From Frog on a Log?
(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I take a look at Classic Children’s Tales: 150 Years of Frederick Warne. That is here.

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I’ve got art today from Michael Rosen’s A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young (Candlewick, September 2015), illustrated by Chris Riddell, as a follow-up to my column on that last week.

I also wrote about some new picture book imports a few weeks ago (here’s the art-filled follow-up post), and I didn’t get in time some art from Frog on a Log? (Scholastic, August 2015), written by Kes Gray and illustrated by Jim Field. But I have a couple of illustrations today, so those are below too.

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