Archive for December, 2015

What I Did at Kirkus Last Week, Featuring Everett Aison

h1 Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

“A white blanket lay humped and piled over everything in sight.
Could this be the New York he had known in the green of summer?”

Last week here at Kirkus, I wrote in part about Rhoda Levine’s Arthur, illustrated by Everett Aison. Arthur was originally released in 1962 but re-released in October by the New York Review Children’s Collection. I’ve got a bit of art from the book here today.

(I also wrote last week about John Burningham’s Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present. You can see a spread from it in this previous 7-Imp post.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #463: Featuring
Andrea Dezsö, Jonas Lauströer, & Sybille Schenker

h1 Sunday, December 27th, 2015

“All of the sudden an enormous whale came puffing up to him and cried out,
‘Who said you could catch the subjects of my realm and take them away with you?
This will cost you your life!'”
— Andrea Dezsö’s illustration for “The Three Sisters”


“Little Red Cap opened her eyes wide, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing back and forth as they shone through the trees, and all the lovely flowers growing in the forest, she thought: if I take Grandmother a bunch of fresh flowers
she’d like that, too.”
— From
Little Red Riding Hood, illustrated by Sybille Schenker
(Click to see spread in its entirety, including the text)


“The hedgehog shut the door behind him and took the path to the field. He had not gone very far from home, and was just rounding the blackthorn bush which stands at the edge of the field, when he spied the hare who had gone out on business
of the same kind—namely, to visit his cabbages.”
— From
The Hare & the Hedgehog, illustrated by Jonas Lauströer
(Click to enlarge spread)

Good morning, dear kickers. Last week over at Kirkus, I had fairy tales on the mind (that is here, if you’re so inclined to read it), and so today I’m following up that column with art from the books I wrote about. This means I have illustrations from the following books:

  • The Brothers Grimm’s The Hare & the Hedgehog from German illustrator Jonas Lauströer (Minedition, October 2015);
  • The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition, translated and edited by Jack Zipes with illustrations from Andrea Dezsö (Princeton University Press, 2014);
  • Sybille Schenker’s Little Red Riding Hood, translated into English by Anthea Bell (Minedition, 2014).

In that column, I also mentioned Schenker’s Hansel and Gretel (2011), and I’ve got art from that here at 7-Imp.


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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 Thursday, December 24th, 2015


I write about picture books for Kirkus, but sometimes … well, you read a children’s novel so great that you ditch your plans and write about that novel instead. That’s what I’m doing today over at Kirkus, writing about Katherine Rundell’s The Wolf Wilder. That is here.

* * *

And, because freelance writing deadlines don’t stop for the holidays, I’ll have a column up over there tomorrow about my favorite Christmas picture books — one is a long-time favorite (Burningham!), and the other is an older one I just discovered this year. That will be here on Friday.

See you Sunday!

Nana at the Holidays

h1 Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Just have to take a moment to post Lauren Castillo’s holiday art (which she gave me permission to do):


(Click to enlarge)


Happy merry to all!

Re-reading Old Favorites:
A Holiday Guest Post by Oksana Lushchevska

h1 Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

This is a guest post from Oksana Lushchevska, a PhD student in Reading, Writing, Children’s Literature, and Digital Literacy in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia. Oksana visits 7-Imp occasionally to contribute guest posts on contemporary Ukrainian children’s literature. She’s back again today to talk about, of all things, an app.

I’ve never written about a picture book app here at 7-Imp; this is probably the first appearance of the word “app” here in 7-Imp Land. The closest I’ve ever come to a picture book app myself is occasionally looking at the Horn Book’s reviews. But I like to hear what Oksana has to say, and I enjoy when she writes about Ukrainian artists and illustrators, so here she is (below).

Happy holidays to all! …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #462: Featuring Anna Wright

h1 Sunday, December 20th, 2015

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)

The year is nearly over, and I want to be sure to highlight a beautiful nonfiction picture book from UK illustrator Anna Wright, called A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups (Charlesbridge, September 2015). This book, as the sub-title tells you, explores the collective nouns for groups of animals — towers of giraffes, flamboyances of flamingos, parcels of penguins, parliaments of owls. Wright’s writing is accessible and spirited, but it’s the art that really stands out.

Wright—who studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland and who has a particular fondness (per her author bio) for fabrics and wallpaper—uses feathers and fabrics to bring her ink and watercolor animal drawings to life. Each spread includes a small handful of each animal, some looking right at the reader. The fabrics are all textured and appealing — you want to reach out and touch these spreads. The Kirkus review calls the art “spectacular.”

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Pascal Blanchet

h1 Friday, December 18th, 2015

“She hears faint voices coming from outside. Peeking through the curtains,
she sees a car in front of her house. …”

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got the Grimm Brothers on the mind. That is here today.

* * *

Last week I wrote here about an import and my favorite holiday picture book this year, India Desjardins’ Marguerite’s Christmas, illustrated by Pascal Blanchet (Enchanted Lion, November 2015). I’m following up today with some beautiful spreads from the book.


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Art from Özge

h1 Thursday, December 17th, 2015

As a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week (here) with Özge Samanci, I’ve got art here today from Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey (Margaret Ferguson/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, November 2015).

You can click on each image below (except for the last one and the book cover) to enlarge slightly and see in a bit more detail.


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What is Matthew Cordell Up To?

h1 Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

When you find the news—both world and local—discouraging and you feel a lot like the characters look in the above illustration from Marsha Diane Arnold’s Lost. Found., illustrated by Matthew Cordell and released last month (don’t worry — things turn around for these guys), I turn to art. Because we all need art every day.

More specifically, I turned to Matt, who I think is one of this field’s best illustrators. (And Special Delivery, illustrated by Matt and written by Phil Stead, is one of my top-five favorite picture books from this year.) He and I had a relaxed conversation—I say relaxed, since we may or may not briefly veer off into discussions about movies and music—as I wanted to hear a bit more about Lost. Found., and I wanted to see what was on his drawing table. (Wait till you see the wolves below.)

Let’s get right to it.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #461: Featuring Marjorie Priceman

h1 Sunday, December 13th, 2015


“The snow had stopped. The sky was blue-black, and the stars looked close enough to pluck right out and put into your pocket if you wanted to,
but José decided to leave them just where they were.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

This morning at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from Sonia Manzano’s (otherwise known as MARIA FROM SESAME STREET!) Miracle on 133rd Street (Atheneum, September 2015), illustrated by Marjorie Priceman.

You can tell right away, after seeing the exuberant endpapers, that you’re in for a joyous treat with this one, the story of holiday cheer turning from sour to sweet. It’s Christmas Eve, and José has a frown on his face. The tree he’s trying to decorate is “practically a twig,” and his mother is unhappy that the oven is too small for her roast. “We never should have left Puerto Rico,” she tells her husband and son. “There we could have roasted it outside. Everything is too small here.”

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