Archive for December, 2016

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 Friday, December 30th, 2016


You can click on the image above to head over to Kirkus to read about those two picture books, one released this week and the other coming out next week.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I hope to have some art for you from the books I wrote about at Kirkus last week. It’s a bit challenging to gather art this week, since folks are holiday’ing. But I’ll have it soon!

Until Sunday …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #515: Featuring Rowboat Watkins

h1 Sunday, December 25th, 2016

(Click to enlarge)

Merry Christmas, dear Imps! Isn’t it kinda cool that it’s on a Sunday this year? I do think I’ll skip seven separate kicks today, though you all are welcome to leave yours, and just wish you a happy holiday instead. But it’s good to be able to do so on the big day itself.

My Christmas gift to you is this fantastic image from author-illustrator Rowboat Watkins. (When you’re done opening presents, read this 2015 visit with him, if you haven’t already.) I love it more than rum-laden egg nog and snow angels combined. Do click on the image to embiggen it; I love the timestamp detail. I think one of the best things about 2017 is that Rowboat will have a new picture book on shelves. Pete with No Pants will be out in May. (I just had to look up the month, and I’m pleased it’s my birthday month. It’s as if the publishing field knows how eager I am to read it. I mean, not really, but I can pretend.) You did click on the title to see that wonderful cover, yes? Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring John Burningham

h1 Friday, December 23rd, 2016

“Other mornings they would drive out into the countryside.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Today at Kirkus, I’ve got my Children’s Book Ghost File, an idea I’m lifting from NPR. That is here.

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Since last week I wrote (here) about John Burningham’s new picture book, Motor Miles (Candlewick, September 2016), I’ve got a couple spreads from it today.


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Javaka Steptoe on Radiant Child

h1 Friday, December 23rd, 2016

I absolutely love and appreciate all of the attention this book is receiving. Not just for me, but because people are looking at Basquiat in a different way. They are seeing more than just the ‘wild child.’ They are also seeing the radiant child; they are seeing his humanity.”

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Yesterday over at Kirkus, I talked with Javaka Steptoe (who visited 7-Imp back in 2008), where we discuss his biography of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Radiant Child (Little, Brown, October 2016). I’d written about it at Kirkus earlier this year, but it’s one of my favorite picture books this year, and I wanted to ask him all about it. (You can see some spreads from it here in this May post.)

That Q&A is here.

(And don’t miss The Yarn’s coverage of this wonderful book.)

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Photo of Javaka used by permission of Little, Brown and taken by Gregg Richards.

Holiday Art That Makes Me
Reach for My Hot Cocoa, Part II

h1 Wednesday, December 21st, 2016


I’m still feeling festive and sharing some more holiday art with you all. This one is from Charles Santoso.

Until tomorrow …

Holiday Art That Makes Me Reach for My Hot Cocoa

h1 Tuesday, December 20th, 2016


I’m feeling festive and wanting to share holiday art with you all. This one is from Lauren Castillo. You can click on it to see a bigger version of it.

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #514: Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Dear Imps, did you read this year Matt Phelan’s exceptionally good graphic novel, Snow White? I wrote about it here at Kirkus in September. It’s one of my top-five favorite books from this year. (I don’t ever really do lists or Caldecott predictions, but this one is very special, and yes, I’d definitely put it in the top five.) And here is where Matt stopped by 7-Imp to share early sketches and such from this beautiful book.

Today, Matt is sharing a holiday image he made (and I think he made it just for this post, for which I am grateful). If you read his beautiful book, you know the chilling importance of the ticker tape.

But here the ticker tape is singing a holiday tune for us. I love it. Big thanks to Matt.

I’ll post the cover here again at 7-Imp, because really, if you haven’t read it yet, what is stopping you?

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Elizabeth Baddeley

h1 Friday, December 16th, 2016

“Celia Amster Bader thought girls should also have the chance to
make their mark on the world. So she took Ruth to the library.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got John Burningham on the mind. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Debbie Levy’s I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon & Schuster, September 2016). Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve a bit of art.

Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �

The Art of Christina Balit

h1 Thursday, December 15th, 2016

“A giant the size of a palm tree lumbered in. His teeth were boar tusks, his blubbery lips flopped against his chest, his eyes burned like torches, his nails curled into lion claws. He picked me up and felt me like a butcher feels a lamb. …”

Last week, I chatted here with Donna Jo Napoli about her new book, Tales From the Arabian Nights (National Geographic, October 2016), illustrated by Christina Balit. Here today is a bit of art from the book.


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Diving Into the World of Beatrix Potter

h1 Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Illustration for The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, 1903
(Click to enlarge)

Here’s a quick post to remind you that it’s still a good time to be a Beatrix Potter fan, as the world celebrates her 150th birthday this year. One of the best ways to celebrate it, I’ve found, is by reading The Art of Beatrix Potter: Sketches, Paintings, and Illustrations, released by Chronicle last month.

What a treat this book is! It features a whole heapin’ lot (to be precise) of her artwork—per the publisher, there are over 200 pieces of artwork here—and includes rare pieces, such as sketches from her notebooks, watercolors, unpublished works (even greeting cards), illustrated letters she sent, handwritten notes/drafts, pen-and-ink studies, and much more. Organized geographically (London and the South Coast; Scotland; The Lake District; Wales and Beyond), it is packed with information and art — information about her life and her inspirations. The text is from author, editor, and image researcher Emily Zach. There’s a foreword by Steven Heller, who teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Linda Lear, who previously wrote a biography of Potter, writes the introduction. And Scottish illustrator and painter Eleanor Taylor writes a reverent afterword. Her words stick with me: Read the rest of this entry �