Archive for July, 2017

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #545: Featuring Beatrice Alemagna

h1 Sunday, July 30th, 2017

“So I followed them down a path and found dozens of mushrooms. The air was so damp. I knew the smell from when I was small—my grandparents’ basement.
My cave of treasures. I felt a sense that there was something special close by.
That I was surrounded.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Author-illustrator Beatrice Alemagna is someone whose named has appeared often at 7-Imp over the years, given that I’ve done a whole heapin’ lot of interviews in the years I’ve been blogging, and many, many illustrators have named her as an inspiration.

Today I’m featuring her new book — well, new to U.S. readers. On a Magical Do-Nothing Day was originally published in France last year but is on American shelves now, thanks to HarperCollins. It’s the story of a girl whose day is being ravaged by some serious ennui. She and her mother visit a cabin in a forest, while the girl’s Dad stays back in the city. Who knows what is going on there and why the father isn’t with them, but the girl misses him.

It’s a rainy day, and like a lot of contemporary children, the girl is captivated by the tiny, hand-held device in her hands that allows her to play a game — specifically, one that allows her to destroy Martians. “Actually, I was just pressing the same button over and over,” Alemagna writes. Her mother, working at a laptop, growls at her and takes her electronic device and hides it. The girl finds it and heads out. It’s one of those days where an utter lack of creativity takes over, at least on the part of the girl, and she and her mother most definitely need some time away from one another.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Ed Young and Barbara DaCosta

h1 Friday, July 28th, 2017

“‘Shh! There he is,’ the captain whispered.
‘Row quiet. … Row fast. … Hold steady now—‘”

(Click to enlarge spread)

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a picture book import from New Zealand. That is here. Woof. Woof.

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Last week, I wrote here about Barbara Dacosta and Ed Young’s Mighty Moby (Little, Brown, August 2017). I’ve got a bit of art from the book today, as well as some preliminary images and a few words (below) from Barbara about the book’s creation.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #544: Featuring Mariachiara Di Giorgio

h1 Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

How about another import today, dear Imps? Last week we had a German one; today is one from Italy.

Professional Crocodile was originally published in Italy this year but is also seeing publication here in the States in early August (Chronicle Books). It’s a book conceived by writer and publisher Giovanna Zoboli, who is also one of the founders of the Italian children’s book publisher Topipittori, and it’s illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio.

In this wordless story, readers follow a crocodile during the course of his day. The illustrations are divided into panels of various sizes, though some spreads are continuous, full-bleed ones. The crocodile dresses and behaves as if human. Di Giorgio’s dynamic city scenes will beguile readers; there’s a lot to pore over and take in, and there’s a good dose of humor in the details. At one point, when the crocodile hops on a crowded train, we see mostly humans but also a few other animals. Hmm. … Where is he heading? child readers will wonder.

He’s actually heading for the zoo. Once there, he removes his clothes in a locker room and then waltzes right into his enclosure where, on the final spread, humans gape at him through a glass partition. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today

h1 Friday, July 21st, 2017


This morning over at my Kirkus column, I’ve got Barbara Dacosta and Ed Young’s new picture book, Mighty Moby (Little, Brown, August 2017).

That is here.

Until Sunday …

The Artwork of Thi Bui

h1 Thursday, July 20th, 2017

— From Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir


“The streetlights look brighter and the roads aren’t so busy before the sun comes up.
Dad turns on the heater and tells me stories. A kid at my school said my dad’s English sounds like a thick, dirty river. But to me his English sounds like gentle rain.”
— From Bao Phi’s
A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui
(Click to enlarge spread)


Last week over at Kirkus, author and poet Bao Phi and I talked here about his debut picture book, A Different Pond (Capstone, August 2017), illustrated by Thi Bui.

In March of this year, Thi also released her debut graphic novel, The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (Abrams), the story of her family’s escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the rebuilding of their lives in America.

I’ve got art here at 7-Imp today from both books.

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My Kirkus Chat with Seymour Simon

h1 Thursday, July 20th, 2017

When I write, I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in trying to teach facts. The facts may change, but the enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

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This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to author-illustrator Seymour Simon about his newest nonfiction picture book and his career of making books for children, which has spanned over 300 books and nearly 50 years.

That is here.

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Photo of Seymour Simon © Charles Harbutt and used by permission.

Antje Damm’s Waiting for Goliath

h1 Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

“Bear has been sitting and waiting since dawn.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

How about a German import this morning? Over at BookPage, I have a review of Antje Damm’s Waiting for Goliath (Gecko, August 2017), translated by Sally-Ann Spencer.

That is here, and today here at 7-Imp I have a few spreads.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #543: Featuring Suzy Lee

h1 Sunday, July 16th, 2017

“This beautiful day …”
(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Richard Jackson’s This Beautiful Day (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, August 2017), illustrated by Suzy Lee.

That is here, and below are a couple more spreads from the book.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Lauren Tobia

h1 Friday, July 14th, 2017

“‘Shh!’ she said. ‘Amazing Anna Hibiscus is busy growing up.'”
— From Atinuke’s
You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus!, illustrated by Lauren Tobia
and coming to shelves in September


Bao Phi, photographed by Anna Min

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a Q&A with author Bao Phi, pictured above. We talk about his new picture book, A Different Pond (Capstone, August 2017), illustrated by Thi Bui.

That is here. Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll have some art from the book.

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Also pictured above is an illustration from the Anna Hibiscus chapter book series. I mentioned in last week’s Kirkus column that new titles are coming out in the Fall (Kane Miller), and so today I have some of Lauren Tobia’s illustrations from those new books. More artwork is below.


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Pete, Leda, Raúl

h1 Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Listen. Pete participated his whole life. He led marches to end wars;
he stood on peace lines in cold and snow, heat and rain. …”

(Click to see spread in its entirety and to read the full text)

Here’s a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week with author Leda Schubert. These are some spreads from Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing, illustrated by Raúl Colón.


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