Archive for November, 2017


h1 Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

“Martin’s dream was my symphony. Black and white people could come together in the big dance of life. Hey child, my sweet child . . . Sometimes it seems as if
that dream came true! But the dream is fragile. You have to take care of it.”

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of a French import, Alice Brière-Haquet’s Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-Rights Activist Nina Simone (Charlesbridge, November 2017), illustrated by Bruno Liance and originally published in 2015.

That review is here, and I’m following up here today with some illustrations from the book. (Some are sans text.)


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #562: Featuring Lauren Castillo

h1 Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Foam printing in process, followed by final spread:
“One cold October evening, Andy watched a spider spin. He climbed a ladder for a closer look. He’d found the hero of his story — Charlotte A. Cavatica.
She rewove destiny with words. In the gleaming strands of her web,
Charlotte formed the bond of friendship.”

(Click each to enlarge)

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Barbara Herkert’s A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, October 2017), illustrated by Lauren Castillo.

That review is here, and today Lauren visits to share some preliminary images from the book, as well as some final spreads. I thank her for sharing.

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My Kirkus Q&A with Chris Harris

h1 Friday, November 24th, 2017

Have you seen Chris Harris’s I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups, illustrated by Lane Smith? You may have already read about this book, as it’s received a whole host of starred reviews.

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with Chris, pictured here, about this book, what it’s been like to enter the world of children’s lit (he comes from the world of television — writing and producing, that is), and what it was like to work with Lane.

He also lobs some fruit at me.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more art and verses from the book.

The Q&A is here.


* * * * * * *

Photo of Chris taken by Cliff Lipson.

What I Did at Kirkus Last Week,
Featuring Jacob Grant, Boris Kulikov, and Ashley Wolff

h1 Friday, November 24th, 2017

“Every day the small petting zoo was packed with grabby little hands.”
— From Jacob Grant’s
Through with the Zoo
(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


“‘Here I am, Mama,’ says Baby Bear.
‘Up in the birch tree.'”
— From Ashley Wolff’s
Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear?
(Click to enlarge spread)


“If you come to a house, knock on the door and politely say,
‘Has anyone seen an elephant?’ And if no one has, then go deeper into the jungle.”
— From Kate Banks’s
How to Find an Elephant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
(Click to enlarge spread)


Last week, I wrote here at Kirkus about Jacob Grant’s Through with the Zoo (Feiwel & Friends, November 2017); Kate Banks’s How to Find an Elephant (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2017), illustrated by Boris Kulikov; and Ashley Wolff’s Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, October 2017).

I’m following up with art today.


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Your 7-Imp Holiday Gift Guide?
Yes, Your 7-Imp Holiday Gift Guide!

h1 Friday, November 24th, 2017


Black Friday may not be my thing, but I have at Kirkus this week a holiday gift guide, of all the thingy things.

BOOKS, of course!

It occurred to me I’m in my seventh year of blogging at Kirkus, so I take a look at favorite posts I’ve done over the years, ones that include books I just know your friends and family would like to unwrap this year. (Pictured above is one of those books, one of my favorite novels this year.)

That is here.

Happy book-hunting!

My BookPage Q&A with Allen Say

h1 Tuesday, November 21st, 2017


I’ve got a short chat with Allen Say over at BookPage, where he answers some questions about his picture book Silent Days, Silent Dreams. (And I have art from the book and a link to my review of it here at this recent 7-Imp post.)

The BookPage Q&A is here. Happy reading. I love this book.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #561: Featuring Barbara McClintock

h1 Sunday, November 19th, 2017

I’ve got some art today from Barbara McClintock’s The Five Forms (Farrar Straus Giroux), released in October. I had the chance to meet Barbara in person early last year, and I actually saw some original art from this book. I saw her working on it in her home studio, that is, so it’s lovely to hold the book in my hands now.

This is the story of a girl who finds a mysterious book, all about poses in martial arts, on top of a library book-return box on a sidewalk. She takes it home and proceeds to disregard the book’s warning about how the movements of Chinese martial arts which sometimes mimic the postures of animals, or forms, need not be attempted “without an experienced teacher!” She forges ahead anyway, first trying the crane, who starts to grab nearly everything in her room in its beak. Since leopard overpowers crane, she tries the leopard stance, which doesn’t go well either. The leopard and crane tussle. And so it goes, until the room also holds a snake and a dragon. Chaos reigns. Read the rest of this entry �

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Matt James and Laura Vaccaro Seeger

h1 Friday, November 17th, 2017

From Richard Jackson’s Snow Scene,
illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

(Click to enlarge spread)


Cover illustration (sans text) from Paul Harbridge’s When the Moon Comes,
illustrated by Matt James

(Click to enlarge)


Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got three brand-new picture books. That is here.

* * *

Last week I wrote here about Richard Jackson’s Snow Scene (Neal Porter/Roaring Brooke, November 2017), illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, as well as Paul Harbridge’s When the Moon Comes (Tundra, September 2017), illustrated by Matt James. I’m sharing art from both books today. (The illustrations Matt sent from When the Moon Comes are sans text.)

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry �

Calling CaldeNott

h1 Thursday, November 16th, 2017


Today over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott, where we’ve been busy all this Fall, discussing the year’s best picture books, Thom Barthelmess visits to highlight some ineligible internationals, the year’s best picture book imports. This is a favorite topic of mine.

We’re Calling CaldeNott. Head here to the Horn Book to read.

A Moment with the Illustrations of Sharee Miller …

h1 Thursday, November 16th, 2017

I’m following up last week’s Kirkus Q&A with author-illustrator Sharee Miller with some illustrations from her debut picture book, Princess Hair (Little, Brown, October 2017).

Until tomorrow …

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