Archive for October, 2019

On the Road with Barbara McClintock

h1 Thursday, October 31st, 2019

You all know I like to wax rhapsodic about picture books here at 7-Imp. Well, I also review for the Horn Book. And for them, this year, I reviewed Barbara McClintock’s playful and fast-paced (as in, zippy fast) Vroom! (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, July 2019), one of my favorites of 2019. Perhaps one day they will post that review online, but suffice it to say that this is the dynamic tale of Annie, a girl who loves race cars. She lives for speed, and she sets out one day in her race car to take a grand adventure — a journey mostly of the imagination (and it’s a big one), given that in a mighty short span of time she zips all across the country. It’s a spectacular page-turner of a story, featuring indelible images from McClintock (just look at Annie’s hair flying behind her), as well as a pitch-perfect text with not a wasted word.

Again, I’ve more thoughts in my review (and if it is ever posted online, I’ll come link to it here), but for now Barbara visits to share some preliminary images and final art — and to say a bit about what prompted this story. Hint: It has four wheels. (EDITED TO ADD: The review has since been posted online. It is here.)

I thank her for visiting today.

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Sergio Ruzzier on Roar Like a Dandelion

h1 Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Early drawings
(Click to enlarge)


Title page art for Roar Like a Dandelion

Sergio Ruzzier’s newest book is a special one. Granted, I always like to see what he’s up to in the world of picture books, but Roar Like a Dandelion (Harper, October 2019) is a text from the legendary author Ruth Krauss, who penned over 30 books for children and died in 1993. This is a text that hasn’t seen the light of day until now. (You can read more about that here.) As scholar and author Philip Nel wrote in this post that I highly recommend you read: “For the first time in 32 years, there is a new book by Ruth Krauss!” That exclamation mark is warranted.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #661: Featuring Oge Mora

h1 Sunday, October 27th, 2019

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Caldecott Honoree Oge Mora’s newest picture book, Saturday (Little, Brown, November 2019). So good, this one. You can head here to read the review, and below are some spreads from the book, as well as a few preliminary images from Oge. I thank her for sharing.

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The Bell Rang

h1 Thursday, October 24th, 2019


James E. Ransome’s The Bell Rang, released very early this year by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, is a book I haven’t written about at 7-Imp in 2019 — but not because I haven’t wanted to. Over at Calling Caldecott this week, guest poster Autumn Allen wrote about it. And I love the way she writes, so I’m sending you her way. If you’re curious about the book, I recommend her thoughtful commentary.

That is here.

A Visit with Calef Brown

h1 Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

“Mindy’s FAVORITELEVISION / sits upon a ladder. /
She watches the SILLIESTUPIDESTUFF — / it doesn’t seem to matter.”

Today, I’ve a visit from poet and illustrator Calef Brown, who talks about his latest book, Up Verses Down: Poems, Paintings, and Serious Nonsense (Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt, June 2019), as well as the book that came before it in 2015 — Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything. He discusses why he sees them as companion books; what they have to do with The Tao of Physics and miniature paintings; and how Twitter can spawn a poem. Or two.

I always like to see what Calef, the “inveterate punster” (as Kirkus has called him), is up to. I thank him for visiting today.

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A New Tradition

h1 Monday, October 21st, 2019


What (you may be wondering) is the “Caldecott Torch?” If you’re curious (and if you recognize that as Matthew Cordell’s handwriting, you’d be correct), head on over to the Horn Book’s site today where I briefly write about this at Calling Caldecott.

That is here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #660:
Featuring Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey

h1 Sunday, October 20th, 2019

I’m happy to host Jarrett Pumphrey and his brother Jerome Pumphrey here at 7-Imp today. Their debut picture book (as both authors and illustrators), The Old Truck, will be on shelves in January (Norton Young Readers), and it’s the story of a truck that lives on a small farm and the girl who grows up with it. The story is a celebration of family, persistence, and female badassery (you will read below that this story was inspired by the strong women in Jarrett’s and Jerome’s family). You will also read on the book’s jacket flap that the two brothers created more than 250 individual stamps to make these illustrations. Fortunately, in their visit today they talk more about that and share some process images. So, let’s get right to it, and I thank them for visiting!

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Solving Impossible Moments with Peter Sís

h1 Thursday, October 17th, 2019

It’s a pleasure to have a visit today from internationally acclaimed author-illustrator Peter Sís, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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Willow and Moon

h1 Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott this morning, guest poster and librarian extraordinaire Alec Chunn writes about two graphic novels that I myself have read and liked this year. (In fact, he was the one who suggested I read the one pictured above-left.) The two books are Mai K. Nguyen’s Pilu of the Woods (Oni Press, April 2019) and Jen Wang’s Stargazing (First Second, September 2019).

I really like what he has to say about the two books, so I’m sending you in the direction of his post today. That is here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #659:
Featuring A Big Bed for Little Snow

h1 Sunday, October 13th, 2019

The Horn Book has posted my review of A Big Bed for Little Snow (Little, Brown, October 2019), Grace Lin’s follow-up to last year’s A Big Mooncake for Little Star, which won a Caldecott Honor. That review is here, if you’d like to read more about the book.

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