Archive for December, 2019

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #671: Featuring Phoebe Wahl

h1 Sunday, December 29th, 2019

(Click to enlarge)

Happy winter, everyone! It hardly feels like it here in Tennessee — it is rather depressingly warm here (depressing, if you look forward to winter and hope for snow, as I do) — but maybe our temps will drop soon. To celebrate winter, I’m sharing this image today from Phoebe Wahl. It was 2013 in this post that she came and visited as an “up-and-coming” illustrator, and since then she’s created some beautiful books. She’s one of my favorite illustrators.

This piece of art is called Lady Winter, and I believe Phoebe made it for a wall calendar back in 2015. I thank her for allowing me to share it here today.

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A Holiday Wish . . .

h1 Tuesday, December 24th, 2019


Happy holidays to all from 7-Imp! This image was created by author-illustrator Robert Neubecker.

May your holiday season be a peaceful and relaxed one.

See you Sunday!

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #670: Featuring Floyd Cooper

h1 Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

Did you all know that children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper did a Kwanzaa stamp for the U.S. Postal Service? I did not.

This is not brand-new. It was a stamp released in October of last year, but it’s new to me. I missed this last year but saw it this week. Happy surprise. So, I’m sharing it here today.

Here’s more information about the stamp.

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The Shortest Day

h1 Thursday, December 19th, 2019


Early sketch and final art: “All the long echoes sing the same delight /
This shortest day / As promise wakens in the sleeping land.”

(Click each image to enlarge and to see spreads in their entirety)

At the risk of appearing super lazy, I’m doing today what I did on Thursday — I’m sending you over to another blog to read something. Megan Dowd Lambert has a post up over at Calling Caldecott today about Susan Cooper’s The Shortest Day, illustrated by Carson Ellis. The post is, of course, focused on the book’s illustrations. I love the deep dive that Megan takes into this book.

That post is here.

Here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book, and Carson also sent along some early sketches.


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A Place to Land

h1 Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

“Upstairs, alone in his suite, surrounded by rough drafts and scribbled notes on yellow legal pads, Martin saw Rosa, Fannie Lou, Emmett, Medgar, the children of Birmingham, and so many others — their faces forever seared into his memory.”
(Click to enlarge spread and read text in its entirety)

I’m sending you over to the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott today to read Martha V. Parravano’s superb post on Barry Wittenstein’s A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation (Neal Porter/Holiday House, August 2019), illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. There is so much to love about this book, and Martha captures a lot of it (with regard to the illustrations) in that post. It is here. Happy reading.

Below are a couple more spreads from the book. …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #669: Featuring Dasha Tolstikova

h1 Sunday, December 15th, 2019

(Click to enlarge)

Hello, imps! I don’t have a picture book for you today, but I do have this lovely piece of art from author-illustrator Dasha Tolstikova. She made this in honor of St. Lucia’s Day, a Scandinavian holiday celebrated this past Friday.

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Little Mole’s Wish

h1 Friday, December 13th, 2019

“‘Hi,’ he said, greeting the snowball with his nose.”

Little Mole’s Wish (Schwartz & Wade, November 2019), originally published in South Korea, is the U.S. debut for author-illustrator Sang-Keun Kim, who lives in Seoul. (I’m not precisely sure what this book’s relationship is to Little Mole’s Worry, evidently named the Best Picture Book of the Year in 2015 in Korea.) I’ve got some spreads here today from this gentle winter story (which Kirkus named one of their Best Picture Books of 2019), translated by Chi-Young Kim.

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When an Inquisitive Preschooler Saves the World

h1 Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Power-hungry, tyrannical Doctor X-Ray, complete with an X-ray blaster and an indestructible battle suit, descends upon a busy shopping mall. He’s a mwahaha-villain of the dastardliest sort. Everyone flees in terror, except one little girl, who asks …


And repeatedly asks “why?” As young children are wont to do.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #668: Featuring Lucy Ruth Cummins

h1 Sunday, December 8th, 2019

“That’s when Truman saw something he’d never seen before …”

Jean Reidy’s Truman (Atheneum), illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, was released back in July. I reviewed this one for the Horn Book, and I see that the author has posted the review here online. So, if you’re curious to read more about this picture book (which I recommend, as it’s such a good book), you can head there to read that.

This is a book that has been met with a whole host of (well-deserved) glowing reviews. Many people, myself included, seem to have fallen in love with Truman and Sarah this year. It’s a book that respects the courage necessary for children on the first day of school. And tortoises too.

I’ve some of Lucy’s spreads from the book to share here at 7-Imp today. Enjoy!

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Jessixa Bagley on Henry and Bea

h1 Thursday, December 5th, 2019

“It’s always lucky to find someone who understands you, and that’s why Henry and Bea were the best of friends.” Thus opens Jessixa Bagley’s Henry and Bea (Neal Porter/Holiday House, October 2019), the emotionally resonant story of how to truly be there for a friend. Jessixa visits 7-Imp today to talk a bit about the book and share some early sketches.

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