Archive for January, 2021

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #728: Featuring Mariachiara Di Giorgio

h1 Sunday, January 31st, 2021

(Click cover to enlarge)

A fair has come to town. A group of animals, watching from the nearby treeline, sees humans setting it up. As night falls, they continue to watch as people filter in. They watch from the shadows, taking in the bright lights and constant movement. (It’s here you can almost smell the funnel cakes.) But after the people filter out and the fair is closed for the night? Well, the creatures make their way in and experience all the fair has to offer.

Wanna see a couple spreads from Gideon Sterer’s The Midnight Fair (Candlewick, February 2021), illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio? It is captivating.

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Peter Sís on Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero
of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued

h1 Thursday, January 28th, 2021

“Nicky set up an office in a hotel in Prague. He made lists of children. …”
(Click illustration to enlarge)

Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Peter Sís’s Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued (Norton Young Readers, January 2021). That review is here.

I also had the pleasure of asking him some questions about this remarkable book. That Q&A is here.

Below are some spreads from the book.

(And if you’re wanting more Sís today: Here is my 2019 7-Imp interview with him, and here is an excellent NPR piece, posted yesterday, about the new book.) Read the rest of this entry �

Yuki Ainoya’s Sato the Rabbit

h1 Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

“One day, Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He’s been a rabbit ever since.” Thus opens Yuki Ainoya’s Sato the Rabbit (Enchanted Lion), a Japanese picture book import (originally published in 2006) coming to shelves in February. This remarkably child-friendly story, clocking in at nearly 60 pages, is a treat.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #727: Featuring Leo Timmers

h1 Sunday, January 24th, 2021

How about a Dutch picture book import today? Let’s take a look at some spreads from Where Is the Dragon? (Gecko, February 2021) from Belgian author-illustrator Leo Timmers. It’s the story of a king who orders three knights — One, Two, and Three — to rid the kingdom of a menacing dragon.

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Juliet Menéndez’s Latinitas

h1 Thursday, January 21st, 2021

(Click image to enlarge)

In the introduction to her book, Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers (Godwin Books/Henry Holt, February 2021), author/illustrator Juliet Menéndez writes that she wishes she had, as a child, discovered the women she features in this book. She adds: “When I first had the idea … I was working as an art teacher in Upper Manhattan. Like me, most of the students at the time were bicultural and had families from places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. But as I walked through the halls, the posters on the walls were of historical figures like Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Dalí. I asked myself: What if some fresh, new faces, that looked more like my students, were up on these walls?” This was the birth of her book, which features women from all over Latin America and the U.S. and includes life stories that go back as far as the 17th century.

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Bear Island: A Conversation with Matthew Cordell

h1 Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

It’s a pleasure to have a chat today with author-illustrator Matthew Cordell about his newest picture book, Bear Island (Feiwel and Friends, January 2021), a moving story about loss and working one’s way through the emotions involved. It’s a story that, as the Publisher’s Weekly review puts it so well, “respects grief’s slow pace.”

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #726: Featuring Yael Frankel

h1 Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Would you like to take a look at an Argentinian import? Today, I’ve got some spreads from Yael Frankel’s The Elevator, originally published in 2019 in Argentina and translated from the Spanish by Kit Maude. It comes from Tapioca Stories, a New York-based publisher that brings readers Latin American children’s books, originally written in Spanish and Portuguese.

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Time for Kenny

h1 Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Here’s a post to celebrate an engaging new book for emerging readers (but also a book that would be a fabulous read-aloud, at story time or otherwise, to children not yet reading on their own), written and illustrated by Brian Pinkney and on shelves this month. Time for Kenny (Greenwillow) is a set of four short stories about a boy named Kenny, pictured above. Kenny is bright, curious, active, and crazy about his family (his Mommy, Daddy, big sister, and Grandaddy).

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Shawn Harris on A Polar Bear in the Snow

h1 Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

It’s a pleasure to have a visit today from illustrator Shawn Harris, who discusses not only the genesis of A Polar Bear in the Snow (Candlewick), written by Mac Barnett and released at the end of 2020, but also how he created the illustrations for the book.

“There’s a polar bear in the snow. … Where is he going?” With engaging, appealing sentences and striking cut-paper artwork, the story brings readers a polar bear’s adventure, one of play and movement and joy.

I thank Shawn for sharing images and videos (all videos are captioned) about his artistic process. Let’s get right to it. …

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #725: Featuring LeUyen Pham

h1 Sunday, January 10th, 2021

On shelves now is LeUyen Pham’s newest picture book, all about living during the pandemic — Outside, Inside (Roaring Brook). I’ve seen quite a few books published in response to COVID-19, but I think this one does a superb job of capturing the ways in which the pandemic has wreaked great havoc, while also acknowledging the hope that one day this will all end. To be blunt, I’m not fond of the books that spin the pandemic in only positive ways, such as the hey, we may be stuck inside, but we get to spend more time together! approach. (People have died. Let’s do a better job of reading the room.) I would highly recommend handing LeUyen’s book to a child, though. It gets it.

I’ve a review of the book over at BookPage. That is here, if you’d like to read more about it.

I also got to ask LeUyen all about making the book. That chat—in which she talks about cataloging the world as it is (“Outside, Inside was the first time I really allowed myself to paint exactly what I saw”)—is here.

And here at 7-Imp (below) are some spreads from the book. Read the rest of this entry �