Archive for February, 2021

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #732: Featuring Giselle Potter

h1 Sunday, February 28th, 2021

“Because once people have eaten apples and bananas, purple potatoes and
yellow tomatoes, kiwifruit and sugar snap peas and spaghetti squash …
who knows
what they’ll try next?”
(Click spread to enlarge)

The next time you eat passion fruit, a donut peach, or purple asparagus, you can give a note of thanks to produce pioneer Frieda Caplan, the subject of a new picture book biography from Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Giselle Potter and arriving on shelves last month (Beach Lane Books), Try It! How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat is informative, eye-opening, and will have you reaching for the nearest fruits.

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Mornings With Monet: My BookPage Q&A
with Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré

h1 Thursday, February 25th, 2021

“It is magic.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

“Once I began focusing on Monet, I kept writing drafts that started in his childhood, which is a typical way to connect a young reader to historical biography. I soon realized that Monet’s childhood would bore children, because it was boring me! When I asked myself what I thought a young reader would find interesting, the answer was the boat.
Why would you paint on a boat? How do you paint on a boat?
What happens when you paint on a boat?”

— Barb Rosenstock

Over at BookPage, I’ve a Q&A with author Barb Rosenstock and illustrator Mary GrandPré about their newest collaboration, Mornings with Monet (Knopf, March 2021). It’s a nonfiction picture book, as Barb notes in our Q&A, that begins and ends in four hours and captures Claude Monet one morning (3:30 AM, no less) “on his way to work.” And “work” is painting, from his rowboat (his “studio boat”), on the Seine. It’s a beautifully crafted book, filled with vivid sensory language and richly imagined acrylic illustrations.

Here’s the Q&A, and below is another spread from the book.

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Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure:
A Q&A with Steve Light

h1 Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

(Click image to enlarge)


Get out your fountain pens! Steve Light is here.

Pictured above is an early character sketch from Steve Light’s Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure (Candlewick, February 2021). This is a picture book with its own delightfully distinct world, one that Steve had fun building and tells me about below in our art-filled chat today. It’s a wooded world we enter, with animals zipping around in tiny cars on interconnected tree branches (there’s even an acorn car); characters with intricate homes in the trunks of trees; a heading dose of mud; and good friends. Oh, and there are endpapers that feature maps so that little hands can orient themselves — and, as Steve discusses below, even create their own imaginary adventures with locations not in this story.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #731: Featuring Katie Yamasaki

h1 Sunday, February 21st, 2021

“[11th Street] had nature and her best friend, Ada.”

I’m gonna take us back to 2020 for a moment and show you some spreads from a book released back in September. My review of Everything Naomi Loved (Norton Young Readers), written by Katie Yamasaki and Ian ­Lendler and illustrated by Katie Yamasaki, is over here at the Horn Book.

And here today at 7-Imp are some spreads from this tender story.


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My First Day

h1 Thursday, February 18th, 2021

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Phùng Nguyên Quang’s and Huỳnh Kim Liên’s captivating My First Day (Make Me a World, February 2021).

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


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The Big Bad Wolf in My House

h1 Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

There are many things I like about following picture book imports, and one is that they often don’t shy from addressing some of life’s hardest challenges (even oftentimes exhibiting more of a willingness to let complex questions rest unanswered). Let’s look today at a picture book originally published in French about an extremely difficult topic — domestic abuse. Valérie Fontaine’s The Big Bad Wolf in My House (Groundwood Books), illustrated by Nathalie Dion, is a book that could be a lifeline for children experiencing this and a book that, at the very least, can help them feel seen. It was first published last year, will be on American shelves early next month, and has been translated by Shelley Tanaka.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #730: Featuring Maya Ish-Shalom

h1 Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Author Leda Schubert shares a story based on her own family in Nathan’s Song (Dial, February 2021), illustrated by Maya Ish-Shalom — a picture book that is a valentine to family (and keeping family stories alive). I’ve got some spreads today from this spirited, big-hearted true tale.

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Abundant Love Before Breakfast

h1 Thursday, February 11th, 2021

(Click cover to enlarge)

We’ve heard a lot lately in the field of children’s literature about books about “emotional intelligence” (the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions, while also respecting the feelings of others). Though I sometimes wince at buzzwords (or phrases, in this case), I’m all for this. It can be a cold, cruel world out there, and children who learn to manage emotions at a young age, and who continue to, will have better relationships, healthy coping skills, confidence in problem-solving — all good stuff to make it easier to live on this planet.

Enter Jane Porter’s The Boy Who Loved Everyone (Candlewick, January 2021), illustrated by Maisie Paradise Shearring. There’s a lot to love about this one.

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The 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour:
A Q&A with Khoa Le and Jane Yolen

h1 Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

(Click cover to enlarge)

I’m happy to be a part of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour with a visit today from author Jane Yolen and illustrator Khoa Le. Their book, Miriam at the River (Kar-Ben, 2020), won a 2021 Sydney Taylor Picture Book Honor.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #729: Featuring Julia Kuo

h1 Sunday, February 7th, 2021

“I dream with Popo as she rocks me in her arms. She sings, ‘Beibei xin, beibei gan.’
In my heart I hear: My baby, my heart. My baby, my love.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’m following up Thursday’s post about the tight bond and transcendent love between a granddaughter and grandmother with another post about the same. Today, it’s Livia Blackburne’s I Dream of Popo (Roaring Brook, January 2021), illustrated by Julia Kuo. And it is lovely.

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