Archive for April, 2022

Marie Dorléans’s Our Fort

h1 Thursday, April 28th, 2022

“It’s spring! Every day, nature calls to us to come outside and play. Birds chirp in the garden. Trees rustle in the sunlight. It’s as if the entire countryside were waiting impatiently for us to wander through it. ‘Hey, guys! Want to go to the fort?’
‘Yes! To the fort!'”

(Click spread to enlarge)

If you saw last year’s exquisite Night Walk (named a 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book) from Marie Dorléans, you might be very happy to know she has a new picture book. Our Fort (The New York Review Children’s Collection) — translated from the French by Alyson Waters and, like The Night Walk, originally published in 2020 — will be on shelves in early May.

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And Tango Makes Three:
Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill (and More)

h1 Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

It’s been 17 years since the publication of Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s And Tango Makes Three, illustrated by Henry Cole. It tells the warmhearted true story of two male Emperor Penguins, Roy and Silo, at the Central Park Zoo. The two pair-bond, build a nest, and eventually hatch an egg (thanks to help from a zookeeper). Since its publication, this picture book has been one of the most challenged books in America. (Listing all its many challenges would find me slumped over my keyboard into my old age, so I’ll just send you here at Tango’s Wikipedia entry if you’re so inclined to read about the frequent challenges to the book.)

Justin and Peter have had well over a decade to acclimate to book challenges but have some thoughts about Florida’s House Bill 1557, otherwise known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, even putting some of those thoughts into this Washington Post piece, addressed to K-3 teachers of Florida. (My favorite thing of 2022 thus far is when they write: “Probably best to give a wide berth to all books featuring gendered heavy machinery, at least until we can figure out what’s what.”)

Justin and Peter join me today to talk about Florida’s new law — and much more. I thank them for their time!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #792: Featuring Laura Dronzek

h1 Sunday, April 24th, 2022

“I’d like to know what a pelican thinks of a sandpiper …”

“When I visit my grandparents at the beach, we stay in a little house. It is so close to the water, you can hear the waves.” This is the voice of the protagonist of Kevin Henkes’s Little Houses (Greenwillow, May 2022), illustrated by Laura Dronzek. She runs up and down the shore, explores shells, and wonders about the ocean — its surface (“how it can be blue and gray and green and silver and white and black, all at the same time”) and what’s underneath (“fish as big as cars”). She’s particularly fascinated by the shells, what her grandmother describes as “little houses.”

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The Tide Pool Waits

h1 Thursday, April 21st, 2022

“And wait. And wait.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Candace Fleming and Amy Hevron’s The Tide Pool Waits (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, April 2022), an informative and appealing nonfiction picture book.

That review is here. Today here at 7-Imp are some spreads.

Enjoy! [Note: Reading this review at their site may require a subscription to the Horn Book.]

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All You Need by Howard Schwartz and Jasu Hu

h1 Tuesday, April 19th, 2022


Let’s take a look this morning at Howard Scwartz’s All You Need (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, April 2022), illustrated by Jasu Hu. This is the picture book debut for Hu, born in China and now living in New York, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #791: Featuring Paloma Valdivia

h1 Sunday, April 17th, 2022

“What do you call a flower that flits from bird to bird?
Cómo se llama una flor que vuela de pájaro en pájaro?”

(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

Today, let’s enter the world of Pablo Neruda, as brought to us by illustrator Paloma Valdivia, translator Sara Lissa Paulson, and the team at Enchanted Lion Books. Book of Questions: Selections/Libro de las preguntas: Selecciones, on shelves this month, is presented in both English and Spanish.

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Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep

h1 Thursday, April 14th, 2022

In Elaine M. Alexander’s Anglerfish (Candlewick, April 2022), illustrated by Fiona Fogg, readers meet and follow a female anglerfish. We meet her “far, far below the ocean’s surface” as she glides through the water, looking for food. Given that she swims in what is called the midnight zone, a deep black dominates these spreads, the anglerfish’s bioluminescent fishing rod lighting up the waters.

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This Book Is Not for You!

h1 Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

Shannon Hale’s and Tracy Subisak’s This Book Is Not for You! (Dial, April 2022) is the story of Stanley. Poor Stanley. Excitedly, he heads to the bookmobile. You can tell he’s a kid who loves to read. Ms. Christine, the regular bookmobile worker, is not there. When Stanley tries to check out The Mysterious Sandwich, the subtitute librarian tells him it’s a book for girls, and Stanley is embarrassed for being called out about his reading choices. And when Stanley’s friend Valeria appears, the librarian gives her the book. The cat gets a book about cats, and when Stanley asks for a robot book, the old man says that only robots can read robot books. “Stanley smiled,” we read. “He had to be joking, right?” We are with you, Stanley. We. are. with. you.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #790: Featuring Doug Salati

h1 Sunday, April 10th, 2022

Doug Salati’s Hot Dog (Knopf), his first book as an author-illustrator, will be on shelves in May. And you’ll really want to find a copy of this brilliantly constructed story of one dog’s (and human’s) escape to the sea.

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Luli and the Language of Tea:
A Brief Visit with Andrea Wang and Hyewon Yum

h1 Thursday, April 7th, 2022

Andrea Wang’s Luli and the Language of Tea (Neal Porter Books, May 2022), illustrated by Hyewon Yum, ushers readers into a child-care room for those learning English as a second language. As you can see pictured below, Luli enters and sees all the other children playing alone. None of the children speak English, and no one is interacting.

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