What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Jan Bajtlik, Lou Fancher, Steve Johnson,
Steve Light, and Grady McFerrin

h1 September 28th, 2018 by jules

— From Steve Lights’s Builders & Breakers


“The wind tickles us as we ride.”
— From J.M. Brum’s Our Car, illustrated by Jan Bajtlik
(Click to enlarge spread)


“A tugboat lugs big ships.”
— From Jeanne Walker Harvey’s Boats on the Bay,
illustrated by Grady McFerrin

(Click to enlarge spread)


“Good night, playground turning white. Good night, snowplow? Not tonight!
Start the engine. Try the lights. Check both signals — left, then right.”

— From Deborah Bruss’s Good Morning, Snowplow!,
illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson

(Click to enlarge spread)


Over at Kirkus today, I write about three new picture books that are nothing less than bursts of joy. (This is what happens when your Kirkus deadline is yesterday, yet you spend most of the day watching the DEPRESSING Kavanaugh hearings. Afterwards, you turn to picture books to cheer you.)

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about J.M. Brum’s My Car, illustrated by Jan Bajtlik (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, August 2018); Jeanne Walker Harvey’s Boats on the Bay (Cameron + Company, August 2018), illustrated by Grady McFerrin; Deborah Bruss’s Good Morning, Snowplow! (Levine/Scholastic, October 2018), illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson; and Steve Light’s Builders & Breakers (Candlewick, October 2018).

I’m following up with art from each book today. By the way, I noted in last week’s column that I was unsure of the medium Grady McFerrin used in the beautiful Boats on the Bay. A little bird told me that it’s pen, brush, and ink, scanned and pieced together in Photoshop. Evidently, there are also a few spots in the book where old found woodcuts have been repurposed and used in the digital collages.



From Our Car:


“Our car is as red as a fire engine.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“My dad’s legs are so long he gets into the car without opening the doors.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge cover)


From Builders & Breakers:


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click image to enlarge)



From Good Morning, Snowplow!


“Fill the hopper. Test the brakes. Driver’s ready? Wide awake!
Chains are down. Time to go. Roads will soon be blocked with snow.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


“School is canceled. Playground covered.
Bright new day to be discovered.”

(Click to enlarge spread)



From Boats on the Bay:


“A sailboat sets sail.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“A kayak slides by sea lions.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


“A tall ship takes a trip to sea.”
(Click to enlarge spread)



* * * * * * *

BOATS ON THE BAY. Text copyright © 2018 by Jeanne Walker Harvey. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Grady McFerrin and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Cameron Kids, an imprint of Cameron + Company, Petaluma, California.

BUILDERS & BREAKERS. Copyright © 2018 by Steve Light. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

GOOD MORNING, SNOWPLOW! Text copyright © 2018 by Deborah Bruss. Art copyright © 2018 by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., New York.

OUR CAR. Text copyright © 2018 by J. M. Brum. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Jan Bajtlik and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, New York.

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.