7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #489: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Sara Kendall

h1 June 26th, 2016    by jules

“‘Why prince,’ she said, ‘you don’t look well!'”
(Click to enlarge)

It’s not the first Sunday of the month, which is when I normally feature the work of student or newly-graduated illustrators, but Sara Kendall’s work, which I’m featuring today, is too good to follow any rules. So I’m posting it now.

Sara is getting her BFA in illustration from the College for Creative Studies in Michigan and will graduate next Spring. I’m not only featuring her paintings today, but she is also here to talk a bit about her work and future plans. She recently had work in the Society of Illustrators’ Student Scholarship Show 2016 and discusses that a bit below. I thank her for taking the time to visit and share art.

P.S. Sara is putting the finishing touches on a brand-new painting right now, and when it’s done I’ll add it to this post.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Christian Robinson

h1 June 24th, 2016    by jules

“After lunch the kindergarten kids learned about shapes. ‘A rectangle has four sides,’ said the teacher. ‘One, two, three, four. And a square has four sides, too. In fact, a square is actually a special kind of rectangle!’
‘Wow,’ said the school. ‘I did
not know that.'”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got Come Home, Angus and contemporary parenting on the mind. That link is here.

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Last week at Kirkus, I wrote here about Adam Rex’s School’s First Day of School (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2016), illustrated by Christian Robinson. I’ve got some spreads from the book today.


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My Kirkus Q&A with Daniel Bernstrom

h1 June 23rd, 2016    by jules

I wanted language to move and breathe on the page — to live. And maybe, as a visually-impaired child and adult, I learned how beautiful sound can be. I saw what I could do with words and punctuation. I so desperately wanted to share how words could live and breathe and sing for others, sighted and sightless alike, just as they did for me.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Daniel Bernstrom, pictured here, about his debut picture book One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2016), illustrated by Brendan Wenzel.

That is here this morning. Next week at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some art from the book.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Daniel used by permission of HarperCollins.


Il Sung Na’s The Opposite Zoo

h1 June 21st, 2016    by jules

asleep . . .”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Here’s some art today from Il Sung Na’s The Opposite Zoo, released by Knopf in March.

The Opposite Zoo of the book’s title, readers immediately learn, closes when the sky turns dark, but “the monkey’s door is OPEN! Time to explore. …” Here, the monkey visits, on each spread, animals that are opposite in nature (tall, short; soft, prickly; shy, bold; etc.), and when the sun comes up and the zoo opens, the monkey heads back to his cage. That’s it, in terms of story line.

But readers will want to stay for the visually striking, beautifully textured art from Na, rendered (I think) via ink and colored pencils. “With a coloring style that feels as if someone took a firecracker to a box of crayons,” wrote Minh Lê at the New York Times, “Na makes turtle shells as dynamic as a peacock’s plumage.” It’s true. This is art to pore over and enjoy, no matter your age. The text is spare; the brightly-colored art with its graceful lines is electric and appealing, making this a book children will want to read and re-read.

The art can speak more than I can. Here are a few more spreads. Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #488: Featuring Culpeo S. Fox

h1 June 19th, 2016    by jules

“When the moon slithers into the open skies,
surely some trickery is afoot.”

(Click to enlarge spread, sans text)

Sometimes this happens: You see a beautiful picture book and, without thinking things through, you assume it was just released. Then you find out it’s a couple years old.

I was just about to tell you about Manasi Subramaniam’s The Fox and the Crow (Karadi Tales), illustrated by Culpeo S. Fox, when I just now realized (when looking for an image of the book’s cover) that Betsy Bird wrote a lovely, detailed review of it here:

Gorgeous to eye and ear alike, the story’s possibilities are mined beautifully and the reader is left reeling in the wake. If you’d like a folktale that’s bound to wake you up, this beauty has your number.

Then I realized she wrote it in 2014. And that the book was actually released then. Long story why, but I thought this one was newly-released here in the U.S. Even though I tend to focus on new picture books here at 7-Imp, just to keep things easier, I can still tell you about this one, though. Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Silvia Borando and Ingrid Fiksdahl King

h1 June 17th, 2016    by jules

“a jump rope held tight … the trunk of a very young tree
or the stem of a flower?
— From Ann Rand’s and Ingrid Fiksdahl King’s
What Can I Be?
(Click to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Adam Rex’s newest picture book, School’s First Day of School (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, June 2016), illustrated by Christian Robinson. So good, this one. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Silvia Borando’s Near, Far (Candlewick, June 2016) and Ann Rand’s What Can I Be? (Princeton Architectural Press, May 2016), illustrated by Ingrid Fiksdahl King. Today, I’ve got a bit of art from each book here at 7-Imp.


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Some Witches Before Breakfast

h1 June 16th, 2016    by jules

“… They all breathe hard from the run. A little harder than usual, because of what is looming above them: the long staircase that leads to the parlor of Zia Pia,
fortune-teller and healer.”

Last week at Kirkus, I chatted here with John Bemelmans Marciano about his new series, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, The Witches of Benevento. I follow up today with some of Sophie’s art from the books.


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The Week I Fell in Love with Archives

h1 June 15th, 2016    by jules

Back in April of this year, I received the James Marshall Fellowship from The University of Connecticut’s Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. I spent a week looking through the James Marshall Papers there. (It was wonderful, and I still miss the very smell of the boxes.)

Today, I have a blog post up at the University’s site, all about my research there. If you’re a fan of James Marshall’s work, you might like to see the rare images up at the post (three of approximately 800 photos I took!).

That blog post is here.

Until tomorrow …

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #487: Featuring Lynn Rae Perkins

h1 June 12th, 2016    by jules

Good morning, dear Imps!

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Lynne Rae Perkins’s Frank and Lucky Get Schooled (Greenwillow, June 2016), which is such an excellent picture book. Normally, I like to link to these reviews from here at 7-Imp so that I can also show you some art from the book. But today, I don’t have art; I’m going to just link you to the review. And that’s because BookPage chose the book as a Children’s Top Pick for this month. This means they included two spreads from the book in their review, to which I enthusiastically say (because I’ve already had my coffee this morning and am capable of enthusiasm by this point), YAY!

So, you can head over here to read all about it and see that bit of art, which I highly recommend, because—as I’ve already noted and as I say in the review—it’s such a well-crafted book. And, if you love picture books as much as I do, you don’t want to miss it.

[Fun Fact, speaking of Ms. Perkins: Home Lovely is one of my favorite picture books of all time.]

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Yasmeen Ismail and Qin Leng

h1 June 10th, 2016    by jules

“… but I’m sweet and sour, not a little flower!”
— From Yasmeen Ismail’s
I’m a Girl!
(Click to enlarge spread)


“‘One of my dads is tall and one is short. They both give good hugs.'”
— From Sara O’Leary’s
A Family Is a Family Is a Family, illustrated by Qin Leng
(Click to enlarge spread)


Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got two new picture books that play with shape, line, color, and space in smart ways. That link is here.

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Last week, since I wrote here about Yasmeen Ismail’s I’m a Girl! (Bloomsbury, June 2016) and Sara O’Leary’s A Family Is a Family Is a Family (Groundwood, September 2016), illustrated by Qin Leng, I’m following up with art from each book today.


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