A Visit to Kat Hats Before Breakfast

h1 January 20th, 2022    by jules

I’ve a review over at BookPage of the mighty entertaining Kat Hats (Abrams, February 2022), written by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Aaron Renier.

That review is here, and below are some of Renier’s gouache illustrations.


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The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky

h1 January 18th, 2022    by jules

(Click spread to enlarge)

Forgive me for posting about a book months in advance (I try not to do that), but I hope 7-Imp readers will see this post as a treat (and not a tease). I’ve some spreads to show you today from Kim Jihyun’s The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky (Floris), coming to U.S. shelves in April. This is the picture book debut for Jihyun, who lives in Seoul, and it originally published in South Korea as Last Summer in 2017 and then in Scotland last year. (I’m fascinated by this change in title and would love to know who was behind that. The publisher? Jihyun? The translator, even though this is a wordless book? Whoever decided this, it’s beautiful.)

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #778: Featuring Ashley Lukashevsky

h1 January 16th, 2022    by jules

Claire — the narrator of Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Snow Angel, Sand Angel (Make Me a World, January 2022), illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky — lives in Hawai’i and is dismayed when, for a school project, she must make a diorama about winter. “I’ve never even seen real snow!” she thinks. This is a sore point for her; she longs to experience winter and play in the snow. So she’s delighted when her father tells her he’ll show her and her brother, Timbo, some snow up on Mauna Kea, “the top of the tallest mountain in the world, if you measure from seafloor to summit.”

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Love in the Library

h1 January 13th, 2022    by jules

“And the books were constant company. Which was nice. Tama loved books. Caught in their pages were worlds bursting with color and light, love and fairness. Pressed between their covers were words that planted seeds in the garden of Tama’s mind.
How magical that—even in Minidoka—such a small little library
could fit so much inside of its four walls!”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Over at BookPage, I’ve a review of Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s Love in the Library (Candlewick, January 2022), an exquisite piece of historical fiction illustrated by Yas Imamura.

Here is the review, and below are some more spreads.

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2022 CaldeNotts

h1 January 11th, 2022    by jules

(Click image to enlarge)


It’s one of my favorite posts of any year — when, at Calling Caldecott, we look at the year’s CaldeNott books (or best picture book imports of the year). This year’s post is written by Thom Barthelmess, who coined the very term. Pictured above is one of the books he chose for this year’s list (a book I also love).

You can read the post here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #777: Featuring Little Witch Hazel

h1 January 9th, 2022    by jules

(Click cover to enlarge)

Look at that! 7-Imp is having it’s 777th week of 7 kicks! This week of special numbers snuck up on me.

I can’t let 2021 fade away without mentioning Phoebe Wahl’s Little Witch Hazel here at 7-Imp, which was released last fall (Tundra Books). I love this book fiercely. Over at Calling Caldecott last week, guest poster Lisa Meidl wrote about it, and I’ll send you there if you want to read more. It is such a magnificent book, and I hope we get to read even more one day about this character and her world. Read the rest of this entry »

My Chapter 16 Q&A with Alice Faye Duncan

h1 January 6th, 2022    by jules


I’ve got a Q&A over at Chapter 16 with author Alice Faye Duncan. We discuss her two new picture books — Evicted!: The Struggle for the Right to Vote, illustrated by Charly Palmer, and Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo.

The Q&A is here.

Cornbread & Poppy:
My BookPage chat with Matthew Cordell

h1 January 4th, 2022    by jules

Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell ventures into the world of early readers with his new book, Cornbread & Poppy. Over at BookPage, I chat with him about this. That Q&A is here.

And here is my review of the book.

Below are some early sketches from the book as well as some final art. (Pictured above is the book’s title-page illustration.) I thank Matt for sharing!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #776: Featuring Jamie Hogan

h1 January 2nd, 2022    by jules

Happy New Year, dear Imps! Today, I’m pleased to welcome author-illustrator Jamie Hogan, who shares some process images and final art from her wondrous 2021 book, Skywatcher (Tilbury House, October).

Skywatcher tells the story of boy who lives in a “worn brick building” in the city and loves to read his Skywatcher comics, which are about a woman who travels the universe. The city lights, however, outshine the stars in the bustling city where this boy lives, and he wonders: “How could Skywatcher find her way through the universe without the stars?” The boy’s mother surprises him with a camping trip far from the city, and the two of them wake in the middle of the night to a beautiful surprise.

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When I Wake Up

h1 December 30th, 2021    by jules

I’ve a review over at the Horn Book of Seth Fishman’s When I Wake Up (Greenwillow, December 2021), illustrated by Jessixa Bagley — an adventurous tribute to the imagination of children and a day’s endless opportunities. And here at 7-Imp today, Jessixa shares things like early sketches and character tests, and some final spreads are also pictured below. I thank Jessixa for sharing. (Pictured above is an early character sketch.)

The review is here.

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