What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Carin Berger

h1 October 19th, 2018    by jules



 
Over at Kirkus today, I write about two new picture books — Nadine Kaadan’s Tomorrow and Nicola Davies’s and Rebecca Cobb’s The Day War Came. That will be here soon.

* * *

Last week, I chatted with author-illustrator Carin Berger about the Pen and Ink Brigade’s newest project, the Blue Wave Collection. You can read all about that here.

In that conversation, Carin mentioned writing and illustrating All of Us (Greenwillow, May 2018) days after the 2016 election. I’ve some art from that today.

Enjoy!

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Come One, Come All:
A Conversation with Anastasia Higginbotham

h1 October 18th, 2018    by jules



 

A week from today at Parnassus Books, I’ll have a conversation with author-illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham about her newest picture book, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Dottir Press, September 2018). This book is part of her Ordinary Terrible Things series, which I’ve written about here. (Wanna see art from two previous books in that series? Head to this 7-Imp post.)

All the details about our conversation next week are in this handy-dandy image (above) that I didn’t even have to make, but here is more information at Parnassus’s site, should you need it.

Pearl: A Visit with Molly Idle

h1 October 17th, 2018    by jules



 

Early sketch and final spread: “Some tended to the towering forests of kelp
rising from the ocean floor.”

(Click each to enlarge)


 
Author-illustrator Molly Idle visits 7-Imp today to talk about her newest picture book, Pearl (Little, Brown, October 2018). It’s the story of a small mermaid, eager for a big job. When her mother tells her that Pearl’s job is to care for and keep safe a single grain of sand, Pearl is disappointed. She doesn’t truly hear her mother’s words: “The smallest of things can make a great difference, Pearl.” (And that’s all I’ll tell you about the plot so that I don’t ruin the read for you.)

Molly is here to talk today about creating the book, and she shares work-in-progress images and final art from this glimmering beauty of a thing, filled as it is with flowing lines, expert compositions, and a drop-dead gorgeous palette. Let’s get to it, and I thank her for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #608,
the 2018 Southern Festivals of Books Edition

h1 October 14th, 2018    by jules

That’s a post title with a handful of numbers, now isn’t it.

Here’s what I’m doing this weekend, and it’s a little bit different. I’m typing this on Friday, because tomorrow (Saturday, which will be yesterday when you read this) I will be at the wonderful Southern Festival of Books alllll day. I will not only be able to kick back and hear a lot of talented authors and illustrators speak (here’s the line-up), but I will also interview Justice Sonia Sotomayor about her two new children’s books. I’m excited to meet her, to say the least.

For Tennessee’s own fabulous and informative Chapter 16, I did an online Q&A with Madame Justice, which you can read here. I also interviewed British author and illustrator Cressida Cowell (whom I hope to hear speak on Saturday) about her newest fantasy novel for children. That is here. (Pictured here is Justice Sotomayor’s adaptation for middle-grade readers of her bestselling memoir.)

I will share seven separate kicks next week. Today (Sunday, the day you’re reading this — confused yet?), all seven kicks (plus some) are that it’s my youngest daughter’s birthday! She is officially a teenager today. We shall party down all day.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Liz Anelli, Marianne Dubuc, and Oge Mora

h1 October 12th, 2018    by jules


— From Ross Watkins’s Dad’s Camera, illustrated by Liz Anelli


 

— From Marianne Dubuc’s Up the Mountain Path


 

“… And so Omu spooned out some thick red stew from the big fat pot
for her nice evening meal.”
— From Oge Mora’s
Thank You, Omu!
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Over at Kirkus today, I’ve a chat with author-illustrator Carin Berger about the Pen and Ink Brigade and their new initiative, the Blue Wave Project.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Marianne Dubuc’s Up the Mountain Path (Princeton Architectural Press, October 2018); Oge Mora’s Thank You, Omu! (Little, Brown, October 2018); and Ross Watkins’s Dad’s Camera (Candlewick, October 2018), illustrated by Liz Anelli.

I’m following up with art from each book today.

Enjoy!

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Matthew Cordell’s King Alice

h1 October 9th, 2018    by jules



 
I’ve a review over at BookPage of Caldecott Medalist Matt Cordell’s newest picture book, King Alice (Feiwel & Friends, October 2018). That is here.

Today, Matt shares some sketches, studies, and final pieces from the book. I thank him for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #607: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator Sally Gardner

h1 October 7th, 2018    by jules


St. Basil’s Cathedral


 
The first Sunday of each month is usually reserved for student illustrators or those just entering the world of children’s book illustration. Today’s artist, Sally Gardner, isn’t quite brand-new, but I’m showcasing her art this morning anyway. She is a working freelance illustrator and graphic designer, and she both illustrated and co-created the Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys series — a hybrid graphic novel and early chapter book series, published by Penguin Books for Young Readers.

Sally was once a student of author-illustrator Sergio Ruzzier’s. (Years ago, she took one of his continuing education classes at the School of Visual Arts.) She lives in New York. She not only shares some art today but also tells us a bit more about her work. I thank her for sharing.

Let’s get to it. …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Mehrdokht Amini, Vera Brosgol, and LeUyen Pham

h1 October 5th, 2018    by jules


— From Caron Levis’ Stop That Yawn!,
illustrated by LeUyen Pham


 

— From Jacob Sager Weinstein’s Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian,
illustrated by Vera Brosgol


 

“Finally their mothers decided to take a break and brought each boy to the park.
The boys were surprised to see each other. ‘Race you to the playgrounf!’ yelled Moe.
‘On your mark! Get set, go!’ Mo yelled back.
They climbed, swung, and played hide-and-seek.”
— From Jane Breskin Zalben’s
A Moon for Moe and Mo,
illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got three picture books that are lovely intergenerational tales.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Jacob Sager Weinstein’s Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian (Clarion, September 2018), illustrated by Vera Brosgol; Jane Breskin Zalben’s A Moon for Moe and Mo (Charlesbridge, August 2018), illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini; and Caron Levis’ Stop That Yawn!, illustrated by LeUyen Pham and coming to shelves (Atheneum) mid-October.

(To read more about Zalben’s book, head here.)

Today I’ve art from each book to share.

Enjoy!

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #606: Featuring Night Out

h1 September 30th, 2018    by jules



 
I am sharing a picture book review today, if you’re so inclined to read it. Over at the Horn Book, they’ve posted my review of Daniel Miyares’ Night Out (Schwartz & Wade, May 2018). That is here.

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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.

Enjoy!

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