A Lisbeth-Zwerger Moment

h1 July 28th, 2015    by jules


“Every afternoon, as they were coming from school,
the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.
It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. …”


 
Because Lisbeth Zwerger has always been one of my favorite illustrators, including one of the artists who made me want to study children’s literature, and because seeing her artwork improves the very quality of my day (and yours, I hope), I have a bit of art today from Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, as illustrated by Zwerger.

Zwerger originally illustrated this story back in 1984, but Minedition has released a new edition (April of this year). In fact, it’s called a “mini-Minedition,” because the book has a tiny trim size.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #442: Featuring Beatrice Alemagna

h1 July 26th, 2015    by jules


“This morning I heard my sister says these words:
‘birthday—Mommy—fuzzy—little—squishy.’
‘Oh, no!’ I thought. ‘She’s going to give Mom the most amazing present!’
I had to do something too. But what?”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
Today I’ve got some illustrations from Beatrice Alemagna’s The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy. Originally published in France last year, it’s coming to American shelves in September from Enchanted Lion Books.

Look closely on the title page spread, and you’ll see a quote from Fifi Brindacier (a.k.a. Pippi Longstocking, as she’s known in France):

It’s best for young children to live an orderly life. Especially if they order it themselves.

I love this, and it’s the perfect fit for this story, in which a five-and-a-half-year-old girl named Edith (but her friends call her Eddie) sets out to find a fuzzy little squishy.

Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Julie Morstad

h1 July 24th, 2015    by jules


“…Finally, she steps onto the stage alone … and sprouts white wings, a swan.
She weaves the notes, the very air into a story. All those sitting see.
They stare—Anna is a bird in flight, a whim of wind and water.
Quiet feathers in a big loud world. Anna
is the swan.”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got some French picture book imports. That link is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Laurel Snyder’s Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, illustrated by Julie Morstad (Chronicle), coming to shelves in August 2015. Today, I’ve got some spreads from it.

Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Abby and the Really Truly Good Book

h1 July 23rd, 2015    by jules

I pick up my kids every day from the school bus at 2:45, so within an already tight production schedule, I have a limited time each day to work. But that also means I have limited time to worry. When I’m working, I focus on making the best book possible for myself, my kids, and my editor. Beyond that, I don’t allow myself to think too much about how the book is going to be received, because those thoughts are so counter-productive to creative work.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Abby Hanlon, pictured here, about her newest book, Dory and the Real True Friend (Dial, July 2015), which sees the return of one of my favorite characters. (Dory, of course.) That link is here.

Last October (here), Abby and I talked about the first book, Dory Fantasmagory. It’s an art-filled post, my favorite kind of post.

Both of these books are the kind of funny that makes your sides hurt from all the laughing.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the new book, as well as some early sketches.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Abby taken by Sophie Elbrick and used by her permission.

“Rondo Concerns Everyone”:
A Guest Post by Oksana Lushchevska

h1 July 21st, 2015    by jules



 
Back in March of this year (here), Oksana Lushchevska, a PhD student in Reading, Writing, Children’s Literature, and Digital Literacy in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia, visited 7-Imp to contribute a guest post on contemporary Ukrainian children’s literature. She’s back again today to talk about a recent winner at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Romana Romanyshyn’s and Andriy Lesiv’s The War that Changed Rondo was given a Special Mention in the category of New Horizons. She’s here to tell us about the book, share some thoughts from the creators, and share some art from it as well. I thank her for her contribution!

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #441: Featuring Cece Bell

h1 July 19th, 2015    by jules

Good morning, fellow imps. I’m highlighting a bit of artwork today from award-winning author-illustrator Cece Bell’s newest picture book, I Yam a Donkey!, published by Clarion Books in June.

There are several things I like about this book (whose story starts on the title page itself)—its humor, its memorable two main characters, its irreverence—but my favorite thing is that it is inherently subversive, if you consider the existence of prescriptive linguistics, which is concerned about the rules governing what people should or shouldn’t say (rather, how they say it). Descriptive linguistics is concerned with how language is used, instead of telling people how to use language properly.

Prescriptive linguists would shake their fist at this entertaining story, complete with a tongue-in-cheek moral, and that is part of its beauty. Or, as the Publishers Weekly review notes, “pedants who can’t adapt will be left in the dust.” And that’s because it’s all about a donkey who has a particular way of talking, though the stubborn and opinionated grammarian yam he meets keeps telling him he’s talking incorrectly. Or, as the vegetables watching it all go down (well, most of it) put it, it’s a “big fight about grammar.” The ending is delicious in more ways than one, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

I was just about to tell you all about Cece’s art for the book, rendered in china marker and acrylics, but you can see for yourself below.

p.s. Here’s my 2008 breakfast interview with Cece. (Was it really seven years ago?)

 
Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

h1 July 17th, 2015    by jules

Over at Kirkus today, I write about this new picture book biography from Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad.

That link is here. I’ll have some spreads from it here at 7-Imp next week.

Until Sunday …

A Moment with the Art of Ted & Betsy Lewin

h1 July 16th, 2015    by jules


“We saw magnificent Masai warriors, called Marons,
and women mantled in beautiful beadwork.”

(Click to enlarge)


 
Last week at Kirkus, I chatted with Betsy and Ted Lewin about their new book, How to Babysit a Leopard: And Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, June 2015). That Q&A is here.

Today, I follow up with a bit of artwork from the book.

Enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Some I Likes Before Breakfast

h1 July 14th, 2015    by jules


“Ask me some more I likes.
How about some more
I likes?
I like the color red. I like red everything.”

(Click to enlarge)


 

Here’s a quick post to share a bit of artwork from Suzy Lee. On shelves now is a new picture book from Bernard Waber (published posthumously), called Ask Me (Houghton Mifflin, July 2015), and Suzy has provided the beautiful colored pencil illustrations.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #440: Featuring Mordicai Gerstein

h1 July 12th, 2015    by jules



 
I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Mordicai Gerstein’s newest picture book, The Night World (Little, Brown, June 2015). That is here if you want to read all about the book.

I’ve got some art today here at 7-Imp from the book, and Mordicai also sent some early roughs from the book. “As you will see,” he tells me, “the ruffs are very close to the final art.”

They roughs are, indeed, similar to the final art, but if you’re an illustration fan like me, you love to see these kinds of comparisons, so I’m going to post Mordicai’s roughs and follow each one with the final art as seen in the book.

I thank him for sharing.

Read the rest of this entry »