7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #561: Featuring Barbara McClintock

h1 November 19th, 2017    by jules

I’ve got some art today from Barbara McClintock’s The Five Forms (Farrar Straus Giroux), released in October. I had the chance to meet Barbara in person early last year, and I actually saw some original art from this book. I saw her working on it in her home studio, that is, so it’s lovely to hold the book in my hands now.

This is the story of a girl who finds a mysterious book, all about poses in martial arts, on top of a library book-return box on a sidewalk. She takes it home and proceeds to disregard the book’s warning about how the movements of Chinese martial arts which sometimes mimic the postures of animals, or forms, need not be attempted “without an experienced teacher!” She forges ahead anyway, first trying the crane, who starts to grab nearly everything in her room in its beak. Since leopard overpowers crane, she tries the leopard stance, which doesn’t go well either. The leopard and crane tussle. And so it goes, until the room also holds a snake and a dragon. Chaos reigns. Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week,
Featuring Matt James and Laura Vaccaro Seeger

h1 November 17th, 2017    by jules


From Richard Jackson’s Snow Scene,
illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

(Click to enlarge spread)


Cover illustration (sans text) from Paul Harbridge’s When the Moon Comes,
illustrated by Matt James

(Click to enlarge)


Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got three brand-new picture books. That is here.

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Last week I wrote here about Richard Jackson’s Snow Scene (Neal Porter/Roaring Brooke, November 2017), illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, as well as Paul Harbridge’s When the Moon Comes (Tundra, September 2017), illustrated by Matt James. I’m sharing art from both books today. (The illustrations Matt sent from When the Moon Comes are sans text.)

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Calling CaldeNott

h1 November 16th, 2017    by jules


Today over at the Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott, where we’ve been busy all this Fall, discussing the year’s best picture books, Thom Barthelmess visits to highlight some ineligible internationals, the year’s best picture book imports. This is a favorite topic of mine.

We’re Calling CaldeNott. Head here to the Horn Book to read.

A Moment with the Illustrations of Sharee Miller …

h1 November 16th, 2017    by jules

I’m following up last week’s Kirkus Q&A with author-illustrator Sharee Miller with some illustrations from her debut picture book, Princess Hair (Little, Brown, October 2017).

Until tomorrow …

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Zack Rock’s Good Story

h1 November 14th, 2017    by jules


Author-illustrator Zack Rock visits 7-Imp again today to share preliminary images and art from his newest picture book, A Good Story (Creative Editions, August 2017). It’s the story of Assistant Bean Counter #1138, whose world is filled with numbers. “Numbers keep the world orderly and ordinary. You can always count on numbers!” At least this is the story that this accountant has been told all his piggy life. Things change when he ends up in a bookstore and discovers stories — and that some things that can’t be counted matter.

It’s a thoughtfully designed book — from the pages made to look like graph paper to the textured cover under the dust jacket — and Zack’s earth-toned paintings are detailed and textured. I always like to see what Zack is up to. Let’s get right to his images and commentary, and I thank him for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #560: Featuring April Pulley Sayre

h1 November 12th, 2017    by jules

“Oh—it’s orange!
Red, be bold.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got some spreads today from April Pulley Sayre’s Full of Fall (Beach Lane Books, August 2017). It’s a beautiful book, very fitting for this time of year. I thought of it this week, as I drove down the tree-lined street to my daughters’ school. The fall leaves are pretty stunning at this time of year.

Perfectly paced and cadenced, Sayre’s flowing, rhyming text captures the wonders of autumn with a genuine, infectious wonder. She kicks off the book with a goodbye to summer and welcomes the surging colors of fall, with her focus on the leaves of fall trees. “The forest glows,” Sayre writes, as her detailed nature photos capture the season. The book closes with a welcome to winter, as well as some informational facts about the leaves of autumn. Visually, the book is eye-popping, as Sayre’s photography consistently is. Some spreads feature one photo, while others feature two or three, with unfussy white borders dividing them. All spreads are full-bleed — and glorious.

You won’t want to miss this one. Here are some more spreads. …

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring James E. Ransome

h1 November 10th, 2017    by jules

“Before she was a suffragist / she was General Tubman …”
(Click to enlarge)

It may not be winter yet, but the cozy, winter picture books are already on shelves. I’ve got two at Kirkus today.

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Last week, I wrote here about Lesa Cline-Ransome’s and James E. Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet (Holiday House, November 2017). A spread is pictured above.

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My Kirkus Q&A with Sharee Miller

h1 November 9th, 2017    by jules

The first thing I wanted to be when I was younger was a beautiful princess. The first representations of beauty we see are often princesses. They usually have long straight hair and Eurocentric features. I think this is the point when most girls start to think about their physical appearance, and I wanted little girls with natural hair to see themselves as beautiful princesses.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to debut picture book author-illustrator Sharee Miller about her new book, Princess Hair (Little, Brown, October 2017).

That Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Sharee courtesy of Darrell Hanley.

Silent Days, Silent Dreams

h1 November 7th, 2017    by jules

I’ve got a BookPage review (here) of Allen Say’s Silent Days, Silent Dreams (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, October 2017). I’m following up with art today.

This book has been the subject of a court case (here’s a summary, and here’s Scholastic’s statement). I’m glad it’s made its way to shelves.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #559: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Yuko Okabe

h1 November 5th, 2017    by jules

It’s the first Sunday of the month, dear Imps, which means a student illustrator or newly-graduated illustrator here at 7-Imp.

Today, I welcome Yuko Okabe, a recent graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, who is now pursuing life as an illustrator in Boston. She also works as an artist for Mighteor, and she describes that work below.

Yuko is also currently creating a picture book with a couple of people and is becoming increasingly interested in picture books and children’s books.

I thank her for visiting. Here she is, in her own words . …

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