What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Lauren Stringer

h1 October 28th, 2016    by jules

“Children run in the yellow air. They let it catch their hair and cover their sweaters. They jump and turn in yellow time.”
(Click to enlarge)


Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got a Picture Book Happy Hour of sorts. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Lauren Stringer’s Yellow Time (Beach Lane, September 2016) and Philip Stead’s Samson in the Snow (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, September 2016). Today, Lauren shares some art from the book, as well as some early sketches and studio views of the process of making the book. (Phil will visit 7-Imp relatively soon to chat about Samson and share images.)


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Rediscovering Misuzu Kaneko with David Jacobson

h1 October 27th, 2016    by jules

It took many, many rewrites to find the right degree of honesty, simplicity, and child-friendliness. In the end, I think we made the right decision.
Most people tell us they’re glad we handled the story the way we did.
Even one of the folks who opposed the inclusion of her death wrote me recently to say she had changed her mind. She was glad we decided to talk about Misuzu’s tragic end, because it helps us appreciate
her character and her poetry that much more.”

* * *

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got a Q&A with author David Jacobson about Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri and translated by Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi (Chin Music Press, September 2016). Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some spreads from the book.

The Q&A is here.

Until tomorrow . . .

Tennessee’s Own Kate DePalma

h1 October 25th, 2016    by jules


Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I talk to author and Barefoot Books’ Senior Editor, Kate DePalma, about The Barefoot Book of Children, which celebrates the cultures of children all over the globe. You can click on the image above to read our chat.

Catching Up with Edward Hemingway

h1 October 25th, 2016    by jules

Pictured above is a study, painted in oil, of the cat from Edward Hemingway’s Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus. This study, Edward says, helped him create the final color palette for the book.

Grumpasaurus, which Kirkus described as an “effervescent how-to for the wrangling of fearsome, tantrum-prone beasties,” was released by Clarion back in June, and around that time Edward and I talked about him visiting 7-Imp. But a move to a new home this summer delayed my plans. Mr. Hemingway was very patient with me, though, and I’m glad he’s finally here today. Also released this past Summer was F. L. Block’s My Miserable Life (Henry Holt), for which Edward created the cover and interior illustrations.

We talk about both books below, as well as what’s next for him. (I also asked for some book recommendations and was rewarded.) I thank him for visiting. Let’s get to it.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #506: Featuring Christoph Niemann

h1 October 23rd, 2016    by jules

7-Imp may be, for all intents and purposes, an art site, but today I’ve got some words for you. (Okay, some art too.) More specifically, Christoph Niemann’s Words, released this month from Greenwillow Books.

I love this one, which makes a great book for emerging readers to browse (if I could, I’d leave copies in every Kindergarten classroom in the country), as well as a great book for those learning English as a second language. To be sure, though, it’s a smart and fun book for everyone. In it, Niemann has illustrated more than 300 words in bold, black lines he drew in Adobe Photoshop. Each page features one word, and Niemann doesn’t desert any parts of speech. (Be sure to look for his illustrations of parts of speech at the book’s close.) How would you draw “there” and “those”? “Did” and “real”? “Almost”? “Will” (the verb, that is)? Tough ones, huh? Niemann’s got you covered here with clever, thoughtful renderings of words in the English language, sometimes pairing homonymns on one spread (“duck” showing the creature and then “duck” showing a duck ducking!).

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Wolf Erlbruch, Emily Winfield Martin, & Júlia Sardà

h1 October 21st, 2016    by jules

“Winifred, the oldest child, preferred her top ten lists.”
— From Kyo Maclear’s
The Liszts,
illustrated by Júlia Sardà


“He slipped his hand into the pocket and found a folded piece of paper.
It said: ARE YOU ME?”
— From Oren Lavie’s
The Bear Who Wasn’t There:
And the Fabulous Forest, illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch
(Click to see full text and the spread in its entirety)


“Good night, little wanderers!”
— From Emily Winfield Martin’s
The Littlest Family’s Big Day
(Click to enlarge spread)


This week over at Kirkus, I’ve got yellow on the mind. That is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Oren Lavie’s The Bear Who Wasn’t There: And the Fabulous Forest (Black Sheep/Akashic Books, October 2016), illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch; Kyo Maclear’s The Liszts (Tundra Books, October 2016), illustrated by Júlia Sardà; and Emily Winfield Martin’s The Littlest Family’s Big Day (Random House, October 2016).

I’ve got art from each book today, and Emily even shares some early sketches, storyboards, etc. I thank her for sharing.


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Into the Clouds with Sophie Blackall

h1 October 18th, 2016    by jules

“‘We’ll see about that. …”
(Click to enlarge image)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage (here) of Matthew Olshan’s newest picture book, A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785 (Margaret Ferguson Books/FSG, October 2016), illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Sophie’s here today to share some reference images, early sketches, and final art. Here’s what she had to say about it:

I spent time in the V&A museum in London where they have all sorts of balloon paraphernalia. Balloon flight took the world by storm and influenced everything from cocktails to hats. There’s a drawing [below] I’ve included of a man and woman with balloon-inspired outfits. I’ve also thrown in a rather lewd cartoon from the time, which no doubt was funny in 1784, but in the light of Donald Trump seems sort of depressing. But it does show the illustration style of using speech balloons, which I borrowed throughout the book!

Sophie also shares below a sample painting for the next book she’s working on with Susan Rich at Little, Brown, called Hello, Lighthouse!


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #505: Featuring a Dragon with a Taco

h1 October 16th, 2016    by jules

I’m doing something different today. No illustrations for you—I’ll be back early this week with some, as always—but you all remember Adam Rubin’s Dragons Love Tacos, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, which came out in 2012, yes? I posted about it here (and here).

Well, evidently, there’s a new edition of the book that comes with a dragon/taco toy. And I don’t normally get this excited about plush, but boy, do I love that book. So, I was pretty happy to see this and wanted to share a photo of it today.

TACO PARTY, anyone?

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Mordicai Gerstein and Klaas Verplancke

h1 October 14th, 2016    by jules

— From Klaas Verplancke’s Margritte’s Apple


“The girl picked up her mandolin,
and as her fingers plucked and pressed the strings, she sang. …”
— From Mordicai Gerstein’s
The Sleeping Gypsy
(Click spread to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got the sweet and the surreal on the mind. That link is here.

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Last week, I wrote here about Mordicai Gerstein’s The Sleeping Gypsy (Holiday House, October 2016) and Klaas Verplancke’s Magritte’s Apple (MoMA, September 2016). I’m following up here today with some spreads from each book.


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My Kirkus Q&A with Jabari Asim

h1 October 13th, 2016    by jules

I think of [Lewis] as one of the last
representatives of the golden age of civil rights oratory.”

* * *

Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got a Q&A with author Jabari Asim about Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis (Nancy Paulsen Books, October 2016). Earlier in the year, I showcased some spreads from this book, so if you want to see some of E. B. Lewis’s exquisite art for the book, head here and scroll down a bit.

The Q&A with Jabari is here this morning.

Until tomorrow . . .

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Photo of Mr. Asim taken by Shef Reynolds II and used by permission of Penguin Random House.