What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Matt Phelan

h1 September 23rd, 2016    by jules


At Kirkus today, I’ve got picture books and grandparents on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week I wrote here about Matt Phelan’s Snow White: A Graphic Novel (Candlewick, September 2016), as well as Shaun Tan’s The Singing Bones (Scholastic, October 2016). I’ve got a bit of art here today from Phelan’s book, as well as some preliminary images he sent along, but unfortunately I don’t have any images from Tan’s book. You can, however, see some here at his site.

Enjoy!

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A Moment with the Art of Edel Rodriguez

h1 September 22nd, 2016    by jules


“… By the time of his bar mitzvah, Lenny could make the gesture easily with either hand. His fingers looked like the letter shin, which, he’d learned in Hebrew school, was the first letter of the word shalom, or “peace,”
and
Shaddal, one of the names for God.”


 
I’m following up last week’s Kirkus Q&A with author Richard Michelson and illustrator Edel Rodriguez with a bit of Edel’s art from Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy, on shelves this month from Knopf.

Enjoy!

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Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Bethan Woollvin

h1 September 20th, 2016    by jules


 
Earlier this Spring, Peachtree brought readers the debut picture book from Bethan Woollvin, pictured here, who is a recent graduate of the Cambridge School of Art in England. I wrote about this book, Little Red, here over at Kirkus, because it’s a well-crafted debut. (Back in 2014, it up and won the Macmillan Children’s Book Competition over in the UK.)

And then I was curious to see more art from Bethan and learn more, so I invited her over for a 7-Imp cyber-breakfast. “If I could have any breakfast,” she tells me, “I’d go all American on you guys and have the full waffle-bacon-syrup deal, but since I’m not in New York, I’ll stick to porridge with strawberries.”

YUM. This is good with me. I’ll throw in some coffee. Also good with me is seeing more art from Bethan and getting a peek into her Little Red sketchbook. So, let’s get right to it.

And I thank her for visiting.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #501: Featuring Ashley Bryan

h1 September 18th, 2016    by jules


“… We made music! / When we stole time / we laughed, we danced. …”
(Click to enlarge and read the text in its entirety)


 
I have a review over at BookPage of Ashley Bryan’s new book, Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, September 2016). That is here, and today I share a few spreads from the book.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Jon Agee, Quentin Blake, Tomie dePaola,
Matthew Forsythe, Betsy Lewin,
E. B. Lewis, and Brian Pinkney

h1 September 16th, 2016    by jules


“… She called it ‘Kitty,’
but Kitty called herself ‘Miss Catherine St. Quintin.'”


 

“… Now, as an adult, I imagine Peter Rabbit scurrying around
having a ball in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where I live.” — Brian Pinkney

(Click to enlarge image)


 
Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got new books from Shaun Tan and Matt Phelan on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about the 150th birthday of Beatrix Potter and the publication of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots (Frederick Warne & Co., September 2016), illustrated by Quentin Blake, as well as A Celebration of Beatrix Potter, a collection of art and letters from more than 30 contemporary children’s book author/illustrators, coming to shelves in November (also Frederick Warne & Co.).

Today, I’ve got a bit of art from each book.

Enjoy!

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Living Long and Prospering in the World of the Arts

h1 September 15th, 2016    by jules



 

When I speak to children or to aspiring authors, I always advise them to listen carefully when their parents and grandparents and best friends and best friend’s parents talk about their lives. ‘Everyone has a story to tell,’ I say. ‘Just remember to write it down.’ And yet why did it never occur to me to write down Leonard’s story?”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Richard Michelson, quoted above (and pictured above, with Leonard Nimoy), about Fascinating, his new picture book biography of Leonard Nimoy (Knopf, September 2016). Illustrator Edel Rodriguez also joins us. Born in Cuba, Rodriguez (pictured right) came to America in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift and learned English from, partly, watching Star Trek with his cousins.

That Q&A is here this morning.

* * * * * * *

Photo of Richard Michelson and Leonard Nimoy taken by Sylvia Mautner Photography and used by permission of Richard Michelson. Photo of Edel Rodriguez used by his permission.

Chris Raschka on Home at Last

h1 September 13th, 2016    by jules



Chris: “Perhaps our best time together was on my second visit when we spent two long days side by side on her sun porch, each in our own wicker chair.
Vera drew all day, and much of the night.”


 
It’s a pleasure to share some thoughts and images from Chris Raschka today. Just this month, Greenwillow Books released Home at Last, written by Vera B. Williams and illustrated by Chris. This was the last book Vera worked on before her death last October. You may have seen the wonderful Horn Book cover story from the May/June issue of this year, in which Lydie Raschka, Chris’s wife, writes about their collaboration. Today, Chris shares a bit more, including some of Vera’s sketches for the book. (His paintings for the book are based on her sketches.)

The story is about a boy, adopted by two dads, and the boy’s efforts to acclimate himself to his new life. It is tender and heartbreaking but, ultimately, joyful. I thank Chris for sharing a bit about the process today. I find it fascinating to see, in particular, the early sketches and Vera’s own drawings. Let’s get right to it.

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Well, That Was Fun . . .

h1 September 12th, 2016    by jules



 

It was fun to be a guest on a podcast whose episodes I never ever miss. That would be the Horn Book’s (relatively new) podcast.

Thanks to Roger and Siân for having me when I was in Boston last week. You can click on the image above to hear our chat, if you’re so inclined.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #500 (!):
Featuring Carin Bramsen (Again)

h1 September 11th, 2016    by jules



 
Look at that number up there. FIVE HUNDRED WEEKS of kickin’, you all! Hard to believe, isn’t it?

I think that it’s fitting that we are celebrating kicking on a day that is a sad anniversary for so many people (9/11), because the whole idea of kicking is trying your damnedest to find the light in something, even if it’s been a hard week. There are some weeks it’s even hard for me to find seven whole kicks, but I usually manage it. It’s a good little exercise, huh?

So, thank you all for kickin’ with me for so long — for meeting here every Sunday to take the time to reflect (as I type every week) on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. (Thanks to Eisha, who founded the blog with me, for that wording.) I’m re-posting this image from Carin Bramsen. As I note on this page of my site, where I explain what 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks are, kicks kind of make you feel like the children in that image do, even if you’re not wearing a tutu on your head.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Francesca Sanna

h1 September 9th, 2016    by jules


“I live with my family in a city close to the sea. Every summer we used to spend many weekends at the beach. But we never go there anymore, because last year,
our lives changed forever …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got Beatrix Potter on the mind. That is here.

* * *

Since I wrote here last week about Francesca Sanna’s The Journey (Flying Eye Books, September 2016), I am following up with some art from it today.

[Please note: Some of the colors in these illustrations are a bit off when you enlarge them, but I did my best.]

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