The People’s Painter: A Visit from Evan Turk

h1 May 13th, 2021    by jules

Cynthia Levinson’s newest picture book, The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art (Abrams, April 2021), illustrated by Evan Turk, is a force of nature. The book chronicles the life, starting from his childhood in Lithuania, of Shahn (1898-1969), the Jewish artist and activist whose figurative paintings and posters aligned with his social justice causes.

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“Who Wants What … and Do They Get It?”:
A Visit with Katherine Tillotson

h1 May 11th, 2021    by jules

“And Little Billy has the best.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

I’m heading back to last Fall today in order to share a picture book that was published then that I loved, the late and exceedingly talented Richard Jackson’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff: The FULL Story (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, September 2020), illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. I reviewed this one for the Horn Book; that review is here.

Katherine visits today to talk a bit aout creating the illustrations for the book — I thank her for sharing — and as I revisit the book, I’m impressed all over again. Jackson’s writing is delicious (just look at the sentence construction alone in the second final spread below), and Tillotson’s illustrations are remarkably textured — and filled with great mischief!

Let’s get to it. … Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #742: Featuring Yevgenia Nayberg

h1 May 9th, 2021    by jules

Mona Lisa may live in Paris, but in Yevgenia Nayberg’s Mona Lisa in New York (Prestel, March 2021), she finds herself on an adventure in the Big Apple.

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Bear Outside

h1 May 6th, 2021    by jules

“I take care of Bear, and Bear takes care of me.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Children like to imagine what animal they might be if they could tranform themselves. Their responses can tell you a lot about their personalities — or even their state of mind. Jane Yolen’s Bear Outside (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, March 2021), illustrated by Jen Corace, is an intriguing take on this very notion — yet takes the idea even further. The book opens with: “Some folks have a lion inside, or a tiger. Not me.” And our narrator? It’s a child who wears “my bear on the outside. It’s like wearing a suit of armor. She keeps out the howls, the growls. She keeps me safe.”

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How to Apologize Before (and After) Breakfast:
A Chat with Illustrator Mike Wohnoutka

h1 May 4th, 2021    by jules

David LaRochelle’s How to Apologize (Candlewick, May 2021), illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, is a class-act primer on a difficult subject — how to say you’re sorry. It’s a challenge for even the best of humans to put their pride aside and accept and admit a wrong-doing. But David and Mike — and some gators, elephants, bulldogs, and meerkats — have your back in a book that covers it all: the universality of mistakes, the pain it can cause, how difficult it can be to apologize, why making excuses is a no-go, and much more. How do you apologize sincerely? What if the mistake happened eons ago? Should you try to fix your mistake? This book may be marketed for preschool to second-graders, but I know a lot of adults who could apply its emotionally astute wisdom to their own lives.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #741: Featuring Rascal

h1 May 2nd, 2021    by jules

Pablo (Gecko Press, May 2021), a small, square concept piece from Belgian author-illustrator Rascal, is a French import, originally published in 2019 and translated by Antony Shugaar.

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h1 April 29th, 2021    by jules

“The dream wished it was longer.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

You can read my review over at BookPage of Mượn Thị Văn’s unforgettable refugee tale, Wishes (Orchard, April 2021), illustrated by Victo Ngai. That review is here.

Here today at 7-Imp are some spreads. …

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Tracey Campbell Pearson’s
Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

h1 April 27th, 2021    by jules

“Girls and boys come out to play …”
(Click spread to enlarge)

It’s good to see a new picture book that gives us a fresh look at Mother Goose rhymes — it’s not exactly a heyday now in the picture book world for traditional tales — and it’s also good to see a new book from Tracey Campbell Pearson (who is responsible for the very funny Bob and a handful of other well-crafted books).

I’m looking at an F&G of Tracey’s Girls and Boys Come Out to Play (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House, April 2021), which is to say that not everything here is quite glued down. But it looks like the endpapers (both opening and closing) feature a short series of Mother Goose rhymes — “Hey, Diddle, Diddle”; “Humpty Dumpty”; “Jack and Jill”; and more. On the title page spread we see a young child reading a book of nursery rhymes, cat snuggling nearby and younger sibling on the floor, dozing next to the dog. And the next spread depicts nursery rhyme characters sitting on a brick wall. Will we see them throughout the book? On the opening spread (pictured above), there is the grand dame herself. Mother Goose stands on a rooftop. “Girls and boys come out to play,” we read.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #740: Featuring
Hannah Carmona and Anna Cunha

h1 April 25th, 2021    by jules

“With one step, I move away from the familiar. With another step, I walk into the unknown. Hand in hand, we stand strong. Bravely, through the dark, narrow
throat of the beast, we enter its belly where we will take flight to new adventures.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I had the opportunity to talk to author Hannah Carmona about her newest picture book, Anita and the Dragons (Lantana, April 2021). As you will read at our chat, which is here, it’s a story of emigration, based on her own mother’s experience of moving from the Dominican Republic to the U.S.

Today here at 7-Imp, I’ve some spreads from the book, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

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Marie Dorléans’s The Night Walk

h1 April 22nd, 2021    by jules

“Outside, crickets chirped in corners of the garden.
The summer air smelled of irises and honeysuckle.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Marie Dorléans’s eloquent The Night Walk (Floris, April 2021), originally published in French and translated by Polly Lawson.

The review is here, and here today at 7-Imp are some spreads.


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