My Kirkus Q&A with Chris Harris

h1 November 24th, 2017    by jules

Have you seen Chris Harris’s I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups, illustrated by Lane Smith? You may have already read about this book, as it’s received a whole host of starred reviews.

Over at Kirkus today, I talk with Chris, pictured here, about this book, what it’s been like to enter the world of children’s lit (he comes from the world of television — writing and producing, that is), and what it was like to work with Lane.

He also lobs some fruit at me.

Next week here at 7-Imp, I’ll follow up with some more art and verses from the book.

The Q&A is here.


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Photo of Chris taken by Cliff Lipson.

What I Did at Kirkus Last Week,
Featuring Jacob Grant, Boris Kulikov, and Ashley Wolff

h1 November 24th, 2017    by jules

“Every day the small petting zoo was packed with grabby little hands.”
— From Jacob Grant’s
Through with the Zoo
(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


“‘Here I am, Mama,’ says Baby Bear.
‘Up in the birch tree.'”
— From Ashley Wolff’s
Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear?
(Click to enlarge spread)


“If you come to a house, knock on the door and politely say,
‘Has anyone seen an elephant?’ And if no one has, then go deeper into the jungle.”
— From Kate Banks’s
How to Find an Elephant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
(Click to enlarge spread)


Last week, I wrote here at Kirkus about Jacob Grant’s Through with the Zoo (Feiwel & Friends, November 2017); Kate Banks’s How to Find an Elephant (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2017), illustrated by Boris Kulikov; and Ashley Wolff’s Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? (Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, October 2017).

I’m following up with art today.


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Your 7-Imp Holiday Gift Guide?
Yes, Your 7-Imp Holiday Gift Guide!

h1 November 24th, 2017    by jules


Black Friday may not be my thing, but I have at Kirkus this week a holiday gift guide, of all the thingy things.

BOOKS, of course!

It occurred to me I’m in my seventh year of blogging at Kirkus, so I take a look at favorite posts I’ve done over the years, ones that include books I just know your friends and family would like to unwrap this year. (Pictured above is one of those books, one of my favorite novels this year.)

That is here.

Happy book-hunting!

My BookPage Q&A with Allen Say

h1 November 21st, 2017    by jules


I’ve got a short chat with Allen Say over at BookPage, where he answers some questions about his picture book Silent Days, Silent Dreams. (And I have art from the book and a link to my review of it here at this recent 7-Imp post.)

The BookPage Q&A is here. Happy reading. I love this book.

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.

* * *

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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