7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #484: Featuring Tarō Gomi

h1 May 22nd, 2016    by jules

“Is someone standing looking over the ocean … just like I am doing now?”
(Click to enlarge spread)

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Tarō Gomi’s Over the Ocean, originally published in 1979. If you’d like to read about the book, I send you there. And if you want to see some art from it, I’ve got that here at 7-Imp today.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Sergio Ruzzier

h1 May 20th, 2016    by jules

(Click each to enlarge)

This morning over at Kirkus, I have a Fall 2016 Picture Book Preview. That is here.

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Pictured above is my favorite spread from Sergio Ruzzier’s newest picture book, This Is Not a Picture Book! (Chronicle, May 2016). I wrote about it here at Kirkus last week, and I’m following up today with the Director’s Cut version of the book. That is, Sergio shares some early sketches, as well as early cover images. You’ll see the book was initially named A Book With No Pictures. Sound familiar? When a certain book by B.J. Novak was released in 2014, Sergio had some title-changing to do. “It took me and Chronicle months to decide what to do,” Sergio says, “and more months to find a new title. I’m very happy with the final choice, which is, I think, better than the original.”

I thank Sergio for sharing. I love to see these early images and the book’s evolution. And there’s a bit of final art below, too.


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A Peek into Denise Fleming’s Studio

h1 May 19th, 2016    by jules

Pictured here is a gelatin print from author-illustrator Denise Fleming. She’s experimenting, while working on some new books. Since she chatted with me last week at Kirkus (here) about her latest picture book, Maggie and Michael Get Dressed (Henry Holt, April 2016), I wanted to follow up today here at 7-Imp with some images and art. She shares quite a bit of process art below, which is fascinating to see — and will have to do, since I can’t just pop over to her house and watch her do her thing.

I thank her for sharing.


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Harold’s Hungry Eyes

h1 May 17th, 2016    by jules

I always like to see the work of Kevin Waldron. His newest picture book, Harold’s Hungry Eyes (Phaidon Press, May 2016) is funny stuff. It’s the tale of a hungry dog, living in the city, who is “insatiably hungry. All of the time.” The only thing he likes about as much as he loves food is his comfortable chair, but one day, he discovers a garbage truck in the process of ditching his favorite place to sleep. After he heads outside to chase the truck, he becomes lost. And then his stomach rumbles: “Harold hadn’t had his breakfast!” His new goal, other than finding his way home, is to find food. And he sees food in nearly every nook and cranny of the city, his mind’s eye filled with veggies where a park is, pretzels where bicycle tires normally go, wafer cookies as steps, ice cream cones where stoplights would be, and much more.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #483:
Featuring Jeffery Boston Weatherford

h1 May 15th, 2016    by jules

” … Of more than 400,000 pilots trained / by the CPTP, only 2,000 are black; / less than half of a percent. / Yet 2,000 dreams of flight / are finally off the ground.”

Today I’ve got a bit of art from Carole Boston Weatherford’s newest book, You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford and released by Atheneum this month. This is a series of poems, aimed at middle-school readers, about the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

The poems are powerful, Weatherford bringing to life with vivid language the voices of these aviators, the first African-American military pilots of the war. She writes in a second-person voice—“You see the posters: Uncle Sam Wants You. / If only that meant in the cockpit.”—which brings the reader into the poems with an immediacy. It’s a very effective technique, as it gives space for the reader to imagine him or herself in the events Weatherford’s precise poetry conjures. The poems cover a wide range of tones, as Weatherford notes the pilots’ struggles, as well as their accomplishments. “[Weatherford’s] skill with language,” notes the Kirkus review, “provides clear voices for the trainees, and cultural specifics provide additional texture and deepen understanding of the young men.” The review closes: It’s a “masterful, inspiring evocation of an era.”

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Peter Brown, Milan Pavlovic, and Jillian Tamaki

h1 May 13th, 2016    by jules

“There was only one place Brightbill could have gone. The robot gravesite.
So Roz galloped northward.”
— From Peter Brown’s
The Wild Robot


“‘He’s here!’ she yelled, and ran outside. The moment her father stepped out,
Gertie threw her arms around him, and he
hugged her back so hard he lifted her off the ground.”
— From Kate Beasley’s
Gertie’s Leap to Greatness,
illustrated by Jillian Tamaki


“While I was spying on them, kind of wondering what Kabungo would say next, Miss VeDore looked up and said in her whispery way, ‘Have a seat, dear. And … some tea?'”
— From Rolli’s
Kabungo, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic

Over at Kirkus today, I write about Sergio Ruzzier’s new picture book, This Is Not a Picture Book! (Chronicle, May 2016). That is here. I’ll follow up next week with some art and preliminary images from the book.

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Last week, I wrote here about four new novels, and since three of them are illustrated (Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot, published by Little, Brown in April; Kate Beasley’s Gertie’s Leap to Greatness, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and coming by way of Farrar, Straus and Giroux in October; and Rolli’s Kabungo, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic and published by Groundwood Books in April), I’m sharing some art from them today. (Peter Brown threw in some early sketches, too.)


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My Kirkus Q&A with Denise Fleming

h1 May 12th, 2016    by jules

I am pretty much the same person I was at age 4 or 5. I like the same things. I am still bossy and messy. Animals were my best friends then — and now. Still like to make things using bright colors. Abhor bedtime. Peanut butter, pickles, chocolate, and cheese and chips are my favorite foods. Have added iced tea. Want to touch things I am told not to. Not fond of combing my hair.

See, the younger ones are my peeps. I know them through and through. Those older ones are more complicated.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Dense Fleming, pictured here, whose debut picture book is 25 years old this year. At Kirkus, we talk primarily about her newest book, Maggie and Michael Get Dressed, but we chat about more, too.

That is here this morning.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Denise Fleming used by her permission.


The Best Thing You’ll Read All Day

h1 May 10th, 2016    by jules

Click the image below for some wise words from author-illustrator Sergio Ruzzier.

Thanks, Sergio and the Nerdy Book Club.


7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #482: Featuring Isol

h1 May 8th, 2016    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Hello, dear kickers. I’ve got an alphabet book today, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It’s from Argentine author-illustrator Isol, who won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2013.

Daytime Visons: An Alphabet comes to readers this month by way of Enchanted Lion Books. Isol originally wrote it in Spanish. As she points out in the book’s closing note, “These images were first created using Spanish letters as Spanish is my mother tongue. Translating them into English involved a kind of reinvention. It was fun getting these scenes and characters to enter into a new conversation in English, where they found new ways to live together.” (She goes on to note that she had a lot of help from the wonderful Claudia Zoe Bedrick, as well as Elisa Amado.)

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring
Irene Dickson, Emily Gravett, and Kazue Takahashi

h1 May 6th, 2016    by jules

— From Kuma-Kuma Chan’s Home:
“I walk into his home.
It smells slightly of bear.”

(Click to enlarge)


— From Bear & Hare—Where’s Bear?:
(Click to enlarge)


— From Blocks:
Note: The text here is different than it appears in the book.
(Click to enlarge)

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some new children’s lit novels on the mind. That link is here.

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Last week (here), I wrote about Kazue Takahashi’s Kuma-Kuma Chan’s Home (Museyon), originally released in 2001 in Japan but on U.S. shelves this month; Emily Gravett’s Bear & Hare—Where’s Bear? (Simon & Schuster), originally released two years ago but also on U.S. shelves, as of last month; and Irene Dickson’s Blocks (Candlewick, May 2016).

I’ve got some art from each book today. Enjoy!

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