7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #535:
Featuring Two Picture Book Reviews

h1 May 21st, 2017    by jules

I’m doing something a little bit different today. I have two picture book reviews over at BookPage to which I’m sending you, if you’re so inclined to read them — Tom Brenner’s And Then Comes Summer, illustrated by Jaime Kim (Candlewick, May 2017)—that review is here—and Carol Murray’s Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, May 2017), illustrated by Melissa Sweet. That review is here.

I don’t know about where you live, but here in Tennessee, school is wrapping up. In fact, this week is the last week for my own daughters, and everyone is ready for summer. Both of these books are just right for this time of year.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today

h1 May 19th, 2017    by jules


Sometimes I can’t help but do a little preview of what’s to come in the world of picture books. Today at Kirkus, I do just that, taking a look at three upcoming Fall picture book releases, including the one pictured above.

That is here.

Until Sunday . . .

Earth Day, Every Day: Art from
Gerald Kelley, Kenard Pak, and Katherine Tillotson

h1 May 18th, 2017    by jules

— From Kyo Maclear’s The Fog,
illustrated by Kenard Pak


— From Richard Jackson’s All Ears, All Eyes,
illustrated by Katherine Tillotson

(Click to enlarge spread)


— From Gerald Kelley’s Please Please the Bees

Last week over at Kirkus (here), I wrote about Gerald Kelley’s Please Please the Bees (Albert Whitman & Company, April 2017); Kyo Maclear’s The Fog (Tundra, May 2017), illustrated by Kenard Pak; and Richard Jackson’s All Ears, All Eyes (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, March 2017), illustrated by Katherine Tillotson.

Today, I’m following up with some spreads from each book. While I like all of these books, my favorite of the lot is Jackson’s and Tillotson’s book, which is simply gorgeous (a word I try not to overuse). I’m saving it for last in this post. I hope you enjoy those spreads as much as I do, and indeed, I hope you enjoy all of the art here today.

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Poverty and Child Labor in 28 pages

h1 May 16th, 2017    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Here’s a quick post to share some art from a striking new picture book on shelves, Anna Baccelliere’s I Like, I Don’t Like, illustrated by Ale + Ale (Eerdmans, March 2017). Ale + Ale is Alessandro Lecis and Alessandra Panzeri, Italian artists who have a studio in Paris.

I’m a school librarian by training, and though I’m freelance writing now and not currently in a school library, that school-librarian part of my brain gets excited when I see books like this. That is, I think about teachers who may need particular books at different moments in their curriculum throughout the year. Those teachers wanting to talk to students about child labor—and, really, I’d use this book with middle schoolers or high schoolers too—would be wise to pick up a copy of this.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #534: Featuring Mother’s Day

h1 May 14th, 2017    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

You kickers may remember me featuring a book back in February, called If I Had a Little Dream (Paula Wiseman Books). It was written by Nina Laden, and I featured some of Melissa Castrillon’s artwork from it—and linked to my BookPage review of it—here at 7-Imp.

When I was wondering which artwork to feature today, Mother’s Day, I thought of the last page of that picture book — and managed to get that illustration to share with you here.

Isn’t it lovely?

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Akiko Miyakoshi

h1 May 12th, 2017    by jules

“My mother carries me through the quiet streets.”
(Click to enlarge spread)

Earth Day is every day. That’s what’s on my mind at Kirkus today, as I look at three brand-new picture books.

That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Akiko Miyakoshi’s newest picture book, originally released overseas in 2015, The Way Home in the Night (Kids Can Press, April 2017). I’m following up with some art from the book today.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Reading with Kwame

h1 May 11th, 2017    by jules


Here’s my favorite thing that Kwame Alexander says today in our Kirkus chat about how he’s been named the 2017 National Summer Reading Champion for the Collaborative Summer Library Program:

When I asked him what he would say to a kid who tells him summer isn’t for reading, he responded: “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just read them a poem.”

That Q&A is here.

* * * * * * *

Photo credit: Donnie Biggs.

Catching Up with Tim Miller

h1 May 9th, 2017    by jules

“In the dust and dirt at the bottom of the spring, the monster grabbed Collin
and dragged him off in the direction of an impossibly huge coin pile.”
— Early character sketch and final art from Mark Riddle’s
illustrated by Tim Miller

(Click to enlarge spread)

Did you all see Mark Riddle’s Margarash (Enchanted Lion), released last November and illustrated by today’s return guest, Tim Miller? It was one of my favorite picture books of 2016, so gloriously bizarre and altogether unlike any other picture book released that year. It’s the story of a monster, named Margarash, who lives “in the deep, dark cave that lies below the cushions and springs of your couch” and one boy’s attempt to outwit him. In the end, it is, as the Kirkus review put it, a “sweet tale of a mutual passion and an unlikely friendship.”

Last Fall, Tim and I started chatting via email about the book, as well as some of his forthcoming books, and we are just now wrapping up that chat. What can I say? I got busy. He got busy. These things take time. Given my lateness in posting, now those forthcoming books are published books. Moo Moo in a Tutu (Balzer + Bray), the story of a curious, adventurous cow and his friend Mr. Quackers, was released last month. And it marks Tim’s debut as both an author and illustrator. We also talk today about his spot illustrations for Tom O’Donnell’s Hamstersaurus Rex books. (Hamstersaurus Rex, the debut, was released last October from HarperCollins, and Hamstersaurus Rex vs. Squirrel Kong releases next month.)

Let’s get right to it! It’s definitely time. I thank Tim for visiting 7-Imp again.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #533: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Jia Liu

h1 May 7th, 2017    by jules

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means the work of a student or debut illustrator here at 7-Imp. Visiting today is Jia Liu, who graduated from the MFA Illustration Practice Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016 and who is currently represented by Painted Words. She is also applying for an artist visa that would allow her to keep working here in the U.S.

Jia also studied picture books and illustration in China and has two books published there. “I will have two picture books coming out in 2018 [here in the U.S.],” she tells me, “published by Boyds Mills Press. I created work for children’s magazines and learning companies, as well as Port Discovery Children’s Museum. I was the student scholarship winner of SCBWI 2016.”

Below is a selection of Jia’s sketchbook images; illustrations from her new book and magazine, as well as work from an alphabet book she did at MICA; and a bit of her personal work. (She loves to draw animals.) Terrific Tongues will be her first book here in the U.S. and will be published in 2018 by Boyds Mills Press. You Can’t Hurt Me, No will be her second picture book from Boyds Mills Press, to be published the same year. “I Don’t Need Friends!,” she adds, “is a story written and illustrated by me. I am still looking for publishers.”

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Qin Leng

h1 May 5th, 2017    by jules

Today over at Kirkus, I write about the new picture book from the very talented Akiko Miyakoshi. That is here.

* * *

Last week, I wrote here about Emil Sher’s Away (Groundwood, April 2017), illustrated by Qin Leng. I’m following up with a bit of art from it today.


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