What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I’ve Done at BookPage,
Featuring Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad

h1 May 29th, 2015    by jules


Julie Morstad’s early Sadie sketches
(Click to enlarge)


 

“Sadie has had adventures in Wonderland.”
– A final spread from Sara O’Leary’s
This Is Sadie,
illustrated by Julie Morstad

(Click to enlarge)


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got three new picture books that are pretty much for the birds. You can thank me later for this exceedingly punny moment. That link will be here soon.

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Over at BookPage, I’ve got a review of Sara O’Leary’s This Is Sadie (Tundra, May 2015), illustrated by Julie Morstad. That review is here. Today, I follow up that review with a chat with Sara, and Julie shares some early sketches and final art from the book.

Enjoy!

p.s. Speaking of Morstad, I keep hearing great things about Laurel Snyder’s Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, illustrated by Julie and coming in August from Chronicle Books. I’m looking forward to seeing that one.

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The Copacetic Club

h1 May 28th, 2015    by jules

‘Loquacious’ (used in the book), along with ‘copacetic,’ were two words I learned from my sister’s boyfriend. When I was a kid, I loved knowing these big words. It made me feel grown-up. In fact, when my friends and I used to greet each other with ‘How ya doin’?’, the correct response was ‘copacetic.’ It was like a code or our own secret language, hidden right there in English vocabulary. If you knew the response, you were in the ‘copacetic club.’”

Today over at Kirkus, I talk with Jim Averbeck, quoted above, and Yasmeen Ismail, both pictured here, who are the author and illustrator (respectively) of the new picture book One Word from Sophia (Atheneum), which will be on shelves in June.

That Q&A is here, and I will have some art and early sketches from it next week here at 7-Imp.

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Photo of Jim taken by Tim O’Meara and used by his permission.

Photo of Yasmeen taken by Olivia Hemingway Photography and used by her permission.

JooHee Yoon’s Beastly Verse (Plus a Sneak Peek …)

h1 May 26th, 2015    by jules



(Click each image to enlarge)


 
I’ve got artwork below today from illustrator and printmaker JooHee Yoon’s first picture book here in the U.S., Beastly Verse, published by Enchanted Lion Books last month. Does anyone else remember when JooHee visited 7-Imp back in 2011 to share some art? It’s exciting to see this book now.

This is a collection of animal poems, many from poets long-gone (Ogden Nash, Hilaire Belloc, Christina Rosetti), with gatefold surprises and Yoon’s distinctive and stylized art, so vivid in its palette that the spreads pop off the page. (You’ll see this below.) Daisy Fried wrote in the New York Times that “[k]ids appreciate the bizarre and off-kilter, and are too often denied it when grown-ups edit for positive messages and sweetness. Hooray for Yoon for countering that.” I love that.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #433: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 May 24th, 2015    by jules


Julie: “P. Zonka is a Friesian Bantam.”


 
If I were really organized, you would have read this post months ago at the dawn of Spring. It’s a very Spring’y book, and it also has a lot to do with eggs, which are also very Spring’y. But sometimes I’m just slow. Better late than never, though. Right?

There is a closing note in Julie Paschkis’ new picture book about how she and her family have an annual party where they gather together with friends to decorate eggs and eat yummy food. She makes particular mention of pysanky, Ukrainian decorated eggs, and a brilliant, decorated egg is an integral part of the story in this bright and beautiful book, P. Zonka Lays an Egg (Peachtree, March 2015). When I say bright, I’m talking a primarily sunny yellow palette, punctuated by other warm and lovely colors.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Bénédicte Guettier,
Patrick McDonnell, Daniel Salmieri, and Charlotte Voake

h1 May 22nd, 2015    by jules


– From Meet the Dullards
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

– From The Skunk


 

“Unfortunately, an octopus is not a very suitable pet.
You should see the mess he makes in the bathroom!”
– From
Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets
(Click to enlarge spread)


 

– From I am the Wolf … And Here I Come!


 
Today over at Kirkus, I write about the neatest picture book award you’ve never heard of, the Bull-Bransom Award from the National Museum of Wildlife Art. That link will be here soon.

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Last week I wrote (here) about four new picture books — Sara Pennypacker’s Meet the Dullards, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (Balzer & Bray, March 2015); Mac Barnett’s The Skunk, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (Roaring Brook, April 2015); Charlotte Voake’s Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets (Candlewick, April 2015); and Bénédicte Guettier’s I am the Wolf … And Here I Come! (Gecko Press, January 2015). Today, I follow up with art from each book. (Note: Sorry about the lines in the art from Guettier. Those lines indicate the gutter of the book.)

Enjoy the art …

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Miss Hazeltine’s Home for
Shy and Fearful Cats

h1 May 21st, 2015    by jules


“Crumb lapped up every word. One day he hoped to find the courage to thank her.
Still, he worried. Would he ever be brave?”


 
I’m following up my BookPage review of Alicia Potter’s Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats (Knopf, May 2015), illustrated by Birgitta Sif, with a bit of art from the book, as well as some early sketches from Birgitta. The review is here, and I thank her for sharing the images here today.

Enjoy …

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A Visit with Author-Illustrator William Bee

h1 May 19th, 2015    by jules

Where is Stanley going over there? COME BACK, STANLEY. Ah well. He has some mail to deliver, so he’s off.

British author-illustrator and commercial designer William Bee visits 7-Imp today to share some images from two of his 2015 picture books. (Bee visited 7-Imp back in the day for one of my favorite “breakfast” interviews.)

Migloo’s Day, released by Candlewick earlier this year (March), is a search-and-find adventure for young children. Migloo is a dog, and readers follow him throughout a day and busy, detailed spreads, as he explores his community. “There’s definitely a new ‘Busytown’ in town,” writes the Kirkus review. Yes, it’s Richard Scarry-esque and a lot like Busytown on stimulants. It’s good stuff, rendered in Bee’s signature style.

Also, from Peachtree, Bee has his Stanley series for very young readers. Stanley (pictured above, ready to deliver that mail) is a hamster — and the star of this series, which explores occupations in sweet, but never cloying, stories that emphasize friendship and hard work.

Today, William shares some images from the books, including some process shots. I thank him for sharing.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #432: Featuring Elly MacKay

h1 May 17th, 2015    by jules


(Click to enlarge)


 
I love to see the paper-cut artwork of author-illustrator Elly MacKay, and I reviewed her newest book from Running Press, Butterfly Park, here at BookPage. It will be on shelves in June.

Today, I follow up the review with some art from the book and a few other images Elly sent along. I thank her for sharing.

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What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I Did
Last Week, Featuring Alexis Dormal and Olof Landström

h1 May 15th, 2015    by jules


– From Lena and Olof Landström’s Where Is Pim?


 

– From Dominique Roques’ Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion,
illustrated by Alexis Dormal


 
This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a round-up of new picture books. That is here, and next week I’ll have some art from each book.

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Last week, I wrote here about Lena and Olof Landström’s Where Is Pim? (Gecko Press, April 2015), originally released overseas a couple years ago, as well as Dominique Roques’ Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion!, illustrated by Alexis Dormal and coming to shelves in June from First Second.

I’ve got a bit of art from each book today. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Chat with Jeanne Birdsall

h1 May 14th, 2015    by jules

Because both Skye and Batty grew out of parts of my personality (as did Jane and Rosalind, though not so much), some of the tensions between the two sisters came from internal struggles of my own. … [W]riting about Batty’s struggles was hard. I had to spend a lot of time re-living scared and lonely parts of my childhood.”

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Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Jeanne Birdsall, pictured here, about the latest novel in the Penderwick series, The Penderwicks in Spring (Knopf, March 2014).

That link is here.

Until tomorrow …

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Photo of Jeanne taken by William Diehl and used by her permission.