7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #655: Featuring Guojing

h1 September 15th, 2019    by jules

Those of you who follow picture books closely may remember this 2015 publication, The Only Child. Named one of the New York Time’s Best Illustrated Children’s Books for that year, it was created by author-illustrator Guojing. She’s back with a new wordless book (Schwartz & Wade, September 2019), called Stormy, the story of a stray dog who finds a new home.

Read the rest of this entry »

Raina Telgemeier’s Guts

h1 September 13th, 2019    by jules


Hello! For just a moment anyway.

I’m sending you to the Horn Book’s site today for a review I wrote of Raina Telgemeier’s newest graphic novel for children, Guts (Graphix, September 2019). The review is here, and the book? It’s good stuff.

Until Sunday . . .

Lucy Knisley on Kid Gloves

h1 September 11th, 2019    by jules

Author and comics artist Lucy Knisley has written (and drawn) candidly about many stages of her life — her childhood as the daughter of a chef and gourmet (Relish, published in 2012); her trip abroad to Europe/Scandinavia as a single woman (An Age of License: A Travelogue, published in 2014); her marriage to her partner (Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride, published in 2016); and more. And I’m there, so totally there, for these comics memoirs; I hope she continues to document every stage of her life. (As someone there now myself, I’ll be eager to read her take on middle age’hood.)

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #654: Featuring Daniel Egnéus

h1 September 8th, 2019    by jules

I am happy to see a new picture book illustrated by Daniel Egnéus, who has illustrated two of my favorites this year (see here and here). This is Wendy Meddour’s Grandpa’s Top Threes (Candlewick, September 2019), and it a moving look at grief — and how it affects a child and his grandparent. It was evidently first published in the UK as Tibble and Grandpa.

“Henry was talking,” the book opens. “But Grandpa was gardening. Again.” I love this. We see young Henry on the verso; it appears that he is expounding in great detail on one topic or another, finger in the air as if to accentuate his point. On the recto, there is Grandpa. Yes, he’s gardening, but he seems lost in thought. Or maybe just lost.

Henry asks his Mom why Grandpa is always gardening, to which she tells him: “Just give him some time.” Henry fails to reach his Grandpa — until, that is, he engages him in the top three game. “What are your top three sandwiches?” he asks him one day. Grandpa’s face lights up a bit. Then they discuss their top three jellyfish, trains, and days-out. The latter is Grandpa’s idea, asking his grandson what he’d like to do that day. (“The zoo. The swimming pool. The park,” Henry exclaims.)

The life seems to be seeping back into Grandpa, thanks to his ebullient grandchild, filled with joy and a bustling energy. It is when Henry asks Grandpa who his “top three Grannies” are that it is revealed Grandpa is mourning the loss of his wife. (See the spread below.) It is a deeply felt moment, tender and restrained.

Meddour writes with a delightful specificity: Henry’s answers to the top three game are detailed, often funny, and reveal much about his personality. She succinctly captures Grandpa’s grief (“Grandpa made a little grunty noise”). Read the rest of this entry »

Picture Books, Picture Books, and More Picture Books

h1 September 5th, 2019    by jules


Ready to talk about picture books?

Head this way. . . .


h1 September 4th, 2019    by jules

Here’s a post to highlight a book it makes me happy to see on shelves, especially given the often disparaging cultural conversations around women (in particular) and aging. But Wrinkles (Phaidon, September 2019) from the artist known as JR is supposed to be a book for children, so does it work for them? I think so.

Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #653:
Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Christina Rycz

h1 September 1st, 2019    by jules

It’s the first Sunday of the month (welcome, September), when I typically feature an illustration student or someone newly-graduated. Today, I welcome the talented Christina Rycz, who just graduated from the School of Visual Art’s MFA program. She shares lots of wonderful art today and shares a bit about herself. Let’s get right to it, and I thank her for visiting today.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Kirkus Q&A with Cece Bell

h1 August 30th, 2019    by jules

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a chat with author-illustrator Cece Bell about her new Chick and Brain beginning reader series. The first book, on shelves next week, is called Smell My Foot!, which is a very funny book. Expect howls of laughter from the beginning readers you know.

If you want to read our chat, you can head here.

Below, I have some early sketches from Cece, as well as some final art (and other fun stuff). I thank her for sharing!

Read the rest of this entry »

Spencer’s New Pet

h1 August 28th, 2019    by jules

Over at BookPage, I’ve a review of Jessie Sima’s Spencer’s New Pet (Simon & Schuster, August 2019). It takes a surprising turn, this one. The review is here.

Here today at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book.


Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #652: Featuring
My Chapter 16 Q&A with Derrick Barnes

h1 August 25th, 2019    by jules

This past week, Tennessee’s Chapter 16 posted a Q&A I did with author Derrick Barnes, who will be at Nashville’s Southern Festival of Books this October. He talks to me about his newest picture book — The King of Kindergarten (Nancy Paulsen Books, July 2019), illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton — as well as the success of last year’s award-winning Crown. You can click on the image above to head to our chat.

Read the rest of this entry »