Welcoming Elijah

h1 January 16th, 2020    by jules

“Inside, the boy heard the tale of the Israelites leaving Egypt.
Outside, the kitten heard leaves whispering in the trees.
Still the boy waited. Still the kitten waited.”

(Click to enlarge spread)

Today, illustrator Susan Gal visits to share some work-in-process images and final art from her illustrations for Lesléa Newman’s Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, coming to shelves from Charlesbridge at the end of this month.

It’s the first night of Passover, and a family welcomes their friends and family to a Seder. From inside the house, a young boy spots a kitten outdoors. A compassionate story unfolds, one of the traditions of a Jewish holiday, happening indoors, and a small stray kitten, doing his best to survive outside. How the boy and the kitten meet — and how the kitten finds a home and a name — is the heart of this story. Appended are an author’s note, providing more information about Passover, and a list of some traditional rituals of a Seder. Read the rest of this entry »

Nithya Sivashankar’s 2020 CaldeNott titles

h1 January 14th, 2020    by jules


I’m sending you today to the Horn Book’s website — specifically to Calling Caldecott, a blog I help run. Over there, Nithya Sivashankar visits to write about international picture books; what books she would choose as her favorite 2019 “CaldeNott” choices (that term was coined by Thom Barthelmess); and citizenship status, access, power and how they all relate to picture books and the Caldecott Award.

I love to see international picture books and really enjoyed Nithya’s piece. (Pictured above is a book she mentions in that post.)

Her thoughts are here.

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #673:
Featuring a Blizzard of Picture Books

h1 January 12th, 2020    by jules

Know one reason I appreciate the picture books in this BookPage picture book round-up I wrote? They are books about snow, and at this point, snow is something I can only dream of here in Tennessee. (It’s a record-breaking 70 degrees outside as I type.) Okay, we did have some flurries before the holidays. Just a bit. For that, I’m grateful. I hope we see some more.

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A Girl Like Me

h1 January 9th, 2020    by jules

“I swam on by the people onshore hollering,
‘A girl like you needs to be stay out of the water
and be dry, like everyone else.'”

(Click spread to enlarge)

A collaboration I like to see is this one — author Angela Johnson and illustrator Nina Crews. Their new book is called A Girl Like Me and is coming to shelves early next month (Millbrook Press).

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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Rita Lorraine Hubbard

h1 January 7th, 2020    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Over at Tennessee’s Chapter 16, I’ve a Q&A with author Rita Lorraine Hubbard about her picture book biography, The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (Schwartz & Wade, January 2020), illustrated by Oge Mora.

That Q&A is here.

And here at 7-Imp today, I’m including some of Mora’s illustrations from the book.


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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #672: Featuring I Want a Dog

h1 January 5th, 2020    by jules

Happy new year, Imps!

The Horn Book has posted my review of Jon Agee’s I Want a Dog (Dial). Did any of you see this one back in September? Agee, I think, is a picture book master.

That review is here, if you’d like to read more about the book.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #671: Featuring Phoebe Wahl

h1 December 29th, 2019    by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Happy winter, everyone! It hardly feels like it here in Tennessee — it is rather depressingly warm here (depressing, if you look forward to winter and hope for snow, as I do) — but maybe our temps will drop soon. To celebrate winter, I’m sharing this image today from Phoebe Wahl. It was 2013 in this post that she came and visited as an “up-and-coming” illustrator, and since then she’s created some beautiful books. She’s one of my favorite illustrators.

This piece of art is called Lady Winter, and I believe Phoebe made it for a wall calendar back in 2015. I thank her for allowing me to share it here today.

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A Holiday Wish . . .

h1 December 24th, 2019    by jules


Happy holidays to all from 7-Imp! This image was created by author-illustrator Robert Neubecker.

May your holiday season be a peaceful and relaxed one.

See you Sunday!

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #670: Featuring Floyd Cooper

h1 December 22nd, 2019    by jules

Did you all know that children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper did a Kwanzaa stamp for the U.S. Postal Service? I did not.

This is not brand-new. It was a stamp released in October of last year, but it’s new to me. I missed this last year but saw it this week. Happy surprise. So, I’m sharing it here today.

Here’s more information about the stamp.

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The Shortest Day

h1 December 19th, 2019    by jules


Early sketch and final art: “All the long echoes sing the same delight /
This shortest day / As promise wakens in the sleeping land.”

(Click each image to enlarge and to see spreads in their entirety)

At the risk of appearing super lazy, I’m doing today what I did on Thursday — I’m sending you over to another blog to read something. Megan Dowd Lambert has a post up over at Calling Caldecott today about Susan Cooper’s The Shortest Day, illustrated by Carson Ellis. The post is, of course, focused on the book’s illustrations. I love the deep dive that Megan takes into this book.

That post is here.

Here at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from the book, and Carson also sent along some early sketches.


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