7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #738: Featuring Jon Klassen

h1 April 11th, 2021    by jules

“SHHH, it will hear you.”
(Click spread to enlarge and read text in its entirety)

A turtle. An armadillo. A snake. An alien creature. And some hats, of course.

It’s my review of Jon Klassen’s newest (and very funny) book, The Rock from the Sky (Candlewick, April 2021), over at the Horn Book.

That review is here, and below are some spreads.


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Have You Ever Seen a Flower?

h1 April 8th, 2021    by jules

” … seen a flower?”
(Click spread to enlarge)

Wanna look with me at some spreads from Shawn Harris’s Have You Ever Seen a Flower?, coming to shelves next month from Chronicle Books? It will wake you right up, this book suffused with joy and wonder. The book’s electric colors may even negate your need for coffee this morning.

Let’s take a look. …

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Code Breaker, Spy Hunter

h1 April 6th, 2021    by jules

If, like me, you hadn’t heard of Elizebeth Friedman, author Laurie Wallmark and illustrator Brooke Smart have got you covered in Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars (Abrams, March 2021).

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #737: Featuring María Elena Valdez

h1 April 4th, 2021    by jules

“Paola: She saw an insect for the first time. / She was so happy that for the entire morning / her heart didn’t stop buzzing.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

María José Ferrada’s Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile (Eerdmans, March 2021), illustrated by María Elena Valdez and originally published in Spanish in 2019, is an experience — the kind of book you want to mark out some time for and take in slowly and reverently. It is a tribute to the thirty-four children under the age of fourteen who died or disappeared during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorial 17-year regime in Chile.

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My Chapter 16 Q&A with Meg Medina

h1 April 1st, 2021    by jules


I may write about picture books and illustration here at 7-Imp, but if I’m asked if I’d like to interview author Meg Medina about her new novel Merci Suárez Can’t Dance, which Tennessee’s Chapter 16 did ask me, I say yes!

That Q&A is here.


Juana Martinez-Neal on Zonia’s Rain Forest

h1 March 30th, 2021    by jules

“In Zonia’s rain forest, green and full of life, she visits old friends and meets new ones.
‘Good morning!’ she says one, two, three, four times.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

Meet Zonia. She “lives with those she loves in the rain forest, where it is always green and full of life.” The rain forest calls to her every morning, and we readers follow along as she explores, following a vivid blue butterfly all the way. This is the latest picture book from Juana Martinez-Neal, Zonia’s Rain Forest (Candlewick), publishing this week. Juana visits 7-Imp today to share some images from her trip to the Amazon rain forest and to give us a peek into the creation of these illustrations.

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7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #736: Featuring Jason Chin

h1 March 28th, 2021    by jules

“We are in the old Pontiac, the red paint faded by years of glinting Ohio sun,
pelting rain, and biting snow.”

(Click spread to enlarge)

I’ve a review over at BookPage of Andrea Wang’s beautiful Watercress (Neal Porter Books, March 2021), illustrated by Jason Chin.

I’ll send you here to read it, and below are some spreads from the book.

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Journey Around the Sun:
The Story of Halley’s Comet

h1 March 25th, 2021    by jules

James Gladstone’s enchanting and informative Journey Around the Sun: The Story of Halley’s Comet (Owlkids, March 2021), illustrated by Yaara Eshet, may be the first picture book you read told from the point of view of Halley’s Comet.

“I have seen your past,” the book opens. “And I will see your future, the next time I take that sunlight journey.” Halley’s Comet speaks to readers, recounting the various ways that people throughout history have understood the celestial object. Gladstone and Eshet take us from the time of Aristotle to the space age — with many stops in between.

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Seeing the World Through a Poet’s Eyes …

h1 March 23rd, 2021    by jules

— From Fran Nuño’s The Dance of the Bees, illustrated by Zuzanna Celej


— From Mark Karlins’s Kiyoshi’s Walk, illustrated by Nicole Wong

I’m sending you to BookPage today, where I have a profile of two books that are love songs to haiku — Mark Karlins’s Kiyoshi’s Walk (Lee & Low, March 2021), illustrated by Nicole Wong, and Fran Nuño’s The Dance of the Bees (Cuento de Luz, February 2021), illustrated by Zuzanna Celej and translated from Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow.

That is here.

And below are some spreads from each book. Read the rest of this entry »

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #735: Featuring Dung Ho

h1 March 21st, 2021    by jules

“My eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea are a revolution.”
(Click spread to enlarge)

On the first spread of Joanna Ho’s Eyes That Kiss in the Corners (Harper, January 2021), we see a young girl on her way out of the house, backpack on her shoulders. We see her from behind. She pauses by a mirror. What does she think when she sees her face? As she waves to classmates on the next spread — once again, we see her from behind — she notes that their eyes are shaped differently than hers. “I have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea,” we read when we finally see her face on the following spread (pictured below). She stares proudly at the reader. The girl is Asian, and she loves her eyes, which are just like her Mama’s and her Amah’s and her sister’s.

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