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Our vision for this blog is pretty simple: we're going to talk about the books we read. We read lots of different kinds of books: picture books for toddlers, memoirs, young adult fiction, graphic novels, Man Booker Prize-winning high-art metafiction, whatever.
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1. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #469: Featuring Chloe Bonfield

“Jack reached a hill and climbed to the top. No perfect trees were there.He climbed down the other side. Nothing.The perfect tree was really very hard to find.”(Click to enlarge spread)   I’ve got a review here over at BookPage of Chloe Bonfield’s The Perfect Tree (Running Press, January 2016). This is the debut book […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #469: Featuring Chloe Bonfield, last added: 2/7/2016
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2. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Charlotte Voake(And a Bit from David McPhail)

— From Beatrix Potter &the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig(Click to enlarge)   — From Say It!   Today at Kirkus, I look at some reissues that make me happy. That link will be here later. * * * Last week, I wrote here about, in part, Deborah Hopkinson’s newest picture book, Beatrix […]

1 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Charlotte Voake(And a Bit from David McPhail), last added: 2/5/2016
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3. My Chat with Rachel Isadora

“I love telling stories, and I would say that writing and illustrating for children is not really different from writing or illustrating for adults. The plots might be more complicated, but the messages and connections with the reader are the same. That is why children and adults share joy when experiencing a book together.” * […]

1 Comments on My Chat with Rachel Isadora, last added: 2/4/2016
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4. Two Things Before Breakfast

I’m gonna resort to my favorite, the rock-and-roll hands: I’m Chicago-bound on Friday to talk about blogging at the Center for Teaching through Children’s Books at National Louis University. Since 7-Imp is 10 years old this year, I could talk all day but instead have one hour to fill. If you’re in Chicago and signed […]

3 Comments on Two Things Before Breakfast, last added: 2/3/2016
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5. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #468: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Will Quinn

  I got a postcard in the mail this week with the image above on it. It was a happy surprise and a note from a RISD graduate, named Will Quinn, who told me he reads and enjoys my blog. I was taken with the image and then visited his website to see more of […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #468: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Will Quinn, last added: 1/31/2016
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6. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, FeaturingEmily Arnold McCully, Charlotte Pardi,Christian Robinson, and Charles Santoso

(Click to enlarge)   Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got nonfiction picture books on the mind. That link will be here later. Today, I’m following up with some illustrations from the books I wrote about (here) last week. They include: The new edition of Margaret Wise Brown’s The Dead Bird, illustrated by Christian Robinson (Harper, […]

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7. Setting Sail with Steve Light

  If I think of children’s book illustrators working today and style—that is, their manner of expression as determined by their use of line, color, shape, texture, etc.—I think author-illustrator Steve Light has one of the most distinctive styles, a you-can-spot-it-from-outer-space kind of style. In particular, his line is terrifically distinctive, and he’s visited 7-Imp […]

3 Comments on Setting Sail with Steve Light, last added: 1/26/2016
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8. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #467: Featuring Raúl Colón

“Sometimes in class I’d gaze at a large map that hung on the wall. …What would it be like to look out at nothing but dark blue as far as the eye could see?”(Click to see full spread and read text in its entirety)   Good morning, all. I’ve got a review here over at […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #467: Featuring Raúl Colón, last added: 1/24/2016
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9. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring R. Gregory Christie

“Week in, week out, from sun to sun,always more chores to be done.”(Click to enlarge spread)   Over at Kirkus today, I take a look at some new 2016 picture books addressing death and loss. That will be here later. * * * Last week, I wrote here about Carole Boston Weatherford’s Freedom in Congo […]

0 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring R. Gregory Christie as of 1/22/2016 1:45:00 AM
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10. Shaking Up Storytimes . . .

1 Comments on Shaking Up Storytimes . . ., last added: 1/25/2016
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11. Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Debbie Ridpath Ohi

  If I had to create at, say, knife-point a list of the Funniest Picture Books of the Last Decade (that sounds violent, but I’m not a fan myself of creating such superlatives-lists), I’d put Michael Ian Black’s I’m Bored, illustrated by my guest Debbie Ridpath Ohi (her illustrated self-portrait is above), on that list. […]

3 Comments on Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Debbie Ridpath Ohi, last added: 1/19/2016
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12. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #466: Featuring Andrea D’Aquino

“Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.‘I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked.”(Click to enlarge)   I’ve got the artwork today of art director, illustrator, and graphic designer Andrea D’Aquino. In this, her debut, she provides illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as part of a […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #466: Featuring Andrea D’Aquino, last added: 1/17/2016
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13. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Jessica Ahlberg

“‘Oh!’ said Lucy. ‘I know where we are.'”(Click to enlarge spread)   Above is a spread from Jessica Ahlberg’s Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker: A Peek-Through Story (Candlewick, March 2016), which I wrote about here at Kirkus last week. Today, I’ve got a look at Carole Boston Weatherford’s Freedom in Congo Square (Little Bee Books, […]

0 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Jessica Ahlberg as of 1/15/2016 11:51:00 AM
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14. Maya’s Blanket / La manta de maya

” … under her own special, magical manta. /… bajo su propia manta especial y mágica.”(Click to enlarge spread)   Here’s a quick post, featuring the artwork of David Díaz. The illustrations are from author Monica Brown’s Maya’s Blanket/la manta de Maya (Lee & Low, August 2015). Last week Monica and I chatted over here […]

3 Comments on Maya’s Blanket / La manta de maya, last added: 1/16/2016
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15. A 2016 Picture Book Preview, Featuring Iacopo Bruno, Bryan Collier, Laura Dronzek, Rick Lieder, Josée Masse, Yuyi Morales, Zachariah OHora, and Red Nose Studio

  Pictured above is one of the characters from Ame Dyckman’s upcoming picture book (coming in April), illustrated by Zachariah OHora. I love this girl’s shock of red hair. She’s welcoming you all to a sort of illustration dump today. Well, that phrasing sounds very ineloquent, but it’s a happy thing. About two weeks ago, […]

3 Comments on A 2016 Picture Book Preview, Featuring Iacopo Bruno, Bryan Collier, Laura Dronzek, Rick Lieder, Josée Masse, Yuyi Morales, Zachariah OHora, and Red Nose Studio, last added: 1/12/2016
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16. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #465: Featuring E. B. Lewis

“… When the gavel slammed down to end court that day, it announced change all over the country. And in its echo, you could hear the sound of Sarah’s first stepsto school and her long road to justice.”(Click image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)   Hi, dear kickers. I’ve got a review […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #465: Featuring E. B. Lewis, last added: 1/10/2016
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17. What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today

  Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got some thoughts about the book pictured above, the first one both written and illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg. It was originally published last year in the UK but hits American shelves this March. That will be here today. Until later …

0 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today as of 1/8/2016 1:16:00 AM
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18. Kirkus Q & A: Monica Brown

“These books represent my desire that our multiracial and multicultural children are not considered ‘fractions’ but rather celebrated for containing multitudes.” * * * Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author Monica Brown, pictured here, about her newest picture book, Maya’s Blanket/la manta de Maya (Lee & Low). It was released back in August […]

0 Comments on Kirkus Q & A: Monica Brown as of 1/7/2016 2:12:00 AM
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19. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week

  I write about picture books for Kirkus, but sometimes … well, you read a children’s novel so great that you ditch your plans and write about that novel instead. That’s what I’m doing today over at Kirkus, writing about Katherine Rundell’s The Wolf Wilder. That will be here soon. * * * And, because […]

1 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, last added: 12/26/2015
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20. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #463: FeaturingAndrea Dezsö, Jonas Lauströer, & Sybille Schenker

“All of the sudden an enormous whale came puffing up to him and cried out,‘Who said you could catch the subjects of my realm and take them away with you?This will cost you your life!'”— Andrea Dezsö’s illustration for “The Three Sisters”   “Little Red Cap opened her eyes wide, and when she saw the […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #463: FeaturingAndrea Dezsö, Jonas Lauströer, & Sybille Schenker, last added: 12/27/2015
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21. What I Did at Kirkus Last Week, Featuring Everett Aison

“A white blanket lay humped and piled over everything in sight.Could this be the New York he had known in the green of summer?”   Last week here at Kirkus, I wrote in part about Rhoda Levine’s Arthur, illustrated by Everett Aison. Arthur was originally released in 1962 but re-released in October by the New […]

0 Comments on What I Did at Kirkus Last Week, Featuring Everett Aison as of 12/30/2015 7:34:00 PM
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22. A Peek at 2016 Picture Books …

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a sneak-peek at some early 2016 picture books. Well, a couple might be Summer releases, as I can’t help myself. That is here, and pictured above is my favorite of the lot. Until Sunday …

2 Comments on A Peek at 2016 Picture Books …, last added: 1/3/2016
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23. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #464: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Erin McLaughlin

  It’s the first Sunday of the month, fellow kickers, and that means a student or debut illustrator. I’ve got the former today, a student from Montserrat College of Art. Erin McLaughlin is nearly done with her studies, tells us all about herself below, and also shares some of her art with its bright palettes […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #464: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Erin McLaughlin, last added: 1/3/2016
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24. Revisiting Dire Lullabies to Great Effectwith Linda Ashman and Simona Mulazzani

“Baby has fallen into a nest, / Cozy and snug now, starting to rest. /Mama Crow frets, ‘This bird is too big!’ / Nudges the babe …”(Click to enlarge spread)   If you’re talkin’ nursery rhymes/Mother Goose rhymes and their inherent eccentricities (the rhymes themselves and their origins), I think many people would agree that […]

3 Comments on Revisiting Dire Lullabies to Great Effectwith Linda Ashman and Simona Mulazzani, last added: 1/5/2016
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25. A Moment with Gene Luen Yang,National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

I’m not normally in the habit of posting other people’s interviews in full at my site, but what the hell, I’m doing so today. And that’s because I was very excited to hear on Monday of this week that graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang (pictured left in his self-portrait) was named the 5th National Ambassador […]

1 Comments on A Moment with Gene Luen Yang,National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, last added: 1/6/2016
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