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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: 7-Imps 7 Kicks, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 237
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. 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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3. 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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4. 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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5. 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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6. 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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7. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #462: Featuring Anna Wright

(Click image to see spread in its entirety)   The year is nearly over, and I want to be sure to highlight a beautiful nonfiction picture book from UK illustrator Anna Wright, called A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups (Charlesbridge, September 2015). This book, as the sub-title tells you, explores the collective nouns for […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #462: Featuring Anna Wright, last added: 12/20/2015
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8. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #461: Featuring Marjorie Priceman

  “The snow had stopped. The sky was blue-black, and the stars looked close enough to pluck right out and put into your pocket if you wanted to,but José decided to leave them just where they were.”(Click to enlarge spread)   This morning at 7-Imp, I’ve got some spreads from Sonia Manzano’s (otherwise known as […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #461: Featuring Marjorie Priceman, last added: 12/13/2015
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9. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #460: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Kerry Dwyer

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means a student or debut illustrator visits. Today, it’s artist and illustrator Kerry Dwyer, who studied at RISD and has a “newly minted website in children’s book illustration after years in a career in television animation and gaming.” Kerry shares some more artwork below and tells us […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #460: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Kerry Dwyer, last added: 12/6/2015
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10. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #460: Featuring Rashin Kheiriyeh

“While we were speaking, a horse suddenly rose out of the waves of the sea. …”(Click to enlarge illustration)   Good morning, Imps! Today I’ve got the artwork of author-illustrator and animator Rashin Kheiriyeh (here she is pictured with Lisbeth Zwerger just last month), who was born in Iran and studied graphic design at the […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #460: Featuring Rashin Kheiriyeh, last added: 11/29/2015
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11. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #459: Featuring Csil

“Yes, but how? Traveling is out of the question!Cathy is much too weak to go on an expedition.What to do …? What to do …?Cathy tries to laugh and tells Eiffel with a wink,‘You could build us a railway that takes us up to the clouds in a blink.'”(Click to enlarge)   When the New […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #459: Featuring Csil, last added: 11/22/2015
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12. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #458: Featuring Simona Mulazzani

(Click to enlarge)   I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Alessandro Gatti’s and Pierdomenico Baccalario’s The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani and released by Enchanted Lion Books this month. The book was originally published two years ago in Italy. The review is here, and below is some more art […]

4 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #458: Featuring Simona Mulazzani, last added: 11/15/2015
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13. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #457: Featuring Jane Manning

” … only / Miss Augusta / and I / are here /in a room / filled with magic / story / rhyme. …”(Click image to see in detail and read the poem in its entirety)   I’m keeping things very brief today here at 7-Imp, though I do hope you leave your kicks from […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #457: Featuring Jane Manning, last added: 11/8/2015
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14. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #456: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Amanda Moeckel

(Click to enlarge)   It’s the first Sunday of the month (happy November!), so I’m featuring the artwork of a recent grad today. Her name is Amanda Moeckel, and she tells us all about herself below and shares more art, so let’s get right to it. * * * Amanda: My mom told me recently […]

4 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #456: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Amanda Moeckel, last added: 11/1/2015
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15. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #443: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Amanda Driscoll


“Together they battled sea monsters …
dodged icebergs …”

(Click to enlarge)


 

It’s the first Sunday of the month (welcome, August!), so I have a debut author-illustrator today. But she’s also local talent (local to 7-Imp Land, that is), and I always like to shine the spotlight when I can on local picture book-creators.

Amanda Driscoll’s first book, Duncan the Story Dragon (Knopf, June 2015), is the story of a dragon who loves to read. As you can probably guess, his problem is that, though his imagination catches fire when he reads, so do his books. Quite literally. All Duncan wants to do is finish a book. So many plots; so many questions. “I want to read those two wonderful words,” he says, “like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake … ‘The End.'” Eventually, Duncan finds a friend to read to him, but I won’t ruin the entire story for you.

Amanda is a graphic designer and artist and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. She’s here today to tell us more about herself, this debut picture book, and her work. I thank her for visiting.



 

On Duncan:

The Duncan story “spark” began long ago with my own love of reading. I remember as a child (and still today) being utterly transported by books. As a writer, I wanted to convey that feeling to kids. As an illustrator, I love visually interesting characters, and the image of a dragon lodged in my mind. Then one day, the two ideas merged and Duncan the fire-breathing, book-reading dragon was born. Once I had the character, the plot came easily. Sparks fly when you combine fire breath and flammable books!

 


Amanda: “A sketch of the original ‘early’ Duncan …”


 


Amanda: “The same page with the new Duncan character …”


 


Final spread: “After searching the entire countryside,
Duncan trudged back to this cottage.”

(Click to enlarge)


 

On the Illustrations:

I start with pencil sketches. First thumbnails, then larger, more detailed drawings. Once the sketch is finalized, I scan it and open it in Photoshop. I tweak it a bit, and then use the sketch as a background layer, applying color, texture, and line over top of it. I love working digitally, because corrections are so much easier. I have to admit, “undo” is a wonderful thing, and I use it liberally.

The process with Duncan was interesting, because the character changed a great deal (for the better) from my early sketches to the final dummy. Duncan began as a fairly traditional dragon, but transitioned into a more kid-friendly, child-like character. People often tell me they love his untied red high-top sneakers. So, of course, I wear red high-tops to my book signings. (Although I tie mine. I’m clumsy enough without untied shoes.)

 


Amanda: “A preliminary sketch for [a spread] …”


 


Amanda: “… then we decided a two-page spread would have more impact. …”


 

On Inspirations:

Story inspirations generally come from my children or from my own childhood. When I was a kid, if the sun was up, we were outside. Our imaginations transformed the world around us. I would love for my books to share some of that experience with today’s more electronically-connected generation. And although my kids are teenagers now, I frequently draw from the many memories of their younger years.

Regarding artists who inspire me, can I answer “everyone”? There are so many talented illustrators that it’s really difficult to narrow it down. I’m a big fan of Dan Santat and was thrilled Beekle won the Caldecott. It’s a beautiful book, and I love that he works digitally. I adore Patrice Barton’s expressive characters, texture, and line work. Marla Frazee’s talent is mind-boggling. I admire John Rocco, Jon Klassen, Loren Long, LeUyen Pham, Peter Brown, Peter Reynolds. … I could seriously go on for days.

 


“When Duncan read a book, the story came to life …”
(Click to enlarge)


 

On What’s Next:

I am currently illustrating my second book, Wally Does Not Want a Haircut, due out next summer from Knopf. It’s about a sheep who goes to great lengths to avoid his first shearing, which leads to some hair-raising situations. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) This story was directly inspired by my exploits with my own children’s haircuts, or lack thereof. The humor is wacky, but it still has the warmth and heart that I strive for in all my stories. It’s been wonderful working with the same editor and art director as I did with Duncan.

 


“Duncan tried everything to keep his cool.
Really. Truly.”


 


(Click to enlarge)


 

What Else?

I hope my stories have a positive message sent in a subtle manner. Kids are smart. They can spot a preachy story a mile away. But if you can teach them with subtlety and humor, there’s value in that. I’m a huge believer in kindness and compassion, and I hope my characters always convey those morals.

DUNCAN THE STORY DRAGON. Copyright © 2015 by Amanda Driscoll. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York. All images reproduced by permission of Amanda Driscoll.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

It’s been a looooong week—you know those weeks, right?—so my kick right now is that I’m going to take a bubble bath with a good novel. (I’m finally reading this one, after many, many years of both my husband and best friend telling me I should.) And that’s kick enough to make up for seven.

What are YOUR kicks this week? Please do tell.

8 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #443: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Amanda Driscoll, last added: 8/3/2015
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16. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #444: Featuring Ekua Holmes


“I was just six when I dragged / my first bag down a row of cotton.”
(Click to enlarge spread and read poem, “Delta Blues,” in its entirety)


 

I’ve got two spreads today from Carole Boston Weatherford’s new biography in verse of Fannie Lou Hamer, called Voice of Freedom (Candlewick, August 2015). The book is illustrated by Ekua Holmes, who is new to picture books but is a working fine artist. Her collage pieces in this book are simply exquisite.

In free verse, Weatherford tells the story of activist Fannie Lou Hamer, who was known as the voice of the civil rights movement and fought for voting rights for African Americans and racial equality. Weatherford takes readers from her childhood in the Mississippi Delta all the way to her lifelong service award in 1976 from the Congressional Black Caucus. In between—and with great reverence and passion for her subject matter—Weatherford touches upon Hamer’s many accomplishments, including Mississippi’s Freedom Summer, her establishment of grassroots Head-Start programs, her work for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, her appearance at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in New Jersey, and her efforts toward the passing of the Voting Rights Act.

There are many moving and quite powerful moments here. In a poem called “Black Power,” Weatherford writes:

I mourned whites who died for freedom.
I have lived long enough to know
that no race has a corner on decency.
I feel sorry for anybody that could let hate wrap them up.
Ain’t no such thing as I can hate anybody
and hope to see God’s face.
Out of one blood God made all nations.

After Hamer’s own struggles to vote, due to the unfair literacy tests many African Americans were given, she ran for Congress in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. “I meant to prove,” Weatherford writes, “that anyone, / black or white, rich or poor, / could get involved in American politics. / I cast my first vote for myself.

Gives me goosebumps, I tell you. Hamer’s story is an incredible one.

Also incredible is the art. Holmes’ textured, patterned collages offer up a visual feast for one’s eyes. I wish I could show you every spread in the book, but if you go find a copy on library or bookstore shelves, you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s another spread below. And here’s her website with lots more art.

 


“… Once, my father managed to buy a wagon, plow, three mules—
Ella, Bird, and Henry—and two cows, Mullen and Della.
But a white neighbor poisoned the livestock. …”

(Click to enlarge spread and read poem, “Fair,” in its entirety)


 

VOICE OF FREEDOM. Text copyright © 2015 by Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Ekua Holmes. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) My picture book grad course is over. I’ve got lots of grading this weekend (which is why I’m tragically behind on all email having nothing to do with teaching), but I enjoyed teaching it.

2) My girls and I read Little Women this summer. It was my first time, too. (No, really.)

3) And then we watched the 1994 movie adaptation, and my, that was well-cast.

4) School has begun. I’ll miss more time with them, but I’ll also have quiet days once again for getting work done.

5) The oldest is in middle school (and a brand-new school), and the school thus far is really great.

6) And it has a GREAT LIBRARY STAFFED WITH TWO GREAT LIBRARIANS!

7) This!

7½) Also this great interview, and I like Rebecca’s new book an awful lot.

Bonus) This beautifully written post.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #444: Featuring Ekua Holmes, last added: 8/12/2015
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17. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #445: Featuring Matt Phelan



Matt: “[This is a] key moment from the book
that didn’t change much from the sketch dummy.”

(Click each image—dummy and final art—to enlarge)


 

Good morning, all. Matt Phelan is visiting 7-Imp today to share some sketches and art from Michelle Knudsen’s Marilyn’s Monster, which was published by Candlewick in March of this year. It’s the story of a young girl waiting patiently for her monster; some of her classmates have them, you see, but Marilyn knows that your monster is supposed to find you. So she “tried to be the kind of girl no monster could resist.” Things don’t go as Marilyn quite expects them to, but I’ll leave that for you to discover if you read this on your own.

It’s a story with a lot of heart, and as the Publishers Weekly review puts it, “it’s a warm, gently funny reminder to chase down one’s dreams, rather than waiting for them to appear on the doorstep.” I love to see Matt’s sketches and to hear him talk about the progression of the artwork for the book, and I thank him for visiting today. Let’s get right to it. …



 



Matt: “I signed on to illustrate Marilyn’s Monster in 2012 but still had to complete Bluffton, Miss Emily, and Druthers before officially working on the book. The lead time was spent filling this sketch book with random monsters. It served as both a warm-up exercise and casting call for possible monsters to use in the book.”


 






Matt: “These are all character studies and media tests. I also try to establish the tone for the illustrations in these early tests. When working with another author, establishing the correct tone or ‘key’ for the story is probably the most important early step.”
(Click last image to enlarge)


 


Matt: “It was somewhere during the sketch dummy phase that it was decided to re-design Marilyn’s Monster. I had been drawing him almost like a younger sibling,
but we decided that Marilyn’s friend should be closer to her age and size.”


 


Initial thumbnail sketches
(Click to enlarge)


 




Pages from the sketch dummy
(Click each to enlarge)


 


Final art: “‘Maybe I’m better off without a monster,’
she told her friend Deborah at school. ‘They seem like a lot of work.’
‘Hmm,’ said Deborah. She didn’t really seem to agree.”

(Click to enlarge)


 


Matt: “With Marilyn, I discovered that my studio is just long enough to be able to spread out the paintings on the floor for a final check. I did sweep first.”
(Click to enlarge)


 


Matt: “I’m a huge fan of Michelle’s Library Lion (who isn’t?) and Kevin Hawkes’ perfect drawings for that book. When the text for Marilyn’s Monster mentioned looking behind the stone lions at the library, I couldn’t resist this tip of the hat.”


 


Matt: “On tour with Michelle Knudsen! Although I’ve illustrated books for many authors, Marilyn’s Monster was the first time that I was actually friends with the author before the book. During the making of it, Michelle and I stuck to the traditional ‘separation of author and illustrator’ rule, for the most part. It did allow me to think of it
as ‘the book’ and not ‘my friend’s book.'”


 



 

MARILYN’S MONSTER. Text copyright © 2015 by Michelle Knudsen. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Matt Phelan. Published by Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. All images here reproduced by permission of Matt Phelan.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

Sorry to skip my kicks, dear Imps, but I have an ill parent, and so I’ve been at my parents’ home for a couple of days. And right now I just need to catch up on sleep. In sort of a pressing way. It might even be a tiny miracle this post is up, but I’m glad it is — because I like Michelle’s writing in the book and like seeing Matt’s art.

Please do tell me, though, what YOUR kicks are this week.

10 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #445: Featuring Matt Phelan, last added: 8/16/2015
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18. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #446: Featuring Marc Boutavant


“‘You must tell me honestly if you’re getting angry,’ he went on.
‘It would be too bad if you didn’t tell me, squirrel. It would be insulting.'”
– From
The Day No ONe Was Angry



 


Title page art from Edmond, the Moonlit Party


 

Want to join me this morning, dear Imps, in looking at some artwork from French illustrator Marc Boutavant? I’m looking at two new books, in particular, here — Astrid Desbordes’ Edmond, The Moonlit Party, which was originally published in France two years ago but came to American shelves in June, thanks to Enchanted Lion Books, as well as Toon Tellegen’s The Day No One Was Angry. I believe Toon’s stories originally published in 2002, and this is the First American Edition from Gecko Press (March 2015).

Edmond, the Moonlit Party, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, is the enchanting story of a squirrel who lives in a tree also populated by an owl and a bear (his neighbors, that is). Edmond is shy, so he spends time alone, making nut jam and being “an amazing pompom maker.” He makes things like pompom hats in “no more than a day or two.” It’s very fun to spot his pompom creations, and the character himself is quirky and funny in such a way that is never too precious or cloying. His neighbor, the owl, likes to dress in disguises and eventually invites him to the party bear throws — and Edmond comes out of his shell. The story is laugh-out-loud funny in spots, and Boutavant’s illustrations are a perfect fit here, Leonard Marcus describing them in the New York Times as “a stylish retro-Pop brew with winsome notes of Takashi Murakami and Richard Scarry.” Yes. That.

The Day No One Was Angry is quite unlike any other story collection you’ll read this year — and different from the way many American books would handle such a thing. Here, Tellegen explores anger in 12 stories featuring a variety of creatures. The stories are funny and bizarre and thought-provoking — sometimes all three at once. Think: An elephant who argues with himself for having climbed a tree (and fallen, as he suspected he might). Or think: A lobster who sells anger door-to-door from his suitcase. (“I’m the lobster. Can I interest you in some anger?”) It’s an intriguing collection of stories and worlds apart from your typical story set.

Here’s a bit of art from each book so that you can see for yourself. …

[Pictured above left is a spot illustration from “The Hedgehog” from Tellegen’s The Day No One Was Angry.]

 

From The Day No One Was Angry:


 



 



“The hedgehog was sitting under the rose bush, thinking of all the things he’d been. I’ve been joyful, he thought. On the squirrel’s birthday, for instance,
when I danced with the cricket. …”


 



“The shrew sat at the table and tasted the cake the squirrel put in front of him. ‘Squirrel,’ he said, after two bites, ‘I think this really will make you angry,
but I have to tell you: I don’t like this cake. …'”


 



 

From Edmond, the Moonlit Party:


 



(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


 



(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


 



 

THE DAY NO ONE WAS ANGRY. First American edition published in 2015 by Gecko Press, and all illustrations here used by their permission.

EDMOND, THE MOONLIT PARTY. First published in 2015 by Enchanted Lion Books, and all illustrations here used by their permission.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) Well, this is so wonderful for obvious reasons.

2) I didn’t think it could be possible to like Lily Tomlin even more than I already did, but then I listened to her Fresh Air interview

.

3) I’m driving a bit more these days, and I’m getting caught up on podcasts, both long-time favorites and brand-new delights. I’m sorry to the environment, but my ears and brain are happy.

4) My girls and I are reading this below, and it is very funny. We are racing through it, because we can’t put it down.

5) Invitations.

6) My middle-schooler continues to like her new school — and especially that the library opened this week.

7) Re-discovering old CDs and songs, such as Crowded House’s “Nails in My Feet.” Those guys and their lyrics. So good.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

4 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #446: Featuring Marc Boutavant, last added: 8/23/2015
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19. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #449: Featuring Silvia Borando



 

I’ve got a review over at BookPage of Silvia Borando’s Black Cat, White Cat, originally published in Italy last year. This English translation comes to us by way of Candlewick Press (August 2015).

The review is here, and below is a bit more art from the book.

Enjoy!


 



BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT. Text copyright © 2014 by TIWI s.r.l. English translation copyright © 2015 by Walker Books, Ltd. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) We took a short weekend trip to Tennessee’s aquarium in Chattanooga.

2) Jellyfish are strangely comforting.

3) As long as there’s a barrier between them and me.

4) I’ve been watching Colbert on the Late Show all week, which is a commitment for me, because I don’t normally stop what I’m doing to tune into a network show. But it’s been entertaining, and I like how he’s consistently had guests who aren’t just celebrity actors.

5) Showing the girls Clue, circa 1985:

 



 

6) Playing Graceland for my girls.

7) I don’t have a seventh kick. The news is depressing to me. Trump, Kim Davis. Well, that’s enough. Plus, I’ve family and friends who are sick and struggling. Who has got some REALLY great kicks for me? Who’s got some beauty, some truth, some light?

10 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #449: Featuring Silvia Borando, last added: 9/13/2015
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20. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #450: Featuring SCBWI

I spent all of yesterday at the SCBWI Midsouth conference, as I was invited to speak at a session. I got there early yesterday to hear the keynote speaker, author-illustrator John Rocco. He’s pictured here, making a salient point.

Since I’ve been busy with that this weekend, I don’t have a picture book or art to feature, but I figured that, at the very least, I could share this action shot. (Cue action music as you read.)

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) The aforementioned conference.

2) A college friend is in town, staying with us, and it’s great to see him.

3) This great new CD (Over and Even) from Joan Shelley:

4) And Lowland Hum’s new CD from this year (self-titled). Oh, it’s excellent. It took me a while to get my copy, but I can’t stop listening to it this week.

 



 

5) Making mixed CDs for friends.

6) Kind words about 7-Imp.

7) The way everyone rallied and kicked so heartily last week.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

7 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #450: Featuring SCBWI, last added: 9/21/2015
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21. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #451: Featuring Joyce Wan



“Ten! Ugh!”
A final spread, followed by its sketch


 

We’re going to say goodbye to summer today, dear kickers, with a book I had meant to post about during the summer months — but better late than never. We’ll use this opportunity to wave farewell to swimming outside and lounging in the sun, since this past week marked the first day of Autumn.

If you read about picture books as often as I do, you may have seen the New York Times coverage in May of Joyce Wan’s The Whale in My Swimming Pool (Farrar Straus Giroux, April 2015), where Emily Jenkins wrote, in part:

Wan is a greeting card designer and the creator of many board books. Her curvilinear and comforting style recalls Hello Kitty and other Japanese pop art in its fat dark lines and squat characters, but the hero has an antic physicality and a wide range of emotional expressions. Her world feels safe and joyful, even as the hero experiences anger and frustration.

This is the story of a boy who heads out on a warm summer day to the tiny kiddie pool in his yard, only to find a whale occupying it. (“Never has a young child shared anything so awesome as a kiddie pool completely without conflict,” wrote Jenkins.) It’s funny stuff, as you can see in the illustrations here today: The mammoth whale is perched atop the wee pool, balanced perfectly. The boy tries various ways to get the whale out of the pool — to no avail. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a happy ending. There’s, to be exact, a happy ending followed immediately by a bit of a comic rimshot, which you can see below.

It’s a funny book with an endearing main character children will root for, and I thank Joyce for visiting today to share some art from it.


Opening endpapers
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Whoa . . . A whale?!”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Mooooooom, there’s a whale in my swimming pool. …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Why my pool? Why not the pool next door?
They have the best pool on the block!”

(Click to enlarge)


 


“Wouldn’t you rather swim with other whales? What if we taken turns? …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“I give up. Wait a minute. I have an idea! …”
(Click to enlarge)


 


“Oh, great. He snores!”
(Click to enlarge)


 


Closing endpapers
(Click to enlarge)


 



 

THE WHALE IN MY SWIMMING POOL. Copyright © 2015 by Joyce Wan. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. Illustrations used by permission of Joyce Wan.

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) The intro to this post makes me think of “Olivia” from Lowland Hum, where they sing “get your body in the water before it turns Fall.”

2) My 11-year-old drew this comic, and when I shared it via Facebook, cartoonist Harry Bliss asked if he could draw it. So this was in newspapers on Friday. Very fun!

3) My 11-year-old’s face when I told her.

4) Sometimes you just have to drop everything and play with an almost-four-year-old, which is what I did on Friday night.

5) This is so good.

6) Cooler weather means it’s almost hot-cocoa weather.

7) Did I already mention the girls and I are reading Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Hired Girl and loving it? It’s also the perfect read to follow Anne of Green Gables, which we just finished.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

10 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #451: Featuring Joyce Wan, last added: 9/29/2015
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22. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #452: Featuring Moira Birch Swiatkowski



 

Hey there, dear kickers. I had a post lined up today, saying that I’d be taking a week-long blog break. A couple months ago, I received the James Marshall Fellowship from the University of Connecticut. That means I’m going to head up there to look through the papers of author-illustrator James Marshall. (Big fan here of his work. I’m excited!) I was going to do that this week, but plans have changed. My father is actually on hospice and is, I think, nearing the end. So, I’ll do that trip another day, another time.

But that sudden change in plans left me with nothing to post today, especially since I’m out at my parents’ house. You all know it breaks my heart to put up a post without any art. I decided to ask the talented Moira Birch Swiatkowski, a regular kicker herself (and an artist previously featured here at 7-Imp), if she could share some art. She gave me permission to pick whatever image I wanted from her site, and I thought the above image was fitting. As you can read here, it’s all about breakfast and all about fathers.

Since I’m around this week after all, please do leave your kicks, if you’re so inclined.

[Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.]

10 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #452: Featuring Moira Birch Swiatkowski, last added: 10/6/2015
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23. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #453: Featuring a Julie-Paschkis Sun


Hi, dear kickers. I emailed Julie Paschkis this weekend (she’s one of my very favorite illustrators), and I asked if I could post one of her cheery suns today. My father passed away this week, and I not only wanted one of her lovely suns, but I’m also not really prepared to showcase the work of anyone else today. I’ll get organized next week and perhaps back to “normal” blogging habits when life settles down a bit. I thank her for permission to share one of her sparkling suns.

p.s. Did you see here recently when Julie visited Jama Rattigan?

* * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

 

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I was with my father when he passed away.

2) Family pulling together.

3) Birthdays …

4) … including my youngest daughter’s. She will hit double digits this week!

5) The changing leaves. Welcome, Autumn.

6) Humor when you’ve been stretched to the limit.

7) Finding an old email from my Dad where he told me I was special and to never let the bastards wear me down.

Please do share YOUR kicks this week. …

10 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #453: Featuring a Julie-Paschkis Sun, last added: 10/11/2015
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24. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi

  It’s not the first Sunday of the month, which is when I tend to do my student-illustrator features here at 7-Imp, but I’ve been rather unorganized lately and haven’t done one in a while. So, why not today? This morning I’ve got some artwork from Ellen Shi, who graduated in the Spring from RISD. […]

0 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi as of 10/25/2015 4:31:00 AM
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25. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi

(Click to enlarge)   It’s not the first Sunday of the month, which is when I tend to do my student-illustrator features here at 7-Imp, but I’ve been rather unorganized lately and haven’t done one in a while. So, why not today? This morning I’ve got some artwork from Ellen Shi, who graduated in the […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #455: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Ellen Shi, last added: 10/25/2015
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