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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: 7-Imps 7 Kicks, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 51 - 75 of 173
51. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #244: Featuring JooHee Yoon

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means it’s time to shine the spotlight on a student illustrator or recently-graduated one, and I’ve got the latter today. JooHee Yoon joins me today, and she’s just finished school and is setting out to find her place in the world of illustration. Will you help me welcome her?

Here she is to tell us a bit about herself (and here’s an October interview about her printing techniques for those wanting to learn more), and I’ll follow it up with a handful of images. I thank her for visiting. (more…)

15 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #244: Featuring JooHee Yoon, last added: 11/7/2011
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52. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #243:Featuring Stephanie Brockway and Ralph Masiello

(Click to enlarge)

I think I’ve had a copy of Stephanie Brockway’s and Ralph Masiello’s The Mystic Phyles: Beasts (Charlesbridge, July 2011) for nearly four months now, but sometimes I’m just slow here at 7-Imp. Better late than never, right?

Also, better to post this around Halloween anyway. Mystical beasts. Mystery letters. Goblin spiders. Black cats of doom. Really evil bunyips. Strange fires in a creepy house. Cryptic necklaces that strengthen one against attacks. Weird things all-around. Yep, it’s fitting.

This is the story of Abigail Thaddeus, who lives with her eccentric grandmother and very controlling grandfather. Abigail can count her friends on one hand—okay, one finger—and her social life at her junior high school is really difficult, to say the least. But, after a black cat delivers her a note and a key, her life changes forever, launching her on a quest for … well, research. “What I’d like you to do is research,” an anonymous letter (”Your Devoted Friend,” it is signed) says. “You will start with mythical beasts….Find as much information as you can. Educate yourself. Investigate the mysteries, then discern for yourself the fact and fiction.”

The book is designed to look like a sort of scrapbook or journal of Abigail’s: Filled with drawings, journal entries, notes, confessions, details of her days at school and home, and her research, it is composed of original illustrations from Stephanie and Ralph, as well as re-printed photographs and illustrations (i.e., the 1936 photo in Popular Science of the bull made to look like a unicorn by Dr. W. F. Dove at the University of Maine). Young Abigail notes her research findings (pictured above is part of her research on Sea Monsters, including what you don’t see in that spread, “Species of Sea Monsters”), most followed by “My Incredibly Brilliant (But Not Very Scientific) Ideas” about what each creature could actually be: Sea Monsters, as reported by sailors over the years, could in fact have been giant squids, finally discovered in the mid-1850s. Or, my favorite, Bigfoot could in fact be a “worldwide hallucination…One person sees what they think is Bigfoot and runs home to the tell the story. The story spreads. Then other people claim to see it, either because they’re dying to see it, too, or they’re afraid of it, or it’s the first thing that pops into their heads when they spy something strange. Could this really happen on a worldwide scale?” (more…)

16 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #243:Featuring Stephanie Brockway and Ralph Masiello, last added: 10/31/2011
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53. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #242: Featuring Leo & Diane Dillon

“The years passed in a march of seasons. / The boy grew tall and strong / Under the loving eyes of his father. / And the protective forces of the Mother Elements, /
Who were his teachers, / His counselors, / His friends.”

How do you introduce illustrators like Leo and Diane Dillon? Well, they’re not here visiting today (I wish), but how, I wonder, do I introduce their art without sounding like a blithering starstruck halfwit? Their work is simply stunning and quite often breathtaking and always beautiful. They are living legends, who have illustrated more than sixty books for children and are two-time Caldecott Medal winners.

If you’re a fan, as I clearly am, you’ll want to see a copy of their latest illustrated title, written by the great Patricia C. McKissack, who herself has also acquired a slew of impressive awards in her career, including a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award. It’s called Never Forgotten, was released by Schwartz & Wade this month, and has been met with starred reviews all-around.

Written in verse (”a searing cycle of poems” Kirkus calls it), it’s the chilling story of a young African boy taken by slave traders to America. (more…)

19 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #242: Featuring Leo & Diane Dillon, last added: 10/25/2011
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54. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #241:Featuring Matt Phelan and Bob Shea

(Click on image to see entire spread from which it comes)

“The only time she truly enjoyed herself was
when she secretly listened to the crew singing songs late at night.”

You know, I’m all the time here at 7-Imp having pretend breakfasts with authors and illustrators, when they’re really just cyber (the breakfasts, that is, not the people), but this morning I will have actual breakfast with the two author/illustrators featured here today. Or at least coffee. And I’m excited to meet them.

Here in Nashville this weekend, we are celebrating the Southern Festival of Books, and I will be hosting the session this afternoon for author/illustrators Matt Phelan and Bob Shea (and, as mentioned, get to meet up with them before-hand for a cup ‘o’ joe). Opening this post is an image from one of Bob Shea’s newest picture books, Dinosaur vs. the Library (Hyperion, September 2011); the cover and more images are below, as well as images from another of his new titles, which I haven’t seen yet but hope to today, called I’m a Shark (Balzer + Bray, May 2011). And below Bob’s dinosaur up there is an image from the Nellie-Bly portion of Matt Phelan’s newest graphic novel, called Around the World, published by Candlewick this month. I’ve got more art below from that as well.

If you’re not familiar with Bob’s books, you should run to the nearest library or bookstore and fix that. He’s illustrated many picture books others have written, and he’s both written and illustrated a handful of them himself. If you’re not familiar with his “Dinosaur vs. …” books, then I recommend you see his rendition of Dinosaur vs. the Potty here at the Texas Book Festival in 2010, I think it was, and also his mock Dinosaur vs. Writing Kids’ Books had me SNORT-LAUGHING (and has me all the more eager to hear him speak today):


12 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #241:Featuring Matt Phelan and Bob Shea, last added: 10/17/2011
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55. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #240: Featuring Kevin Hawkes

“The strange old owl awakens / in the middle of the night, / looks up at the moon / that’s already out of sight, / polishes his glasses, / gives the cat a wink, /
and writes these silly poems / with invisible ink.”

(Click to see entire spread)

I’m happy to be highlighting a wonderful poetry collection today, a picture book called A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young, published by Candlewick in August. This is poetry from Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen, who was known during his career for his playful children’s verses, as well as his poetry for adults, often about social issues and human rights issues. Before his death in 2002, he granted Marilyn Nelson—poet, children’s book author, translator, and National Book Award finalist—permission to produce English versions of his works. Pamela Espeland joined Marilyn in translating this collection of verses for children, and illustrator Kevin Hawkes provides the altogether joyous and inviting pastel illustrations, rendered in acrylic and charcoal pencil.


14 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #240: Featuring Kevin Hawkes, last added: 10/11/2011
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56. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #239: Featuring Shelley Davies

(Click to enlarge)

Happy October, one and all. I think this may be my favorite month of all, and I cannot believe October of 2011 is already here.

Since it’s the first Sunday of the month, I’ve got a beginning illustrator visiting today. Painter and illustrator Shelley Davies is not new, by any means, to making art, but she’s got her mind set on doing children’s book illustrations and is here today to share some of her artwork. Shelley lives on the western coast of Canada with her family (here’s her self-portrait)—pictured above is her own Mad Hatter tea party—and I’ll let her tell you all about her background and what she wants to do next:


14 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #239: Featuring Shelley Davies, last added: 10/5/2011
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57. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #238: Featuring Sophie Blackalland a Handful of Illustrators and Designers(I’ll Explain, Promise)

Happy Fall, one and all.

This morning, I’m featuring illustrations from two books meant for grown-ups, Sophie Blackall’s Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found (from which the second illustration above comes) and Graphic USA: An Alternative Guide to 25 U.S. Cities (from which Austin designer Bryan Keplesky’s wonderful don’t-shave image above comes), edited by Ziggy Hanaor and with art from various illustrators and designers — but two books with exciting art, nonetheless. And exciting art, which talented illustrators and designers create, is what 7-Imp is all about, yes? I’d like to think so.

And can I just say that these two books are super-rad-neato-skeeto, to be erudite about it? They really are. I love them.

First up …


18 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #238: Featuring Sophie Blackalland a Handful of Illustrators and Designers(I’ll Explain, Promise), last added: 9/27/2011
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58. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #237: Featuring Alison Friend

Today, I’m featuring an illustrator whose latest picture book title I haven’t seen yet. It comes out in October, and I don’t have an early copy, but a) I like what I see and b) it’s written by Phyllis Root, and boy howdy and howdy boy does she have a great track record with picture books. So, it’s with confidence that I say: I bet this book is goooood. If I’m wrong, one of my readers can come back later and scold me. I guess.

The book I speak of is called Scrawny Cat (Candlewick), and its illustrations come from Alison Friend, who lives and works in Sheffield, England. Alison, who previously worked in greeting cards, illustrated her first picture book in 2010, Maxine Kumin’s What Color Is Caesar?, also published by Candlewick.


22 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #237: Featuring Alison Friend, last added: 9/20/2011
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59. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #235: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Bethanie Murguia(And the Announcement of a Wee-Tiny Blog Break)

(Click to enlarge)

I’ve been totally swamped, but it is the first Sunday of the month, right? If I’m wrong and you’re giggling, please humor me and do so behind my back. Come on. A good friend would, right?

On first Sundays, I like to shine the spotlight here at 7-Imp on student or brand-new illustrators in the field. Today, I’ve got Bethanie Murguia, whose debut picture book was released in May by Tricycle Press. (more…)

13 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #235: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Bethanie Murguia(And the Announcement of a Wee-Tiny Blog Break), last added: 9/7/2011
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60. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #234: Featuring Joyce Wan

Every now and then, the 7-Imp portion of my brain realizes that I don’t spend enough time focusing on board book illustrations, art for the wee’est of humans.

Well, today I’m gonna.

This morning I shine the spotlight on Joyce Wan, whose art, she tells me, is inspired by Asian traditional and popular culture. She also comes from an architectural design background and loves creating those books for wee ones that are tactile or contain interactive elements.


21 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #234: Featuring Joyce Wan, last added: 8/30/2011
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61. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #212:Featuring Amy Schimler and Shadra Strickland

(Click to super-size each.)

Every now and then at 7-Imp, I like to give the spotlight over to those who create illustrations for the wee’est of all wee readers. One such illustrator is visiting today, and her name is Amy Schimler. Her bright, colorful art work all about nature, geared for the big eyes of the youngest of children, is also fitting right now, given that Spring is upon us. Here in Tennessee, Spring graced us and then pulled back a bit, so at this point, I’m ready to dive into Amy’s world and live there a bit until Spring regains her senses and descends upon us again.

An illustrator and surface designer, Amy studied painting and fiber arts at the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, as well as the Massachusetts College of Art, and continued her studies in textile and surface design at RISD. She currently lives in Georgia and is here this morning to show us some illustrations from her new title, as well as some other portfolio pieces. (The spread opening this post is a portfolio piece, and the one below it is from her newest title.) (more…)

20 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #212:Featuring Amy Schimler and Shadra Strickland, last added: 3/29/2011
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62. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #213: Featuring Komako Sakai

“The wind blows, rustling the leaves. Swishh. The meadow sways like the waves of the sea. My tummy sinks into the wave. My shoulders sink in too.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, 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.

As I type this, I’m getting ready to head to Knoxville, Tennessee, for this wonderful conference, so I’m going to keep things short and simple (ahem, short for me, that is) this week. I’ve got things to pack and CDs to pile up in my car for my road trip. (Have bluegrass, can travel.) However, I do hope folks will leave their kicks, as I’ll be back and reading them by Sunday.

Now, normally the first Sunday of each month, I share the work of a student or brand-spankin’-new-to-the-field illustrator, but I’m going to shake things up and do that next week instead. I didn’t want to slight a shiny new illustrator today, since I’m mostly on my way out the door. Instead, I’m pleased to be showing you spreads this morning from Yukiko Kato’s In the Meadow, illustrated by Komako Sakai. I’m a fan of Sakai’s work. I know I’ve not seen everything she’s done and want to correct that. I love Emily’s Balloon (2006) and The Snow Day (2009), though I haven’t seen this one yet (2010). Evidently, she’s super popular in Japan (her home), and I’m happy some of her titles have made it here to the States. (more…)

16 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #213: Featuring Komako Sakai, last added: 4/4/2011
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63. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #214: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Rozalind Best

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, 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.

Since I like to highlight student or brand-new illustrators to the field on the first Sunday of each month, that was my plan for last week, but I was out of town and shifted things around. Instead, I welcome a student illustrator this week, and her name is Rozalind Best. Pictured above is her rendering of Captain Hook’s ship. Roz is set to graduate soon from The University of Plymouth in the UK, and here she is tell us all a bit more: (more…)

15 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #214: FeaturingUp-and-Coming Illustrator, Rozalind Best, last added: 4/10/2011
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64. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #215: Featuring Janice Nadeau

“One cool autumn morning a man called Sebastian was passing Miriam’s bakeshop when her sweet-smelling voice came floating through the window. He went inside the shop and bought some cinnamon bread. After that he bought a loaf of bread every day for a year. Then he asked Miriam if she would marry him, and she said yes.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

I responded on a personal level to today’s featured picture book, Cinnamon Baby (Kids Can Press, February 2011) by Nicola Winstanley and illustrated by Janice Nadeau. (Wow. Check out that website for lots more art.) From a professional standpoint—as a children’s librarian, who studied children’s lit in grad school and who is always trying to separate the good children’s books from the not-so-good ones—I love it, too. It resonated with me on both of those levels, that is.

It’s the story of a baker named Miriam, who owns her own little bakery. She makes bread and makes it well: “She made a spicy bread, studded with little peppercorns and basil, and a sweet bread with ginger. She made a light, white loaf with dill, and a crusty brown one with sunflower seeds and honey.” (Mmm. See? The story had me right at the beginning.) The cinnamon bread, her favorite, she always saves for last. While baking, Miriam sings the songs her mother taught her as a child. It’s her beautiful voice and the aromas from her delicious bread that attract Sebastian one day, riding around on his bike, who asks Miriam to marry him. (more…)

19 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #215: Featuring Janice Nadeau, last added: 4/20/2011
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65. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #216: Featuring Sergio Ruzzier

We’re being greeted this Easter Sunday by Eve Bunting’s and Sergio Ruzzier’s Little Elephant from Tweak Tweak (Clarion Books). I think if I could pinch that elephant’s cheeks, I would. (This is a sentence I never thought I’d type in life.)

Since it’s Easter today, I wonder if I’ll be kickin’ it alone. I hope, where ever you may be, that you’re enjoying chocolate or marshallows or hard-boiled eggs or candy robin eggs or Peeps or dark chocolate bunnies or jelly beans — but just not all at once. I also hope you get to hunt for an egg or two. Preferably the kind with treats hidden inside.

Author/illustrator Sergio Ruzzier is here today, as mentioned, not only to share his Easter egg up there with us, but also to give us a sneak peek into his latest illustrated title, Tweak Tweak, written by none other than the esteemed Eve Bunting, who has written over two hundred children’s books in her career, including Smoky Night, the winner of the 1995 Caldecott Medal, illustrated by David Díaz.

I thought Tweak Tweak was already out, but I see its official release date is May. Ack! This is what I get for being generally disorganized with the stacks of picture books that surround me. I don’t mean to sound all taunting with a book you can’t get your hands on yet, but you won’t have to wait long. Not to mention it’ll also be worth the wait. I was eager to see it myself, as a fan of both Bunting and Ruzzier, and it truly delivers. (more…)

22 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #216: Featuring Sergio Ruzzier, last added: 4/24/2011
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66. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #219: Featuring Arthur Howardand Author Liz Garton Scanlon and More than OneExperiment in Honesty and Kindness

I hope I don’t slight today’s featured picture book due to the fact that I’m typing this before leaving town for a work meeting. In other words, this has to be relatively short and sweet. (What? You’re laughing. I can actually be brief. On occasion.)

Fans of Cynthia Rylant’s Mr. Putter & Tabby series of chapter books may be happy to know, if you don’t already, that illustrator Arthur Howard’s cartoon watercolors are on display in Liz Garton Scanlon’s latest picture book, Noodle & Lou (Beach Lane Books, March 2011), which is all about…. Well, you know how you occasionally have those really low self-esteem, want-to-drag-your-ass-back-to-bed days, in which just about everthing you do makes you feel like an undeniable loser and the grass is always greener, no matter where you look, but along comes a kickin’-good friend to tell you that, indeed, you actually do rock and in quite possibly more ways than one? (These low-self-esteem moments happen to me way more often than a wiser person would admit.) Yeah. That. The book’s about that. (more…)

17 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #219: Featuring Arthur Howardand Author Liz Garton Scanlon and More than OneExperiment in Honesty and Kindness, last added: 5/15/2011
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67. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #220: Featuring Chris Beatrice

“‘I believe the Spring has come at last,’ said the Giant;
and he jumped out of bed and looked out. What did he see?”

(Click to enlarge)

Don’t you think it’s time Oscar Wilde visited the blog? I do.

Okay. Sure. “Visited” the blog is a bit much. It’s not like I’ve called forth his spirit, but I am featuring one of his children’s stories today.

In 1888, Wilde’s own collection of original fairy tales, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, was published, and it included a story called “The Selfish Giant.” In March of this year, Noteworthy Books released a new picture book adaptation of this tale, which includes orchestral music on an accompanying CD from composer Dan Goeller and narration from British actor Martin Jarvis.


15 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #220: Featuring Chris Beatrice, last added: 5/23/2011
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68. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #221: Featuring Simon Wild

Having been inspired last weekend by hearing Robert Sabuda speak in person at Knoxville’s children’s reading festival, today I’m featuring a pop-up artist, UK illustrator Simon Wild. Don’t you just want to hop into that fantastical, most fabulous flying machine up there?

Wild graduated from Cambridge School of Art in 2007 with an MA in Children’s Book Illustration. He has previously worked as an animator, film maker, video editor, and street performer and currently teaches art foundation at Ipswich School of Art and works from his studio—with a white cat named Gert—in Suffolk. Simon’s latest title, written by Timothy Knapman, is Fantastical Flying Machines. The book follows two children named Sally and Jack on an air race filled with hot air balloons, flying ice lollies, and bubble gum rockets. I haven’t seen a copy myself, which was evidently released last Fall (Macmillan), but Simon tells me it features spinning, twirling, lift-the-flap pages, and a pop-up finale.

Here’s a bit more from Simon about the book and his thoughts on the value of interactive books for children today. I thank him for stopping by…


19 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #221: Featuring Simon Wild, last added: 5/30/2011
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69. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #225: Featuring Michael Hall

“But on Monday, the square was cut into pieces and poked full of holes.
It wasn’t perfectly square anymore.”

It almost pains me to post anything over top of this post, since I really love the colors of Claudio Muñoz’s artwork, but onwards and upwards. At least it will always be here at 7-Imp for us to see.

I am, however, happy to share this picture book today. It’s called Perfect Square (Greenwillow, April 2011), and it’s from graphic designer and children’s book illustrator Michael Hall. Hadn’t even heard of this one till Betsy Bird mentioned it in her mid-year Caldecott and Newbery predictions post. So I grabbed a library copy, and voilà! Here I am to showcase it, ’cause me likey.

You see, there’s this square. Perfect square. (Hence, the title.) It was super happy to be a square, and that was that. You can see here in the cover art how content it was: (more…)

19 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #225: Featuring Michael Hall, last added: 6/27/2011
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70. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #227: FeaturingPamela Dalton, Schereschnitte, and Coffee-Colored Art

“We praise you for our Brother Sun, who in his radiant dawning every day reminds us that it was you who brought forth light.”
(Click to enlarge)

Since I mention Katherine Paterson, the reigning National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, below in my kicks, it’s only fitting that I share some spreads today from her picture book adaptation of Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures, illustrated by Pamela Dalton. In Brother Sun, Sister Moon, released in March from Chronicle’s Handprint Books, Paterson reimagines the nearly 800-year-old hymn of praise from Saint Francis, originally written in the Umbrian dialect of Italian and also known as the Canticle of the Sun, which celebrates life — everything from Brother Sun to Sister Moon and “all our Sister Stars who clothe the night” to even the courage given us “in this world of hatred and war.”


32 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #227: FeaturingPamela Dalton, Schereschnitte, and Coffee-Colored Art, last added: 7/12/2011
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71. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #229: FeaturingDianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

My introduction to this lovely book will be short, because I’ve been out of town, but suffice it to say that fans of 2006’s An Egg is Quiet and 2007’s A Seed is Sleepy will be happy to see A Butterfly is Patient (Chronicle Books, May 2011), again from author Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrator Sylvia Long.

As with the previous titles by this duo, this book is beautifully illustrated, informative, and engaging — all at the same time. This is an introduction to butterflies (the many varieties, their behavioral habits, their development and growth, their migration, and more), and Aston and Long do it up with style with text and illustrations that children and adults will pore over. Also as with the previous titles, many double page spreads are designed to look like the notebook of a nature-lover who has paused to note the beauty witnessed. Long’s illustrations, rendered in ink and watercolor, are lush and elegant. And the handlettering! Beautiful. Publishers Weekly calls this one a “lovely mix of science and wonder” and School Library Journal, a “lyrical, colorful, and elegant production.” Kirkus adds, “{s}imilar butterfly albums abound, but none show these most decorative members of the insect clan to better advantage.”

I said I’d be short, right? I meant it. Sorry not to provide more details, but I’ve got some unpacking to do. While I do so, here are some more spreads. You may click each spread to enlarge. Enjoy. (more…)

14 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #229: FeaturingDianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long, last added: 7/25/2011
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72. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #230: Featuring Maureen Hyde(And the Anarchy Contest Winners, Not to MentionOne More Note About Literacyhead)

“Francis knelt at his window, crumbling some of the bread into his palms. And when the birds saw that their friend was already up, calls of joy filled the hills as they flitted into town. The birds bustled into Francis’ hands, their twiggy feet pinching,
their horn-like beaks swiping left and right.”

This morning I’m featuring the oil paintings of Maureen Hyde, and evidently this is her first illustrated title (from Gingerbread House) in about twenty-five years. What she has illustrated here is an imagined boyhood story from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, written by Josephine Nobisso. (Yes, since I posted about this picture book so recently, I figured I should mention this one sooner rather than later.) “Our story is set in the very early morning—before anyone else is awake to observe it—in order to propose an imagined moment in the boyhood of Saint Francis of Assisi,” the author writes. “Do forgive our taking liberties with history! Even though the details may not be true, they are, at least, possible. When one is a saint, after all, any goodness is possible.”

Seven possible goodnesses before breakfast. I like it. (more…)

9 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #230: Featuring Maureen Hyde(And the Anarchy Contest Winners, Not to MentionOne More Note About Literacyhead), last added: 7/31/2011
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73. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #231: Featuring Maria Zaikina(Not to Mention Will You Join Me in Celebrating 7-Imp’s Birthday?)

It’s the first Sunday of August (whoa, it feels like just yesterday I said that for January 2011), so it’s time to shine the spotlight on a student or new-to-the-field illustrator. And I’m doing the latter today — not a student, but an artist whose first illustrated picture book was just released this year (the only picture book this year, I can safely say, in which a sheep is slaughtered, grilled, and made into shish kebab). Maria Zaikina rendered the art in Lucine Kasbarian’s The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale, released by Marshall Cavendish in April, with layers of wax and oil paint and then cut away the layers to reveal the colors underneath. (Is this a sort of scratchboarding, perhaps?) I’m a nerd who, yes, reads reviews for fun, and I like how Kirkus described the illustrations as having, as you can see above, “an appealing, vigorous heft.” Yeah. What they said.

But, first. Quickly. It just occurred to me that it’s the five-year anniversary of 7-Imp. I’d almost forgotten. Back last month, when I realized a birthday was coming up, I figured I should do something special for the big five-year one. But then I got busy, and now I’m at a loss anyway. I’d really rather just do what I always do — feature some art. But I want to say, quickly: One of the reasons I started this blog five years ago—co-founded it, remember, with my best friend, who is still my best friend but just no longer a blogger (here’s the low-down)—was to connect with others and to keep my foot in the door of children’s lit. I was suddenly at home (my choice) with young babies, who were puddin’ heads (though screamy ones) and kept me on my toes, but altogether incapable of expounding on the latest and greatest in children’s lit with me. (All I was gettin’ was some goo-gah here and some baa-baa there.) I was no longer in a school library, where I could gab daily with teachers and other librarians who loved children’s and YA lit as much as I did. And I really missed that.

So, feeling isolated (while also joining forces with my long-distance best friend, with whom I LOVED discussing books), I reached out via my laptop to sort of create my own colleagues, if you will, through this blog. Eisha and I found the other children’s lit bloggers, and we jumped into the discussion. And I am forever grateful for what it has brought to my life. I always say—and I mean it—I wouldn’t know how to count blogger stats if you put a gun to my head. I honestly don’t care. I just want to connect. If one person is reading, I’ll keep doing it. And so thank you to all you One Persons out there stopping by to read and see and chat and let me be a part of the discussion. And to all my blogging friends, whom I truly admire. AND to all the authors and illustrators and etc. who stop by here to visit the 7-Imp cyber-salon over coffee and keep things interesting and beautiful with their words and their art.

I’m done. Now, back to Maria’s arresting art. (more…)

39 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #231: Featuring Maria Zaikina(Not to Mention Will You Join Me in Celebrating 7-Imp’s Birthday?), last added: 8/9/2011
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74. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #232: Featuring Elisa Kleven

I’ve had an early, unbound copy of today’s featured book for the longest time and, after deciding just this week to showcase some art from it, I see that it arrived on shelves just this past week. I have the best luck with the timing of these things, since I’m not organized enough to actually plan ahead.

So, the book is a story by author Elka Weber, called One Little Chicken, illustrated by Elisa Kleven (Tricycle Press). It retells a story in the Talmud. Well, wait. I’ll let the author tell you a bit more, as this comes straight from the closing author’s note:

“Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa lived in Israel in the frst century. He was so poor he sometimes had to live from one week to the next on nothing more than a few carob seeds, but he was so righteous that the Talmud says the entire world was sustained by his goodness.

Rabbi Chanina carefully followed all the teachings in the Torah. Among them is the directive to return lost property to its owner. (’If you see another person’s animal, you shall not hide from it; you must return it to the owner. If the owner is not known to you, then you should bring the object into your house, where it shall remain until the owner inquires after it, and you will return it to him. So shall you do for his donkey, his garment, or any lost article that you may find. . . .’ …) (more…)

13 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #232: Featuring Elisa Kleven, last added: 8/15/2011
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75. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #233:Featuring Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm

Every now and then, in the name of graphic novels for the youngest of children, I like to check in on Babymouse.

And she’s back. Well, she’s been back since May of this year, but sometimes I’m slow with my posts.

And this is her fourteenth title from Jenni and Matt Holm. Yes, fourteenth.

In this one, Babymouse #14: Mad Scientist (Random House), Babymouse meets her new science teacher, Mr. Shelldon (who has “received little support from my colleagues for my discovery that slime mold makes a great pet,” he tells his class). Babymouse, entering the school science fair, has to decide upon a project and eventually lands on amoebas. Looking one day at what she calls a “blob” in her microscope, she meets an amoeba, named Squish. Squish likes to eat cupcakes. Ah, an amoeba after her own heart.

That same month, the Holms released their first title (volume 1), all about this new character, Squish, Super Amoeba (also from Random House), which Kirkus in their starred review called the “hilarious misadventures of a hapless young everylad who happens to be an amoeba.” Yes, a fun science’y series about an amoeba: Leave it to the Holms. Worth seeing for Peggy the paramecium alone, it’s a promising series, particularly for those children who are drawn to the Holms’ funny, manic, accessible style, yet might mutter, “Babymouse is for girls” (which I’d argue anyway). Squish loves comics (”Super Amoeba!”) and Twinkies, and he—like Babymouse—is simply navigating life through elementary school (though if you want to know if tacos can stop global warming, not to mention if single-celled creatures can be counted on to step up to do what’s right, this is the book for you). (more…)

18 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #233:Featuring Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm, last added: 8/23/2011
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