Vibrant new picture book biographies to share with the family.
Ablaze with Color
by Jean Walker Harvey and Loveis Wise
An incredible woman who broke down barriers throughout her whole life and is now known as one of the most preeminent painters of the 20th century. Told from the point of view of young Alma Thomas, readers can follow along as she grows into her discovery of the life-changing power of art.
Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui
by Alison Goldberg and Elizabeth Zunon
The life story of Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, a highly acclaimed African artist, whose tapestries made from repurposed bottle tops have been exhibited throughout the world.
Mr. McCloskey’s Marvelous Mallards: The Making of Make Way for Ducklings
by Emma Bland Smith and Rebecca Stantdlander
As soon as artist Robert McCloskey saw the ducks in Boston Public Garden, he knew he had to write about them. But how? Studying stuffed birds didn’t help… As the ducklings grew, he got down on his hands and knees and followed them with pad and pencil. At times he even acted like a duck! Through revision, after revision, Robert improved the art and story, until he and his editor were finally satisfied.
Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua
by Gloria Amescua and Duncan Tonatiuh
A lyrical biography of an indigenous Nahua woman from Mexico who taught and preserved her people’s culture through modeling for famous artists.
Faith Ringgold: Narrating the World in Pattern and Color
by Sharna Jackson and Andrea Pippins
Meet American artist and activist Faith Ringgold. Join her on her journey and learn what lead her to mix different media and craft powerful stories into quilts. Travel with her to the places that influenced her and see the causes she fought for. Then look around you and make your own works of art!
by Rénee Watson and Bryan Collier
The author of the celebrated autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya was the first Black person and first woman to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration, and her influence echoes through culture and history. She was also the first Black woman to appear on the United States quarter.
Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tales of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston
by Alicia Williams and Jacqueline Alcántara
Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora.
Dancers & Musicians
The First Notes: The Story of DO, RE, MI
by Julie Andrews and Chiara Fedele
Guido, an Italian monk, invents a method of notating music, but is discouraged by the other monks until he is given the opportunity to share his invention and love of music. Includes information on the song “Do-Re-Mi,” a glossary, and Guido’s life at Pomposa Abbey.
Finding My Dance
by Ria Thundercloud and Kalilia J. Fuller
In her debut picture book, professional Indigenous dancer Ria Thundercloud tells the true story of her path to dance and how it helped her take pride in her Native American heritage.
Playing at the Border: A Story of YoYo Ma
by Joanna Ho and Teresa Martinez
Before Yo-Yo Ma became a celebrated cellist, he wanted to play the double bass. But it was too big for his four-year-old hands. He has recorded over a hundred albums, won nineteen Grammy Awards, performed for eight American presidents, and received the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, just to name a few accomplishments. Staying true to himself, Yo-Yo Ma performed at the US-Mexico border at the Rio Grande on April 13, 2019, as part of his multi-continent “Bach Project” tour to prove a point—through music, we can build bridges rather than walls between different cultures.
Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
by Traci N. Todd and Christian Robinson
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life.