I continue to be grateful to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy. I have learned much from her and those who link up to share fabulous non-fiction picture books.
Happy Reading! Almost time for the ALA Midwinter, and the awards!
There are lots of picture books in my home, but only two have remained on a special shelf, a favorites shelf: The Snowy Day and Goodnight Moon. In this book, A Poem for Peter by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Andrea chose to tell Ezra Jack Keats' Story and that of this landmark book in poetry. The illustrations are also created by collage reminiscent of the unique style of Keats, beautifully done. Born in the U.S. to poor Polish immigrants, Ezra soon discovered that he loved to draw and to paint. There are ups and downs, but during a 20-year span, he kept a special news clipping and picture of a little African-American boy with an impish grin. That eventually became HIS Peter. He looked around and noticed that there were no diverse characters in the picture books, neither minorities nor immigrants. It was a huge step, and became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African-American child. Those "ups and downs" mentioned connect to being poor, but having a father who pinched the pennies so that Ezra (Jack) could have paints. He was about to go to an art school, but his father died a few days before high school graduation, and the plans were not to be. But he persisted, and you know the rest of the story. Like many others, I loved the book.