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Drawing My Dream: 2016 Wilder Medal Acceptance by Jerry Pinkney

A great partnership: Jerry and Gloria Jean. Photo courtesy of Jerry Pinkney.

When I was notified about the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, I was struck once again with the revelation that drawing changed the trajectory of my life. More than that, actually — drawing changed me. I was born in 1939, smack in the middle of a family of eight, and in the middle of another turbulent […]

Jerry Pinkney’s 2016 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award speech

Jerry Pinkney Author Photo_300

Good morning, and congratulations to my fellow honorees. Let me begin by saying how special this morning is to me and my family. Over the years, I have attended many of the Coretta Scott King breakfasts, and these events always leave me feeling filled to the brim with admiration for the CSK Book Awards Committee. […]

Five questions for Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney Author Photo_300

At the 2016 Youth Media Awards announcement at ALA Midwinter, the audience cheered loudly when prolific author/illustrator Jerry Pinkney was named the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement winner. A few minutes later, history was made — and the crowd again went wild! — when he also won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his […]

The Grasshopper and the Ants

pinkney_grasshopper and the ants

The Grasshopper & the Ants adds another title to Jerry Pinkney’s growing set of books based on fables by Aesop and Andersen. Unlike his Caldecott-winning The Lion & the Mouse (2009), this title has text, except for an extended wordless sequence in the middle. But the Caldecott committee will not be comparing this to Pinkney’s […]

Transformers: The Power of Storytelling

lester_john henry

I grew up in a small brick row house on a dead-end street in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In many ways, my neighborhood block in the 1940s was representative of African American culture as a whole: there were too many things we were told we could not do, too many places we might […]

The Tortoise & the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

There is no question that the Caldecott committee will be taking a good, long look at Jerry Pinkney’s Tortoise & the Hare. Past winners always deserve special notice, and this is a companion to his other nearly-wordless Aesop offering and 2010 Caledecott winner, The Lion & the Mouse. Not to mention his five Caldecott honor awards […]

The Pinkney Family: In the Tradition

pinkney family

Jerry and Gloria. Brian and Andrea. The Pinkney family is unique in African-American children’s literature, perhaps in all of American children’s literature: four members of the family — two generations, two couples, two artists (one an author-illustrator), two writers — all currently producing award-winning children’s literature. And other family members are in the wings. How […]