Review of Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace

Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace
by Ashley Bryan; illus. by the author
Middle School, High School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    107 pp.
10/19    978-1-5344-0490-8    $21.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0491-5    $10.99

Ashley Bryan was a nineteen-year-old art student when he was drafted into a segregated army unit of stevedores, where he used every opportunity to sketch and record his experiences, from training to D-Day and its aftermath. Bryan’s present-day text serves as a kind of voice-over to the scores of images included: original paintings and drawings, letters, journal passages, photos, maps, and army posters. This wealth of overlapping visual elements could have resulted in a cluttered presentation; instead, the dynamic book design and lavish production choices make this a fully immersive experience. The ultimate gift book for Ashley Bryan fans. (Some of this material can be seen in “Ashley Bryan’s WWII Drawings” by H. Nichols B. Clark in our May/June 2018 issue.)

From the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine.

Lolly Robinson
Lolly Robinson is the creative director for The Horn Book, Inc. She has degrees in studio art and children's literature and teaches children's literature at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees and blogs for Calling Caldecott and Lolly's Classroom on this site.

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