Jerry Pinkney (1939-2021)

Everybody here at the Horn Book is deeply saddened by the death of Jerry Pinkney, a great Friend of the Horn Book for many decades. I had just talked to Jerry, along with Rosemary Wells, for a Talks With Roger interview about their new picture book The Welcome Chair, which will be published on November 2 (Wiseman/S&S). I know there is a Welcome Chair for Jerry up yonder, and I hope he is allowing himself to enjoy the outpouring of love and respect for him being demonstrated here on Earth this week. Julie Danielson offers a lovely tribute on Calling Caldecott today, and you can find other Horn Book articles by and about Jerry here.

Back in 2018, Richard and I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Jerry and his wife Gloria Jean, all of us in Abilene for a beautiful show of original art from Coretta Scott King Award-winning books. (Does Jerry hold the record for those? I think he does.)* My heart goes out to Gloria Jean (and Brian and Andrea), and I am so glad to have had that time with her and Jerry. The world has lost a good and kind man and an artist whose work is at the heart of contemporary picture books, those, thankfully, still with us.



*And Caldecott Honors, yes? In the top ten of sentences I was inordinately happy to publish is Nikki Grimes writing “Give Jerry Pinkney the damn medal, already!,” not long before they finally did.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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Peter Glassman

Knowing Jerry Pinkney was one of the joys of my life. He was one of the kindest, most generous, most thoughtful, brilliant, and talented people it has ever been my good fortune to know. I so looked forward to every time he would visit the store. His warmth and good nature just flowed over you, lighting up the space. And his passion and dedicationt to his art was boundless. At 80 he was as energetic and enthusaistic as any young aritst I knew, and yet brought all the wisdom and experience he had gained through his decades of hard work to every project. Watching his amazing talent grow and expand over the years was such a joy. And seeing his energy and enthusiasm bubble over as he discovered his own talent for writing after having illustrated so many other talented author's words was thrilling to behold. I am so sad to have lost this dear, wonderful friend, but the happiness tied to my many memories of the times we spent together will be a comfort for the future. As I know they will be for all who knew this wonderful man.

Posted : Oct 24, 2021 03:53



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