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Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019. I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African descent, written and illustrated […]

Review of Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe Harper    24 pp.    $3.50 A poignant story of childhood told in the first person and illustrated with paintings which have been compared to the work of Rouault. Stevie lives with Robert’s family for five days a week because his mother works; and Robert senses keenly the nuisance of having the smaller […]

On Rudine Sims Bishop’s “Following in Their Fathers’ Paths” (from March 1998)

If you don’t already know, the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards were announced this morning at the ALA Midwinter conference in Atlanta. Among the honorees is Javaka Steptoe, who will receive the Caldecott Medal for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (read the starred review from the November/December 2016 issue of The […]

John Steptoe’s 1987 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Award speech for Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

By John Steptoe First, I want to say how much I appreciate this honor. During the two-and-one-half years it took me to complete Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters (Lothrop) I often wondered if my belief in what I was doing was justifiable. During those long months I felt I was doing something different, something bolder, something largely […]