Born in segregated South Carolina, Ernie Barnes couldn’t wait until the rainy season, for he could paint pictures with a stick in the mud. Not allowed into museums, he went to his mom’s place of work where he could look at books and art. At six foot three, his high school football coach got him onto the team, where Ernie soon became captain. His abilities earned him 26 college scholarships. He took the one he could learn art while playing football. A beautifully told story of how Ernie became famous for his paintings of sports. As a player, he included details non-players couldn’t know. His first painting was called The Bench. After his football career, his art career flourished. An inspiring tale encouraging readers to never give up on their dreams and to be ready to work hard, in spite of roadblocks.
In This Book
By Frani Marceau, illustrated by Joelle Jolivet
Chronicle Books, 2014
After hearing many good things about artist Joelle Jolivet, I looked up In This Book and discovered a concept book introducing the word “in”! It contains 59 pages (much longer than America’s standard format of 32 pages) of big, beautiful colors. Produced in an extra-large format, the book immerses a child in many large and small as well as common and unusual examples of “in”.
Familiar examples include, “I am in the nest, said the bird,” and “I am in the dark, said the child.” An exciting—to a child—example includes, “I am in the hand, said the ladybug.” The book can gently open conservations with the child about things in their world including, “I am in the ground, said the seed,” and “I am in space, said the planet.” A delightful book, rich with colors, new words, and concepts that stretch the imagination.
Young readers will enjoy the simple art of Joelle Jolivet, a best-selling illustrator who has exhibited all over the world.
Beautifully illustrated in watercolors and collage, this book takes you back in time. Dave was a rare slave who worked as a potter. Written in a poetic voice, the author helps readers feel the rhythms of throwing clay and spinning a wheel. Little is known of the artist, but from a few remaining pots we know he was able to make large pots, requiring great strength and skill. A bio after the story, shares what little is known, including that when Dave was in his 30’s, he lost his leg. Another slave spun the wheel for him, while Dave did his work. Readers also learn of how African’s influenced today’s art. Very beautifully rendered and inspiring.