Opening the Road – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Victor Hugo Green was tired of hearing no.Victor loved the freedom of driving on the open road,but too often the road was closed to him. It was like thisfor most Black people in the United States.When he and his wife, Alma, traveled from New York to Virginia to visit family, they riskedgetting turned away, yelled … Continue reading Opening the Road – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Dark Was the Night – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Can you name the blind Black man whose music was recorded on a Golden Record called "The Sounds of Earth," placed in a time capsule in 1977, and sent out of our solar system on Voyager I? No? Here's a book that gives the man, Willie Johnson, his due: Instead of starting off with the … Continue reading Dark Was the Night – Perfect Picture Book Friday

“Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Was it the great Shakes who said: A nose by any other name would smell as accurately? Yes, I think he was the one. And I think he was talking about the young James Kelly in search of a career, of something that would make him special. His future was out there. He could almost … Continue reading “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Girl on a Motorcycle – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Amy Novesky has no interest in writing a standard biography. I'm thinking specifically of her books, Cloth Lullaby: the Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois; Mi, Frida; and Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys. I imagine her focusing a wide angle lens on her subject, then combing through every wavelength of light until it … Continue reading Girl on a Motorcycle – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Martin & Mahalia – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Thinking quite a bit about the late 60s right now. So I'm pulling a book from my collection to feature this week, The story opens with an invitation:   You are here. Let the map lead the way. Let the dove fly ahead. On the path. To the dream. To the words. And the songs. … Continue reading Martin & Mahalia – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks – #PPBF

What better book to feature for National Poetry Month and Perfect Picture Book Friday than this story about the first Black person to win a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry. An achievement made even more phenomenal given the year she won—1950. The thread that winds its way through this book is one of a flower … Continue reading A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks – #PPBF

Feed Your Mind – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Some picture book biographies are meant to be read by older elementary school kids. For example: a story about the events that turned August Wilson into a poet and playwright who goes on to win two Pulitzer prizes. Bryant's language is suitably lyrical for the subject. They call it "Little Harlem"—the city within a city. … Continue reading Feed Your Mind – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Action Jackson – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I found Action Jackson while wandering through the library the other day, looking for mentor texts for a picture book biography about artists that I'm writing. Although the longer text (1,885 words) reveals that it's an older title (2002), I wanted to feature it here because I LOVE it! The opening: "In the afternoon, Jackson … Continue reading Action Jackson – Perfect Picture Book Friday

She Made a Monster – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Frankenstein was not a "must read" for those of us becoming engineers in the early 1980s. I'd heard of the monster, but had no idea of the story behind it. Now, it appears to be required reading for those capable of creating any sort of biological or technological monster, intentional or otherwise. Many consider this … Continue reading She Made a Monster – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Muddy – Perfect Picture Book Friday

"Oh, child.          Long gone.                   Oh, child.                                Sail on." Can you hear it? Can you feel it? The rhythm. The blues. Because this is the story of Muddy … Continue reading Muddy – Perfect Picture Book Friday