by Ave Maria Cross
ON A BEAM OF LIGHT, A Story of Albert Einstein, by Jennifer Berne; pictures by Vladimir Radunsky
Albert Einstein was different – but in a good way. He rarely spoke as a child – he was a thinker. His story is captured in this book with simple words and illustrations which move the story forward in a delightful way. Einstein was misunderstood at first; his life was filled with trials and breakthroughs. When he was stuck on solving a tricky problem, he played his violin. Einstein was a wonderer who questioned everything and eventually became a world-renowned genius. The writer, Jennifer Berne gives us insight into his quirky world and Vladimir Radunsky’s illustrations allude to Einstein’s character with brilliant pictures.
VOICE OF FREEDOM – FANNIE LOU HAMER, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, by Carole Boston Weatherford; Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Fannie Lou Hamer was born into abject poverty in 1917 in rural Mississippi and picked cotton with her family beginning at 6 years old – but she grew up to be one determined lady. She experienced unspeakable pain and overcame unbelievable hardship in her quest to gain voting rights denied to African Americans. Fannie Lou Hamer was denied a seat at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, however, she attended through the auspices of the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party. Carole Boston Weatherford brilliantly and painstakingly writes the story in African American southern vernacular. Ekua Holmes’s illustrations utilize collage, which are stunning; her visuals astutely represent the ‘patchwork life’ of Fannie Lou Hamer.
RADIANT CHILD, The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, by Javaka Steptoe
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a cultural phenomenon; he saw everything through his mind’s eye, and processed it as art in his own way. He dreamed of being an artist and relentlessly honed his craft. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s mother was very instrumental in nurturing his art, however, he eventually experiences the break-up of his parents and his mother mental illness. In New York City, Jean Michel’s purpose is awakened. Javaka Steptoe is a brilliant storyteller, artist, designer and illustrator; this is his debut picture book which he brilliantly emulates the artwork of Jean-Michel utilizing collage.
Ave Maria Cross fell in love with theatre and dramatic art as a girl. In elementary school, the first books Ave read were biographies; her collection of picture book biographies is extensive – people’s lives are quite dramatic! Ave writes madcap plays for kids in poetry, rap & rhyme. Ave is a kidlit writer/illustrator, a member of the CHILDRENS BOOK ACADEMY, an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Puppeteers of America, as well. Oh, the drama of it all!
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will be a total surprise!