Four Painted Words Artists Make New York Times List of Five Iconic African American Biographies for Kids
February 13, 2017
The New York Times recently published an article entitled “Five Iconic African-American Biographies for Kids.” Three out of five of these recommended picture books were written and/or illustrated by artists from Painted Words! The recommended titles included Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, and The Youngest Marcher.
Muhammad Ali, written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison, tells the story of the incident that set a young Ali (then called Cassius Clay) onto his boxing career. Times described it as a, “playful, dynamic look at the champion’s quest for greatness.” They praised Frank for “[giving] the art a joyful zing and a serious yet eminently kid-friendly vibe.” Muhammad Ali can be purchased here.
The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon, is the biography of actress, singer, and civil rights activist Lena Horne. The New York Times writes, “The book’s sizzling clarity recalls Horne’s own voice,” and praises Liz’s illustrations, writing, “Zunon…plays with shadow and light to suggest the hidden depths of a very public life.” The Legendary Miss Lena Horne can be purchased here.
The Youngest Marcher, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, reveals the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, the youngest known marcher to be arrested in the Birmingham civil rights protests of the ’60s. The Times writes, “Levinson and Newton keep her story bright and snappy, emphasizing the girl’s eagerness to make a difference and her proud place in her community.” The Youngest Marcher can be purchased online here.
You can find the New York Times full list of recommended black history titles here.
Noozhawk Includes Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born and Loving Vs. Virginia On List of Black History Month Books
January 30, 2017
Noozhawk, a Santa Barbara newspaper, has created a list of recommended books for young readers for the upcoming Black History Month. Included on that list were Loving Vs. Virginia and Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born.
Loving Vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland, tells in verse the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, a young interracial couple in the 1950s who fought for and won the right for marriage between races. Noozhawk praises the beautiful poetry and Shadra’s illustrations, which they described as “vintage-style sketches…characterized by a loose, impromptu drawing style that reflects the honesty and energy of the couple’s journey together.”
Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born is written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison. This biographical picture book reveals the story of how the famous boxer got his start in boxing. Noozhawk calls Muhammad Ali, “lighter hearted and super fun…bold and cool,” and praises Gene’s narration for both showing Ali’s beginnings and his later battles for peace and equality.
CBC’s Hot Off the Press Includes Books from Liz Zunon, Gene Barretta, Frank Morrison, and Vanessa B Newton
January 4, 2017
The Children’s Book Council published a list of books it calls “Hot Off the Press,” a collection recently released and forthcoming picture books that they anticipate becoming bestsellers, and four of our authors/illustrators had books included on this list!
In the Featured Books section is forthcoming The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon. The Legendary Miss Lena Horne tells the story of pioneering actress, singer, and civil rights activist Lena Horne. The picture book will be published later this month and can be pre-ordered online here.
In the More Titles section is The Youngest Marcher, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. The Youngest Marcher is based on the true story of Audrey Faye, the youngest marcher to be arrested in the Birmingham civil rights protests. It comes out later this month and can be ordered online here.
Also included in this section is Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison. Muhammad Ali is the story of how the famous heavyweight boxer first got his start in boxing. This picture book was released today! It can be ordered online here.
Make sure to keep an eye on these books to see if the CBC’s predictions are right!
Amazing Review from New York Journal of Books of Gene Barretta and Frank Morrison’s Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born
January 4, 2017
Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison, is out today! This new picture book tells the story of the heavyweight champion’s childhood and how he first began to box.
The New York Journal of Books wrote an amazing review of Muhammad Ali, praising the story, illustrations, and interesting depiction of Ali before he began his career. They call the picture book, “lovely beyond words,” and praise Gene’s writing as “fast-paced, realistic, and touching on an elemental level.” Of Frank’s illustrations, they write, “Award-winning artist Frank Morrison handles the illustrations with dignity and flare…Morrison captures the very essence of what made Cassius ‘Ali.'”
Early Praise for Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, written by Gene Barretta and Illus. by Frank Morrison
December 13, 2016
Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison, tells the story of how a young Muhammad Ali – then called Cassius Clay – got his start in boxing when he began working out after his bike was stolen. It comes out this January, but is already receiving praise from Publishers Weekly. They compliment the extensive historical information included by Gene and write that, “Working in acrylic, Morrison…creates visceral, dynamic action shots.”
Liz Zunon, Frank Morrison, and Gene Barretta Included in List of New Books for African American Young Readers
December 1, 2016
Publisher’s Weekly recently compiled a list of new and upcoming books, published between 2016 and 2017, that are focused on African American issues. Focusing on historical events and famous figures, as well as current events or African American characters, these are great books for African American young readers and for everyone.
Included on this list is the forthcoming Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born, written by Gene Barretta and illustrated by Frank Morrison, and The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon.