Waiting for Pumpsie, written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by London Ladd, is available for purchase as of today! The picture book tells the story of a young boy, Bernard, living in Boston in the 1950s, and his dream that the Boston Red Sox will draft an African American player. Twelve years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the Red Sox at last added Pumpsie Green to their team, making them the last major league team to integrate. Just in time for the book’s release, a new review of Waiting for Pumpsie is available from the Fenway News newspaper. The Fenway News praises the book’s portrayal of an important civil rights event and its ode to baseball in the 50s. They write, “The book is half-criticism, half-ode. London Ladd’s illustrations Fenway as it was in the 1950s.” You can order Waiting for Pumpsie online here.
Canadian animation company Nelvana has announced that, in association with Kids Can Press, they will begin producing an animated short based on Ashley Spires‘s bestselling picture book The Most Magnificent Thing. The short is currently in pre-production. The Most Magnificent Thing tells of a young girl’s trial and error attempts to create the most magnificent thing ever, and has been praised for its portrayal of the creative process and its message of perseverance and hard work. Ashley is excited by the short, saying, “There can never be enough opportunities to present young female characters as empowered, inventive problem-solvers to inspire children…I can’t wait to see the final product.” Keep an eye out for this exciting new short! You can find out more information about the film here.
Coming out soon, Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a horror movie that depicts what happens when a young black man meets his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. Vanity Fair recently published an article on the movie, in which they interview Peele and reveal exclusive promotional art inspired by the movie. One of the paintings featured in the article is by Frank Morrison! Vanity Fair describes the paintings as “vibrant.” Frank’s painting is to the left, but to read the full article and see all the exclusive paintings, check out the article here.
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 […]
In honor of Black History Month, Time for Kids compiled a list of eight new children’s books that honor black history and interviewed the authors and illustrators of these recommended picture books. TFK’s article was also featured on Essence.com. Three books that were illustrated by Painted Words artists made the list! The Legendary Miss Lena Horne, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Liz Zunon, tells the life story of singer, actress, and civil rights activist Lena Horne. TFK interviewed the author, and she said that she hopes that Lena’s story can be “can be both an inspiration and a guide to overcoming obstacles.” The Legendary Lena Horne can be purchased here. The Youngest Marcher, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, is the true story of the youngest known marcher in the Birmingham civil rights protests. Cynthia Levinson told TFK, “The story is also about knowing in your heart what is right and facing down your fear.” The Youngest Marcher can be purchased here. 2017 is the 50th anniversary of landmark civil rights case, “Loving Vs. Virginia,” which made it legal for people of different races to marry. The documentary picture book Loving Vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell and […]
The refugee crisis is on many people’s mind at present, and many parents and teachers are searching for books to help them explain the complex issue to their children. New York Magazine’s The Cut compiled an article on children’s books about refugees and immigrants, as recommended by booksellers and librarians. The recently released picture book, Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey, written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes and illustrated by Sue Cornelison, was one of these recommended books. This touching, true story tells of an Iraqi refugee family who loses their beloved cat, and the incredible world wide effort to help them reunite with their pet. The librarian who recommended Lost and Found Cat said that, “Books are a great way to explore complex subjects — they often give kids a way to identify by making the event or idea come to life.” The full list of recommended children’s books can be found here. Lost and Found Cat can be purchased here.