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Event: Panel on Non-Fiction Picture Books at Politics & Prose in D.C.


On Sunday, May 4th, Politics & Prose is hosting a fabulous event called Panel on Picture Books: The Bigger Picture – Non-Fiction in Picture Books at 5:00pm. Information and the address can be found at


This panel will be moderated by Leonard Marcus who has authored numerous books on the history of children’s literature – one more interesting than the next. If anyone can provide the context for this discussion it’s Leonard Marcus. The panel will feature Dick Jackson, Editor, Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books; author, Jen Bryant; illustrator, R. Gregory Christie; and authors/illustrators, Brian Floca, Susan Roth and Duncan Tonatiuh. This line up is incredible! We’ll have an editor’s perspective and those of the authors and illustrators that create these magnificent works of non-fiction.

Brian Floca just won the Caldecott Medal for Locomotive – a stunning book on the history of locomotives in the US.


Susan Roth won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal for Parrots Over Puerto Rico that tells the story of how the parrots almost disappeared from the island. The artwork is drop dead gorgeous!


I  love Jen Bryant’s work and fell in love with A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin when it came out. It won numerous awards including the Orbis Pictus Award and a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor. I had never heard of Horace Pippin prior to this book (I learn SO much from children’s books) and this beautiful book brought him to life for me. Melissa Sweet (Balloons Over Broadway) illustrated the story beautifully.


If you don’t know R. Gregory Christie’s art you just haven’t been paying attention. He has won the Coretta Scott Honor numerous times. My favorite of his is Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshall written by Vaunda Michaux Nelson. It’s the true story of a US Deputy (think Wyatt Earp) who always got his man. Despite prejudice against black men, Bass Reeves did his job and did it well.


Lastly is Duncan Tonatiuh who is relatively new to me. He won the coveted Pura Belpre Award for both illustrations and text this year for Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: An Immigrant’s Tale. That much needed award celebrates books of the Latino culture. His new book, Separate But Not Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Desegregation is coming in May. It is so amazing – did you know that before Brown vs. the Board of Education the Mendez family fought for their rights so that their children could attend school with white children in Los Angeles? Prior to that, these children went to the Mexican School which was underfunded and forgotten. I had never known about this and am so glad I now know. I will never mention Brown vs. The Board of Education without citing this story as well. And his art! Tonatiuh’s art echoes Mexican folk art – gorgeous. This is a truly remarkable book.9781419710544_p0_v1_s600

If you can make it, this event at Politics & Prose should be amazing. I’ll see you there!


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