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Featured books by Bryan Collier

Whether Bryan Collier is writing his own stories or illustrating those written by others, he brings his distinctive style to each one. His characters, mostly real historical figures, come to life through his textured blend of paint and collage. Warm tones and rich patterns create a signature touch that helps readers connect with the story, the person, and the time.

Uptown

By: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Join a boy as he takes you uptown to introduce his Harlem home, filled with excitement, sounds, and verve. Illustrations use watercolor and collage to present a vibrant, music-filled place sure to please.

Books illustrated by Bryan Collier

Freedom River

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Not only did John Parker buy his own freedom to escape slavery, he helped as many as 900 other slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. Poetic language and deeply hued illustrations convey this stirring story. Historical notes are included.

I, Too, Am America

By: Langston Hughes
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A celebration of Pullman porters is the focus of this new picture-book edition of Langston Hughes' classic poem. The collage spreads, blending oil paintings and cut paper, begin with an image of a speeding train before moving on to large portraits of African American porters serving white passengers aboard a luxury train. When the passengers leave, the porters gather left-behind items — newspapers, blues and jazz albums — and toss them from the train. Carried by the wind, the words and music fall into the hands of African Americans across the country. Winner of the 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. [From Booklist]

John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

John Lennon and his music are introduced to a new generation in Lennon's own words, using free verse and lyrics. With Collier's rich collage and watercolor illustrations in a large-sized format (like Martin's Big Words) this memorable presentation becomes a tribute to the music legend and visionary.

Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me

By: Daniel Beaty
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A boy's game with his father begins each morning with, "KNOCK KNOCK." Then one morning, the father is no longer there but he shares his dreams for his son through a letter. Based on the author's separation from his father, sadness and hope radiate from the pages of this affecting story.

Lincoln & Douglass: An American Friendship

By: Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The friendship between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist who was once enslaved, is presented in richly imagined text and collage illustrations.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.

Rosa

By: Nikki Giovanni
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Rosa Parks was an ordinary woman who became a hero because she "was not going to give in to that which was wrong." A catalyst for the famous Montgomery Bus boycott in Alabama, she turned the nation's attention to a glaring injustice in our society. Powerful illustrations evoke a time before the Civil Rights era and give the reader a glimpse at a person, her impact, and a period in American history.

Visiting Langston

By: Willie Perdomo
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A young poet anticipates a visit to Langston Hughes' Harlem home with her father. Told in rhythmic language, this appreciation of the poet in words and image may well encourage young readers to seek out Hughes' poems, or perhaps write some of their own.

Welcome Precious

By: Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A family expresses the universal joy in the arrival of a new baby. Luminous language and illustrations introduce baby to the many small pleasures all around us, from sand between toes to sticky peanut butter. Parents and grandparents can share this story with children to recall their arrival into the family.

What's the Hurry Fox? And Other Animal Tales

By: Zora Neale Hurston
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Folktales collected in the 1930s have been adapted, retold, and freshly illustrated for contemporary readers. Find out why dogs hate cats, why waves wear whitecaps, and more.This clever collection is ideal for sharing aloud.

Interested in wonderful interviews with tween and teen authors? Hop on over to our sister site, AdLit.org, and browse the library.

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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor