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Featured books by Jerry Pinkney

A talented artist, Jerry Pinkney illustrations for children's books are highly acclaimed. Pinkney is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including several Caldecott Honors and numerous Coretta Scott King Awards. He makes watercolor, an unforgiving medium, appear effortless as details emerge in each of his books. From portraits of people to retellings of traditional tales to looks at other worlds, Jerry Pinkney's distinctive style and lush retellings continue to delight readers of all ages.

Aesop's Fables

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Almost 100 fables attributed to Aesop have been selected and illustrated in this oversized collection. Familiar and less familiar tales are included, and most are distinguished by illustrations that give these old fables a fresh face. This large collection is an introduction to these classic stories.

Little Red Hen

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

When an industrious red hen finds seeds, the other animals refuse to help her plant them. But when the little red hen finally bakes the bread from the wheat she has grown, the others are all eager to eat it! Luminous, realistic, highly-detailed watercolors breathe freshness into this traditional tale.

Little Red Riding Hood

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When the girl in the red cape goes to visit her grandmother who lives on the other side of the snow-filled forest, she is approached by a sly wolf who then precedes her to her destination. While the story is well known, this version is distinguished by opulent illustrations that depict a brown-skinned child.

The Lion & the Mouse

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The well-known fable about how the smallest creature — a mouse — saves the majestic lion is a tale of kindness returned. Here it is effectively recast as a wordless story in a new setting. Stunning illustrations are expressive and emotive, evoking Africa's Serengeti while retaining the tale's power.

The Tortoise and the Hare

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The familiar fable of competition between a speedy, arrogant hare and a plodding, perseverant tortoise is retold in dramatic, highly detailed illustrations by the artist of the Caldecott winne, The Lion and the Mouse (Little; 9780316013567). Here, too, few words are needed to reveal the setting and different personalities of the main characters and the animals who watch the race, in this altogether handsome telling.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

By: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A chipmunk looks skyward and wonders about the twinkling stars before his imaginative adventure and travel to the moon. Stunning watercolors extend the familiar rhyme.

Books illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Drylongso

By: Virginia Hamilton
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Newbery Award winner Virginia Hamilton describes how Lindy and her family suffer through a long drought. Then a mysterious boy comes and teaches them the secrets of finding water hidden in the earth.

John Henry

By: Julius Lester
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

John Henry’s talent was evident at an early age when he helped his daddy, but was cemented in American folklore when he took on the steam drill. His place among American tall tale heroes is chronicled in richly detailed watercolors and language.

Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman

By: Alan Schroeder
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This beautifully written book, illustrated by four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Jerry Pinkney, makes the story of Harriet Tubman's childhood accessible to very young readers. As a young slave nicknamed Minty, Harriet Tubman was a feisty and stubborn girl with a dream of escape, and a rebellious spirit that often got her into trouble. Pinkney's expressive illustrations bring every emotion to brilliant life – from troubled sorrow to spirited hope for freedom.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

By: Rudyard Kipling
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Slightly adapted and newly illustrated, this thrilling, older tale is presented for a new generation of readers. When a mongoose washes up on the doorstep of an English family living in India, they name him Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. It is Rikki-Tikki who saves them (and other animals) from the vicious cobras who seek to do harm to them all.

Sweethearts of Rhythm

By: Marilyn Nelson
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A series of poems introduces the members and instruments of an all-female band, the Sweethearts, who played to record audiences in the segregated south from the 1930s to 1940s. Movement filled illustrations combine with the free verse for an unforgettable portrait of musicians and their times.

The All I'll Ever Want Christmas Doll

By: Patricia McKissack
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nella and her family live in a small town during the Depression so "Santy" Claus doesn't come very often. This year, however, he brings a special doll - and Nella, the middle child, learns that playing with her sisters is more fun than with the doll alone. Richly detailed illustrations add definition to time and place as well as to the characters.

The Moon Over Star

By: Dianna Aston
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mae is 8-years old in 1969 when Neil Armstrong and the crew of the Apollo 11 land on the moon. She and her grandfather watch this historic event on television to the delight of both - all the while buttressing the child's dreams. Illustrations evoke the time, place, and awe of the child and the event.

The Patchwork Quilt

By: Valerie Flournoy
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When Tanya's much loved grandmother becomes ill, Tanya inspires the entire family to help her finish the quilt — and the family history it reveals. This warm story is lovingly told with sensitive, beautiful watercolor illustrations.

The Patchwork Quilt

By: Valerie Flournoy
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Tanya helps Grandma make a beautiful quilt which tells the story of their family.

The Talking Eggs

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Language and image together evoke the southern setting for this retelling of a Creole folktale in which a much maligned daughter is rewarded for her kindness to an old witch woman. Her sister, however, suffers a very different fate when she shows her real personality.

The Ugly Duckling

By: Hans Andersen
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale is retold and illustrated in this handsome book. This time, the ugly duckling's adventures are retold in greater detail and are further enhanced by the luminous, meticulous watercolors for which Pinkney won a Caldecott honor.

Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales

By: Julius Lester
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

One of the most well known of African American folktales are the Uncle Remus tales, originally written down by Joel Chandler Harris over a hundred years ago. This four-book series drops the heavy and difficult dialect of the original tales and adds contemporary language and references to Brer Rabbit's fun.

Undersea Animals: A Dramatic Dimensional Visit to Strange Underwater Realms

By: Jane Buxton
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Though not for the youngest hands, stunning colors and amazing pop-ups are used to introduce sea life — kelp, fish, coral and other creatures — from unique perspectives. This attractive book is sure to engage readers of all ages.

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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"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox