Featured books by Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Lou Fancher, Steve Johnson
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Ezra Jack Keats may be best known as the creator of the 1963 Caldecott Medal winning The Snowy Day which featured a little brown boy named Peter. In lyrical language, Keats’ life and inspirations are revealed complemented by lush collage and acrylic illustrations that evoke Keats’ work. Embedded on selected pages are images of the real Peter and paintings by Keats. An author’s note completes the biographical homage to Keats and his legacy.

Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin Cowboy

Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin Cowboy

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction, Myths and Legends

The most celebrated black cowboy was Bill Pickett, a fearless rodeo star with a knack for taming bulls that brought the crowds to their feet. The closing note in this book provides an overview of the history of rodeos and black cowboys.

Dear Benjamin Banneker

Dear Benjamin Banneker

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Benjamin Banneker was born free when most blacks were still enslaved. Bannecker was troubled by slavery, and sent a letter to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Here is the extraordinary correspondence between the two men.

Duke Ellington:  The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jazz great Duke Ellington comes alive in jaunty, jazzy text and scratchboard illustrations that swirl, twirl and move across the pages. The reader can almost hear The Duke’s music in the vibrant colors of this Caldecott Honor book.

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

From her early days in Harlem to becoming the First Lady of Jazz, the story of Ella Fitzgerald is presented by a cool feline named Scat Cat Monroe. As Scat Cat steals through the pages of this book, Ella Fitzgerald’s life and work are revealed in jazz-inspired language accompanied by dramatic scratchboard illustrations. The result is a lively and loving picture book biography.

Fishing Day

Fishing Day

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Shane Evans
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Reenie and her mother often fish along a river nicknamed Jim Crow, where they often see Peter and his father fishing, too. Since Reenie is black and Peter is white, they never speak — until Reenie reaches out to bridge a divide even wider than the river. A hopeful ending concludes this expressively illustrated recollection of the author's childhood.

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Stephen Alcorn
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction

Brief sketches of the lives of both well (e.g. Harriet Tubman) and lesser known African American women (e.g., Biddy Mason) and their impact on civil rights are presented in the lively language of a storyteller sure to read aloud well. Vibrant, stylized Illustrations enhance the evocative text to complete the thought-provoking portraits.

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry

The final months of King’s life are presented in rich, moving poetry accompanied by swirling, evocative paintings. The requiem wonders about King’s assassin in “Baby James” asking, “”Did his tiny soul,/once clean,/know it would someday/be soiled by hate?” Additional information and photographs conclude this sophisticated volume.

Pretty Brown Face

Pretty Brown Face

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

Who is that beautiful face in the mirror? Why it is baby, held by a loving daddy. This simple yet appealing book is presented in a format appropriate for the youngest reader to hold.

Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound

Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

Listen to the “groove” as readers make their way through the history of Motown, the people who made and performed it, and the times in which it was performed. The history of Motown is inextricably tied to the history of African Americans in the U.S. and is presented here in vivacious narrative and extended by images of the time. Source notes and other back matter complete the riveting portrait.

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

Although Kwanzaa commemorates an ancient African harvest ritual, it is a relatively new holiday in North America. Seven Candles for Kwanzaa comfortably explains the origins, language, and daily themes of this warm and festive seven-day holiday.

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired four students to protest in a way that ultimately changed the United States. Their peaceful dissent at the segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, would "combine black with white to make sweet justice." The "Greensboro Four" began their sit-in on February 1, 1960 and contributed to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The text suggests storytelling and is accompanied by light-lined but evocative illustrations; back matter completes this compelling portrait.

Sleeping Cutie

Sleeping Cutie

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
Genre: Fiction

Cutie LaRue is normally a very agreeable child. But at bedtime she becomes downright defiant. As hard as her parents try to make Cutie sleepy, well, nothing works. But a talking doll named Night Owl may just hold the key to the Dreamland Nightclub where Cutie can dance, play music, and dream happily all night long! The talented husband/wife team of Andrea and Brian Pinkney have collaborated again to present this jaunty, imaginative nighttime tale.

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

Lively language and energetic illustrations create a memorable portrait of a woman who was to become known as Sojourner Truth. She was "Big. Black. Beautiful. True." Just like her name. Further information and photographs of Sojourner Truth completes this dynamic, fictionalized biography.

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"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller