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Telling the story through pictures

Pinkney returns again and again to his own experiences to help him tell a story visually. He thinks about the page turn and the narrative but it always comes back to "what do I want to say with pictures?"

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Jerry Pinkney

Children’s Author

Beloved and exquisitely talented, Jerry Pinkney (1939-2021) gifted us with his beautiful storytelling and picture books, meant to be shared on laps and in classrooms and libraries everywhere. His beautifully detailed watercolor illustrations won numerous awards, including five Coretta Scott King Awards and five Caldecott Honor Medals. In 2010 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for The Lion & the Mouse,” a retelling of the Aesop fable set in the Serengeti, with the characters surrounded by other African wildlife.

In this exclusive video interview with Reading Rockets, Jerry Pinkney talked about telling stories through pictures and creating real, true portraits — as well as growing up as a “slow reader” and the early encouragement he received as a young artist.