Monday, February 4, 2013

What I Learned about Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney

I told my mother last week, "You know, I almost stole something once - a textbook from back in the fifth grade."

My mother gasped.

I said, "Don't worry. I didn't do it."

But, I remember. I was very tempted. By the illustrations!
It was KALEIDOSCOPE, a Houghton Mifflin Reader.

Is this not the best cover ever?!

 Recently, I found a copy of KALEIDOSCOPE in a used bookstore. I bought it, brought it home, and laid it carefully on my drawing board.

And then ...
I began to peruse the credits.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that all of these groovy textbook and section illustrations were the early work of none other than acclaimed Caldecott Medalist - Jerry Pinkney of "The Lion & The Mouse" fame.

I was so affected by those pictures. Some things stay with you.

 Jerry Pinkney has illustrated over one  hundred books, received five Caldecott honors, the Caldecott Medal for "The Lion & The Mouse,"  five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, and five New York Times "Best Illustrated Books."

And, of course, now, the fantastic "YOU WERE MY HERO IN FIFTH GRADE" AWARD from me!

Jerry Pinkney Signing My Book 2011

Jerry Pinkney Signs My iPad

Illustrate away,
Carolyn Dee Flores


  1. What a wonderful surprise. Who hasn't been inspired by Jerry's work? I remember a story that I'm sure was illustrated by Ted Lewin, but I've never been able to find it. And I have several readers with sections by other favorite artists. It just goes to show the power of illustration. Thanks for this great post.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much, Joanne. I'm looking at a piece illustrated by Ted Lewin right now, but it's a poem.
    "Rudolph Is Tired Of The City" by Gwendolyn Brooks.
    Might that be it?

    1. Sorry for the delay. The story I remember was about a girl who had to draw her house for school. She was embarrassed to live in an apartment building, so she drew a white ranch house with a beautiful lawn instead. There were illustrations of both places, and I remember thinking how shockingly beautiful the apartment building was. It would've been for 6th graders and been published sometime before 1979. Thanks anyway.

  3. great post, Carolyn! I remember Jerry was in last year's summer conference :)