Books by Bryan Collier

THE 5 O'CLOCK BAND by Troy Andrews
Released: June 19, 2018

"An excellent story about a man who remembers the community he came from and actively works to ensure its future success. (Picture book. 4-8)"
"Trombone Shorty" Andrews (with an authorial assist from Taylor) and illustrator Collier bring to life another compelling, true story of Andrews' early life. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"A biography with appeal for sports fans and budding artists alike, it will also beckon to any reader who appreciates a well-told, artfully illustrated story. (author's and illustrator's notes, resources, quote sources) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)"
Not even the thrill of football could dissuade Ernie Barnes from pursuing his artistic dream. Read full book review >
HEY BLACK CHILD by Useni Eugene Perkins
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"All black children need to know Perkins' prideful poem, possibly by heart, because it's really that doggone good. (Picture book. 3-10)"
A poem by a celebrated Chicago playwright and long beloved within the Black History Month tradition about the achievement, potential, and ancestral joy incubated within the black experience. Read full book review >
IT'S SHOE TIME! by Bryan Collier
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"Hilarious and very well-executed—shoe-pendous, even—this is a great addition for emerging readers and pun enthusiasts alike. One might say, a perfect pairing. (Early reader. 6-8)"
Collier gives beginning readers a quest of mismatched shoes trying to find the "right" pair after being "left" behind. Yes, all the puns are gleefully intended. Read full book review >
THE WATCHER by Nikki Grimes
Released: Oct. 9, 2017

"A sumptuous work filled with a deliciously wrapped center—perfect for classrooms, school, public, or church libraries, or home: wherever hearts go for mending. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)"
When the chaos of life threatens to overtake your soul, a simple psalm can soothe you. Read full book review >
MY COUNTRY, ’TIS OF THEE by Claire Rudolf Murphy
Released: June 3, 2014

"This examination of a well-known piece of music and the activism it inspired makes for a fascinating way to explore history. (Informational picture book. 5-9)"
One of the first patriotic songs young Americans learn in school is "America," more commonly known as "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." Read full book review >
KNOCK KNOCK by Daniel Beaty
Released: Dec. 17, 2013

"A valiant effort that falls short of its source's fearless honesty and passion. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A heartfelt effort to transform Beaty's celebrated monologue into a picture book undermines the source material's power, despite the contributions of Collier's stunning collage-and-watercolor artwork. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 4, 2012

"An outstanding achievement and a life worthy of note. (additional facts, author's note, illustrator's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)"
A former slave fulfills his quest for an education and much more in this superbly designed tribute to an oft-maligned African-American educator and author. Read full book review >
I, TOO, AM AMERICA by Langston Hughes
Released: May 22, 2012

"Enjoy the poem and the illustrations; skip the instructions. (Picture book. 8 & up)"
A brilliant visual association between Hughes' poem and the history of the Pullman porters illuminates a chapter of American history but gets bogged down in backmatter explaining its metaphors. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 16, 2011

"Both doting grandparents and their faraway grandchildren can appreciate the message of this unabashedly sentimental tribute, an obvious gift book. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Missing a grandchild in a distant tropical country, a grandmother remembers their times together and reflects that they share the same moon. Read full book review >
¡CLEMENTE! by Willie Perdomo
Released: May 1, 2010

"Though, like Jonah Winter's similar but lower-key biography, Roberto Clemente, Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, illustrated by Raul Colón (2005), there's no chart of Clemente's outstanding career stats, heartfelt personal statements from the author and illustrator add a shiny finish to this infectiously energetic tribute. (timeline, sources) (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Riding the tide of his own father's ("president of the GREATEST FANS OF ROBERTO CLEMENTE CLUB, Boogie-down Bronx chapter") hero worship, a young narrator named after the great ball player and humanitarian highlights Clemente's life and achievements up to that fatal "last sacrifice fly" (he was killed in the crash of a plane filled with earthquake-relief supplies in 1972), then pays homage to his strength of character, his belief that "con respeto, / con orgullo, with faith, with hope, / with belief in yourself…/ anything is possible in this world." Read full book review >
DOO-WOP POP by Roni Schotter
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Cousin Brucie's jacket blurb summarizes nicely: '—wow!' (Picture book. 4-8)"
School janitor Mr. Searle, a singer in his youth, earns the tag "Doo-Wop Pop." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"It's the season for Lincolnalia, but this team, who collaborated successfully on Rosa (2005), fail to present a focused work that will be meaningful to children. (timeline) (Picture book. 4-7)"
A dramatic double-page spread of the Emancipation Proclamation fast-forwards to a March evening in 1865 at the White House, where President and Mrs. Lincoln are hosting an inaugural ball and to which Frederick Douglass is an invited guest. Read full book review >
BARACK OBAMA by Nikki Grimes
Released: Aug. 26, 2008

"Still, of the three candidates' picture-book biographies out this season, this stands as the one most likely to communicate to children on a visceral level. (author's, illustrator's notes, resources, timeline, family tree) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)"
When David wonders why all those people on TV are shouting one man's name, his mother tells him Barack Obama's story. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2007

"A challenging, sometimes beautiful tribute to a modern-day hero—attractive, impressive and dramatic, but not a knockout. (timeline) (Poetry/nonfiction. 10+)"
Smith's most ambitious project to date celebrates the life of Muhammad Ali, from his Olympic gold medal in 1960, renowned fights with Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier, his personal battle with Parkinson's syndrome to the dramatic lighting of the Olympic torch at the 1996 Atlanta games. Read full book review >
LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING by James Weldon Johnson
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"A bright blue predominates in intensely hued skies and school uniforms, while Collier's highly recognizable style incorporates watercolor and collage to meaningful effect. (illustrator's note, words with music) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)"
In his highly iconic reinterpretation of the beloved "Negro National Anthem," Collier was inspired by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"Still, this is a reassuring charmer and a sure-to-be-welcomed paean to doting parents and their cherished newborns. (Picture book/poetry. 0-3)"
Every child should be so blessed as to be welcomed to the world and into the loving embrace of an adoring family, as is the African-American newborn in this warm poetic picture book. Read full book review >
ROSA by Nikki Giovanni
Kirkus Star
by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"An essential volume for classrooms and libraries. (Picture book. 5+)"
Rosa Parks sat. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"A lively, if unusual, take on the pop-culture icon, whose music is as fresh today as it was then. (author's note, illustrator's note, important dates, discography, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. All ages)"
In their latest collaboration, Rappaport and Collier combine a spare, poetic text and watercolor-and-collage illustrations to introduce readers to John Lennon and as varied references as Lewis Carroll, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the war in Vietnam, and the civil-rights movement. Read full book review >
WHAT’S THE HURRY, FOX? by Zora Neale Hurston
Released: April 1, 2004

"Younger audiences might not know Hurston as a folklorist; here's help for that, in an inviting mix of new tales and familiar ones made fresh. (Folk tales. 7-10)"
Thomas polishes up nine anecdotes and pourquoi tales collected by Hurston, but only recently rediscovered (along with hundreds more) and published in a collection for adults. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2004

"Younger audiences might not know Hurston as a folklorist; here's help for that, in an inviting mix of tales and familiar ones made fresh. (Folk tales. 7-10)"
Thomas polishes up nine anecdotes and pourquoi tales collected by Hurston, but only recently rediscovered (along with hundreds more) and published in a collection for adults. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"This may have some difficulty finding its audience, but the strength of author and illustrator will help draw them in. (preface, introduction) (Nonfiction. 7-12)"
The earnest and thoughtful Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, has cast a wide net: she offers prayers for both young children and teens, for special occasions, for "Struggle and Strength," and a small selection of traditional prayers like the Prayer of St Francis and selected psalms. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Readers will hear his voice echo in this presentation. (timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 5-9)"
Beginning with the startling cover, which contains only the face of Martin Luther King Jr., with his smile broad, and his eyes crinkled in laughter, this title intrigues. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"In this year of Langston Hughes's centennial, this work does him great honor. (Poetry. 6-10)"
A little girl is going with her daddy to visit the home of Langston Hughes. Read full book review >
FREEDOM RIVER by Doreen Rappaport
Released: July 1, 2000

Before the Civil War, John Parker, an ex-slave, successful businessman, and resident of the free state of Ohio crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky (a slave state) and risked his own life to free those still in bondage. Read full book review >
UPTOWN by Bryan Collier
Released: June 1, 2000

"Walter Dean Myers's poem Harlem (1997), illustrated in similar style by Christopher Myers, conveys a deeper sense of the African American community's history, but this makes an engagingly energetic once-over. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Collier debuts with a set of dazzling paint-and-photo collages paired to a child's tribute to his Harlem neighborhood. Read full book review >