Books by Jerry Pinkney

THE TORTOISE & THE HARE by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

With luminous mixed media pictures, a short, carefully meted-out text and a Southwestern U.S. setting, Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse, 2009) takes on another of Aesop's fables—marvelously.

A persevering tortoise and a speedy but arrogant hare tackle a challenging race course that includes rocky elevations and a water crossing. Read full book review >

PUSS IN BOOTS by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Nov. 13, 2012

"Handsomely turned out, as can be expected…but Pinkney himself notes that he studied over 20 illustrated editions of the story before producing one of his own, and he offers nothing particularly fresh. (Picture book/folk tale. 7-10)"
A retold but intact version of the familiar tale, given the customary early-18th-century setting in illustrations crowded with figures and period detail. Read full book review >
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Oct. 3, 2011

"Just another superb outing from a fixed star twinkling in the children's-literature firmament. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In Pinkney's sumptuous elaboration of the familiar lullaby a chipmunk's nighttime odyssey takes on the same epic scope as his Caldecott winning The Lion and the Mouse (2009). Read full book review >
THREE LITTLE KITTENS by Jerry Pinkney
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

An expanded version of the familiar rhyme provides an ideal opportunity for Caldecott Medalist Pinkney to create a trio of truly adorable kittens and their long-suffering mother. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

Nelson brings her signature poetic treatment of history to this outstanding collaboration with illustrator Pinkney about a racially integrated "all-girl swing band" that toured the United States during World War II. Read full book review >

THE LION & THE MOUSE by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

A nearly wordless exploration of Aesop's fable of symbiotic mercy that is nothing short of masterful. Read full book review >

THE MOON OVER STAR by Dianna Hutts Aston
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Twenty-three years before Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel into space, a young girl living in the small Southern town of Star anxiously awaits the first step of a man on the moon. Read full book review >

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD by The Brothers Grimm
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

A gorgeously illustrated version of the classic tale, this time with a brown-skinned protagonist. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 25, 2007

McKissack and Pinkney join forces for their third collaborative effort in this story of three sisters who have to share one doll for Christmas during the Depression. Read full book review >

AIN’T NOBODY A STRANGER TO ME by Ann Grifalconi
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2007

In this moving testimonial, an old man eloquently recalls escaping from slavery with a few apple seeds in his pocket, as he and his young granddaughter stroll out to the lushly flowering orchard that has since grown from them. Read full book review >

THE LITTLE RED HEN by Jerry Pinkney
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2006

In this pointed retelling of the familiar tale, Pinkney expands the cast by giving the industrious title bird a bevy of chicks, plus not three but four indolent animal neighbors, all of which are drawn naturalistically and to scale in big, comical farmyard watercolors. Read full book review >

MUSIC FROM OUR LORD’S HOLY HEAVEN by Gloria Jean Pinkney
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

The talented Pinkney family collaborated in the creation of this inspirational collection of traditional Christian hymns and related psalms. Read full book review >

THE OLD AFRICAN by Julius Lester
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

Whips sink into bare flesh and red blood glistens in Lester's painfully vivid, four-part story of the horrors of slavery that evolves into a fantastical escape myth. Read full book review >

GOD BLESS THE CHILD by Billie Holiday
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

With Holiday's music and Pinkney's art, this package sets expectations high—and doesn't disappoint. Read full book review >

NOAH’S ARK by Jerry Pinkney
Kirkus Star
adapted by Jerry Pinkney, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

Pinkney, at his grandest, matches a poetically phrased text—the Ark "rose over their heads. Read full book review >

THE NIGHTINGALE by Hans Christian Andersen
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Pinkney's (Goin' Someplace Special, 2001, etc.) gouache and watercolor illustrations have the stained radiance of sunlight through glass; even his figures appear lit from within. Read full book review >

GOIN’ SOMEPLACE SPECIAL by Patricia C. McKissack
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

In a story that will endear itself to children's librarians and, for that matter, all library lovers, 'Tricia Ann begs her grandmother to be allowed to go alone to Someplace Special. Read full book review >

AESOP’S FABLES by Jerry Pinkney
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

Gracing 61 fables from Aesop, or at least in the Aesopian tradition, Pinkney's watercolors display both masterful draftsmanship and an uncommonly keen eye for natural detail. Read full book review >

ALBIDARO AND THE MISCHIEVOUS DREAM by Julius Lester
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

Lester's original fable is clever, but ultimately disappointing. Read full book review >

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

Pinkney's deeply moving treatment of Andersen's classic tale moves the events to an urban America of the 1920s. Read full book review >

THE UGLY DUCKLING by Jerry Pinkney
Released: March 1, 1999

Outstanding illustrations and some new characters make Pinkney's retelling of a familiar tale memorable. Read full book review >

Released: May 1, 1998

The creators of Sam and the Tigers (1996) proffer this fact-based tale of a black cowboy named Bob Lemmons, famed for his ability to track and capture herds of wild mustangs. Read full book review >

RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI by Rudyard Kipling
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Pinkney dwells on this story of Rikki-tikki-tavi, the sensible, brave mongoose adopted by an English family living in India. Read full book review >
THE HIRED HAND by Robert D. San Souci
Released: May 1, 1997

An African-American folktale from Southern oral tradition, first recorded in the late 19th century. Read full book review >
SAM AND THE TIGERS by Julius Lester
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

A sassy retelling of Little Black Sambo, set in the imaginary land of Sam-sam-sa-mara, where animals are people, too, and all the humans are named Sam. Read full book review >
JOHN HENRY by Julius Lester
adapted by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Onto the page bounds the colossus John Henry, man of legend, man of myth (though the preface keeps things off balance on that point). Read full book review >
THE SUNDAY OUTING by Gloria Jean Pinkney
Released: June 1, 1994

In Back Home (1992), Ernestine visited an aunt and uncle down South; this book explains how that journey came to happen. Read full book review >

THE LAST TALES OF UNCLE REMUS by Julius Lester
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

The fourth volume of a landmark retelling completes the roster, with Lester's witty contemporary voice ("I reckon I should push the pause button on this story 'cause you want to know how the axe could see her coming," or, "she did the laundry and...the colored clothes stood up and started singing a commercial") still serving the original tales' subversive humor with splendid originality. Read full book review >
I WANT TO BE by Thylias Moss
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

The untrammeled exuberance of a free-spirited youngster, eager to explore everything, sings through a poetic story. Read full book review >
A STARLIT SOMERSAULT DOWNHILL by Nancy Willard
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

In gossamer lyric verse, delicate as early snow, a whimsical tale of a reluctant rabbit who's persuaded to join his friend the bear in a long, safe winter sleep, only to find himself tossing and turning alone: " 'O prudent friend! Read full book review >
NEW SHOES FOR SILVIA by Johanna Hurwitz
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Far away in another America," little Silvia receives a treasured gift from Tia Rosita (who's in the US)—fine red shoes, too big for her to wear. Read full book review >
DRYLONGSO by Virginia Hamilton
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

In a concluding note, Hamilton discusses the origins of the name she gives Drylongso, "a youth imbued with simple human kindness. Read full book review >

DAVID'S SONGS by Colin Eisler
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

Though David's connection with many Psalms is tenuous, Eisler, an art historian, links together several dozen extracts that "share the same strong sound" and express the vision, faith, and humanity of a great leader. Read full book review >
BACK HOME by Gloria Jean Pinkney
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

In her picture-book debut, the author—as Donald Crews did in Bigmama's (1991, ALA Notable)—re-creates the childhood experience of coming from a northern city to visit relatives in the rural South. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

In a literary fable with a pleasing folkloric lilt, a respected YA novelist tells an inviting story about love. Read full book review >
JAHDU by Virginia Hamilton
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 29, 1980

"Elusive."
"I'm a streak of light! I'm a trick-maker! Read full book review >
ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred D. Taylor
Released: Oct. 1, 1976

"Taylor trusts to her material and doesn't try to inflate Cassie's role in these events, and though the strong, clear-headed Logan family is no doubt an idealization, their characters are drawn with quiet affection and their actions tempered with a keen sense of human fallibility."
At first Cassie Logan and her brothers, a year or so older than they were in the much briefer, gong of the Trees, (1975) are only dimly aware of rumors that two men have been killed and one badly burned by a white mob. Read full book review >
SONG OF THE TREES by Mildred D. Taylor
Released: April 1, 1975

"This is enough to make us feel their specialness, as elsewhere the prose is plain and direct the story al- is allowed to tell itself."
Song of the Trees, which won a Council on Interracial Books award, is based on one of the true stories the author's father used to tell about growing up black in Depression-era Mississippi. Read full book review >