IT JES' HAPPENED by Don Tate
Best of 2012
Kirkus Star

IT JES' HAPPENED

When Bill Traylor Started To Draw
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

Tate and Christie capture the spirit behind the work of Bill Traylor, “one of the most important self-taught American folk artists of the twentieth century.”

Traylor went from slavery to sharecropping to raising his family in rural Alabama. In his early 80s, having outlived his family, he moved to Montgomery, sleeping on sidewalks and in doorways and alleys. In his loneliness, he dwelt upon “the saved-up memories of earlier times,” and with the sidewalk as his studio, began drawing. He drew cats, cups, snakes, birds and what he saw around him in Montgomery: the blacksmith’s shop, people walking dogs, men in tall hats and women in long dresses. Christie must feel himself a kindred spirit to Bill Traylor, his acrylic and gouache illustrations sharing Traylor’s palette of rich color, whimsical humor and sense of play with the human form. In his debut as a picture-book author, Tate crafts prose that is clear and specific, the lively text sometimes surrounded by playful figures cavorting off the pages as Traylor draws them. Though an author’s note is provided, an artist’s note would have been welcome.

An important picture-book biography that lovingly introduces this “outsider” artist to a new generation. (source notes, afterword) (Picture book/biography. 6-11)


Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60060-260-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lee & Low
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2012




BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF 2012: REACHING BACK INTO TIME:

Children FIFTY CENTS AND A DREAM by Jabari Asim
by Jabari Asim
Children ELECTRIC BEN by Robert Byrd
by Robert Byrd
Children HEROES OF THE SURF by Elisa Carbone
by Elisa Carbone
Children THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE by Christopher Paul Curtis
by Christopher Paul Curtis

MORE BY DON TATE

ChildrenTHE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN by Eve Bunting
by Eve Bunting
ChildrenHOPE'S GIFT by Kelly Starling Lyons
by Kelly Starling Lyons
ChildrenDUKE ELLINGTON'S <i>NUTCRACKER SUITE</i> by Anna Harwell Celenza
by Anna Harwell Celenza

MORE BY R. GREGORY CHRISTIE

ChildrenWHEN THUNDER COMES by J. Patrick Lewis
by J. Patrick Lewis
ChildrenNO CRYSTAL STAIR by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
ChildrenROOTS AND BLUES by Arnold Adoff
by Arnold Adoff

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenACTION JACKSON by Jan Greenberg
by Jan Greenberg
ChildrenA SPLASH OF RED by Jen Bryant
by Jen Bryant
ChildrenASHLEY BRYAN by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan