An inspiring memoir of one of the most acclaimed children’s book illustrators of all time, sharing the story of a young artist who finds the courage to follow his passion against all odds.
Jerry Pinkney drew everywhere, all the time. It was how he made sense of the world—how he coped with the stress of being a sensitive child growing up in crowded spaces, struggling with a learning disability, in a time when the segregation of Black Americans was the norm. Only drawing could offer him a sense of calm, control, and confidence. When friends and siblings teased him about having the nickname “Jerry” as his only name, his mother always said, “Just ‘Jerry’ is enough. He’ll make something of that name someday.” And so he did, eventually becoming one of the most celebrated children’s book illustrators of all time and paving the way for countless other Black artists.
Jerry’s vivid recollections and lively sketchbook drawings of his youth in postwar America tell an inspiring story of how a hardworking boy pursued his passion in less-than-ideal circumstances and became a legendary artist against all odds.
Editor’s note. Photographs and reproductions. Timeline of key dates and select accomplishments. Black-and-white sketches.