The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrations Gallery

Welcome to the Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrations Gallery.  Here, you will find a collection of artwork from recent illustration winner and honor titles showcasing these outstanding illustrators and their beautiful books.  Click on the thumbnails to see  full size versions of the artwork and additional details. Check back often for new additions, and happy browsing! 

All images protected by copyright and used with permission.  

2012 Illustration Winner – Shane W. Evans, Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, written by Shane W. Evans (A Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint
of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, 2011).  Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Shane W. Evans.  Image courtesy of Macmillan.  


“[E]ffective interplay of dark and light—dark blues and greens that represent fear and oppression; bright golds that signal the joy of freedom—characterizes this portrayal of a band of slaves’
nighttime escape. They run, rest, get help from others, and finally celebrate their hard-won liberation.” – American Libraries


2011 Illustration Winner – Bryan Collier, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, written by Laban Carrick Hill (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., 2010). 
Artwork copyright © 2010 by Bryan Collier.  Image courtesy of Little, Brown and Company. 

“Collier’s gorgeous watercolor-and-collage illustrations [are] earth-toned, infused with pride, and [catch] his subjects in the most telling of poses. A beautiful introduction to a great lost artist.” –
Booklist

 

2011 Illustration Honor – Javaka Steptoe, illustrator of Jimi, Sounds Like a Rainbow: A story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, written by Gary Golio (Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt Publishing Co., 2010).Artwork copyright © 2010 by Javaka Steptoe.  Image courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

“[A] convincing portrait of a boy who was electrified by music and heard the world very differently from anyone else.  Steptoe’s chaotic, textured artwork screeches in feedback wails
on the page, filled with impressions in lieu of representations.” – Booklist

2010 Illustration Honor – E.B. Lewis, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, written by Langston Hughes (Disney-Jump at the Sun Books, 2009).  Artwork copyright © 2009  by E.B. Lewis. 

Image courtesy of Disney.

"Lewis illustrates the classic Langston Hughes poem named in this beautiful picture book’s title. Each spread pairs a line of poetry with soaring watercolor artwork. Like the poem,
the images celebrate African American strength through generations, and each picture is both timeless and weighted with history." - Booklist

 

Jackie Robinson, illustration from "We Are The Ship," Written & Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

“Jackie Robinson steals home past Cleveland Buckeye catcher, Quincy Trouppe.”

2009 Illustration Honor – Kadir Nelson, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, written by Kadir Nelson (Disney-Jump at the Sun Books, 2008).  Illustrations copyright © 2008 by
Kadir Nelson.  Image courtesy of Disney.



"Award-winning illustrator and first-time author Nelson’s history of the Negro Leagues, told from the vantage point of an unnamed narrator, reads like an old-timer regaling his grandchildren with
tales of baseball greats Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and others who forged the path toward breaking the race barrier before Jackie Robinson made his historic debut. The narrative showcases
the pride and comradery of the Negro Leagues, celebrates triumphing on one’s own terms and embracing adversity, even as it clearly shows the “us” and “them” mentality bred by segregation."
- Booklist

Josh Gibson, illustration from "We Are The Ship," written & illustrated by Kadir Nelson

“Josh Gibson”

2009 Illustration Honor – Kadir Nelson, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, written by Kadir Nelson (Disney-Jump at the Sun Books, 2008).  Illustrations copyright © 2008 by
Kadir Nelson.  Image courtesy of Disney.

"Award-winning illustrator and first-time author Nelson’s history of the Negro Leagues, told from the vantage point of an unnamed narrator, reads like an old-timer regaling his grandchildren with
tales of baseball greats Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and others who forged the path toward breaking the race barrier before Jackie Robinson made his historic debut. The narrative showcases
the pride and comradery of the Negro Leagues, celebrates triumphing on one’s own terms and embracing adversity, even as it clearly shows the “us” and “them” mentality bred by segregation."
- Booklist

2009 John Steptoe Award for New Talent– Shadra Strickland, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott (Lee & Low, 2008). Artwork copyright © 2008 by Shadra Strickland.  Image courtesy of Lee & Low.

“In this beautiful picture book…Elliott and Strickland tell a moving story in spare free verse and clear mixed-media pictures of an African American boy who loves to draw. The spacious scenes
of the boy beneath birds soaring high above the city streets echoes what Bird discovers: that art can inspire, comfort, and elevate.” – Booklist 

2009 John Steptoe Award for New Talent– Shadra Strickland, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott (Lee & Low, 2008). Artwork copyright © 2008 by Shadra Strickland.  Image courtesy of Lee & Low.

“In this beautiful picture book…Elliott and Strickland tell a moving story in spare free verse and clear mixed-media pictures of an African American boy who loves to draw. The spacious scenes
of the boy beneath birds soaring high above the city streets echoes what Bird discovers: that art can inspire, comfort, and elevate.” – Booklist 

 

2008 Illustration Winner – Ashley Bryan, Let It Shine, selected by Ashley Bryan (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, a division of Simon & Schuster, 2007). Artwork copyright 2007 by Ashley Bryan. 
Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

“Each double-page spread of this oversize picture book is an explosion of shapes and bright colors. Stocky figures, silhouetted against swirling colors are created from geometric shapes woven together.
This will be hard to read without breaking into song.” – Booklist

 

2007 Illustration Winner – Kadir Nelson, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2006). 
Artwork © 2006 by Kadir Nelson.  Image courtesy of Disney.

“[T]he strong emotional impact of Nelson’s illustrations combine with rich sensory language to make this book a work of art. Nelson’s bold and expressively detailed paintings capture the
essence of Harriet Tubman’s treacherous journey toward freedom. Double-page spreads use shades of blues, browns and golds to portray Tubman as a larger-than-life historical figure while
maintaining her full humanity.” – American Libraries

2004 Illustration Winner – Ashley Bryan, Beautiful Blackbird, written by Ashley Bryan (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, a division of Simon & Schuster, 2003). 
Artwork copyright © 2003 by Ashley Bryan.  Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

“Bryan employs boldly colored, cut-paper artwork to dramatize the action. The overlapping collage images fill the pages with energy as the songlike responses of the birds tap out a
rhythm punctuated with uh-huhs ." – Booklist