Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Recognizing an African American Illustrator of outstanding books for children

Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society.

Award Web Site: Coretta Scott King Book Awards

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Author: Kwame Alexander
2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Winner

The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

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Author: Ashley Bryan
2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

From celebrated author and illustrator Ashley Bryan comes a deeply moving picture book memoir about serving in the segregated army during World War II, and how love and the pursuit of art sustained him.

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Author: Lupita Nyong'o
2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

When five-year-old Sulwe's classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.

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Author: James Ransome
2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

Experience the hopeful and fearful emotions of a young slave girl and her family. Her brother and friends escaped the plantation. The friends were caught, her brother Ben didn't return. Did he make it to freedom?

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Author: Marion Dane Bauer
2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Winner

Before the universe was formed, before time and space existed, there was . . . nothing. But then . . . BANG Stars caught fire and burned so long that they exploded, flinging stardust everywhere. And the ash of those stars turned into planets. Into our Earth. And into us. In a poetic text, Marion Dane Bauer takes readers from the trillionth of a second when our universe was born to the singularities that became each one of us, while vivid illustrations by Ekua Holmes capture the void before the Big Bang and the ensuing life that burst across galaxies. A seamless blend of science and art, this picture book reveals the composition of our world and beyond -- and how we are all the stuff of stars.

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Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math...really good. They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as "colored computers," and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

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Author: Monica Clark-Robinson
2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison's emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson's moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.

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Author: Alice Faye Duncan
2019 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city's refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.

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Author: Kwame Alexander
2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Winner

In "Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets," Ekua Holmes's mixed-media collage images balance the tone and tenor of the new poems created by the authors, while paying homage to each of the featured poets in the subtle detailas extracted from various aspects. 

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Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor
A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.
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Author: Derrick Barnes
2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cuthair.

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Author: Javaka Steptoe
2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Winner

Illustrated by: Javaka Steptoe

Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. This book introduces young readers to the powerful message and art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.

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Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie

As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square.

 

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Author: Ashley Bryan
2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

Illustrated by: Ashley Bryan

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away

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Author: Richard Jackson
2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - Honor

Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney

An ailing grandfather and his helpful granddaughter play a unique game of seek and find.