Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Legacy of Jerry Pinkney

Today I pay tribute to book illustrator Jerry Pinkney who died yesterday, leaving a legacy of over 100 books. Not all were picture books, but much of his great talent was seen in the pages of beautiful picture books. He was the recipient of many awards & medals, including the Caldecott medals & The Children's Literacy Legacy Award

I first discovered Jerry Pinkney years ago in Mirandy and Brother Wind. His author partner was Patricia McKissack. Here's a link to a read-aloud and a musical based on this joyful and humorous book that beautifully captures tweens of an earlier time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpEeB1jq-y4.

Both beautiful and joyful, this picture book classic would be a great book for connecting the concept of wind to The Holy Spirit, a common idea in our scriptures. Mirandy wants to catch the wind to do her bidding at a cake walk. We humans all have an inclination to have God do our bidding. Additionally, there is such joy when the children dance with the wind! This book could be an intriguing book to read on Pentecost Sunday.

I'm a bit perplexed as to why I don't have Mirandy or more of Jerry Pinkney's books here. Likely, it's a matter of too many books so little time. He illustrated many classic tales. Below you'll see a PBT link to 1 of those old stories along with 2 other books of newer stories. A 4th PBT book is illustrated by his son, Brian, a celebrated illustrator as well. Both Jerry & Brian were often in partnership with their wives, who authored many of the books. These 4 artists have made a tremendous impact on the picture book world and the lives of countless children and "children at heart" who love their gorgeous and meaningful books.    

This I tied to Genesis 1 & Psalm 8:3 (When I look at the heavens...).    

I tied this book to scriptures about loving your neighbor.

For this book about the library, I chose these scriptures: John 8:32 (…the truth shall set you free.) & Galatians 5:13 (For you were called to freedom...).

Micah 6:8 (What does God require...) and Romans 12:2 (Do not be conformed to this world...) were easily tied to this tremendous book!

I implore you to explore the legacy of Jerry Pinkney and consider the many ways his books can illustrate faith. Thank you, Mr. Pinkney!

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