Mentor Public Library: Telling a People’s Story: Illustrated Literature for African American Children

June 1, 2021

Our main branch is hosting a special exhibit this summer that showcases art found in African American children’s picture books.

Telling a People’s Story: African American Illustrated Children’s Literature includes 130 works of art by 33 artists from 95 books and covers 50 years of creativity. Featured artists include Caldecott medalists and laureates like John Steptoe, Leo and Diane Dillon, Javaka Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney and EB Lewis.

The exhibition is organized by the Miami University Art Museum with a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. This is the first major museum exhibit devoted to art found in the pages of African-American children’s picture books.

Through 12 panels, the exhibition follows the story of a people from African origins to slavery and segregation through the Harlem Renaissance, the great migration, the era of civil rights and modern times.

Tell the story of a people uses multimedia paintings, pastels, drawings and illustrations to celebrate the complex and diverse African-American experience through a lens aimed at children and young readers.

The exhibition is free from June 3 to August 29 in the lobby of our main branch. All are invited to see it. Children 12 and under can win a small prize by reading the books featured in the exhibit.


This press release was produced by Mentor public library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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Adam Gray

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