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Author/Illustrator Spotlight: Kadir Nelson

Blue Sky White Stars [1]


Kadir Nelson is a painter, author and illustrator of numerous books for children. Nelson writes and illustrates his own books as well as partnering with authors to illustrate their books. He has teamed up with the authors Spike Lee, Nikki Grimes, Will Smith, Matt de la Peña, Barack Obama and more.

One of Mr. Nelson’s most notable interests, reflected in the stories he chooses to tell in his paintings and in his books, is African American history. Listen here as he talks about why:


Coretta Scott King Honor and Award for Author and/or Illustration:

NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Literary Work, Children’s:

Caldecott Medal Honor Award:

eBooks & eAudio:

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Coretta Scott [22]A Nation's Hope Boxing Legend Joe Louis [23]Blue Sky White Stars [24]Heart and Soul [25]I Have a Dream [26]

Print Books:

Change Has Come [27]Nelson Mandela [15]Abraham Lincoln [28]Moses [10]Baby Bear [29]He's Got the Whole World in His Hands [30]If You Plant a Seed [17]We Are the Ship [11]All God's Critters [31]Big Jabe [32]Brothers of the Knight [33]Dancing in the Wings [34]Ellington Was Not a Street [9]Henry's Freedom Box [18]Hewitt Anderson's Big Life [35]Just the Two of Us [35]Mama Miti [36]Please Baby Please [37]Please Puppy Please [38]Salt in His Shoes [39]Testing the Ice [39]The Real Slam Dunk [40]Thunder Rose [8]Under the Christmas Tree [41]

More about Black History:

To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture [54] at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.


WeNeedDiverseBooks Logo [55]To get young people engaged, one of the things they need is to see themselves in books. It is important for all of us to see ourselves in books, because that encourages us to read in a different way and encourages us to write more.” ~ Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott Founder of the African American Read-in #weneeddiversebooks [55]

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