Call Number
Material Type
Big Flats Library 1 J B BASQUIAT New Juvenile NonFiction Book
Bookmobile Chemung County 1 J B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 JB BASQUIAT Juvenile Fiction Book
Cuba Circulating Library Association 1 J B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 J B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
Hornell Public Library 1 E 920 BASQUIAT Juvenile Fiction Book
Horseheads Free Library 1 E B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
Montour Falls Memorial Library 1 E S Juvenile Fiction Book
Odessa - Dutton S. Peterson Memorial Library 1 J B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
Penn Yan Public Library 1 E BASQUIAT Juvenile Fiction Book
Watkins Glen Public Library 1 CALDECOTT B BASQUIAT Juvenile Fiction Book
Watkins Glen Public Library 2 CALDECOTT B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library 1 J B BASQUIAT Juvenile NonFiction Book
West Elmira Library 1 J B BASQUIAT Juvenile Paperback Non Fiction Book

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Winner of the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner of the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award An IndieBound Bestseller
Somewhere in Brooklyn, a little boy dreams of being a famous artist, not knowing that one day he would make himself a king.

Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world 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. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.

Author Notes

Javaka Steptoe received a bachelor of fine arts degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He is an artist, designer, and illustrator. His debut work, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. His other books include Do You Know What I'll Do? written by Charlotte Zolotow, A Pocketful of Poems written by Nikki Grimes, Rain Play written by Cynthia Cotton, Amiri and Odette: A Love Story written by Walter Dean Myers, and Hot Day on Abbott Avenue written by Karen English, which received the 2005 Jane Addams Children's Book Award. Steptoe is the author and illustrator of The Jones Family Express and Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, which received the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Beautifully evoking his subject's exuberant, colorful, and playful art style in jostling paintings on scraps of found wood, Steptoe introduces young readers to Basquiat's childhood and early career. Born in Brooklyn, Basquiat loved art early, and with the encouragement of his similarly artistic mother, he actively pursued his dream of being a famous artist, finding creative inspiration not only at museums but also in the color and rhythm of the city around him. Basquiat's signature style sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still beautiful should appeal in particular to kids who find joy in free-form scribbles, and that same spirit animates Steptoe's collage illustrations. Thickly laid paints and exploded perspectives in bright hues depict scenes from Basquiat's life and highlight some of his iconic imagery, like golden cartoon crowns, eyeballs, and vehicles scattered everywhere. There's no mention of his problems with addiction or untimely death; rather, the book closes with him achieving his dream, crown overhead and surrounded by clipped headlines about his work. A lively, engaging introduction to a one-of-a-kind artist perfect for art-loving kids.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this visually arresting and vibrantly narrated biography, Steptoe (In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall) charts the childhood of incandescent, ill-fated artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). Although the book includes no work by Basquiat himself, Steptoe emulates 1980s street art by layering paint, paper scraps, paint tubes, and photos on found-wood panels. The artist, Steptoe writes, learned to see art in the "messy patchwork of the city," the "street games of little children," and the "terrible blues" of growing up. Basquiat's early influences include his Puerto Rican mother, Matilde, who encourages him with museum visits and with the textbook Gray's Anatomy. Poetry and his Haitian father's jazz records fuel his imagination, too: "His drawings are not neat or clean, nor does he color inside the lines." Basquiat's radiance was suffused with trauma, and Steptoe alludes to Matilde's mental illness and Basquiat's teenage strife ("His mother's mind is not well, and the family breaks"). Passing references to Warhol, Haring, graffiti, and Basquiat's heroin overdose appear in the afterword: "Basquiat lived an exhilarating life, but... he struggled with a drug addiction until his death." Overall, Steptoe focuses on Basquiat's meteoric rise, and readers see the artist smiling as he walks on the gritty Lower East Side. Collaged photographs picture a crowded gallery, and Steptoe concludes in the present tense: "He is now a famous artist!" Steptoe downplays tragic elements, instead celebrating Basquiat's irreverence and brilliance. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-5-One extraordinary artist illuminates another in this textured, heartfelt picture book biography of the 1980s cultural phenom. Employing signature features of Jean-Michel Basquiat's work-vibrant colors, found objects, repeated motifs-Steptoe allows his own emotionally rich style to shine through the artistic and biographical references dotting the illustrations. Pieces of discarded wood from Basquiat's stomping grounds fit together to form the painted surfaces for Steptoe's scenes of the Afro Puerto Rican artist, each unfolding within a colored frame. Occasional collage elements of newsprint, photographs, and art materials add dimension and immediacy, highlighting both artists' immersion in their work and surroundings. Adhering to a straightforward chronology, Steptoe addresses events in Basquiat's life primarily as they affected his artistic growth from young boyhood in Brooklyn through the triumphant years as a critical and popular success in Manhattan. With minimal detail, the author sensitively touches upon his subject's childhood car crash and his mother's mental illness, though the story avoids his drug use and stops before his early death. Crucial back matter provides context for readers in every respect. Additional biographical information fleshes out the lyrical text of the main narrative, and an introduction to symbolism in Basquiat's work helps readers appreciate the layers at play in Steptoe's illustrations. An author's note articulates feelings that radiate from every page of the book: Steptoe's admiration for and attachment to Basquiat and his personal investment in depicting a complicated, loving relationship between a child and a mentally ill parent. VERDICT Pairing simple text with expressive, encompassing illustrations, this excellent title offers a new generation a fittingly powerful introduction to an artistic luminary.-Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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