Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Harlem by Walter Dean Myers, ill. Christopher Myers
Recently I took a trip to NYC and was, for reasons that will soon become clear, reminded of this great work by Walter Dean Myers and his son Chris. Funny thing is, I have a bit of difficulty figuring out if this book is as well remembered as it used to be. Now when I lived in NYC it was all over the place but that was (A) almost 20 years ago and (B) in the same town where this book takes place. Maybe not the best place to get a unimpeded understanding of its longevity. At any rate, it won itself a Caldecott Honor so I figure it’s well worth discussing today.
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I allude to this in the beginning of the show. Here is the book about Jacob Lawrence, Jake Makes a World. They just had it sitting out to look at in the MOMA next to a Jacob Lawrence exhibit. This is a GREAT idea. Every museum should put picture books about great artists sitting on the benches by those artists on display. This one was actually published by MOMA, so they may be biased, but it’s a neat notion.
Extra points to Chris for this dedication. As I mention to Kate, one of these days I’m going to collect the best children’s book dedications out there.
We admire the floral wallpaper that is made to resemble water bursting forth from a fire hydrant.
Kate and I got into a whole discussion about whether or not overalls are 90s or not. Looking at this picture, she was trying to establish the time period of the book itself.
Kate figured early on that this is her favorite picture in the whole book. Is it weird that I particularly love the angle of this guy’s foot?
We recorded this podcast just after the shooting in Uvalde. This part of the poem hits a little harder now.
How many Caldecott winners and honors contain a portrait of the illustrator inside? So far, I can name one!
Betsy Recommends: The Third Person by Emma Grove. Still working on it. It is, AMAZING!
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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