Maira's Books

In January of 2005 I started this blog as a record of books I’ve read as I was afraid I would forget what I have read. I have often referred back to my own blog to remember a book's contents or see what I have read by an author. I have enjoyed passing my books on to friends or recommending books to read. I know I have missed recording some, but in general I try to keep up with what I have read or listened to.

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Location: Kalamazoo, MI, United States

I am a librarian at Waldo Library at Western Michigan University.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe (2016)

Subtitle: The story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Got to keep up with those Caldecott books. This is the story of an artist in New York (OK, so he grew up in Brooklyn with a Puerto Rican mother and father from Haiti. I've definitely seen his work, but knew nothing about this artist who drew as a child, moved into graffiti and then became a successful, well know artist with a message against capitalism, colonialism and those with power in the late 1970's and 1980's.

Steptoe, the author/illustrator of this book has created interesting pieces of art on every page. The illustrations are painted on boards, which give them a rugged authentic look. He has recreated Basquiat's work through his own interpretation. He even recreated Picasso's Guernica, which must have been fun. Steptoe tells a story for children, but then in the back there is some more biographical information. Since I love historical fiction, especially art history fiction, I enjoyed this book.

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