Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustrations, EMIERT/ALA
Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Best Books, Kirkus Reviews
Editor's Favorites, The Bloomsbury Review
Notable Children's Book, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
Children's Books of the Year, Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
Story Telling World Award, Storytelling Magazine
In this gentle, award-winning picture book, an African American boy nicknamed Bird uses drawing as a creative outlet as he struggles to make sense of his grandfather's death and his brother's drug addiction.
Young Mekhai, better known as Bird, loves to draw. With drawings, he can erase the things that don't turn out right. In real life, problems aren't so easily fixed.
As Bird struggles to understand the death of his beloved grandfather and his older brother's drug addiction, he escapes into his art. Drawing is an outlet for Bird's emotions and imagination, and provides a path to making sense of his world. In time, with the help of his grandfather's friend, Bird finds his own special somethin' and wings to fly.
Told with spare grace, Bird is a touching look at a young boy coping with real-life troubles. Readers will be heartened by Bird's quiet resilience, and moved by the healing power of putting pencil to paper.
Bird, the recipient of Lee & Low's New Voices Award Honor, is the first picture book of both Zetta Elliot and Shadra Strickland.
About the Author
Zetta Elliott is an accomplished poet, playwright, author, and African American studies scholar. As a young girl she loved to escape into a good book and began writing as a way to create "a world that was better than my own." Elliott lives in Brooklyn, New York. To learn more about Zetta Elliot, visit her at ZettaElliott.com or at her blog, Fledgling. Shadra Strickland is the illustrator of several children's books including Lee & Low's Bird, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustration. Along with illustrating and writing stories, Strickland loves to make drawings during her travels around the country and the world. She lives in Baltimore, where she also teaches illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her website is jumpin.shadrastrickland.com.