Friday, March 20, 2009

Book Review

Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit
The Drawings of Kadir Nelson With the Words of Barack Obama
The African American Book Review Bestows Its Highest Rating of Superior Upon This Book.

It may have been a stroke of genius that led to the marrying of the eloquent words of Barack Obama to the masterwork of Kadir Nelson. The result is an exceptional piece of literary work, a children’s book titled, Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit. Readers are whisked into the political climate of the Nation as then Senatorial Candidate, Barack Obama delivers the keynote address at the 2004 National Democratic Convention in Boston Massachuttes. The book progresses from 2004 through 2008 as the positive quotes of Barack Obama pepper its pages and intermingle with the impeccable style of the black and white images of Kadir Nelson’s art.

The book contains the quotes from the speeches made at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, DC in 2006, on Super Tuesday in Chicago, Illinois in 2008, and from Barack Obama’s speech titled, “A More Perfect Union” delivered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In November 2008 after winning the election for President, Barack Obama’s historical words of change are placed inside the book along with one of the many memorable illustrations by Kadir Nelson. Although this book is categorized as a Children’s book, it is not without merit to say that it is worthy of being enjoyed by adults.

It is indeed rare that an artist comes along whose works are lauded in his time. Such an artist is Kadir Nelson, whose magnificent illustrations are worthy of the accolades bestowed upon him. Kadir Nelson began drawing at the tender age of 3 and studied art with his Uncle, Michael Morris who was an instructor and an Artist. Kadir is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. His illustrations have garnered him many awards including twice receiving the Caldecott Honor and the prestigious Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Mr. Nelson’s honors include receiving the NAACP Image Award for two of his books, Ellington Was Not A Street and Please, Puppy Please.

Kadir Nelson has created art for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The New Yorker, as well as the United States Postal Service. He was the conceptual artist for Steven Spielberg’s film Amistad and the animated feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron. His most recent book is The New York Times best seller and Coretta Scott King Image Award winner to which he makes his authorial debut, We Are The Ship: The Story of The Negro League Baseball. Kadir Nelson lives with his family in San Diego, California.

Kadir Nelson’s website is
Book Details
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Release Date: January 2009
ISBN:9781416989554 (HC)
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 64
A Few Of The 21 Books Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Change Has Come Drawings of Kadir Nelson With The Words of Barack Obama

All God’s Critters by Bill Staines, IllustratedBy Kadir Nelson

Go Long! By Ronde Barber and Tiki Barber, with Paul Mantell, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Kickoff! By Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber, with Paul Mantell, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Michael’s Golden Rules By Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Please, Puppy Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Child Magazine’s Top Book of the Year

Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life by Jerdine Nolen, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
A Bank Street College of education Best Children’s Book of the Year
A CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Society of Illustrators Gold Medal
Ellington Was Not A Street by Ntozake Shange, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
ALA Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) choice
A Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best” Selection
An NAACP Image Award Nominee
An NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts
A New York Public Library “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing” Selection
Once Upon a World Award (Simon Wiesenthal Center & Museum of Tolerance)
Parent’s Choice Award
Salt In His Shoes: Michael Jordan In Pursuit Of A Dream by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Children’s Crown Award
Reviewed By D. Jago-Trice


Anonymous said...

I LOVE the cover of the book Ellington was not a street. The little girl reminds me of myself.
I would like to have some of this artist's work, he's amazing, obviously.
There is nothing like witnessing someone's God given talent and they utilizing it to the fullest.
Thanks for posting artists such as these, exposure is important and it's nice to see them being supported via a forum such as this.
..would love to see more posts like this please!