Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is a naturally gifted artist whose extraordinary talent continues to develop and be discovered. Before the age of 30, Nelson had already illustrated children's books, sold paintings to celebrities, and worked on a movie directed by Steven Spielberg.

Nelson received the 2012 Coretta Scott King Award for writing and illustrating Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. In 2007 Kadir Nelson received a Caldecott Honor for his evocative illustrations in Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. In 2008 he won a second Caldecott Honor for his artwork in Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad.

Books by This Author

Nelson Mandela

Age Level: 6-9

"This picture-book biography matches Mandela's outsize achievements with large, powerful images, resulting in a presentation that will seize and hold readers' attention…Nelson's paintings range from poignant, when Mandela's mother tells him good-bye as he leaves home for more education at the age of nine, to exuberant, when Mandela and 100 men arrested for protesting apartheid respond by dancing and singing, to inspiring, when people organize rallies demanding his release. When freedom finally comes, 'a colorful sea of people' celebrate." — School Library Journal

We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball

Age Level: 9-12

An introduction by baseball great Hank Aaron opens this riveting look at the history of the Negro League. A large format supports revealing portraits of League players and an absorbing narration revealed in nine innings. Endnotes and further readings conclude this memorable and accessible history.

Books by This Illustrator

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9
At just over 5 feet tall, no one thought Mamie Johnson, also known as "Peanut" because of her size, would become a baseball star. But she sure could pitch! The author collaborated with the actual Mamie Johnson to tell the riveting — and real — story of how Peanut Johnson became one of three women to play professionally in the Negro Baseball League.

Abe's Honest Words

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9
A straightforward overview of Lincoln's life is punctuated by Lincoln's words and commanding images. Additional resources for further reading and research are included as are sources used in this unforgettable book.

Brothers of the Knight

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9
In a little "village called Harlem" a Preacher Knight tries to solve the mystery of worn out sneakers – only to discover that his sons are as fond of dancing as is (surprise!) their father. This parody of the Grimm folktale is recast in a fresh, funny, contemporary, and very hip setting – in both word and image.

Coretta Scott

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9

"Unflinching verse and elegant imagery combine in a powerful, evocative, picture-book portrait of Coretta Scott King. As stated on the cover, Shange uses poetry to recount Coretta Scott's life, from her childhood to her marriage with Martin Luther King, Jr. On the final page, the author offers a linear, prose biography, adding context to her more abstract references in the poetry." — Booklist

Crazy Horse's Vision

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Joseph Bruchac tells the compelling story of how a young boy named Curly seeks a vision in the hope of saving his people — and grows into the brave and fierce warrior Crazy Horse. Sioux artist S. D. Nelson's paintings, in the traditional ledger style of the Plains Indians, evokes the drama and the tragedy of this important American figure.

Ellington Was Not a Street

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9
Handsome illustrations of Shange's evocative poem, "Mood Indigo," pay homage to the many African American icons and visionaries who came to the author's house when she was a child. From W.E.B. DuBois to Duke Ellington, the people we now know as luminaries are seen from the perspective of a young girl. This book is sure to generate discussion.

Henry's Freedom Box

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9
This riveting account is based on the true story of Henry Brown, a slave who literally mailed himself to freedom. Dramatic illustrations show what young Henry endured during his grueling trip to Pennsylvania.

Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9
A normal-sized boy may not be so normal when born into a family of giants. And, that's just what happens to Hewitt – and his story makes a rousing tale of colossal proportions, told in lively language and larger-than-life illustrations.

I Have a Dream

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9

Perhaps one of the best known speeches of the 20th century, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" has been combined with lush paintings in a large format for a new generation. Included in this stunning book is a CD of Dr. King's original speech.

Pages