In a personal journey of remembrances, Gloria Jean Pinkney shows how she came to recognize the many miraculous events in her life. In her engaging voice, Ms. Pinkney narrates thirty-three short "tellings" and uses quotes from the Bible to frame each story. This heartfelt work offers an inspiring call for her readers to enter their own "Forest of Remembrance." As Clifton Taulbert writes in his wonderful foreword, "As we read, we will be challenged to become 'dear hearers' within our own daily lives. This book will help many to personalize and anticipate the joy of 'unselfish living.'"
A book to be shared with the whole family, this spiritual memoir is also a family project. Ms. Pinkney's husband, Jerry, and two of their sons, Brian and Myles, provide illustrations, with each artist using a different medium.
About the Author
Gloria Jean Pinkney was born in Lumberton North Carolina where she set her first book BackHome. While attending high school in Philadelphia she met her husband illustrator JerryPinkney who attributes much of his success to her long-standing involvement in hiswork.
Over the years Gloria has collaborated with Jerry in making quality books for children. She hashired his models assembled costumes photographed sets and helped him research. Today shecontinues to be closely involved with the illustration process. Back Home marked anew collaboration between the Pinkneys the first book written by Gloria and illustrated byJerry the product of a long happy and productive partnership.
Back Home evolved out of a family reunion in Lumberton North Carolina. Itrekindled some old memories and I realized how much history there was in my own family. WhenI came home and started thinking about it I knew I was ready to write a book. The story is basedon a trip I took to Lumberton when I was eight years old. I named the main character Ernestine after my mother and dedicated the book to her. The book has received widespread acclaim andSmithsonian said that it deserves to become an heirloom.
The Sunday Outing Gloria's latest book is the prequel to Back Home.She says, When I was a youngster my great aunt and I would often spend warm summerSundays at North Philadelphia station. My fantasy while watching the trains pass through was tosomeday board a North Carolina train and visit the place where I was born. In The SundayOuting, through Ernestine, Gloria s dreams become reality. Publishers Weeklysaid, Gloria Pinkney skillfully captures the fidgety impatience of childhood.
For the past few years Gloria has been traveling around the country speaking to children andadults about the making of picture books. She lives with her husband Jerry in WestchesterCounty New York and she is currently working on a third book about Ernestine. The Pinkneyshave four adult children, all of whom are working in the creative arts and six grandchildren.Children's book illustrator Brian Pinkney - their oldest son - says of his parents:"They have suchrespect for each other. I think that's why they have been so successful as a couple". copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Jerry Pinkney has been illustrating children's books since 1964 and has the rare distinction of being the recipient of:
Five Caldecott Honor Medals
Five Coretta Scott King Awards
Four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards (most recently 2006 Little Red Hen)
Four Gold and four Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators
Boston Globe Honor Book Award (John Henry 1994)
In addition to his work on children's books, he is an extremely successful artist who has had eleven one-man retrospectives at venues ranging from the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists to the Art Institute of Chicago. His current one-man show entitled, "Building Bridges, the Art of Jerry Pinkney" was organized by the Pittsburgh Children's Museum and will be traveling through 1998. Mr. Pinkney has illustrated for a wide variety of clients, including National Geographic , the National Parks Service, the U.S. Postal Service, the American Library Association and the Association of Booksellers for Children.
Born in Philadelphia in 1939, Jerry Pinkney states, "(I) took an interest in drawing very early in my life, and at some point I realized I'd rather sit and draw than do almost anything else." While growing up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia his interest in art was supported by hisfamily especially by his mother. "She certainly understood me and made it clear to everyone that if art was what I wanted to pursue, then that's what she wanted to have happen. My father also became very supportive, and when I wanted to take art classes after school he found ways for me to attend."
In junior high school Mr. Pinkney had a newsstand and took a drawing pad with him to work every day and sketched passersby. That was how he met the cartoonist John Liney, who encouraged him to draw and showed him the possibilities of making a living as an artist.
After graduating from the commercial art program at Dobbins Vocational School, where he met his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney received a full scholarship to attend the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts). While at PCA he and Gloria married. After their first child was born, they moved to Boston, where Mr. Pinkney worked as a designer at Rustcraft Greeting Card Company, and at Barker-Black Studio where he developed his reputation as an illustrator. Eventually he opened Kaleidoscope Studio with two other artists. Later he opened his own freelance studio Jerry Pinkney Studio and moved to New York. Sensitivity to and an interest in a variety of cultures has always been a dominant theme of Mr. Pinkney s work. He has also drawn inspiration for a significant part of his work from African American culture. Among his numerous projects are his twelve postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service Black Heritage series. Mr. Pinkney was a member of its Advisory Committee for ten years and he was also invited to join the NASA artist team for the space shuttle Columbia. "I wanted to show that an African American artist could make it on a national level in the graphic arts. I want to be a strong role model for my family and for other African Americans."
Many of Mr. Pinkney's children's books celebrate multicultural and African American themes. "Working on both the Uncle Remus tales and John Henry has shown me an important link between pivotal and opposite African American folk heroes. Brer Rabbit, the sly trickster, originated during slavery and was the first African American folk hero. Slaves who wanted to get the better of their masters needed to be cunning and sly hence the trickster role. However, later comes John Henry, a free man, whose strength and valor bring him fame. He was a strong folk hero for African Americans, a symbol of all the working men who made a major contribution to the building of the roads and railroads in the mountains of West Virginia a dangerous job for which many paid with their lives."
Mr. Pinkney's two latest books areThe Little Red Hen and The Old African by Julius Lester (illustrated by Jerry Pinkney). Books give me a great feeling of personal and artistic satisfaction. When I'm working on a book, I wish the phone would never ring. I love doing it. My satisfaction comes from the actual marks on the paper, and when it sings, it's magic".
Jerry and Gloria Pinkney live in Westchester County, New York. The Pinkneys have four children: Troy, Scott, Brian, and Myles, and seven grandchildren. Two of the Pinkney's children are also involved in children's book illustration, Brian through illustrations, and Myles throughphotography. In addition to illustrating children's books and other projects, Mr. Pinkney has also been an art professor at the University of Delaware and State University of New York at Buffalo. He has given workshops and been a guest lecturer at universities and art schools across thecountry.