Just Jerry: How Drawing Shaped My Life

Little, Brown. Jan. 2023. 160p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316383851.
Gr 3-7–The artistry of the late Jerry Pinkney has captured readers for decades. Now his memoir takes us into his life and the influences that set him on the path to Caldecott and Coretta Scott King awards. The letters of his name on the book’s cover serve as windows into some of his well-known illustrations, such as The Lion and the Mouse and The Grasshopper and the Ants. Those glimpses, along with a drawing of young Pinkney and his sketchbooks, show readers the beginning and end of the journey that his memoir will describe. The narrative is divided into three sections that explore his family and home life, neighborhood and friends, and then his introduction to art as a possible career path. Pinkney had planned to add many detailed drawings. Although that was not possible, the sketches that are included give a sense of intimacy, as if readers are looking over his shoulder while he works. Due to his own childhood experience with dyslexia, the font used is designed to be reader-friendly to make the book more accessible. The epilogue includes photos of him, his siblings and parents, his wife and children, and cover images from some of the books he illustrated. A time line covers key dates from his life and career.
VERDICT A must-have for school libraries; perfect for author studies, lessons on book awards, and all fans of Pinkney’s work.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing