This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Jeanne Walker Harvey. All opinions are my own.
Whether you know of painter Alma Thomas or are learning of her work for the first time, this inspiring true story is a celebration of art, joy and determination.
~Ali Dunn, Me Two Books
Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrated by Loveis Wise
Ages 4-8 | 40 Pages
Publisher: HarperCollins | ISBN-13: 9780063021891
Publisher’s Synopsis: Celebrate the life-changing power of art in this inspiring and stunningly illustrated picture book biography of American artist Alma Thomas.
Meet an incredible woman who broke down barriers throughout her whole life and is now known as one of the most preeminent painters of the 20th century. Told from the point of view of young Alma Thomas, readers can follow along as she grows into her discovery of the life-changing power of art.
Ablaze with Color includes extensive backmatter with photos, an author’s and illustrator’s note, a timeline, and a list of sources and resources, which will be a great tool for parents, educators, and librarians. Perfect for Women’s History Month and Black History Month units.
Jeanne Walker Harvey has been a longtime docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Just like Alma Thomas, Jeanne believes that art brings us joy. Her other picture books include Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey. Jeanne studied literature and psychology at Stanford University. She lives in Northern California.
Loveis Wise is an illustrator and designer from Washington, DC. They are currently based in Los Angeles and their work often speaks to themes of joy and liberation. Their work can be found through the New Yorker, Google, Adobe, and the New York Times.
Me Two Books Review
Themes: breaking down barriers, art, real-life story, female empowerment
How does a young nature-loving girl born in the segregated South become the first African- American woman to have a painting displayed in the White House? Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas is a biographical picture book that beautifully answers this question. Alma learned early in life that helping others is important as her family and community provided the education and support that she was denied outside of her home. After her family moved to the North, she studied art and devoted her life to helping children through art education programs and opportunities. It wasn't until she was 70 years old that she switched her focus to her own work. Work that was inspiring, uplifting, and ablaze with color. Whether you already knew of painter Alma Thomas or are learning of her work for the first time, this inspiring true story is a celebration of art, joy and determination.
This book was a joy to read and a joy to look at. The illustrations by Loveis Wise capture the colors and happiness that are a hallmark of Alma's work beautifully.
Enter for a chance to win a classroom set of the picture book Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas!
Three (3) winners receive:
A classroom set of Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, autographed and personalized for each student and the teacher by Jeanne Walker Harvey (no more than 30 books per set).