• Non-Fiction
  • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat


It is amazing the difference one life can make in the world.

This is the story of a boy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York and dreamed of being a great artist.  All around him the city pulsed and throbbed with its life and its colors and its smells and its sounds.  For Jean-Michel every molecule translated itself into color and line and shape.

His mother, Mathilde, a Puerto Rican woman, filled his house with design and color and creativity.  She lay on the floor with her son as he drew and painted hour after hour and day after day.  His paintings and drawings were sloppy and messy and beautiful.  He learns to see the whole world as art ...every scene, every human being..could be described and mirrored and celebrated through the brilliant images that came into Jean-Michel's head.

In the 1980s he took his art to the streets of New York using whatever materials were at hand.

Javaka Steptoe's heart and soul walked in tandem with that of Jean-Michel Basquiat's heart and soul as Javaka used Basquiat's techniques to show us the wonder of the art and being of this great artist whose life ended early.

This is the Caldecott Medal winner announced in 2017.  A beautiful story to inspire children to let their own art flow from within without worry about rules and methods and to learn to see the beauty that is in the thriving lives and scenes in their own neighborhoods.

40 pages           978-0316213882                       Ages 6-9

Keywords:  diversity, diverse books, Black Lives Matter, role of the individual, Diversity: Self Image, art, artist, biography, 6 year old, y year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, Caldecott Medal winner, Latinx, Latino, Latina

Winner of the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal
Winner of the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
NPR Best Books of 2016
Washington Post Best Books of 2016
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016
School Library Journal Best Books of 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2016
Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of 2016
New York Public Library 2016 Best Books for Kids
Chicago Public Library 2016 Best Books for Kids
ALA Notable Book for Children
A CCBC Best of Year Choice
A Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2017 Selection
Amazon Best Book of November 2016

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