Kadir Nelson is, hands down, my favorite children book illustrator. In fact, the illustrations alone persuade me to open a text and read the print inside! I love the way he captures the details of people, truly bringing out their distinct beauty. My nephew has Please Baby Please and Please Puppy Please! Two wonderful picture books by Spike Lee and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee for babies and toddlers. Please Baby Please was Auntie ME’s niece’s first book that she could ‘read’ on her own. The kids in those books are so captivating.
I bought, He's Got the Whole World In His Hands for my god son on his first communion! When I was younger it was one of my favorite songs to sing! That little boy in the book I swear is the spitting image of my god son. We all had so much fun singing and reading and admiring the pictures in that book together!
AB and I over the years enjoyed: Thunder Rose, Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, Dancing in the Wings and Brothers of the Knight! All wonderful picture books with great authors like Jerdine Nolen and Debbie Allen. Yes, Debbie Allen from the original movie and tv show, Fame.
He also illustrates for biographies such as, Mama Miti (another biography about Wangari Maathai), Testing the Ice (The story of Jackie Robinson), and Coretta Scott (Ntozake Shange's poem of civil rights leader).
His work is vast and filled with variety. His images help to tell the story and enjoy the content that we are learning. If you don’t own or haven’t read and fallen in love with one of his picture books- go immediately to your local bookstore, library or search online! His art is absolutely to die for and inspires us to enjoy the details of life!