I was surprised to hear that of the 3,200 children’s books published in the US in 2015, just 240 were about African American characters. 102 (of the 3,200) books were created by African American authors or illustrators. That figure is actually a deep improvement from previous years.
This is one reason why I am so excited to tell you about something I’ve been working on since December.
I’ve been floating on air with a secret under my hat for a few weeks now, but official announcements have been made, happy dances have been completed and I’m able to spill the beans 🙂
My first book!! 🙂
Ann Lowe’s story will be in good company! Chronicle’s children’s books are absolutely gorgeous. Each title features sophisticated and emotionally charged artwork, and such careful and detailed design. Gorgeous!! Our editor has edited two other picture book biographies recently, and they both prove that Ann Lowe’s story could not be in better company.(this one, SWAN, by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad– about the ballerina Anna Pavlova is so enchanting!)
And Josephine, by Patricia Hruby Powell (no relation), illustrated by Christian Robinson takes a look at Josephine Baker’s life with bold, colorful graphics and a unique long form poetic style.
As you can probably imagine, Chronicle is just the right publisher to work with Lowe’s dresses! Such a beautiful way to present her story accurately and honor Ann Lowe’s gorgeous designs!
For your local decorative arts historian— who has wanted to be an author since she was eight years old (it was either Ellen Tebbits, By the Shores of Silver Lake, or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler that gave me the ‘want to grow up and be a writer’ bug)—this is also a wonderful way to learn the ins and outs of the publishing world while I work on bringing my other Ann Lowe project—the adult biography to fruition.
It’s all just so exciting!
I’ll look forward to sharing what I can about ONLY THE BEST as we reach the publishing finish line, although I’m pretty sure most of the details will remain under wraps until the release date… it’s more fun that way, anyway!
Historian’s note: Being able to find a professional home for the story of a designer I have researched and admired for five years is so rewarding! A picture book is especially exciting and special for me, because it will share the nearly electric beauty of Ann Lowe’s work in a way that a stuffy and somewhat cerebral “grown up” biography cannot.