Book Launch | Just Jerry

Book Launch | Just Jerry

January 22nd, at 3pm EST
17th Street Location

Join us to celebrate the legacy of one of the most acclaimed children’s book illustrators of all time, Jerry Pinkney! 

An inspiring memoir of a Caldecott-winning artist and one of the most acclaimed children’s book illustrators of all time, Just Jerry shares the story of a young artist who finds the courage to follow his passion against all odds.

* "A moving work from a legend of children's literature and a testament to his legacy of visual storytelling." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

JERRY PINKNEY — creator of Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse and The Little Mermaid — drew everywhere, all the time. Since childhood, it was how he made sense of the world — how he coped with the stress of being a sensitive child growing up in crowded spaces, struggling with a learning disability, in a time when the segregation of Black Americans was the norm. Only drawing could offer him a sense of calm, control, and confidence. When friends and siblings teased him about having the nickname “Jerry” as his only name, his mother always said, “Just ‘Jerry’ is enough. He’ll make something of that name someday.” And so he did, eventually becoming one of the most celebrated children’s book illustrators of all time and paving the way for countless other Black artists. 

Jerry’s vivid recollections and lively sketchbook drawings of his youth in postwar America tell an inspiring story of how a hardworking boy pursued his passion in less-than-ideal circumstances and became a legendary artist against all odds.

Meet the Panelists! 

  • GLORIA PINKNEY, met her future husband, Jerry Pinkney, while they were in high school and went on to collaborate with him on many books, including several she wrote herself
  • BRIAN PINKNEY, author and illustrator of over 50 children’s books and a Caldecott Honor Artist, is the son of Jerry Pinkney
  • ROSEMARY WELLS, author of over 120 children’s books such as the beloved series, Max and Ruby
  • ANDREA SPOONER, VP and Editorial Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • JAMES RANSOME, Coretta Scott King Honor award-winning illustrator of books such as Overground Railroad
  • ERIC VELASQUEZ, winner of the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature for Children and illustrator of over 30 books

Sunday, January 22nd, 3:00PM EST
at Our 17th St Location!

*One book may be brought from home to be signed for every book purchased at the event.

For all Books of Wonder events, we expect all participants to maintain a family friendly atmosphere, inclusive of respect and fairness. Anyone who violates this standard of behavior, including engaging in any form of harassment, inappropriate language, or disruptive conduct, will, at our discretion, be immediately removed.