Hello Friends! I'm so excited for the release of my first fully illustrated picture book, An Earth Song, a poem written by Langstone Hughes! The official release date is April 18, 2023.
Hughes is one of my favorite poets, so this was a real treat to illustrate his words. This book has been favorite commissions to work on thus far. The team at Cameron Kids were so easy to work with.
Here are a couple of my favorite spreads from the book:
Here, my inspiration was Harlem, which is where Langston Hughes lived, he makes a cameo in this scene of the left. When I think of Harlem (I've never been), I imagined Brownstone housing and streets full of people, diverse people. My favorite little scenes include the two little girls on the right, one drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, the other curiously watching. The other is the sad little boy watching from the window. Makes you think, why is it he can't come out to play?
This spread is inspired by Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. It features the installation piece, 'Thomas J. Price: Witness'. which is a statue of a young black man looking down at a cell phone. There is also another cameo of Langston Hughes as he watches children enjoying a beautiful spring day, but also as the poem suggests a long awaited time of freedom and equality. At least that's what I tried to reflect. The Red-winged blackbird featured here and other parts of the book was also important and relevant to New York, because seeing those birds are the first sign that spring is coming for the area.
An Earth Song, is available for pre-order! Please be sure to drop me a note and tell me what you think, when you get your copy!