Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Story and pictures by Javaka Steptoe
Follow Basquiat, the Brooklyn child of a Puerto Rican mother and a Haitian father, as he draws compulsively and dreams of becoming a famous artist. His mother draws with him and takes him to museums; his father introduces him to jazz. When he’s seven, Jean-Michel is hit by a car and suffers a long, painful recovery, but keeps on drawing and painting--finding art everywhere. He’s broken-hearted when his beloved mother must leave the family because of mental illness. A teen-ager now, Jean-Michel moves to Manhattan, creating collages and paintings: weird, messy, but beautiful. His art is personal, political, and public. He’s noticed! A comet blazing across the art world, Basquiat becomes famous, then dies at twenty-seven. In this Caldecott-winning book, Steptoe has evoked--not imitated--Basquiat’s radiant art, using paint and collage on scrap-wood found in downtown haunts. Kids (and adults) may not know Basquiat’s extraordinary work. If not, it’s time to look him up!
2016, Ages 6 to 10
Check it out from your library using the library catalog. Donate to an improved Sebastopol Regional Library here.
Recommended by: Barbara Talcroft
Barbara Talcroft reviews children’s books professionally for childrenslit.com and for Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database. She has a Master’s degree in International Children’s Literature. She also has many years’ experience as a teacher. Barbara is one of the founders of LANTERN and its past chairperson.
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