Jerry Pinkney, Caldecott Medal–Winning Illustrator, 1939–2021

By Caroline O'Connor | October 21 2021 | Children'sGeneralAllBlog

Jerry Pinkney, one of the most heralded children’s book illustrators of all time, has passed away. The illustrator of more than one hundred books, he had the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honors and the winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal for The Lion and the Mouse.

A titan in the publishing industry, Pinkney was in the vanguard of those depicting Black life in children’s books and a champion of the work of emerging Black artists and illustrators. He won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award five times and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor four times, and was awarded the 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lifetime achievement (now known as the Children’s Literature Legacy Award) and the 2016 Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Award for lifetime achievement.

In advice for children, Jerry Pinkney said, “For the young person who is struggling in school, never forget there are many different ways to learn. Be curious. Do not be afraid to try. Do not be disappointed when making mistakes. You will discover your own unique way of understanding the things being taught. Learn from mistakes. Everything that happens to you will frame who you are, and who you will become. Your path to success will follow.”



Black Cowboy, Wild Horses
In the picture book that Booklist says "manifest[s] love and respect for the West and cowboys of color," celebrated creators Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney share the true story of Bob Lemmons, a formerly enslaved Black man who became a renowned mustang wrangler.
$8.99 US
Sep 28, 2021
9-1/2 x 11-1/2
40 Pages
Dial Books
Age 4-8 years

The Christmas Boot
A lovely, original story of Santa's magic, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney
$18.99 US
Oct 18, 2016
10 x 11-1/2
32 Pages
Rocky Pond Books
Age 4-8 years

The Moon Over Star
In July 1969, the world witnessed an awe-inspiring historical achievement when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. For the young protagonist of this lyrical and hopeful picture book, that landing is something that inspires her to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities that life has to offer. Caldecott Honor–winning painter Jerry Pinkney and the poetic Dianna Hutts Aston create a moving tribute to the historic Apollo 11 Mission, just in time to commemorate its upcoming fortieth anniversary.
$18.99 US
Oct 16, 2008
9 x 11
32 Pages
Dial Books
Age 6-8 years

Tales of Uncle Remus (Puffin Modern Classics)
The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
Whether he is besting Brer Fox or sneaking into Mr. Man's garden, Brer Rabbit is always teaching a valuable lesson. These classic tales are full of wit, humor, and creativity, and Julius Lester brings an added contemporary sense to these forty-eight timeless stories.
$7.99 US
Dec 28, 2006
5 x 7
160 Pages
Puffin Books
Age 8-12 years

The Little Red Hen
Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney enlivens the beloved fable with cheerful and classically beautiful illustrations, making this the ideal edition for every child’s library.  As he did with his Caldecott-winning The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney has masterfully adapted this story of the hardworking hen and her lazy neighbors. Its Golden Rule message and sassy finale are just as relevant and satisfying as ever. Read it in tandem with Pinkney’s Puss in Boots and The Tortoise and the Hare or David Wiesner’s The Three Pigs.  "Perfect [for] sharing with one listener, or a crowd." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Cheerful [and] luminous. Kids will gleefully chime in.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A lush light-filled rendition of a folktale staple.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
$17.99 US
May 18, 2006
10-1/2 x 10
32 Pages
Dial Books
Age 4-8 years

A Place to Land
Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation
As a new generation of activists demands an end to racism, A Place to Land reflects on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the movement that it galvanized.Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for ChildrenSelected for the Texas Bluebonnet Master List
$18.99 US
Aug 27, 2019
10 x 11
48 Pages
Neal Porter Books
Age 7-10 years