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Everywhere Beauty Is Harlem

The Vision of Photographer Roy DeCarava

Author Gary Golio
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
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Hardcover
$18.99 US
9.81"W x 11.31"H x 0.39"D   | 18 oz | 24 per carton
On sale Jan 16, 2024 | 48 Pages | 978-1-66268-055-7
Age 7-10 years | Grades 2-5
Reading Level: Lexile 570L | Fountas & Pinnell T
A Kirkus Reviews Most Anticipated Book of 2024

A child of the Harlem Renaissance and an artistic collaborator of Langston Hughes, Roy DeCarava is an unsung hero of Black history. Convinced that the lives of ordinary Black people deserved to be immortalized and documented in photos, Roy celebrated Black people through his art, a process that the incomparable author Gary Golio and illustrator E. B. Lewis capture in this beautiful picture book.


“Life is how you look at it.” And for Black photographer Roy DeCarava, life in his neighborhood was beautiful. Follow Roy through 1940s Harlem, as he takes out his camera, pops in a roll of film, and opens his eyes to the beauty all around him. There’s a little boy drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. SNAP! A young man at the bus stop with a baby in his arms. SNAP! Kids playing in an open fire hydrant. SNAP! Looking at them all, Roy sees beauty everywhere in Harlem, and so do the people who look at his photos.

This deeply researched picture book also includes additional information on DeCarava, a list of places to view his photos, a bibliography, and photos.
★ "With skillful use of line, light, and depth, Lewis transports readers and conveys the vision of an artist honoring the city he loves. Golio’s understated text makes judicious use of profound quotes from DeCarava himself on beauty and truth. Present-tense narration carries the energy of a vibrant neighborhood as seen through the attentive eyes of a brilliant visionary, while artistic details connote the period-specific portrait DeCarava drew of mid-20th-century Harlem. This memorable offering is one readers will return to for moments of inspiration." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "In an image-centered picture book that summons the senses, the creators navigate Harlem through the lens of photographer Roy DeCarava (1919–2009)...DeCarava captures it all—and so too do Golio and Lewis—in this luminous tribute." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "[A]n artful picture book that is a loving snapshot of photographer Roy DeCarava...Golio has penned an elegant ode to a notable photographer, filling his narrative with sensory details and enriching it with quotations from Roy himself. Lewis's stunning watercolor art showcases the people and the neighborhood, offering a variety of perspectives to reflect the vision and work of DeCarava."Shelf Awareness, starred review

★ "This joyful, exuberant picture book biography of Roy DeCarava does exactly what he strove to do through his photography: capture the beauty of Harlem...The text is quiet and brief, relying heavily on quotes from DeCarava himself and trusting the art to tell most of the story. And it does so with ease, as Lewis’ exceptional watercolors bring a celebratory vibe, evoking the permanence and intangibility of catching single instances using a medium that is inherently fragile. Much like a photo, each page is a fully realized artistic vision of a moment in a world that moves on just beyond the borders of what can be seen...An inspired audience will certainly go online to find DeCarava’s exceptional photography, and it is to Golio and Lewis’ significant credit that young readers can see more nuance and wonder in those photos having been given the context this book provides." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"A spare, poetic text emphasizes his love for the neighborhood where [DeCarava] grew up, which was the subject of his long, prolific career...watercolors create a fluid, dreamy world where DeCarava could quietly snap away while walking the streets of Harlem on a warm, sunny afternoon. The pictures portray a neighborhood in motion, oblivious to the artist who spent a lifetime reflecting the vibrancy of a place and people." —The Horn Book

"Lewis gives a selection of DeCarava's subjects, such as a close-up of a crushed can, longer views of Harlem street scenes, and an isolated figure in wedding whites, original treatments that focus more on atmosphere than documentation and so make suitable companions for Golio’s impressionistic profile... the author captures both his titular theme and his subject’s sensibility in well-chosen direct quotes, and along with adding a brief overview of DeCarava’s career, closes by urging readers to 'look slowly,' as he did, to discover 'what you love where you live.'" —Booklist

"Veteran creators and collaborators Golio and Lewis (Dark Was the Night) spotlight the experience and perspective of Harlem artist Roy DeCarava. Known for his black-and-white photographs of scenes of everyday life, DeCarava said he showed 'the strength, the wisdom, the dignity of the Negro people.' Lewis’s watercolors play with light in an ode to that work... (and) are soft and light. Golio’s prose is swift... (and) each element of this book is beautiful and skillfully executed... (a) love letter to an incredible artist."School Library Journal
A visual artist, musician, and psychotherapist, Gary Golio is the author of the New York Times- bestselling JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow – A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, recipient of a 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award. His other books include When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan; Spirit Seeker: The Musical Journey of John Coltrane; Bird & Diz - Two Friends Create Bebop; Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song; Carlos Santana - Sound of the Heart, Song of the World; SMILE - How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry); Dark Was the Night - Blind Willie Johnson's Journey to the Stars; Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge; and Everywhere Beauty is Harlem. Visit garygoilo.com. View titles by Gary Golio
The recipient of a Caldecott Honor and an Orbis Pictus Award, along with many others, E. B. Lewis is the illustrator of more than seventy books for children. His Calkins Creek titles include Seeking Freedom by Selene Castrovilla and Lizzie Demands a Seat by Beth Anderson, which won Bank Street College of Education's Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for excellence in fiction, along with many other honors. Visit eblewis.com. View titles by E. B. Lewis

About

A Kirkus Reviews Most Anticipated Book of 2024

A child of the Harlem Renaissance and an artistic collaborator of Langston Hughes, Roy DeCarava is an unsung hero of Black history. Convinced that the lives of ordinary Black people deserved to be immortalized and documented in photos, Roy celebrated Black people through his art, a process that the incomparable author Gary Golio and illustrator E. B. Lewis capture in this beautiful picture book.


“Life is how you look at it.” And for Black photographer Roy DeCarava, life in his neighborhood was beautiful. Follow Roy through 1940s Harlem, as he takes out his camera, pops in a roll of film, and opens his eyes to the beauty all around him. There’s a little boy drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. SNAP! A young man at the bus stop with a baby in his arms. SNAP! Kids playing in an open fire hydrant. SNAP! Looking at them all, Roy sees beauty everywhere in Harlem, and so do the people who look at his photos.

This deeply researched picture book also includes additional information on DeCarava, a list of places to view his photos, a bibliography, and photos.

Praise

★ "With skillful use of line, light, and depth, Lewis transports readers and conveys the vision of an artist honoring the city he loves. Golio’s understated text makes judicious use of profound quotes from DeCarava himself on beauty and truth. Present-tense narration carries the energy of a vibrant neighborhood as seen through the attentive eyes of a brilliant visionary, while artistic details connote the period-specific portrait DeCarava drew of mid-20th-century Harlem. This memorable offering is one readers will return to for moments of inspiration." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "In an image-centered picture book that summons the senses, the creators navigate Harlem through the lens of photographer Roy DeCarava (1919–2009)...DeCarava captures it all—and so too do Golio and Lewis—in this luminous tribute." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "[A]n artful picture book that is a loving snapshot of photographer Roy DeCarava...Golio has penned an elegant ode to a notable photographer, filling his narrative with sensory details and enriching it with quotations from Roy himself. Lewis's stunning watercolor art showcases the people and the neighborhood, offering a variety of perspectives to reflect the vision and work of DeCarava."Shelf Awareness, starred review

★ "This joyful, exuberant picture book biography of Roy DeCarava does exactly what he strove to do through his photography: capture the beauty of Harlem...The text is quiet and brief, relying heavily on quotes from DeCarava himself and trusting the art to tell most of the story. And it does so with ease, as Lewis’ exceptional watercolors bring a celebratory vibe, evoking the permanence and intangibility of catching single instances using a medium that is inherently fragile. Much like a photo, each page is a fully realized artistic vision of a moment in a world that moves on just beyond the borders of what can be seen...An inspired audience will certainly go online to find DeCarava’s exceptional photography, and it is to Golio and Lewis’ significant credit that young readers can see more nuance and wonder in those photos having been given the context this book provides." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"A spare, poetic text emphasizes his love for the neighborhood where [DeCarava] grew up, which was the subject of his long, prolific career...watercolors create a fluid, dreamy world where DeCarava could quietly snap away while walking the streets of Harlem on a warm, sunny afternoon. The pictures portray a neighborhood in motion, oblivious to the artist who spent a lifetime reflecting the vibrancy of a place and people." —The Horn Book

"Lewis gives a selection of DeCarava's subjects, such as a close-up of a crushed can, longer views of Harlem street scenes, and an isolated figure in wedding whites, original treatments that focus more on atmosphere than documentation and so make suitable companions for Golio’s impressionistic profile... the author captures both his titular theme and his subject’s sensibility in well-chosen direct quotes, and along with adding a brief overview of DeCarava’s career, closes by urging readers to 'look slowly,' as he did, to discover 'what you love where you live.'" —Booklist

"Veteran creators and collaborators Golio and Lewis (Dark Was the Night) spotlight the experience and perspective of Harlem artist Roy DeCarava. Known for his black-and-white photographs of scenes of everyday life, DeCarava said he showed 'the strength, the wisdom, the dignity of the Negro people.' Lewis’s watercolors play with light in an ode to that work... (and) are soft and light. Golio’s prose is swift... (and) each element of this book is beautiful and skillfully executed... (a) love letter to an incredible artist."School Library Journal

Author

A visual artist, musician, and psychotherapist, Gary Golio is the author of the New York Times- bestselling JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow – A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, recipient of a 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award. His other books include When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan; Spirit Seeker: The Musical Journey of John Coltrane; Bird & Diz - Two Friends Create Bebop; Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song; Carlos Santana - Sound of the Heart, Song of the World; SMILE - How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry); Dark Was the Night - Blind Willie Johnson's Journey to the Stars; Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge; and Everywhere Beauty is Harlem. Visit garygoilo.com. View titles by Gary Golio
The recipient of a Caldecott Honor and an Orbis Pictus Award, along with many others, E. B. Lewis is the illustrator of more than seventy books for children. His Calkins Creek titles include Seeking Freedom by Selene Castrovilla and Lizzie Demands a Seat by Beth Anderson, which won Bank Street College of Education's Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for excellence in fiction, along with many other honors. Visit eblewis.com. View titles by E. B. Lewis

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