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.
About the Author
A visual artist, musician, and psychotherapist, Gary Golio is the author of the New York Times–bestselling picture book Jimi: Sounds Like A Rainbow, which received the 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. His other books, most of which profile important artists, include When Bob Met Woody, Strange Fruit, and most recently Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge. Visit garygolio.com.
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. He is also illustrating the forthcoming book Invincible by Wade Hudson.
★ "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
"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