Title: A Journey in Color
Author: Jayne Moore Waldrop
Major Themes: Artists, Art, African Americans, Ellis Wilson, Segregation, Picture Book Biography
Synopsis: Ellis Wilson wanted to paint beautiful pictures from the time he was very young, but only white people were allowed into universities.
One modern genre that I especially love is picture book biographies. Almost all of those I have come across are illustrated with beautiful paintings, making these books a delight for the eyes as well as a very interesting way to learn about someone who, usually, I have never even heard of before. A Journey in Color is no exception. I had never heard of Ellis Wilson before reading this book.
Ellis Wilson was born in a poor neighborhood at the edge of a town in Kentucky. He had his family were colored, which automatically put them at the bottom of the social scale. Ellis’s father was a barber, but he also painted. Ellis was fascinated with his father’s paintings, and wanted to be an artist himself.
No one in Ellis’s family had ever been to college, but he was determined to go—and to study art. It took a long time, but he finally found a college that would accept him. Now, he could live his dream. He spent the rest of his life, when he wasn’t working to make a living, painting everything he saw.
A Journey in Color is a beautiful book to add to any art appreciation course. It’s also a gentle introduction to the way colored people were treated in the South before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. This is a beautiful book and will make a great addition to any child’s library. These pictures have so many details that hours could be spent studying them.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12