By Marilyn Carpenter, Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA, and Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
This month we celebrate artists of both the visual and written word who inspire us and sustain us. Their works remind us of the beauty of the earth, the celebration of life itself and perhaps, most importantly, the possibilities we all contain to sustain each other through times of challenge. We selected three biographies and one autobiography that contain both the written and the visual, allowing for the richness picturebooks and illustrated pieces present to readers. We start with a new picturebook about Emily Dickinson, a comforting global presence, and move on to discuss a book by Ashley Bryant and biographies of Pura Belpré and Gyo Fujikawa in the following weeks. What lives these artists/authors/storytellers lived! What legacies they have given the world, and what joy it was to read these works that celebrate their lives.