Imagination Friday with Gordon C. James

boy in a white shirt with arms crosses across chest wearing a backpack.Meet illustrator Gordon C. James, and hear about his new book, I Am Every Good Thing, written by Derrick Barnes. This book challenges the negative images and feelings that surround Black boys by saying they are “worthy of success, respect, safety, kindness, happiness—they are every good thing.”

Watch the recording right here! Gordon shares his new book and his process of illustrating the book, invites children to create their own illustrations and answer questions.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Gordon C. James
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Gordon wearing a black shirt with arms crossed in front on his chest.Gordon C. James illustrated the critically acclaimed picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (by Derrick Barnes), which received a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, an Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor, the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers, and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. He also illustrated Let ‘Er Buck!: George Fletcher the People’s Champion (by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson). He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.

Imagination Friday is co-sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books and Worlds of Words, University of Arizona College of Education and occurs Fridays from 1 to 1:40 p.m. through December 2020 with a different author or illustrator each week. Add some excitement to Fridays with world-renowned children’s authors and illustrator to promote new books and encourage children as readers, writers and illustrators.

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MTYT: Crown

Continuing our look at award winning-books, this week Mary Fahrenbruck and Tracy Smiles share their take on Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, awarded a John Newbery Honor, a Caldecott honor and Corretta Scott-King Honor in 2018. The story by Derrick Barnes and illustrations by Gordon C. James presents readers with, as the Huffington Post said when naming it among 2017’s best picturebooks, “a celebration of self-esteem and a thoughtful nod to the importance of stepping into the world with a touch of swagger.”

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Continue reading