Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor
Titles Owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Library

The Coretta Scott King Award was established in 1970 and is given to an African American authors and African American illustrators whose books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream." The award is presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Task Force of the American Library Association's Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table ( EMIERT). Authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the "American Dream." The author award started in 1970 and the first illustrator award was given in 1974. The award information was retrieved from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards - All Recipients, 1970 - presnt. See also the Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Authors, Illustrators, & Books Curricular Resource Center by talks from African American authors and illustrators, audio records, book readings as well as lesson plans.


Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. (2015). The book itch : freedom, truth, and Harlem's greatest bookstore. (Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie). Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books.

Relates the story of the National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux in 1939, as seen from the perspective of Louis Michaux Jr., who met famous men like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X while helping there.

de la Peña, Matt. (2015). Last stop on Market Street. (Pictures Christian Robinson). On order

A young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.


Hruby, Patricia. (2014). Josephine : the dazzling life of Josephine Baker. (Pictures by Christian Robinson). San Francisco : Chronicle Books. 921 B1678po

A portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

Russell-Brown, Katheryn. (2014). Little Melba and her big trombone. (Illustrations by Frank Morrison). New York : Lee & Low Books. 921 L7736ru

"A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources"--


Nelson, Kadir. (2013). Nelson Mandela. (Jacket design and typography by Martha Rago). New York : Katherine Tegen Books. 921 M2715ne

Presents a biography of the former South African president best known for his political activism and fight to end apartheid.


Starling, Kelly. (2012). Ellen's broom. (Illustrated by Daniel Minter). New York, NY : G. P. Putnam's Sons. PRIM-FIC L991eL

Ellen has always known that the broom hanging on her family's cabin wall is a special symbol of her parents' wedding during slave days, so she proudly carries it to the courthouse when the marriage becomes legal.

Myers, Christopher. (2012). H.O.R.S.E.: a game of basketball and imagination. New York : Egmont USA. PRIM-FIC M9962ho

"Two friends try to outdo each other on the basketball court in an out-of-this-world game of H.O.R.S.E"-- Provided by publisher.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (2012). I have a dream : Martin Luther King, Jr. (Paintings by Kadir Nelson). New York : Schwartz & Wade Books. 323.09 K53i

An illustrated edition of Martin Luther King’s famous "I have a dream" speech.


Nelson, Kadir. (2011). Heart and soul : the story of America and African Americans. New York : Balzer + Bray. 973 N311h

An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.


Golio. Gary. (2010). Jimi : sounds like a rainbow : a story of the young Jimi Hendrix. (Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe). Boston : Clarion Books. 787.87 G626j

Before he became one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jimi Hendrix was a boy who loved to paint and listen to records, and who asked himself an unusual question: could someone paint pictures with sound?


Hughes, Langston. (2009). The Negro speaks of rivers. (Illustrations by E. B. Lewis). New York, NY : Disney Jump at the Sun Books. 811.52 H893n

The famous poem, taken from The collected poems of Langston Hughes (c1994), illustrated with watercolors.


Weatherford, Carole Boston. (2008). Before John was a jazz giant : a song of John Coltrane. (Illustrated by Sean Qualls). New York : Henry Holt. 921 C7248we 

While he was growing up, John Coltrane heard all the sounds around him. He heard the sounds of a busy household, of trains whistling past, of Bojangles in the picture show, of church music, of birds and big bands on the radio. And when he grew up he blew all he knew into his own new song.

Aston, Dianna Hutts. (2008). The moon over Star. (Pictures by Jerry Pinkney). New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC A8574mo 

On her family’s farm in the town of Star, eight-year-old Mae eagerly follows the progress of the 1969 Apollo 11 flight and moon landing and dreams that she might one day be an astronaut, too.

Nelson, Kadir. (2008). We are the ship : the story of Negro League baseball. New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. 796.357 N428w

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson.


Dillon, Leo. (2007). Jazz on a Saturday night. New York : Blue Sky Press. 781.65 D579j and CD 1296

Learn about this popular music form and hear each instrument play on a specially produced CD.

Joy, N. (2007). The secret Olivia told me. (Illustrations by Nancy Devard). East Orange, NJ : Just Us Books. PRIM-FIC J885se 

Olivia shares a secret with her best friend who then lets it slip to someone else, and soon everyone knows about Olivia’s secret.


Myers, Walter Dean. (2006). Jazz. (Illustrated by Christopher Myers). New York : Holiday House. 811.54 M9966j 

Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the roots of jazz music.

Hughes, Langston. (2006). Langston Hughes (Poetry for young people). (Edited by by Arnold Rampersad & David Roessel ; illustrations by Benny Andrews). New York : Sterling Pub. 811 H893L

A brief profile of African American poet Langston Hughes accompanies some of his better known poems for children.


Williams, Mary. (2005). Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan . (Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie). New York : Lee & Low Books. PRIM-FIC W7255br

Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan , finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek hundreds of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, then Kenya, and finally in the United States.


Holiday, Billie. (2004). God bless the child. (Words and music by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. ; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney). New York : HarperCollins/Amistad. PRIM-FIC H7323go & CD 734

A swing spiritual based on the proverb "God blessed the child that’s got his own" is the basis of a visual story of a hard-working African American family from the rural South who migrated to the industrial North to create a better life.


Hamilton, Virginia. (2004). The people could fly : the picture book. (Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon). New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House. 398.2 H2215peo 2004

In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, calls upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.


Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. (2003). Almost to Freedom. (Illustrations by Colin Bootman). Minneapolis, Minn. : Carolrhoda Books. PRIM-FIC N4318

Tells the story of a young girl's dramatic escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad, from the perspective of her beloved rag doll.

Nolen, Jerdine. (2003) Thunder Rose. (Illustrated by Kadir Nelson). San Diego : Harcourt. PRIM-FIC N7915th

Unusual from the day she is born, Thunder Rose performs all sorts of amazing feats, including building fences, taming a stampeding herd of steers, capturing a gang of rustlers, and turning aside a tornado.


Dillon, Leo and Diane. (2002). Rap a tap tap : here's Bojangles, think of that! New York : Blue Sky Press. PRIM-FIC D5795ra

In illustrations and rhyme describes the dancing of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, one of the most famous tap dancers of all time.

Perdomo, Willie. (2002). Visiting Langston. (Illustrated by Bryan Collier). New York : Henry Holt and Co. PRIM-FIC P4337vi

A poem to celebrate the African American poet, Langston Hughes, born on February 1, 1902.


Rappaport, Doreen. (2001). Martin's big words : the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Illustrated by Brian Collier). New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. 921 K535R

A biography Martin Luther King, Jr. about beliefs and dreams and following one's heart.


Collier, Bryan. (2000). Freedom River. (Pictures by Bryan Collier). New York : Jump at the Sun. 973.7 R221f

Describes an incident in the life of John Parker, an ex-slave who became a successful businessman in Ripley, Ohio, and who repeatedly risked his life to help other slaves escape to freedom.

Rockwell, Anne F. (2000). Only passing through : the story of Sojourner Truth. (Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie). New York : Alfred A. Knopf. 305.5 R684o

The story of Isabella, whom nobody wanted to buy when she was a child but who turned out to be a brave, strong woman who spoke out against the evils of slavery, Sojourner Truth.

Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald. (1999). Virgie goes to school with us boys. (Illustrated by E.B. Lewis). New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC H8486VI

In the post-Civil War South, a young African American girl is determined to prove that she can go to school just like her older brothers.


Myers, Christopher A. (1999). Black cat. New York : Scholastic Press. PRIM-FIC M9962bl

A black cat wanders through the streets of a city.

Mollel, Tololwa M. (1999). My rows and piles of coins. (Illustrated by E. B. Lewis). New York : Clarion Books. PRIM-FIC M726MY

A Tanzanian boy saves his coins to buy a bicycle so that he can help his parents carry goods to market, but then he discovers that in spite of all he has saved, he still does not have enough money.


Pinkney, Andrea Davis. (1998). Duke Ellington : the piano prince and his orchestra. (Illustrated by Brian Pinkney). New York : Hyperion Books for Children. 921 E46p

A brief recounting of the career of this jazz musician and composer who, along with his orchestra, created music that was beyond category.

Thomas, Joyce Carol. (1998). I have heard of a land. (Illustrated by Floyd Cooper). New York : HarperCollins Publishers. PRIM-FIC T4585IA

Describes the joys and hardships experienced by an African-American pioneer woman who staked a claim for free land in the Oklahoma territory.

Curtis, Gavin. (1998). The bat boy & his violin. (Illustrated by E.B. Lewis). New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC C9786ba

Reginald is more interested in practicing his violin than in his father's job managing the worst team in the Negro Leagues, but when Papa makes him the bat boy and his music begins to lead the team to victory, Papa realizes the value of his son's passion.


Bryan, Ashley. (1997). Ashley Bryan's ABC of African-American poetry. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 811.54 A8264

Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a line from a poem by different African American poets, describing an aspect of the black experience.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1997). Harlem : a poem. (Pictures by Christopher Myers). New York : Scholastic Press. 811 M996h

A poem celebrating the people, sights, and sounds of Harlem.

Diakité, Baba Wagué. (1997). The hunterman and the crocodile : a West African folktale. New York : Scholastic. 398.2 D5365hu

Donso, a West African hunterman, learns the importance of living in harmony with nature and the necessity of placing humans among, not above, all other living things.


English, Karen. (1996). Neeny coming, Neeny going. (Paintings by Synthia Saint James). Mahwah, N.J. : BridgeWater Books. PRIM-FIC E58ne

Essie eagerly awaits the visit of her cousin but feels disheartened after her arrival because Neeny is no longer interested in life on the island from which she moved.

Lotu, Denize. (1996). Running the road to ABC. (by Denizé Lauture ; illustrated by Reynold Ruffins). New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC L3897RU

Long before the sun even thinks of rising the Haitian children run to school where they learn the letters, sounds, and words of their beautiful books.

Adedjouma, Davida. (1996). The palm of my heart : poetry by African American children. (Illustrated by Gregory Christie). New York : Lee & Low Books. 811.54 P171

A collection of poems written by Afro-American children celebrating what it means to be Black.


Hamilton, Virginia. (1995). Her stories : African American folktales, fairy tales, and true tales. (Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon). New York : Blue Sky Press. 398.2 H2215h

A collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition. Each story focuses on the role of women--both real and fantastic--and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows. Her animal tales: Little girl and Buh Rabby -- Lena and big one tiger -- Marie and redfish -- Miz Hattie gets some company -- Her fairy tales: Catskinella -- Good Blanche, bad Rose, and the talking eggs -- Mary Belle and the mermaid -- Mom Bett and the little ones a-glowing -- Her supernatural: Who you! -- Macie and Boo Hag -- Lonna and cat woman -- Malindy and little devil -- Her folkways and legends: Woman and man started even -- Luella and the tame parrot -- The mer-woman out of the sea -- Annie Christmas -- Her true tales: Millie Evans: plantation times -- Lettice Boyer: from way back -- Mary Lou Thorton: my family.

San Souci, Robert D. (1995). The faithful friend. (Illustrated by Brian Pinkney). New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC S229F

A retelling of the traditional tale from the French West Indies in which two friends, Clement and Hippolyte, encounter love, zombies, and danger on the island of Martinique.


Grimes, Nikki. (1997, c1995). Meet Danitra Brown. (Illustrated by Floyd Cooper). New York : Mulberry Books. 811.54 G862me

A portrait of best friends from the inner-city told through poems.

Medearis, Angela Shelf. (1994). The singing man : Adapted from a West African folktale. (Illustrated by Terea Shaffer). New York : Holiday House. 398.21 M488si

A couple's youngest son is forced to leave his West African village because he chooses music over the more practical occupations of his brothers, but years later he returns to show the wisdom of his choice.


Thomas, Joyce Carol. (1993). Brown honey in broomwheat tea : poems. (Illustrated by Floyd Cooper). New York : HarperCollins. 811 T4583br

A collection of poems exploring the theme of African-American identity.

Mitchell, Margaree King. (1993). Uncle Jed's barbershop. (Illustrated by James Ransome). New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC M6823UN

Despite serious obstacles and setbacks Sarah Jean's Uncle Jed, the only black barber in the county, pursues his dream of saving enough money to open his own barbershop.


Wahl, Jan. (1992). Little Eight John. (Illustrated by Wil Clay). New York : Lodestar Books. PRIM-FIC W136Li

Little Eight John, as mean as mean there was, persists in disobeying his mother until he finds his mischief backfiring on him.

San Souci, Robert D. (1992). Sukey and the mermaid. (Illustrated by Brian Pinkney). New York : Four Winds Press. 398.21 S194su

Unhappy with her life at home, Sukey receives kindness and wealth from Mama Jo the mermaid.

Williams, Sherley Anne. (1992). Working cotton. (Illustrated by Carole Byard). San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. PRIM-FIC W7276WO

A young black girl relates the daily events of her family's migrant life in the cotton fields of central California.


Bryan, Ashley. (2004, c1991). All night , all day : a child's first book of African-American spirituals. (Musical arrangements by David Manning Thomas). New York : Aladdin Paperbacks. 782.253 B915a

A selection of twenty spirituals, that distinctive music from the time of slavery. Includes piano accompaniment and guitar chords.

Greenfield, Elosie. (1991). Night on Neighborhood Street. (Pictures by Jan Spivey Gilchrist). New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. 811.54 G8125ni

A collection of poems exploring the sounds, sights, and emotions enlivening a black neighborhood during the course of one evening.


No honor presented


San Souci, Robert D. (1989). The talking eggs : a folktale from the American South. (Pictures by Jerry Pinkney). New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. 398.2 S2295ta

A Southern folktale in which kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches, while her greedy sister Rose makes fun of the old woman and is duly rewarded.


Stolz, Mary. (1988). Storm in the night. (Illustrated by Pat Cummings). New York : Harper & Row. PRIM-FIC C9713ST

While sitting through a fearsome thunderstorm that has put the lights out, Thomas hears a story from Grandfather's boyhood, when Grandfather was afraid of thunderstorms.

Ferguson, Amos. (1988). Under the Sunday tree. (Paintings by Mr. Amos Ferguson ; poems by Eloise Greenfield). New York : Harper & Row. 811.54 F352un

A collection of poems and paintings that evoke life in the Bahamas.


Rohmer, Harriet. (1987). The invisible hunters : a legend from the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua = Los cazadores invisibles : una leyenda de los indios miskitos de Nicaragua. (Harriet Rohmer, Octavio Chow, Morris Vidaure ; illustrations by Joe Sam ; version in Spanish, Rosalma Zubizarreta & Alma Flor Ada). San Francisco : Children's Book Press. 398.2 R7385i

This Miskito Indian legend set in seventeenth-century Nicaragua illustrates the impact of the first European traders on traditional life.

What a morning! : the Christmas story in Black spirituals. (1987). (Selected and edited by John Langstaff ; illustrated by Ashley Bryan ; arrangements for singing and piano by John Andrew Ross). New York : McElderry Books. 781.723 L2855w

Five illustrated spirituals dealing with the birth of Christ on the first Christmas morning. My Lord, what a morning! -- Mary had a baby -- Go, tell it on the mountain -- Sister Mary had-a but one child -- Behold that star!


Cummings, Pat. (1986). C.L.O.U.D.S. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. PRIM-FIC C9713cl

Chuku the angel is given the job of painting the skies of New York City, an assignment he approaches with reluctance, but grows to love.

Bryan, Ashley. (1986). Lion and the ostrich chicks, and other African folk tales. New York : Atheneum. 398.2 B9153Li

Includes four traditional tales told by the Hausa, Angolan, Masai, and Bushmen people of Africa. Lion and the ostrich chicks -- Son of the wind -- Jackal's favorite game -- The foolish boy.


Hamilton, Virginia. (1985). The people could fly : American Black folktales. (Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon). New York : Knopf. 398.2 H2215pe

Retold Afro-American folktales of animals, fantasy, the supernatural, and desire for freedom, born of the sorrow of the slaves, but passed on in hope.


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Adoff, Arnold. (1982). All the colors of the race : a poem. (Illustrated by John Steptoe). New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. 811 A2393al

A collection of poems written from the point of view of a child with a black mother and a white father.

I’m going to sing [music] : Black American spirituals, volume two. (1982). (Selected and illustrated by Ashley Bryan). New York : Atheneum. 784.75 B915i

Companion volume to the compiler’s : Walk together children.

Caines, Jeanette Franklin. (1982). Just us women. (Illustrated by Pat Cummings). New York, N.Y. : Harper & Row. PRIM-FIC C1354JU

A young girl and her favorite aunt share the excitement of planning a very special car trip for just the two of them.


Feelings, Tom and Greenfield, Eloise. (1985, c1981). Daydreamers. New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. 811.54 F295d

Depicts the world of daydreamers.


Zaslavsky, Claudia. (1980). Count on your fingers African style. (Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney). New York : Crowell. 513 Z382c

Describes how finger counting is used for communication of price and quantity in an East African market place.


Greenfield, Eloise. (1983 c1980). Grandmama's joy. (Illustrated by Carole Byard). New York : Philomel. PRIM-FIC G8124gr

When Rhondy's grandmother is sad after learning that they must find another place to live, Rhondy reminds her that they will still have what is most important--each other.


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NOTE: Prior to 1974, the CSK Award  was given to authors only.


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
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