Ashley Bryan

1923 -

(2009 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award)


The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was first given to its namesake in 1954 by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The award, a bronze medal, honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. Between 1960 and 1980, the Wilder Award was given every five years. From 1980 to 2001, it was awarded every three years. Beginning in 2001, it has been awarded every two years. The award information was retrieved from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award website. The call numbers for the books owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Library are provided after the citation.


All night, all day : a child’s first book of African-American spirituals. (2004). (Selected and illustrated by Ashley Bryan ; 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. All night, all day -- Chatter with the angels -- Who’s that a-comin’ over yonder -- Somebody’s knocking at your door -- This little light of mine -- Behold that star -- I’m a-going to eat at the welcome table -- O when the saints go marching in -- I stood on the River of Jordan -- Get on board -- Peter, go ring the bells -- He’s got the whole world in his hands -- Wade in the water -- There’s no hiding place -- The rocks and the mountains -- I’m gonna sing -- Open the window, Noah -- O won’t you sit down -- Now let me fly -- Great big stars.

Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African-American poetry. (1997). 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.

Bryan, Ashley. (1987). Beat the story-drum, pum-pum. (Retold and illustrated by Ashley Bryan). New York : Aladdin Books ; London : Collier Macmillan. 398.2 B9153bea

 Five traditional Nigerian tales include "Hen and Frog," "Why Bush Cow and Elephant are Bad Friends," "The Husband Who Counted the Spoonfuls," "Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together," and "How Animals Got Their Tails."

Bryan, Ashley. (1987). Beautiful blackbird . New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 398.2 B9153be

In a story of the Ila people, the colorful birds of Africa ask Blackbird, whom they think is the most beautiful of birds, to decorate them with some of his "blackening brew."

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

Each song is accompanied by linocut illustrations that capture the strength and spirit of the music. Spirituals: When the saints; Steal away; Joshua fit the battle; In-a that morning; I'm going to sing; Old time religion; I know the lord; Weary traveler; Every time I feel the spirit; Motherless child; Hail! Hail! Haill!; The gospel train; By and by; It's me O Lord; Study war no more; You shall reap; Somebody's knocking; I'm a-rolling; Do Lord remember me; Rise up shepherd & follow; Father Abraham; You got a right; My Lord what a morning; O Mary don't you weep; and Many thousand gone.

Bryan, Ashley. (1986). Lion and the ostrich chicks, and other African folk tales. (Retold and illustrated by Ashley Bryan). 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.

Bryan, Ashley. (1993). Turtle knows your name. (Retold and illustrated by Ashley Bryan). New York : Aladdin Books ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International. 398.2 B9153t

A small boy with a very long name is challenged by his grandmother to find out her real name.

Bryan, Ashley. (2009). Words to my life's song. (Photographs by Bill McGuinness). New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 921 B9156br

 Growing up during the Depression, Ashley never lacked art materials--his parents gave him some, and he was always looking for other people’s cast-offs to turn into art or kites or toys. As a soldier during WWII, he hid his supplies in his gas mask. After the war, he painted, went to school, studied in Europe and painted more yet. Here he tells his story on pages alternating with pages of the conversation he would have with the reader if they were walking together on Maine’s Little Cranberry Island, side by side, looking for sea glass or other bits washed up on the beach.


All things bright and beautiful. (2010). (Illlustrated by Ashley Bryan; based on the hymn by Cecil F. Alexander). New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 264.23 B915a

 An illustrated version of the well-known hymn, which describes the marvels of God’s creation.

Let it shine : three favorite spirituals. (2007). (Illustrated by Ashley Bryan). New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 782.253 B9153Li

 Illustrated versions of three well-known spirituals. This little light of mine -- When the saints go marching in -- He’s got the whole world in His hands.

Tagore, Rabindranath. (1967). Moon, for what do you tell? (Illustrated by Ashley Bryan). New York : Atheneum. 821 T1283m

 Brief poems praising nature, illustrated with block prints.

Berry, James. (2004). A nest full of stars. (Illustrated by Ashley Bryan). New York : Greenwillow Books. 821 B5344n

A collection of poems reflecting Caribbean culture that take you through all the startling, humorous, sad, happy, painful and joyful experiences of growing up. Included are "Old man called Arawak," "Woods whisperings," and "Not one weak day."

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. Includes printed music for voice and piano. 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!


Author/Illustrator Information

Ashley Bryan. (2007). In E. Carle (Ed.). Artist to artist : 23 major illustrators talk to children about their art (pp. 18-21). New York : Philomel Books. 741.6 A787

Ashley Bryan. (2012). In L. S. Marcus (Ed.), Show me a story! : Why picture books matter : Conversations with 21 of the world's most celebrated illustrators (pp. 28-41). Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press. NC965 .S56 2012

Ashyley Bryan Center

Bryan, Ashley 1923 - . (2007). In Something about the author (Vol. 178, pp. 31-36). Detroit: Gale. Ref PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Bryan, Ashley F. 1923 - . (2002). In Something about the author (Vol. 132, pp. 23-26). Detroit: Gale. Ref PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Bryan, Ashley F. 1923 - . (1993). In Something about the author (Vol. 72, pp. 26-29). Detroit: Gale. Ref PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Bryan, Ashley F. 1923 - . (1983). In Something about the author (Vol. 31, pp. 44-45). Detroit: Gale. Ref PN 451 .S6 & Online V. 1 - 189, 1971- 2009

Ashley Bryan (Simon & Schuster)


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

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Revised and updated 12/25/15

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