A lyrically told, exquisitely illustrated biography of influential Jewish artist and activist Ben Shahn “The first thing I can remember,” Ben said, “I drew.” As an observant child growing up in Lithuania, Ben Shahn yearns to draw everything he sees–and, after seeing his father banished by the Czar for demanding workers’ rights, he develops a keen sense of justice, too. So when Ben and the rest of his family make their way to America, Ben brings both his sharp artistic eye and his desire to fight for what’s right. As he grows, he speaks for justice through his art–by disarming classmates who bully him because he’s Jewish, by defying his teachers’ insistence that he paint beautiful landscapes rather than true stories, by urging the US government to pass Depression-era laws to help people find food and jobs. In this moving and timely portrait, award-winning author Cynthia Levinson and illustrator Evan Turk honor an artist, immigrant, and activist whose work still resonates today: a true painter for the people.
What Kind of Book is The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art
Cynthia Levinson was in high school when Audrey Faye Hendricks marched to jail, and she knows she would not have been as brave as Audrey. But when Cynthia met Audrey forty-five years later, she knew she had to write a book about her for young readers. She spent more than three years interviewing marchers and researching the events. Her book We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March tells the story for older readers. Cynthia has also written about social justice in Watch Out for Flying Kids: How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community. She and her husband divide their time between Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Evan Turk is an Ezra Jack Keats Book Award - winning illustrator, author, and animator. He is the author-illustrator of “The Storyteller” and “Heartbeat”; and the illustrator of “Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters”, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; “Grandfather Gandhi”; and it’s companion “Be the Change”. His next book “You Are Home: An Ode To the National Parks” will be released in June 2019. Originally from Colorado, Evan now lives in the Hudson River Valley with his husband, Chris, and two cats, Bert and Pica. He is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and continues his studies as a member of Dalvero Academy. Evan loves to travel all over the world and learn about other people and places through drawing and the interactions that come from it. He speaks to kids and adults across the country and loves talking with them about storytelling and making art.
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