I’m pausing just a moment to catch my breath between last week’s whirlwind (my first school visit for The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch —
— the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, and the San Antonio Book Festival) and this week’s excitement of the Texas Library Association annual conference here in Austin.
While I’m pausing, I’m happy to share a few things published elsewhere recently either about my new book or written by me, starting with this generous review by Margie Myers-Culver at Librarian’s Quest:
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch written by Chris Barton with illustrations by Don Tate is a remarkable biography. This is a man with whom we should all be familiar. The blend of narrative and pictures is compelling from beginning to end. After the two pages of his speech a single page shows an older John Roy Lynch with a continuation of his beliefs about this country. There is a single page Historical Note about Reconstruction, a Timeline of important dates in John Roy Lynch’s life alongside historical dates, an Author’s Note, an Illustrator’s Note, sources For Further Reading and two maps. This is a back matter goldmine.
School Library Journal also has good things to say about The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch:
Tate’s illustrations, rendered in mixed media, ink, and gouache on watercolor paper, are extraordinary and carry the lengthy story well. The excellent cartoon-style paintings soften potentially disturbing details, such as the Ku Klux Klan burning a church. The book concludes with a thorough historical note. Teachers will find this remarkable story of hope and perseverance a valuable supplement to social studies lessons on the Civil War and Black History Month.
Meanwhile, I’ve been busy with a couple of guest posts. At The Little Crooked Cottage, I was asked to write about my favorite picture book biographies:
There are too many excellent picture book biographies — and too many excellent authors and illustrators working in this field — for me to narrow them down to my all-time favorite five. But there are a handful that have been especially meaningful to me at one time or another, so I’m going to limit my list to those.
And Austin Reading Mama asked for my reading recommendations for grown folks. I was happy to offer up a handful — all of them nonfiction, as it turned out. And the list doesn’t event include the book I’m in the midst of loving right now, Tomlinson Hill, Chris Tomlinson’s fascinating exploration of the histories of his white Texas family and of the African-American Tomlinsons whose ancestors had once been owned by the author’s forebears. It’s eye-opening and well worth your while.