Ablaze with Color:
A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
Circles and stripes.
Dashes and dabs.
Soft colors, bright colors.
As a child in Georgia, Alma Thomas loved to spend time outside, soaking up the colors around her. Despite the limitations and racial injustices they faced, her parents filled their home with color and creativity. After the family moved to Washington DC, Alma shared her passion for art by teaching children. When she was almost seventy years old, she focused on her own artwork, inspired by nature and space travel, new at the time. With the use of color in her paintings, Alma sought to focus on beauty and happiness.
In this stunning celebration of art and imagination, Jeanne Walker Harvey and Loveis Wise tell the incredible and inspiring true story of Alma Thomas, the first Black woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York City and the first Black woman to have her work chosen for the White House collection. With her bold and vibrant abstract paintings, Alma set the world ablaze with color.
School Library Journal Best Books of 2022
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2022 – Nonfiction
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2022 –
Informational Books for Younger Readers
Jane Addams Children's Book Award 2023 Finalist – Younger Children
NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Literary Work – Childrens
California Independent Booksellers Alliance Golden Poppy Finalist –
2022 Best Nonfiction Books – Nerdy Book Club
Charter Oak Children's Book Nonfiction Nominee 2022-2023
ARTNews - Best 2023 Children’s Books About Artists
CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) Best of the Year 2023 Choices
THREE *STARRED* Reviews:
Booklist & School Library Journal & Horn Book
The Library of Congress 2022 Great Reads From Great Places choice for Washington, D.C.
The 42nd Annual Northern California Book Awards Winner – Children's Literature Younger Readers for 2022
Watch the Ablaze with Color Trailer!
Ablaze with Color - Three *** STARRED reviews & more...
* “This charming biography...is a must for art and biography shelves.”
— Booklist (STARRED review)
* “Superb picture-book biography… Harvey’s poetic text is imagistic and deftly paced; Wise’s digital artwork is boldly, fittingly colorful.”
— Horn Book (STARRED review)
* “An inspiring introduction for artists and appreciators”
— School Library Journal (STARRED review)
“UPLIFTING WITH HOPE AND ABLAZE WITH JOYOUS COLORS!”
— Kirkus Reviews
“HARVEY EMPLOYS A POETIC VOICE, RICH WITH ALLITERATION AND RHYTHM”
— Publishers’ Weekly
“WISE'S DIGITAL ART POPS WITH COLOR”
— Center for Children’s Books
text copyright (c) 2022 Jeanne Walker Harvey
illustrations copyright (c) 2022 Loveis Wise
featuring Jeanne & Loveis
BEHIND THE SCENES Q&As
Want more Ablaze with Color? Check out these
ALMA WOODSEY THOMAS
“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man.”
“I say everyone on earth should take note of the spring of the year coming back every year, blooming and gorgeous.”
“Color is life. Light is the mother of color. Light reveals to us the spirit and living soul of the world through colors.”