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"In this stunning celebration of art and the power of imagination, Jeanne Walker Harvey and Loveis Wise tell the incredible true story of Alma Thomas" - Harper Collins

Thank you to Mr. John Schu for hosting our cover reveal of ABLAZE WITH COLOR - A Story of Alma Thomas WATCH. CONNECT. READ ! It's such an honor to be included on his amazing blog!

Excerpts from the interview:

Loveis Wise: "This cover features a young Alma Thomas painting and creating some of her famous shapes, dashes, and dots all around her. I really wanted the reader to feel like they could even step into the whimsical world that Alma was creating and feel its vibrancy."

Jeanne: "I hope our book inspires children to seek joy on their own creative paths and overcome their own challenges.

I’d guide teachers to the back matter of the book which includes more information and resources about Alma Thomas, including a timeline of her life in parallel with certain U.S. events.

Also, I would like teachers to share with their students that a book is a collaborative effort. Many people, in addition to an author and illustrator, contribute to the creation of a book. In my case, I have an amazing agent, Deborah Warren of East West Literary Agency, who found a home for my manuscript with an incredible editor, Megan Ilnitzki at Harper Collins Children’s Books. I’m grateful for the team at Harper Collins who worked on Ablaze with Color: Chelsea C. Donaldson - art director, Caitlin Stamper - designer, Shona McCarthy - copy editor, Aubrey Churchward - publicist.

Working with Megan Ilnitzki was a dream. She edits with finesse, grace and talent. I explain to students that receiving editing notes from an editor is like getting feedback from a teacher on a paper or story. And the more comments the better. I tell children that the teacher’s suggestions are like keys that can unlock treasure chests because the comments provide ways to make the writing even better."

I'm thrilled by this wonderful review of ABLAZE WITH COLOR!

"The text achieves a fine balance of evocative lyricism and straightforward exposition. Wise’s vibrant, eye-catching illustrations contain echoes of Thomas’ signature abstract style, with its colorful mosaic-like patterns and tessellated brush strokes. Uplifting with hope and ablaze with joyous colors! -- Kirkus Reviews

Here's the entire review.



Balzer + Bray

(pub.9.28.2021) 64 pages

Author: Ibi Zoboi

Illustrator: Loveis Wise

Characters: African descendants in America


"The People Remember tells the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. It begins in Africa, where people were taken from their homes and families. They spoke different languages and had different customs.

Yet they were bound and chained together and forced onto ships sailing into an unknown future. Ultimately, all these people had to learn one common language and create a culture that combined their memories of home with new traditions that enabled them to thrive in this new land.

Sumptuously illustrated, this is an important book to read as a family—a story young readers can visit over and over again to deepen their understanding of African American history in relation to their own lives and current social justice movements. By turns powerful and revealing, this is a lyrical narrative that tells the story of survival, as well as the many moments of joy, celebration, and innovation of Black people in America." Tantalizing taste:

"In search of freedom,

the Hausa and Fulani, Mende and Fon

found a common language,

a new word for home.

In the land of the free,

hoe of the brave,

if only this new god

was one who saves

the people from the fields

of cotton and sugarcane

under that great big

American sun...

the people remember

they were now

all one.



And something more: Loveis Wise shared in an interview with Publishers Weekly : "I spent lots of time researching by listening to music from my favorite Black musicians (both present and past) to inspire flow. I spoke with the elders in my family to connect their history in the process, and spent time with lots of art/historical photographs/books to help me with grounding ideas. My work and style is usually inspired by joy and playfulness and I wanted to stay authentic to that while also using color shifts to help illustrate the heavy as well as the lighter emotions and tone of the book...I am proud that I was able to work with the energy throughout the book that reminds us of how much our creativity and love thrives no matter how much anguish and pain we experience and have experienced."

I'm so awed by the illustrations Loveis Wise created for our upcoming book: Ablaze with Color - A Story of Painter Alma Thomas.

Where to find Jeanne Walker Harvey books

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