News & Reviews


"This is the wonderful story of how one child's experience of the world surrounding, turned into a lifetime of beauty beheld, and eventually shared with the world.

"The thing I love most about Picture Book biographical stories is that you really get to the heart of things. Yes, they are short on details, but they convey some of the most important moments, the most remarkable discoveries, and the most powerful messages...as seen here. Alma Thomas accomplished two things never before done by a Black woman, and made her mark in history without ever setting out to do that exact thing. She simply was. She soaked up the things she went through, sorted out the bad from the good, shone her own inner light on those captured images, and later in life blessed the world with her interpretations of those times. It's wonderful to see those simple moments brought to life...ablaze with color.

"An inspiring work filled with a story to remember, and images that come to life right off the page.

"This book is one I can easily see in the classroom setting as well as in family rooms setting the tone for the next generations moments of greatness."

Updated: May 9

So honored to have our book, ABLAZE WITH COLOR, included with such amazing books featured in the 2022 Harper Collins Celebrate Black Voices All Year Long list:

Celebrate Black Voices All Year Long! Add these books to your collection in 2022 - Harperstacks (harpercollins.com)

Review by Glass of Wine, Glass of Milk :

"This is exactly what I'm looking for this year! Real women who impacted the world.

"Alma Thomas is a Black artist who broke racist and sexist boundaries during the Jim Crow era and now has her work hung in the White House. Ablaze with Color is a short biography, highlighting events that will appeal to young readers: her school experience, her move to a new home, her choices to follow her artistic passion, her museum shows, and her posthumous honor by former First Lady Michelle Obama. "The flowing narrative sweeps children along, beckoning them into Alma's world. By always referring to Thomas by her first name, author Harvey invites readers to connect with Thomas rather than merely learn about her. Harvey does not shy away from difficult truths, but tackles them matter-of-factly, making space for readers to acknowledge the past and understand Alma's role in changing the course of history.

"Back matter includes a timeline and photographs. When we read illustrated biographies T is always interested to see photographs of the "real people." The inclusion of photographs of Thomas and her work cements in readers' minds the pivotal role Thomas played: here is photographic evidence - she's not just some lady drawn in a book.

"That said, the illustrations capture the audience's eye and evoke Thomas's own style. Taken together, the text, illustrations, and photographs create a relatable and admirable Alma Thomas whom readers will be delighted to get to know. "I recommend Ablaze with Color."

Where to find Jeanne Walker Harvey books

Jeanne has reviewed over 170 picture book biographies here and

previously on her blog  titled  TRUE TALES