See Jerry Draw: Jerry Pinckney Wins Top Children's Book Illustrator Award
I can recall my very first reader like it was yesterday -- the phrase "See Spot run" and the image of a galloping dog with floppy ears is indelibly engraved in my memory. The pictures in these primers were as important as the words, helping to anchor in my young mind the meaning of each grouping of vowels and consonants. Last month, Jerry Pinckney became the first individual African American illustrator to win the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association’s highest honor, for his adaptation of one of Aesop's fables, The Lion and the Mouse.
This would be a story in itself, if it were not for the fact that Jerry Pinckney’s wife Gloria, his sons Brian and Miles, and his daughters-in-law Andrea and Sandra are all involved in the field of children’s literature as either writers, illustrators, or photographers. The Pinckney clan originated in Philadelphia, where patriarch Jerry began life as a dyslexic student who carried a sketch pad around with him everywhere he went. A chance meeting with professional cartoonist John Liney gave Pinckney an entirely different outlook on life. "I realized that some people got up in the morning and drew images. That was their job."
Pinckney won a scholarship at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, where he met and married his wife Gloria. After beginning his career in Boston, he joined other artists in opening a studio collective before branching out on his own. Since 1964 he has illustrated more than 100 picture books.He has also designed a dozen postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service Black Heritage Series. According to Pinkney, "I wanted to show that an African American artist could make it on a national level in the graphic arts.”
The awards Pinkney has won in his lifetime:
Pinckney is a very accessible artist, who has revealed in numerous print and on-line interviews how he works. "I don't see things until I draw them. When I put a line down, the only thing I know is how it should feel, and I know when it doesn't feel right. I work with a pencil in one hand and an eraser in the other, not knowing what I have until I put it down," he told Elizabeth Kennedy of About.com
In an interview with Rick Margolis for the School Library Journal, Pinckney described how he visualized his subjects, which are often animals:
Rick Margolis: "You own more than 100 books on nature and animals. But the first thing you often do when you’re drawing an animal is to pretend you’re that creature."
Jerry Pinckney: "Sometimes I’ll stand in front of a mirror and go through a series of expressions or body movements. Then I’ll take that back to the drawing table and try to incorporate that mood or feeling. Oftentimes, I’m asked about what makes my personification of animals different from other artists’. I’ve tried to make sure the anatomy is close to what a lion or a mouse looks like, but I want their expressions and sometimes their posture to almost mimic human posture."
At 70, this life-long artist shows no sign of slowing down. His commitment to depicting multicultural images in his work has contributed immeasurably to the racial equality movement's impact on the formative years of our nation's youth. An amazing individual whose passion for his work has inspired his entire family to join him in the creative arts, Jerry Pinckney looks to continue creating his beautiful illustrations for years to come.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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