Day 24: Andrea Davis Pinkney

adp-photoIn the 1990s, I was new to the art and business of writing. I dappled in adult magazine articles, then articles for young readers. I discovered early readers and found editors who thought they were worthy of publication. Then, I decided to write something else, something different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it or the words on paper even if I knew what I wanted to write. Not until I discovered picture book biographies. Not until I discovered Andrea Davis Pinkney’s BILL PICKET: RODEO – RIDIN’ COWBOY at my local library.



I live in Oklahoma and knew about bulldogging Bill Pickett and the 101 Ranch. I never saw his story presented quite like hers. Reading it gave me permission to try something new with fun words like yip-yapping. It showed me how to tell a fascinating story with words and pictures. Pinkney’s book opened a world of possibilities.                                                                                             bill-picket


Of course, the path from discovering picture book biographies to writing and publishing one was not fast or easy for me. I kept studying, especially Pinkney’s work.






I followed her career with books like Martin & Mahalia. It was like a home study course on how to write about the relationship between two iconic people.


One day as I read how two other people collaborated throughout their careers, I thought back on her book. Maybe, because Andrea Davis Pinkney showed me the way, their story will become a picture book biography.





A Poem for Peter

A Poem for Peter




For more information about her books including her latest, A Poem for Peter, visit her website: Andrea Davis Pinkney.

In an interview on the blog Understood Pinkney shares how she writes to motivate kids to read.

By Gwendolyn Hooks

2 thoughts on “Day 24: Andrea Davis Pinkney

  1. Ooh, A POEM FOR PETER is not for the nephews, it is for ME (that cover, though!! So gorgeous). Ms. Pinkney always shines in her books with that little nugget of gold from an angle one doesn’t expect. Her MARTIN & MAHALIA book gave me the same feeling – there was a connection there that most people don’t know about, and now it’s out there,standing tall. I appreciate her work in the book community.

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