SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 — 2:00-4:00 PM @ CHAMPAIGN PUBLIC LIBRARY 

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As a young child, Javaka Steptoe served as a model and was the inspiration behind much of the artwork created by his esteemed father, the late John Steptoe. However, the young model went on to establish himself as an outstanding book creator in his own right.

Javaka Steptoe’s debut picture book, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers (Lee & Low Books, ), earned him a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, in addition to a nomination for Outstanding Children’s Literature Work at the 1998 NAACP Image Awards. Since that time, Steptoe has illustrated and/or written more than an dozen books for youth readers, collaborating with some of the top names in the business—Walter Dean Myers, Nikki Grimes, Karen English.

This past January, Steptoe won the 2017 Caldecott Medal for his picture book biography Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Little, Brown), more than thirty years after his father won two Caldecott Honors. The book won many other honors, too, including the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, and multiple starred reviews. An artist/educator who utilizes everyday objects from aluminum plates to pocket lint, and sometimes a jigsaw and paint, to deliver reflective and thoughtful collage creations filled with vitality, playful energy and strength.

Through use of family as a recurring theme Steptoe creates artwork that celebrating the richness of our collective past and memory. His artistry is a reflection of his commitment to children’s education. Steptoe explains, art is survival, it is ingenuity, critical thinking, and self expression it fosters self esteem and empathy. Javaka Steptoe travels extensively reading and conducting workshops at schools, libraries, museums, and conferences across the country and internationally.