It Jes’ Happened

By Booklist

This picture-book introduction to the artist Bill Traylor is astonishing in both its biographical facts and how they are depicted in Christie’s beautiful illustrations. . . . Best known as an illustrator, Tate writes with an appealing rhythm and repetition, and with simple eloquence, he describes Traylor’s work: the “rectangles became bodies; circles became heads and eyes; lines became outstretched arms, hands, and legs.” In images of the artist creating figures on the sidewalk or on scrap paper and discarded cardboard boxes, Christies’s paintings in acrylic and gouache recreate the style of Traylor’s pictures and show how they danced with rhythm. Young people will relate to the folk-art illustrations, while this will interest many adults, too. An afterword fills in more, including the role of the white artist who helped Traylor get recognition.