Author(s): Christopher Myers
'My pen rides dinosaurs and hides an elephant in a teacup. What can your pen do?' So begins Myers' tale of how to overcome adversity using only what you have available. The premise that all children have access to their own imaginations, even if they have access to little else emerged from Myers' time spent touring Juvenile Detention centres asking young people what helped them overcome feelings of disenfranchisement. The answer, resoundingly, was art.
Like a more sophisticated Harold and the Purple Crayon, celebrated children's book illustrator Myers builds whole worlds with only the pen in his hand. After admitting that he sometimes feels small compared to powerful people, he says, "Then I remember I have my peen." From there, he demonstrates how much power his pen gives him. First he draws a giant man in work clothes; then he shrinks that man down to fit in the hand of a girl. A tiny version of the artist, depicted as a young boy in a big hat, rides a huge T. rex, then sails across the ocean in a boat made of folded newspaper. Myers' imaginative and realistic black-ink drawings, each one full of detail and made lively with crosshatched shading, are scattered over each page, some appearing as ordered compositions while others look like playful doodles. In straightforward lines, Myers mentions his worries, the people he loves, and the realities of failure, depicted in page-covering ink splotches. Imaginative kiddos will appreciate this empowering ode to creativity. Sarah Hunter Booklist"
Christopher Myers has exhibited his work at MoMA PS1, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Goethe Institute in Ghana. His illustrations for "Harlem," written by his father, Walter Dean Myers, were awarded a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He has also won Coretta Scott King Honors for "Jazz" and "Black Cat," and he is the critically acclaimed illustrator of Jabberwocky and Love: Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings, as well as the author/illustrator of "Fly!" Christopher lives in Brooklyn, New York.