Growing up during the civil rights movement in North Carolina, Vanessa Brantley-Newton understood the importance of making youth feel empowered and accepted. The day Brantley-Newton came across The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, her world changed. Being able to see someone that looked like her and lived in a neighborhood similar to her own was a defining moment in her life. As an illustrator, she celebrates self-love and acceptance of all cultures and ethnicities throughout her work. Brantley-Newton illustrates and writes her stories to reflect every child’s experience, so they can have the chance to feel the same sense of empowerment she felt reading The Snowy Day.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton studied fashion illustration at Fashion Institute of Technology and children’s illustrations at the School of Visual Arts. Music as well as vintage art and fashion have vastly inspired her work, which adds a fun and whimsical flare to her books.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is the author and illustrator of Grandma’s Purse, Let Freedom Sing, and Don’t Let Auntie Mable Bless the Tables and has illustrated numerous children’s books including Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, One Love by Bob and Cedella Marley, and the Jada Jones series by Kelly Starling Lyons. She was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and has been a speaker on TEDx Talks.
The St. Louis Public Library is looking forward to hosting Vanessa Brantley-Newton for Spring’s Read It Together program at the Schlafly Library on March 23. Families in attendance will receive a free copy of Grandma’s Purse at the event, while supplies last. Vanessa Brantley-Newton will sign books and meet readers after the event. Find out more!
Praise for Mary Had a Little Glam
“Vanessa can seriously do no wrong! I love all of the bright and cheerful colors she used, the diversity in the characters and her outstanding attention to detail...A must-have book for fashion-forward little readers everywhere." -Here We Read
Praise for We Shall Overcome
“The colorful, mixed-media, collage illustrations are detailed and beautiful, giving more life to the words of this historic and inspiring anthem. The art appears on full spreads with phrases from the song in large print above or below the text. This handsome book will be highly useful for classroom and family discussions.” -School Library Journal