THE STORY OF JUMPING MOUSE
John Steptoe is a Caldecott winning author (among many other awards) and the inspiration for the esteemed children's book award, The John Steptoe New Talent Award which is awarded at ALA each year.
John Steptoe began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was a student in the HARYOU-ACT Art Program and instructed by the highly recognized African American oil painter, Norman Lewis. He continued his studies at the Vermont Academy, where he was instructed by sculptor John Torres, and by William Majors, a painter acclaimed by the Museum of Modem Art for his etchings and printmaking.His work first came to national attention in 1969 when his first book, STEVIE, appeared in its entirety in Life magazine, hailed as "a new kind of book for black children." Mr. Steptoe, who had begun work on Stevie at the age of 16, was then 18 years old. In his 20-year career, Mr. Steptoe illustrated 15 more picture books, ten of which he also wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a prestigious award for children's book illustration: THE STORY OF JUMPING MOUSE in 1985 and MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS in 1988. Mr. Steptoe twice received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, for MOTHER CROCODILE (text by Rosa Guy) in 1982, and for MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS.
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