Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Coretta Scott King winner, librarian, and writing hero, recently received the Boston Globe Horn Book award for fiction for No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller. What’s a person to do to honor someone as fantastic as Vaunda? (1)

You start by asking another fantastic person for help. Author/illustrator Jan Thomas (Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy, Rhyming Dust Bunnies, Pumpkin Trouble, and many more) did a hilarious presentation at my library for Dia de los Ninos in April, and a lovely interview right here (2). I asked Jan if she would apply her unique skills and vision to a portrait of Vaunda, who has herself been a Very Brave Cowgirl.

Here’s the do-it-yourself Read poster I made of Vaunda back in 2009, using ALA Graphics Read software (3).

Vaun read poster

And here’s Jan’s take on that poster.

cowgirl vaunda-001

Wow. All I can say is, wow. I don’t know about you, but I see another classic picture book in the making.

Thanks, Jan and Vaunda for being such good sports! And congratulations, Vaunda.

1. Read an interview with Vaunda here. No Crystal Stair has since made PW’s Best books list for 2012.

2. Read an interview with Jan here.

3. Graphic design elements of ALA Graphics Read software are (c) ALA Graphics, for nonprofit use in promoting literacy.

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