Jerry Pinkney, a renowned children’s book author, illustrator and artist will appear at Germantown Friends School’s Friends Free Library, 5418 Germantown Ave., at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, as the inaugural speaker in the newly-launched Community Writers Series.
The mission of the series is to celebrate reading and writing by featuring nationally known authors with local ties to Germantown. In addition to showcasing writers from the greater GFS community, it will also highlight authors from the Germantown neighborhood.
“Germantown’s storied history includes numerous writers who were born here, like Louisa May Alcott, or who wrote about Germantown, like Lorene Cary, or who lived here, like Jerry Pinkney,” said Anne Gerbner, Upper School English teacher, director of GFS’s Independent Studies program and a member of the committee that developed the concept for the series. “This series will honor writers with strong ties to Germantown in a lovely library that has opened its doors to all readers for 140 years.”
Pinkney, a Germantown native, has illustrated more than 100 children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Caldecott Medal, five New York Times “Best Illustrated Books” distinctions and five Coretta Scott King Awards.
Pinkney has had more than 30 one-man exhibitions. “Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” appeared at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this year from June 28-Sept.2 His most recent book, “The Tortoise and the Hare” – which received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly for its “magnificently illustrated version of this famous fable,” lending “the race the excitement of an Olympic event” – was published in October.
On Nov. 19, Pinkney will discuss his memories of Germantown and his work as an artist and storyteller of folktales, fairy tales and African-American history. Historic Germantown is partnering with the Friends Free Library on the event, one of two in the series’ inaugural year. Novelist/musician Wesley Stace, author of the forthcoming “Wonderkid,” is slated to appear in March.
“The Friends Free Library Community Writers Series represents the heart of Germantown Friends School – a diverse, well-read community engaged in conversations about art, writing, history and the connections that make us human,” said Chris Singler, head of the English Department and a member of the Writers Series committee. “In basing this series locally, we hope to provide space and celebration for the writers among us, to highlight the art being made around the corner and around the world.”