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Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful.

What's Inside

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Praise for Radiant Child:

Winner of the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal
An IndieBound Bestseller
Winner of the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
Essence Magazine Top Ten Books of the Year
NAACP Image Awards Nomination for Outstanding Literary Work in Children
Bank Street College of Education 2017 Best Children's Book of the Year
NPR Best Books of 2016
Washington Post Best Books of 2016
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016
School Library Journal Best Books of 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2016
Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of 2016
New York Public Library 2016 Best Books for Kids
Chicago Public Library 2016 Best Books for Kids
ALA Notable Book for Children
A CCBC Best of Year Choice
A Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2017 Selection
Horn Book 2017 Summer Reading Choice
Amazon Best Book of November 2016
*"Vibrant colors and personal symbols channel the 'sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still BEAUTIFUL' paintings, incorporating meticulously attributed collage elements and capturing the artist's energy and mystery. Stellar bookmarking--a riveting portrait of a young artist."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
*"In this visually arresting and vibrantly narrated biography, Steptoe...emulates 1980s street art by layering paint, paper scraps, paint tubes, and photos on found-wood panels.... Steptoe downplays tragic elements, instead celebrating Basquiat's irreverance and brilliance."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
*"Javaka Steptoe is the perfect person to create this book: a tour de force that will introduce an important artist to a new generation."—The Horn Book (starred review)
*"One extraordinary artist illuminates another in this textured, heartfelt picture book biography.... Pairing simple text with expressive, encompassing illustrations, this excellent title offers a new generation a fittingly powerful introduction to an artistic luminary."—School Library Journal (starred review)
* "This is a beautifully illustrated biography...[and] an excellent read aloud, especially in the art classroom."—School Library Connection (starred review)
* "A lively, engaging introduction to a one-of-a-kind artist perfect for art-loving kids.... An excellent read-aloud."—Booklist, starred review
"Vibrantly colored, humming with energy, Javaka Steptoe's paintings evoke the style of Jean-Michel Basquiat."—Virginian-Pilot
"Steptoe tells a complex story in simple child-appropriate language and illustrates it with paintings brimming with joy, sorrow and outsized inspiration."—Chicago Tribune
"Art need not be neat to be beautiful, a message underscored by this boldly beautiful bio of a 1980s phenom."—San Francisco Tribune
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