cover image Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

Andrea J. Loney, illus. by Keith Mallett. Lee & Low, $19.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62014-260-8

In an absorbing picture book biography, Loney introduces African-American photographer VanDerZee, who moved from Massachusetts to Harlem at age 18 with a dream and a camera: “He saw what was special in everyone and captured each person’s story on film.” Mallett’s lush acrylic paintings glow with a golden light in several scenes, treating his subject (and the Harlem Renaissance movement he documented) with the same reverence VanDerZee brought to his work. Loney closes on a triumphant note with VanDerZee’s photographs on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An extensive afterword features several of VanDerZee’s photographs and additional insights into his life and work. Ages 7–11. Author’s agent: Jill Corcoran, Jill Corcoran Agency. (June)

Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated the book was the author's debut.