Children’s author-illustrator Bryan Collier has designed the official poster for the 2021 Children’s Book Week, which will take place May 3–9 and November 8–14. The poster, revealed here for the first time, was released by the Children’s Book Council and its charitable arm, Every Child a Reader, which run the now semi-annual event honoring children’s books and the love of reading.
Collier is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient, for Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews (2015), Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill (2010), Rosa by Nikki Giovanni (2005) and Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport (2001). His first book as author and illustrator, Uptown (2000), won the Coretta Scott King Book Award and the Ezra Jack Keats Award. He has also earned five additional Coretta Scott King Book Awards and three Coretta Scott King Honors.
As illustrator of this year’s Book Week poster, Collier joins a notable roster of artists, including last year’s designer Carin Berger and predecessors Yuyi Morales and Christian Robinson. Collier was chosen by an independent panel of judges made up of Dahyna Garcia, James Jeske, Stephanie Seales, Rocco Staino, Shadra Strickland, and Sugene Yang-Kelly.
In the 2021 poster, Collier utilizes his signature watercolor style to showcase kids reading atop the pages of open-faced books, while a costume-clad reader proudly flexes her muscles in honor of this year’s theme, “Reading Is a Superpower.” Shaina Birkhead, associate executive director of the CBC and Every Child a Reader, said, “Bryan used many elements to capture the superpower theme in his art. His use of color, the way the book appears to be flying on the page carrying kids to new worlds through reading, and the power and hope that the characters exude all make the theme come to life.”
Collier told PW, “I think books can ignite the superpower in all of us, and Book Week provides a launch pad to take off and soar.” His poster will be distributed to educators, librarians, booksellers, and parents at home who pledge to participate in this year’s program; indie bookstores will receive the poster through the ABA’s white box mailing for March. Each registrant is entitled to two posters from now through the end of March.