Take of Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!
Andrea Loney/ Keith Mallett
A story about the photographer, James VanDerZee, his journey as an artist, and his significance during the Harlem Renaissance.
As a teacher, I love this book. I’m so glad it exists. This nonfiction picture book tells the story of James VanDerZee, an African-American photographer and his influence in art, and significance in capturing images that embodied the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. It won Lee & Low’s New Voices Award.
It addresses discrimination, work ethic, photography, and community. Big beautiful illustrations accompany the words, and at the end of the book are a few pages of additional information about VanDerZee and his legacy. I love that it shares a story about a man that many may not have heard of before, and it’s a fun story for kids to listen to!
None, appropriate for all ages, and a great book to discuss racism and discrimination.
This book can be used with so many units:
- History – Black History Month, the Harlem Renaissance
- Art/music – photography, Harlem Renaissance–listen to some jazz by Duke Ellington!
- Reading and literature – the Harlem Renaissance–seriously, bust out all of the writings and poems from writers like Langston Hughes.