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The State of Things

The Illustrations of Ashley Bryan

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An assignment from his kindergarten teacher to make a book about the alphabet set Ashley Bryan on the path to become a writer and illustrator of children’s literature. It was unchartered territory for an African-American at the time, but Bryan broke through the barriers of the publishing industry and has written more than 30 books since 1962. The award-winning artist and author is the recipient of this year’s Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and he’s being honored by the North Carolina Museum of Art with an exhibit called “Rhythms of the Heart: The Illustration of Ashley Bryan.” Bryan joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his career, the importance of reflecting the black experience in books for young readers and his latest work “Who Built the Stable?” (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/2012).

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