Hey You! An Empowering Celebration of Growing up Black
Dapo Adeola is an award-winning illustrator and designer who creates characters and images that challenge expectations around race and gender in a fun and upbeat way. He is the co-creator and illustrator of bestselling picture book Look Up!–winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the UK’s number-one debut picture book of 2019. London born and bred but of Nigerian heritage, when he’s not busy cooking up new characters and adventures you can find Dapo running illustration and character design workshops with children or organizing events to help highlight the possibilities of a career in illustration to underrepresented members of the Black diaspora.
Illustrators: Dapo Adeola, Alyissa Johnson, Sharee Miller, Jade Orlando, Diane Ewen, Reggie Brown, Onyinye Iwu, Chanté Timothy, Gladys Jose, Bex Glendining, Joelle Avelino, Dunni Mustapha, Nicole Miles, Charlot Kristensen, Kingsley Nebechi, Camilla Sucre, Derick Brooks, Jobe Anderson, and Selom Sunu
“An affirmation of Black talent, creativity. and achievement. . . . The challenge and the pride in being Black is the focus of the text. . . . While the illustrations come from a collective effort, they flow successfully from page to page while honoring the diversity of the Black experience in all its beautiful hair styles, skin tones, and body shapes. This title stands out for its call to young readers to embrace their ancestral past and set high expectations for themselves and their future endeavors. Bright, diverse illustrations honor the past and affirm a bright future for Black children called to live out their dreams, whatever they may be, in this highly recommended book.”–School Library Journal
“Equal parts motivational talk, mantra, and prayer, this love letter to Black children across the African diaspora is enhanced by the contributions of nineteen illustrators from around the world. Though the artistic styles are varied, the upbeat text’s theme of joyful hope shines through every page. Through Adeola’s inspiring words and the illustrations’ different perspectives, children are encouraged to see their greatness and revel in the diversity of Blackness. This is a vibrant invitation to celebrate uniqueness in a world of limitations.”–Horn Book
“A sincere ode to Black childhood. . . . Exuberant and varied illustrations . . . accompany this celebration of growing up Black. . . . Adeola was motivated by the question, ‘What might have been different had I felt more confident and assured in my skin at a younger age—if I’d seen my story told?’ His uplifting text is bookended by images of beautiful Black babies. In between, he imparts life lessons, urging Black children to ‘be curious’ and ‘keep searching’ while assuring them that ‘happiness, love and laughter will find you on your journey.’ . . . Heartfelt, hopeful, and honest.”—Kirkus Reviews
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