Another nonfiction picture book review by Jean Matthew Hall
In the spirit of back-to-school I’ll be sharing reviews about several nonfiction picture books over the next few weeks. They’re not only wonderful for kids to read at home for pleasure, but great tools for teachers to use in classrooms.
Please share these posts with the teachers in your life. Thanks.
Ernest Barnes grew up in North Carolina in the 1940s. But in the segregated South, Ernie didn’t know how he could earn a living doing what he loved—drawing and painting.
Between the Lines is the story of how Ernie Barnes went from college and professional football to becoming an artist with paintings displayed all over the United States and featured on TV and record album covers. It was authored by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier. It was published by Simon and Schuster in 2018.
Ernie didn’t really love playing football. But it was his path to college, and college was his path to his real love—painting the people and things around him. He tried doing both things, but eventually had to choose.
By his own persistence ad initiative Ernie became the official painter of the New York Jets football team.
He continued to follow his passion by painting football in action and the beauty that he saw in the ghetto where he lived.
My takeaway from Between the Lines is not just the interesting information about Ernie Barnes, but his attitude of persistence and determination.
The back matter of includes more historical information about Barnes, copies of several of his paintings, author’s notes about her research, an illustrator’s note about Barnes, more resources and sources for the many quotes in this book.
You can read more details about Ernie Barnes here.