Growing up as an enslaved boy on an Alabama cotton farm, Bill Traylor worked all day in the hot fields. When slavery ended, Bill's family stayed on the farm as sharecroppers. There Bill grew to manhood, raised his own family, and cared for the land and his animals.Read more...
Growing up as an enslaved boy on an Alabama cotton farm, Bill Traylor worked all day in the hot fields. When slavery ended, Bill's family stayed on the farm as sharecroppers. There Bill grew to manhood, raised his own family, and cared for the land and his animals.
By 1935 Bill was eighty-one and all alone on his farm. So he packed his bag and moved to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. Lonely and poor, he wandered the busy downtown streets. But deep within himself Bill had a reservoir of memories of working and living on the land, and soon those memories blossomed into pictures. Bill began to draw people, places, and animals from his earlier life, as well as scenes of the city around him.
Today Bill Traylor is considered to be one of the most important self-taught American folk artists. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award Honor, It Jes' Happened is a lively tribute to this man who has enriched the world with more than twelve hundred warm, energetic, and often humorous pictures.
- ISBN-13: 9781600602603
- ISBN-10: 1600602606
- Publisher: Lee & Low Books
- Publish Date: April 2012
- Page Count: 1
- Reading Level: Ages 6-11
- Dimensions: 8.8 x 10.9 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-02-20
- Reviewer: Staff
In 1939 Montgomery, Ala., 85-year-old former slave Bill Traylor began to draw. In understated prose, Tate imagines the wellspring of memories that might have contributed to Traylor’s outpouring of art so late in life: jumping in the Alabama River as a child, witnessing the Civil War and its aftermath, and caring for animals on the farm where he lived after emancipation: “Bill saved up these memories deep inside.” After the death of his wife, Traylor moved into Montgomery, where, homeless, he began drawing on sidewalks and assorted objects. Soon after, an artist named Charles Shannon took an interest in his work, arranging for an exhibit of Traylor’s work. Christie’s acrylic and gouache illustrations nod toward Traylor’s own style, with bold color blocks and naïf figures, in this thoughtful reflection on the nature of creative inspiration and a man who “has come to be regarded as one of the most important self-taught American folk artists.” Ages 6–11. (Apr.)