Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Kathleen Benson
Illustrator: Benny Andrews
Publisher: Clarion Books
From Andrews' humble beginnings as the son of sharecroppers in Plainview, Georgia to his success as a well-known and respected artist, Benny drew inspiration for his art from what he saw around him. His ability to show life as it truly was enabled him to use his art to support the American Civil Rights movement. Benny’s success inspired him to share his love of art with others, including the victims of Hurricane Katrina, to whom he counseled “draw what you see.”
Benny Andrews' own paintings tell the story of his life, with the text providing further detail and explanation. The book is written simply enough for even young readers to understand without being overly simplistic or condescending. Additional information about Andrews’ life is included at the back of the book along with a timeline of his life events. Benny Andrews’ story is one of determination and grit which will inspire readers to use their own talents and unique perspective to make a difference.