New exhibit at the Delaware Library


The Delaware County District Library is hosting a one-of-a-kind sign exhibit titled “Telling a People’s Story: Illustrated Literature for African American Children” this winter.

Organized by the Miami University Art Museum with a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, this is the first time that illustrated literature for African American children has been featured in a museum exhibition.

The panel exhibition features 130 works of art by 33 artists and 95 books, and covers 50 years of creativity. Featured artists include Caldecott Medalists and Laureates like John Steptoe, Ashley Bryan, EB Lewis, Leo and Diane Dillon, R. Gregory Christie and Jerry Pinkney.

The exhibit will be on view at the Delaware Main Library from Jan.3-31 and at the Orange Branch Library from Feb.1-28. Learn about the exhibit at

The Delaware County District Library is delighted to welcome R. Gregory Christie, panelist and acclaimed children’s book illustrator, on February 11 and 12 for a variety of activities. On Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Christie will host an after-hours painting workshop for tweens, teens and adults. Then on Saturday, the whole family can create a book together during Christie’s Drawing and Binding Workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required for both of these activities, so reserve your spot today.

Do you want to get closer to the exhibition? Between 10:30 a.m. and noon on February 12, Christie will be offering guided tours of the Tell a Story exhibit panels, highlighting the other authors and illustrators featured on the panels and the artistic techniques used.

Along with this special exhibit, the library offers programs throughout January and February to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month.

“Meet Dr. King,” performed by Bright Star Touring Theater, is an introduction to an American hero and will inspire young audiences to use peace, leadership and conflict resolution in their own schools and communities. Content is suitable for pre-K ages and up. Two performances will be given on Monday January 17th. One will take place at 2:00 p.m. in the Orange Branch Library, and the same performance will take place later in the evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Delaware Main Library.

The Bright Star Touring Theater returns to the Orange Branch Library on Monday, February 21 at 11 a.m. with African Folktales, a celebration of world cultures, literature and the art of interactive African storytelling. Children from kindergarten to elementary school will enjoy this show filled with imaginative costumes and audience participation.

The library and our community partners of the Friends of the Library, the Richard M. Ross Art Museum, the Delaware African American Heritage Council, and the Arts Castle look forward to sharing this exhibit and all of the accompanying programs and performances with the community of Delaware County.

Check out some of the titles below to see the art featured in the panel exhibit and by our guest illustrator.

• “Freedom in Congo Square”, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. A poetic tribute to a lesser-known event in African American history describes how, after working tirelessly for more than six days, slaves in 19th-century New Orleans were allowed to gather in Congo Square to sing , dance and put their problems aside for a few hours.

• “Richard Wright and the Library Card”, written by William Miller, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. A seventeen-year-old African American boy borrows a white man’s library card and devours each book like a ticket to freedom.

• “The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore”, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Tells the story of the National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux in 1939, seen from the perspective of Louis Michaux Jr., who met famous men like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X while helping.

• “Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Vice Marshal of the United States,” written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Tells the life story of U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, a black man born into slavery who became the most successful lawyer in the Wild West, bringing thousands of fugitives to justice through fear, cunning and respect despite an atmosphere of prejudice.

• “Roots and Blues: A Celebration”, written by Arnold Adoff, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. The lyrical text explores how the blues has been a part of everyday life throughout history, from its origins in the sounds of the earth, to the voices of slaves singing freedom, to the greatest performers and listeners. today.

If you have a question you would like answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362 -3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s website at or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!


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