It Jes' Happened by Don Tate
When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Don Tate

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Don Tate makes his debut as an author with the publication of It Jes' Happened. He has also illustrated more than forty trade and educational books for children, including the highly-praised Summer Sun Risin' and Black All Around!, published by Lee & Low Books; She Loved Baseball; and Ron's Big Mission. Tate and his family live in Austin, Texas. He can be found online at dontate.com .R. Gregory Christie is a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor. His work for Lee & Low includes two books that won this award: The Palm of My Heart and Brothers in Hope. Christie has also been twice recognized on The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books list. He currently paints in the evenings while traveling around the country doing school visits. His website is gas-art.com
 
Published April 1, 2012 by Lee & Low Books. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for It Jes' Happened

Kirkus Reviews

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In his debut as a picture-book author, Tate crafts prose that is clear and specific, the lively text sometimes surrounded by playful figures cavorting off the pages as Traylor draws them.

Feb 15 2012 | Read Full Review of It Jes' Happened: When Bill T...

Publishers Weekly

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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: â...

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of It Jes' Happened: When Bill T...

Examiner

A recent children's picture book celebrating the work of folk artist Bill Traylor will appeal to those who are fans of folk art and anyone interested in the history of art in America.

Jul 08 2012 | Read Full Review of It Jes' Happened: When Bill T...

A Patchwork of Books

When I sold So Not The Drama in 2006, among YA’s hot topics were not enough books featuring African American teens outside of the historical fiction or inner city blues realm and never enough “boy” books.

Jun 17 2015 | Read Full Review of It Jes' Happened: When Bill T...

A Patchwork of Books

When I sold So Not The Drama in 2006, among YA’s hot topics were not enough books featuring African American teens outside of the historical fiction or inner city blues realm and never enough “boy” books.

Jun 17 2015 | Read Full Review of It Jes' Happened: When Bill T...

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