The library hosted Jerry Pinkney yesterday. Pinkney has illustrated over one hundred books, and written many of them. He has also done artwork for the U.S. Postal Service, NASA, and the White House. But, he is best known as the award-winning illustrator of numerous pictures books. His book, The Lion and the Mouse, won the highest honor given to American picture books, the Caldecott Medal.
The wordless book, based on Aesop's Fables, is stunning. And, it was magical to watch Mr. Pinkney draw a lion in pastels.
But, as much as I love children's books featuring mice, my heart belongs to one of his other books, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. It's a charming, beautifully illustrated book of the beloved lullaby, featuring a chipmunk on his adventures to the stars.
Without even knowing why I loved that lullaby, my friend, Donna, presented me with an autographed copy of it as an early birthday gift. At lunch, in my lousy singing voice, I sang my personal version of that lullaby to her.
My father changed the words to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and sang that lullaby to me. For the first (and, probably, only) time, here in print is my father's song.
"Lesa, Lesa, little girl.
Lesa, Lesa, daddy's pearl.
How I wonder what you'll be.
Guess I'll have to wait and see."
My friend, Beth, called this a "God wink", that Donna gave me a book that was a wink, a message of love from my father. And, how perfect that Lisa Von Dresak from Earlyword.com once took a picture of Jerry Pinkney holding a copy of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
So, thank you, Mr. Pinkney. Thank you, Donna. But, most of all, thank you, Dad.
Jerry Pinkney's website is http://www.jerrypinkneystudio.com
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown & Company. 2011. ISBN 9780316056960 (hardcover)