Home > Blog > Event: Whose Life Stories Are…

Event: Whose Life Stories Are Being Neglected in Picture Books?

On Saturday, May 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., NYU Steinhardt’s Constantine Georgiou Library and Resource Center for Children and Literature will host Whose Life Is It Anyway?, a half-day symposium exploring diversity in picture book biographies.

The event will tackle key issues related to diversity such as whose life stories are celebrated versus whose are often ignored and not told. The event will also take a look at how thoughtfully these life stories are written for young readers, and look at which authors are telling these stories.

This event is Georgiou Library’s second annual symposium. The program will consist of three parts:

  1. A keynote address by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson, founders of Just Us Books.
  2. A deep-dive panel discussion about the making of award-winning picture book biography, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. The panel will include the book’s author Laban Carrick Hill, illustrator Bryan Collier, and art director Patti Ann Harris.
  3. A panel discussion around the theme of diversity in picture book biographies. Panelists will include author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe, illustrator Raúl Colón, marketing associate for Lee & Low Books Jalissa Corrie, and Annie Lin, senior children’s librarian at The New York Public Library. The panel will be moderated by NYU Steinhardt Assistant Professor of Special Education Natasha Strassfeld. Audience members are encouraged to bring questions of their own for this panel.


The Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life

Rooms 905/907

60 Washington Square S

New York, NY 10012

The event is free and open to the public. Interested attendees can register at http://bit.ly/2KV8adY.

For any additional information, please contact Kendra Tyson at Kendra.Tyson@nyu.edu. Journalists interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Jordan.Bennett@nyu.edu.

The Library’s Growing Collection

The growing collection of picture book biographies at Georgiou Library currently contains 250 volumes. The collection – which has grown from its original donation of 140 picture book biographies by renowned children’s literature scholar, historian and author Leonard S. Marcus – is often used as a reference collection for faculty and students, and reading material for children involved in community programming offered by the library.

In addition to picture book biographies, the Georgiou Library contains several other categories of children’s literature, including early concept books, fairy tales, poetry, and Caldecott Medal and Honor Books. The library and all books are available to the NYU community, researchers from around the globe and the public by appointment.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School’s mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

Back to Top