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Author and illustrator Kadir Nelson was in Kalamazoo last week for a couple of days. While here, he visited with students at Woods Lake Elementary and at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home. He talked with the kids about the importance of doing something that you love, saying that everyone has to have a job but that you should make sure that you find a job where you can do what you love every day. He also showed the kids at Woods Lake how drawing is made up of shapes . . . he even created a unique portrait of their principal, Mr. Hawkins! At the Juvenile Home, Nelson talked with students about the idea that "beauty denies negativity" and how he has chosen positive ways to deal with the anger that he has had in his life.
Besides the school visits, Mr. Nelson spoke to an audience at Eastwood Branch Library and was the keynote speaker at the Mary Calletto Rife Children's Literature Seminar on Friday. Throughout all of his presentations, Kadir Nelson focused on the importance of education as the constant in achieving goals. Every days he uses not only his artistic skills, but also the research skills he learned in high school to create the beautiful (and accurate) paintings that illustrate his books.
If you missed Kadir Nelson's visit, take a look at his books in the library's collection.
By Cheney Lyon, 02/03/2010