Meet the Illustrator

Brian Pinkney

Portrait of Brian Pinkney

When he was young, Brian Pinkney needed only to look at his parents' careers to see what he himself would grow up to become. His mother is Gloria Jean Pinkney, a children's book writer, and his father is Jerry Pinkney, a children's book illustrator. Brian Pinkney often came home from school and watched his father at work in his art studio. Then he drew and painted in his own "studio" — a closet fixed up with art supplies that his father no longer used.

When he was older, Pinkney earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree in art. His work was shown in art galleries, and his illustrations appeared in several magazines. But he's best known for his children's book illustrations. Pinkney followed in his parents' footsteps in yet another way, by marrying a writer. His wife, Andrea Davis Pinkney, has written many children's books, and Pinkney has illustrated some of them. He has also written and illustrated his own books.

Brian Pinkney says, "I make pictures for the child in me. My work is actually my way of playing. That's why I think children enjoy my books; they recognize me as one of their own."

Photography Credit


Other Books Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

  • Where Does the Trail Lead?
    (written by Burton Albert)
  • A Wave in Her Pocket: Stories from Trinidad
    (written by Lynn Joseph)
  • Sukey and the Mermaid
    (written by Robert San Souci)
  • Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin' Cowboy
    (written by Andrea D. Pinkney)
  • Alvin Ailey
    (written by Andrea D. Pinkney)
  • Cut from the Same Cloth
    (written by Robert San Souci)
  • In the Time of the Drums
    (written by Kim Siegelson)

Other Books Written and Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

  • Max Found Two Sticks
  • Jojo's Flying Side Kick
  • The Adventures of Sparrowboy
  • Cosmo and the Robot