Javaka Steptoe

In the 1980s, Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique collage-style paintings became a cultural phenomenon, unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a small child who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words we use, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork, which echo Basquiat’s own, introduce young readers to the powerful message that art does not always have to be neat or clean—and certainly not within the lines—to be beautiful.