Mama Africa

Recipient of The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Illustrator Award for New Talent: Charly Palmer for Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Capturing Miriam's Sound

His debut in the world of picture books, which tells the story of Grammy Award-winning South African singer Miriam Makeba, came to Palmer out of the blue. After art director Anne Diebel and editor Grace Kendall saw his work online, he tells me in an email conversation, they reached out to him about illustrating his first children’s book. “Because I have always had a great love and affection for children's books,” he says, “this was an exciting opportunity for me, one that I wasn't willing to pass up.” 

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There's a Dragon in my Closet

In his debut as a picture-book illustrator, fine artist Palmer depicts a young black boy with a crown of dreadlocks atop his head and a big imagination. He’s convinced that a dragon in his closet is responsible for various happenings (leaving a dollar bill under his pillow when he loses a tooth, tidying his room while he’s out) and also for the mischief he’s blamed for (tracking mud in the house, breaking a flower pot, eating all the cookies in the jar). He tells his parents about the dragon at the beginning of the book, but after the cookie incident, his exasperated mother leads him to his closet—where they... 

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Other Illustrations