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        Ashley Bryan

        Ashley Bryan is an eclectic artist who uses painting, poetry, music, collage, and prose to tell stories. Bryan fuses these seemingly separate art forms within his books for children. "I try not to accept walls and boundaries and definitions in a strict way," he says. "I would hope that everything I do is interrelated." Bryan is known for retelling African folktales in a distinct, rhythmic prose that is heavily influenced by African-American poetry. In 1981, his collection of Nigerian folktales, Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum, received the Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award.

        http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/bryan

        Books as Gifts

        Ashley Bryan recalls making the first of his many books.

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        A Homemade Library

        Even though they couldn’t afford to buy books, Ashley Bryan and his siblings found a way to build a home library.

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        A Part of Being Human

        Ashley Bryan discusses the role of art in our schools and in our society.

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        Color Barriers

        Despite the overt racism of the times, Ashley Bryan found a way to earn a scholarship to art school.

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        Hearing the Voice

        Ashley Bryan discusses the virtues of reading and the importance of truly listening to the printed word.

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        Retelling Folktales

        Ashley Bryan discusses how he researches old stories and then how he retells them using the devices of poetry.

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        The All-White World of Children's Books

        Ashley Bryan reflects on how children’s books have become more multicultural since the 1960s.

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        "Let it Shine"

        Ashley Bryan explains that popular American folk songs like "This Little Light of Mine, I'm Going to Let it Shine", "When the Saints Go Marching In", and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" were spirituals created by slaves who were not permitted to learn to read or write.

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        An Excerpt from "Hen & Frog"

        Ashley Bryan recites the story of "Hen & Frog."

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