A Walk in the Woods


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About the Author

Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, the ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature, the Children's Literature Legacy Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her memoir, Ordinary Hazards, received both a Sibert and a Printz Honor. Other distinguished works include the Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jasmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, Words with Wings, and The Road to Paris. She is also the creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown. Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.

Jerry Pinkney was the author and illustrator of many books for young readers, including the Orbis Pictus Award winner A Place to Land and The Lion and the Mouse, for which he earned a Caldecott Medal. He received five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honors, and five New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards. He died in 2021. 

Brian Pinkney is the son of Jerry Pinkney. He continued illustration of A Walk in the Woods after his father passed away, supplementing Jerry’s sketches with watercolor painting. He has illustrated many books for children, including Duke Ellington by his wife Andrea Pinkney, and The Faithful Friend by Robert D San Souci, both of which received Caldecott Honors. He also received the Coretta Scott King Book Award for In the Time of Drums by Kim L. Siegelson. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.


★ "Illustrations and narrative are warp and weft in a beautifully crafted story of grief and triumph. Great for any children’s collection." —School Library Journal, Starred Review

★ "A powerfully layered call to creativity and loving bonds that endure beyond death. . . ."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ "Together, Grimes and the Pinkneys have produced a profoundly stirring and thought-provoking musing on how the ones we love never really leave us. Joy and hope walk alongside sadness and grief in this unforgettable work."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

★ "Grimes wrote the free verse text, which tells the story concisely, while expressing the boy’s shifting emotions beautifully. Before his death in 2021, Jerry Pinkney finished the detailed, engaging drawings, which reflect his love for the natural world. Afterwards, his son Brian Pinkney was asked to add the watercolor washes, which have a distinctive, ethereal quality that enhances the story. An original, inspiring picture book."—Booklist, Starred Review

★ "An exquisite story of heartbreak and hope. The collaboration between Grimes and both Pinkneys is seamless, as if all were completely of one mind."—BookPage, Starred Review
★ "Grimes’ lyrical, skillful text evokes the deep, painful well of the boy’s sorrow yet manages to balance that angst with the wonder and joy he finds along his walk, highlighting the complexity of grief within a constantly changing natural world that relies on both life and death to continue. . . . The artistic collaboration is a true wonder, as Jerry’s signature thin, sketchy linework is brought to life by Brian’s radiant, swirling watercolors, creating a splendid mix of energy and delicacy that complements Grimes’ text with ease."—The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, Starred Review

★ "Grimes captures the woods' sensory delights with precision and lyricism. . . . To see Jerry's sketches lit by Brian's dazzling colors and swirling lines is wondrous. This exceptional story stands as a moving account of a Black boy finding solace in nature--but also serves as a marvelous tribute to Jerry Pinkney."—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

★ "Grimes’s celebration of nature is as eloquent as her treatment of loss is poignant. Brian Pinkney’s watercolor illustrations are equally expressive."—The Horn Book, Starred Review

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