Picture Book Illustration

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

By Donna Janell Bowman
Illustrated by Daniel Minter

A horse that can read, write, spell, and do math? Ridiculous! That’s what people thought in the late 1800s—until they met Jim Key.

Born a weak and wobbly colt in 1889, Jim was cared for by William “Doc” Key, a formerly enslaved man and self-taught veterinarian who believed in treating animals with kindness, patience, and his own homemade remedies. Under Doc’s watchful eyes, Jim grew to be a healthy young stallion with a surprising talent—a knack for learning! For seven years, Doc and Jim worked together perfecting Jim’s skills. Then it was time for them to go on the road, traveling throughout the United States and impressing audiences with Jim’s amazing performances. In the process, they broke racial barriers and raised awareness for the humane treatment of animals.

Here is the true story of an extraordinary horse and the remarkable man who nurtured the horse’s natural abilities. Together they asked the world to step right up and embrace their message of kindness toward animals.

Picture Book Illustration

Ellen's Broom (Coretta Scott King Honor - Illustrator Honor Title)

By Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrated by Daniel Minter

A young girl learns a new meaning for freedom during the time of Reconstruction

Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family anyway. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife.

When Ellen and her family make the long trip to the courthouse dressed in their best, she brings the broom her parents had jumped so many years before. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important too. After Mama and Papa's names are recorded in the register, Ellen nearly bursts with pride as her parents jump the broom once again.

Ellen is a wonderfully endearing character whose love for her family is brought to life in Daniel Minter's rich and eye-catching block print illustrations.