When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Origins of Hip Hop
Illustrated by Theodor3, a hot, young new artist, this new picture book by Laban Carrick Hill tells the story of the Godfather of Hip Hop. When DJ Kool Herc spun records for his sister's sweet sixteen birthday in the South Bronx in the 1970s, he didn't know that he would invent rap and hip hop. But that's what he did. This is the amazing story of how a kid scratched and rapped his way into starting an entire new music.
"Here’s a twofer: an expert biography of a hip hop and rap pioneer, and a not-to-be-missed picture-book debut by Taylor, a Washington, D.C.–based artist. Herc, an aspiring DJ and reluctant immigrant from Jamaica to the Bronx, was working a house party at his Sedgwick Avenue housing project when inspiration struck: he put the same record on two turntables to extend the break in a song (“when the lyrics ended and the music bumped and thumped”) and added verbal riffs drawn from Jamaican chanting and toasting. “Kool Herc’s music made everybody happy,” writes Hill (Dave the Potter). “Even street gangs wanted to dance, not fight.” Hill walks the fine line between knowledgeable reporter and passionate fan (as is clear in his vivid author’s note), and Taylor does the same, using a meticulous inkline and washes of textured earth tones to convey both a sense of observational precision and a mural-like expressionism. Whether Taylor is zooming in on Herc’s dexterous hands manipulating the turntables or pulling back for a birds-eye view of the first break dance performances, he makes readers feel like they’re present at hip-hop’s inception."
Coming August 2013 with Roaring Brook Press
Dave the Potter
New York Times Bestseller
2011 Caldecott Honor
2011 Coretta Scott King Gold Award for Illustrations
Chicago Public Library's 2010 Best of the Best List
New York Public Library's 2010 Best 100 Books of the Year
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2011
“An inspiring story, perfectly presented....Outstanding in every way.” School Library Journal, Starred Review
Illustrated by award-winning artist Brian Collier, this new picture books is a poem about the slave potter Dave who wrote his own poems on the sides of his pots. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Dave, a slave potter who was not meant to be remembered because he was a slave and considered property. Dave however wrote poems on the sides of his pots and ensured that his work would live well beyond his death. This poem explores the story of Dave's work and his struggle to be remembered.
America Dreaming: How Youth Changed America in the 60s
New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age Selection!
Starred Selection, Best Children's Book 2008, Bank Street College
2007 Parenting Publications Gold Award!
"An excellent textbook for the children and, probably, grandchildren of baby boomers who want to know what the youth culture of the time was all about."–New York Times Book Review
"America Dreaming is a phenomenal piece of work, extensively researched and visually stimulating; an essential resource for children and adults of all ages. Laban Hill has built a time machine with this book, bringing to life not only the music and culture of the 1960s but also the turbulence of change, politics and people standing up for what they believed in."–Howard Zinn
"This is a great book. It tells an important story and tells it well--and pictures it well too."–Pete Seeger, singer/songwriter
A Brush with Napoleon
What is the point of art? Is it to transform the viewer or to create propaganda? In this novel Jean discovers the struggle that artist David lives with in trying to create great paintings and please Napoleon.
Coming Winter 2007
"In Casa Azul, Laban Carrick Hill has woven a strange and wonderful tale, as compelling, surprising, and surreal as Frida Kahlo¹s paintings. A powerful look at one of the 20th century's great artists, and at the magical world in which she lived." --Pete Hautman, author of Godless, 2004 National Book Award Winner
Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance
2004 National Book Award Finalist, Harlem Stomp! is a breathtaking whirlwind tour through this fascinating era. Lavishly designed and illustrated, it’s a virtual time capsule, packed with poetry, prose, photographs, paintings, and historical documents that introduce the amazing lives and work of such notable figures as: Louis Armstrong, Aaron Douglas, W. E. B. Du Bois, Duke Ellington, Jessie Fauset, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, and Augusta Savage.
Contemporary Poetry of New England
This collection of 178 recent poems about New England is a testament to the region’s enduring power as a source of inspiration for poets. Laban Carrick Hill has two poems included in the anthology.
Book 1: Deep Powder Deep Trouble
Book 2: Crossed Tracks
Book 3: Rocked Out: A Summer X-Games Special
Book 4: Half Pipe Rip-Off
Book 5: Lost Wake
Book 6: Out of Line
Book 7: Spiked Snow
Book 8: Total Whiteout
--George C. Wolfe, writer, director, and producer of the Public Theater, NYC
--from the Introduction
4. Middle Grade Series