The Influence of Jerry Pinkney

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

So I don’t know when I first became aware of Jerry Pinkney’s amazing illustrations, but I remember my very first book with his illustrations, ”Home Place” 1990. No I wasn’t a young child, I was a young aspiring illustrator with young boys and picture books were a treasure.

I loved his style, his design and the beautiful feeling of freedome that his illustrations displayed. I loved this picture book and studied the illustrations for hours. I read it to my boys. I went searching for more at the library

Barbara Williams took me to my first big SCBWI Conference in Los Angelos. What luck, Jerry Pinkney was presenting and signing books I had scraped up enough money for the conference but not much for books.

I was green. I didn’t know the proper manners for signing books. I had ”Home Place” at home and wanted a signature for it. I waited in the long line to meet Jerry Pinkney.

“So I have ”Home Place at home is there a chance you could give me a signature for it?

Jerry Pinkney asked, ”Did you buy it?

”No . It was a birthday gift but I asked my husband for it specifically.
Jerry Pinkney took a purple post it note and signed his name on the note and handed it over with a kind smile. I took it home and tucked it in my book.

So when money came, I bought more Jerry Pinkney books. When Jerry Pinkney came down to BYU in Provo, I once again stood in a long line. This time I had a book for him to sign This time there was a question running through my brain. What do you use to put the line around your illustrations? Could I ask him that question? Would he answer that question? I really wanted to know and there was no other way than to ask? You know that pit you get in your stomach the closer I got the bigger the pit got Finally I’m there at the table. Jerry smiles and signs my book. I open my mouth and the words actually come out. I get my answer, graphite pencil and indigo. It changed the way I did my illustrations.

Detail from Emma Jo’s Song by Faye Gibbons illustrated by Sherry Meidell details with Graphite pencil and indigo.

Jerry Pinkney continued to inspire me with his books. I purchased them when I got a chance. I saw him on the streets of San Feancisco with his family one evening after signing books at ALA. I went and listened to him present at SCBWI in NewYork.


So it tugged at my heart when I opened my Publishers Weekly and read that Jerry Pinkney was gone. But he is still inspiting me. He was working on projects. That’s how I want to go out. Creating. Thanks Jerry for a lifetime filled with beautiful illustrations and books to cherish and love.

About Sherry Meidell

Sherry Meidell is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society Western Federation Watercolor Society and the Utah Watercolor Society. She loves to paint with watercolor whether she is painting pictures or illustrating children's picture books. She is a member of SCBWI. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
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1 Response to The Influence of Jerry Pinkney

  1. The Influence of Jerry Pinkney

    On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, SherryMeidell’sTeetertotterTales wrote:

    > Sherry Meidell posted: ” The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney So I > don’t know when I first became aware of Jerry Pinkney’s amazing > illustrations, but I remember my very first book with his illustrations, > ”Home Place” 1990. No I wasn’t a young child, I was a young aspiring ” >

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