The Shape of Sound: The Picture Book Art of Sean Qualls by Sean Qualls

Central Library
Additional Location
Youth Wing

When I work, I draw inspiration from an array of influences such as movies, childhood memories, aging and decaying surfaces, folk art, black memorabilia, golden books and more.

This exhibition spans from Sean Qualls’s earliest published book work to his most recent books including collaborations with his wife Selina Alko. Featured books include Before John Was a Jazz Giant, Freedom Song, The Case for Loving, and others. Also included are book dummies and sketches from various project stages. 

Sean Qualls_BPL exhibitSean Qualls is an award winning, Brooklyn-based, children’s book illustrator, artist and author. He has illustrated a number of highly acclaimed books for children,including Giant Steps to Change The World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son Slade, and Before John Was a Jazz Giant, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. Qualls’ work has received two Blue Ribbon citations from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books where he was also cited for his “serious craftsmanship” and an “original style.” He lives in lives in Brooklyn (where you can find him DJing on occasion) with Alko and their two children.




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