The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

By Patricia Hruby Powell; Christian Robinson (Illustrator)

Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9781452103143, 104pp.

Publication Date: January 2014

Coretta Scott King Book Award, Illustrator, Honor
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, Honor
Boston Globe Horn Book Award, Nonfiction Honor
Parent's Choice Award
Wall Street Journal's 10 Best Children's Books of the Year List
Bologna Ragazzi Nonfiction Honor 2014
In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine's powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

About the Author
Patricia Hruby Powell danced throughout the Americas and Europe with her dance company, One Plus One, before becoming a writer of children's books. She lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Christian Robinson likes to stay indoors on rainy days and look out the window while drinking a big cup of hot cocoa. He has illustrated this book, as well as a few others, while staying indoors on rainy days. Christian lives in San Francisco, which has more fog than rain. You can visit him online at

Praise For Josephine

"Baker's entire life spreads out in this tapestry of words."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Author Patricia Hruby Powell casts Josephine Baker's story as a triumph of a strong, determined African-American woman over prejudice and parochialism. And it makes for a gripping tale."--The Denver Post

"As complex, vibrant, and endearing as Josephine Baker herself."--Cool Mom Picks

"An extraordinary tribute to an American legend."--Bookpage

"An extraordinary dancer and woman is here celebrated with style and empathy."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"An engaging read aloud with many possibilities for discussion, follow up research and writing.but it doesn't have to be an educational lesson's just a fun read."--Cindy Dobrez, Bookends, a Booklist Blog

"A triumph of a strong, determined African-American woman over prejudice and parochialism. And it makes for a gripping tale."--The Denver Post

"A spectacular collaboration, a spotlight on an unforgettable lady."--Design of the Picture Book

"A picture book that simply will not quit."-Wall Street Journal

A Junior Library Guild Selection

'This is a unique picture book biography, presenting Baker's life in poetic text that hums with rhythm."--Great Books for Kids

"Wowed me. "--Roundtable Reviews

"What an excellent book this is."--Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

"Truly amazing."--Richie Partington, Richie's Picks

"This liberally illustrated biography of Josephine Baker captures a remarkable, courageous woman whose life and art were inseparable."--Shelf Awareness

"Some books strike you as more than a book. The words and artwork refuse to stay on the page. They lift up and dance on your tongue, fill your ears with music, and send motion pictures before your eyes - swooping you away to another time and place like magic. So it is with JOSEPHINE ."--Elizebeth Dulemba

"Scrupulously researched, high-spirited celebration of the color-line-crossing dancer."--Los Angeles Times

"Powell and Robinson create a biography of a woman whose life and art are inseparable."--Shelf Awareness for Readers, starred review

"Josephine dances through these pages with such exuberance, she brings light to each dark corner. A beautiful book."-- Helen Frost, author of the Printz Honor-winning Keesha's House

"If your child's gotta sing and gotta dance, then she's gotta read this book, too."--Houston Style Magazine

"I opened this picture book and was completely amazed."--ReaderTotz

"Honors the colorful exuberance of both the Jazz era and Baker's life."--Booklist

"Factual and yet poetic. defies convention as boldly as its subject did."- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Entertaining and informative... sure to capture the imagination."--KidsReads

"Captivating. a fun, enriching, and holistic reading experience."--School Library Journal, starred review

"C'est magnifique!" -- The Horn Book, starred review