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Children's Book Illustrator Jean Charlot

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RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

RL.2.7. Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).


Students in grades K-2 learn about Children's book authors and illustrators. We study various illustrators of Caldecott Award winning and Honor books each year. Students are very familiar with illustrators such as Eric Carle, Chris Van Allsburg, and Dr. Seuss. This lesson introduces students to some lesser known illustrators such as Jean Charlot.

Jean Charlot is the illustrator of Margaret Wise Brown's book A Child's Goodnight Book. This book is a Caldecott Honor Book for 1944. Charlot also illustrated The Whipping Boy, ...And Now Miguel and the Timid Ghost to name a few. 

In the summer of 1944 he was invited to teach at the inaugural Summer Institute. During his time he created two murals, "Inspiration" and "Knowledge" on the pylons of the Studies Building to commemorate the event. 

Charlot is not the only children's book author to spend time at Black Mountain College. Leo Lionni was part of the 1946 Summer Institiute Faculty and illustrated several Caldecott Honor books such as Frederick, Swimmy, and Inch by Inch. Vera Williams graduated from Black Mountain College and illustrated Caldecott Honor Book More, More, More Said the Baby.

In the wrap up of this lesson, students will connect Jean Charlot to these other lesser known illustrators. The teacher will show students other book covers from Leo Lionni and Vera Williams and discuss their connection to Black Mountain College as well. 

Students will then see pictures and can view a short video about Black Mountain College.