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Jean-Michel Basquiat (Little People BIG DREAMS

Last updated Sunday, August 7, 2022

Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Luciano Lozano
Date of Publication: 2020
ISBN: 0711245797
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2022

Synopsis: Jean-Michel Basquiat was an influential African-American artist whose paintings took the world of graffiti art to the New York gallery scene. He spray-painted crowns and scribbled words, referenced everything from his Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage, to political issues, pop-culture icons, and Biblical verse. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant artist's life.

Note to readers:
•  This is the story of a young artist in NY. There are parts which may be troubling to talk about with first graders. For example, his mother got sick, and he ran away from home. Also, some children may be taught that graffiti is wrong.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who likes to draw??
•  Do you ever wish you could draw in a BIG SPACE—like a wall????
•  Raise your hand if you are READY to learn about a famous street graffit artist!


•  Unconventional—something that is not typical; unusual, unique, different
•  Graffiti—drawings, sayings spray painted on walls
•  Prodigy—a child having extraordinary skills or abilities

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Isn’t it terribe Jean-Michel got hit by a car! But, instead of complaining while he was home getting better he found a love for drawing.
•  When he was older he started doing his graffiti art on walls in New York City. He used his to art to express messages to encourage everyone to do art. Everyone—all of us, no matter are jobs. Let’s look again at the CROWN he often drew—WE ALL CAN WEAR A CROWN

Craft ideas:
•  CROWNS-lets draw crowns for everyone to wear !!!! You can make a simple crown out of a paper bag or printer paper, or for a sophisticated approach, see
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!