Ashley Bryan Gifts -- Author, artist and teacher Ashley Bryan has been a leading figure in children's literature for over 50 years. In 1962, he was the first African American male to both write and illustrate a book for children. His work draws upon African American traditions and folklore, blending the rhythms of the oral tradition in his writing with a wide range of mediums in his art. His work has earned numerous honors, including the Arbuthnot Award for lifetime achievement, the Regina Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and several Coretta Scott King awards
and honors. Bryan studied at Cooper Union and Columbia University, and taught art at Dartmouth College. In addition to creating books, Bryan helps build schools and libraries in Africa. He lives on Little Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine, and works in a studio filled with paintings, stained glass and handmade puppets.