Artist Spotlight – Vanessa Brantley Newton

by We Need Diverse Books


The lovely Vanessa Brantley Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter. Her passion for children’s books began when she came across Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a child in the 1960s. Snowy Day marked one of the first representations of black children in picture books, and seeing a character that looked like her and lived in a neighborhood like her own was a turning point in Vanessa’s life. Vanessa celebrates self-love and acceptance of all cultures through her work, and hopes to inspire young readers as Keats did for her and a generation of children. Growing up in a musical family who loved to sing, Vanessa’s illustrations are as fun and whimsical as a beautiful melody. Her style is influenced by retro art and fashion from the 50s and 60s. She is the author and illustrator of Let Freedom Sing and Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table, and has illustrated numerous children’s books including One Love & Every Little Thing, words by Bob & Cedella Marley, and Presenting Tallulah written by Tori Spelling. Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, NC with her husband of 20 years, their daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes.image

Vanessa is absolutely fabulous and wonderful and created this beautiful artwork for WNDB which you can receive as part of the WNDB Art Poster if you donate to our Indiegogo Campaign.


We are so lucky to have had Vanessa be a part of our WNDB Art Project. For more information on Vanessa and her amazing art, please look her up on her website

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