Pigskins to Paintbrushes: The Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes by Don Tate

Reading Age: 6 – 10 years

Grade Level: 1 – 5

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Publication Date: August 17, 2021

As a child in the 1930s, Ernest Barnes made art when boys were supposed to play sports. Societal pressure pushed him into sports where he eventually excelled but the road was not easy. After an injury, he retired from football and devoted the rest of his life to being a successful artist. My Book Eyes found this picture book biography inspirational because the story tells and shows through illustrations Ernest’s struggles and triumphs as he grew up. Because Ernest became involved in different arts and sports, there is a positive message to get involved and find your talents. Textured patterns and varied views are attractive in illustrations. An afterword, author’s note and bibliography are included.

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