E.B. Lewis has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Nikki Grimes' Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle's Down the Road
, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins
, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin
by Garvin Curtis, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side
, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.
Earl Bradley Lewis was born on December 16, 1956, in Philadelphia, PA. As early as the third grade he displayed artistic promise. Inspired by two uncles, who were artists, Lewis decided he wanted to follow in their footsteps.
After finishing the sixth grade, he attended the Saturday morning Temple University School Art League run by his uncle. Under the tutelage of Clarence Wood, a noted painter in Philadelphia, Lewis began his formal art training. He remained in the program until his enrollment in the Temple University Tyler School of Art in 1975.
During his four years at Temple, Lewis majored in graphic design and illustration, along with art education. There he discovered his medium of preference, watercolor.
Upon graduation in 1979, Lewis went directly into teaching, along with freelancing in graphic design. Between 1985 and 1986 he had completed a body of work which was exhibited in a downtown Philadelphia gallery. The show sold out and bought him public recognition and critical acclaim. Within two years his work was exhibited at the prestigious Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia, where his shows continue to sell out.
Lewis's work is now part of major private collections and is displayed in galleries throughout the United States. Barbara Bader's American Picturebooks from Noah's Ark to the Beast Within includes a description of Earl and his achievements as an artist. He illustrated many different picture books, among them The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and Circle Unbroken written by Margot Theis Raven. Circle Unbroken was later set to music of William Grant Still and performed by members of Chamber Music Charleston for educational performances and the award-winning film of the same name.He currently sits on the board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.