Alvin Ailey


By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD


Trade Paperback


Trade Paperback $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 5, 1995. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

An informative and inspiring biography of Alvin Ailey, the great African-American dancer and choreographer, created by TheNew York Times bestselling and award-winning duo Andrea David Pinkney and Brian Pinkey. 

Since he was a young boy in Navasota, Texas, Alvin Ailey loved to stomp his feed and clap his hands to the music of the True Vine Baptist choir. Later, he learned how to dance. He spent some time with the best teachers of the era and eventually started his own modern dance company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

This is the story of Alvin Ailey’s life—a life that left its imprint as much on the history of the American people as on the history of modern dance.

Don’t miss the other Great Black Performers biographies:
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra


  • "[A] simply told but inspiring story of a pioneer in American modern dance...Brian Pinkney's illustrations convey Alvin Ailey's grace as a dancer as well as his strength ad pride in his art."
    Horn Book, starred review
  • "This attractive introduction, based on interviews with many who knew Ailey, will leave readers hungry for more."
  • "In their first children's book collaboration, this markedly talented husband-and-wife team offers a warm profile of dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey..."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "This handsome picture-book biography pays tribute to modern dancer Alvin Ailey, who's best known for interpreting African American culture through his dancing and choreography."
  • "An accessible picture-book biography that recounts Ailey's boyhood...the book is both informative and inspiring and will make an excellent addition to most collections."
    School Library Journal

On Sale
Sep 5, 1995
Page Count
32 pages

Andrea Davis Pinkney

About the Author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of nearly 50 books for children and young adults, including The Red Pencil and Bird in a Box.She has also produced several collaborations with her husband two-time Caldecott Honor-winning artist Brian Pinkney, including Sit -In, Martin & Mahalia, and Hand in Hand, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award. Ms. Pinkney has been recognized by Children's Health magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential People in our Children's Lives," and has been inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Daniel Minter has illustrated over a dozen children’s books, including Going Down Home with Daddy which won a 2020 Caldecott Honor and Ellen’s Broom which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. He is known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage.

Learn more about this author

Brian Pinkney

About the Illustrator

Brian Pinkney has illustrated numerous books for children, including two Caldecott Honor books, and he has written and illustrated several of his own books. Brian has received the Coretta Scott King Book Award for Illustration and three Coretta Scott King Book Award Honor medals.

Learn more about this illustrator