Tucson Festival of Books

Jonathan Nelson (he/him/his)


Lee and Arthur Herbst

Jonathan Nelson is a Diné illustrator, graphic artist and fine artist. His eclectic subject matter includes a blend of Diné culture, Star Wars and the southwest desert landscape with a unique style influenced by comic books, street art and graphic design. Nelson's original art and designs featuring Indigenous peoples and culture create an authentic portrayal of Indigenous life in order to decimate stereotypes. His nontraditional superhero comic, "The Wool of Jonesy" was an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. He was a contributing author and illustrator of "Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers, Volume One," which was a Great Graphic Novels for Teens pick and received the American Indian Youth Literature Award. He illustrated "First Laugh-Welcome Baby" by Rose Anne Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood, which was selected to be a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Notable Social Studies Book, a New York Public Library’s Best Book and a Bank Street Best Book, among other accolades. For "Hey, Dog" by Tony Johnston, Kirkus praised his illustrations: "Nelson is a master at capturing nuance in facial expression and body language, both human and canine." He illustrated the Junior Library Guild Selection "Forever Cousins" by Laurel Goodluck, which Professor Debbie Reese hailed as "one of the best books I've read" on the American Indians in Children's Literature blog. "Letter for Bob" by Kim Rogers is his newest book.

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Communities: Indigenous or Native American, Diné (Navajo)


Scheduled events:
Family Connections: Ties that Bind
Children find security, love, and meaning in family relationships that extend across place and time. Those relationships include cousins, grandparents, parents, and even the family car. Author/illustrators convey the ties that bind in words and images.

Education Room 351 (Seats 46, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Children
Signing area: Signing Area - Children (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Laurel Goodluck, Jonathan Nelson, S.D. Nelson, John Parra
Moderator: Julia López-Robertson
Illustrator Studio: Working Digitally to Create Picturebook Illustrations
Jonathan Nelson will demonstrate his process of digitally creating illustrations for picturebooks and how he includes aspects of Indigenous culture. He uses an iPad and the ProCreate app for his books, "A Letter for Bob," "Forever Cousins," and "First Laugh--Welcome Baby."

Education Room 437 (Seats 65, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Children
Signing area: Signing Area - Children (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelist: Jonathan Nelson
Moderator: Ray Martens

Books:
A Letter for Bob
Children
HarperCollins Publishers
September 2023
ISBN 9780063044555
32 pages
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Forever Cousins
Children
Charlesbridge Publishing
October 2022
ISBN 9781623542924
32 pages