Steptoe, John Lewis. (Brooklyn, NY, 1950-New York, NY, 1989)

Bibliography and Exhibitions


Adoff, Arnold and JOHN STEPTOE (illus.).
All the Colors of the Race: Poems.
New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1982.
56 pp., frontis., 11 full-page illustrations. Poems written from the perspective of a child with a black mother and white father. 8vo (22 cm.), 1/4 brown cloth, papered boards, d.j., decorative endpapers. First ed.

Adoff, Arnold and JOHN STEPTOE (illus.).
OUTside INside Poems.
New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1981.
(32 pp.), illus. Poems reflecting a child's thoughts about being indoors and outside, describing what he sees and feels. 4to (26 cm.) First ed.

Berg, Julie.
JOHN STEPTOE (Young At Heart).
Edina (MN): Abdo & Daughters, 1994.

Clifton, Lucille and JOHN STEPTOE (illus.).
All us Come Across the Water.
New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973.
(32 pp.), color illus. A little black boy tries to find out where his people are from. 8vo (25 cm.) First ed.

Diop, Birago, Rosa Guy (adaptation) and JOHN STEPTOE (illus.).
Mother Crocodile: An Uncle Amadou Tale From Senegal.
New York: Delacorte, 1981.
Children's book. (30 pp.), color illus. Coretta Scott King Illustration Award, 1982. Because Mother Crocodile tells stories of the past, the little crocodiles choose to believe she is crazy until almost too late they learn otherwise. 4to (26 cm.)

Children's book. Story about an 8-yr. old's birthday.

New York: Harper & Row, 1969.
Children's book. (24 pp.), color illus. Robert wishes Stevie, a house guest, would go away, but after he does Robert realizes how much fun they had together. Steptoe's first book, published in its entirety by Life Magazine (August 29, 1969) before being published by Harper & Row when the author was just 19. 8vo (24 cm.), pictorial papered boards.

STEPTOE, JOHN (Retold and illus.).
The Story of Jumping Mouse: a Native American Legend.
New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1984.
40 pp., illus. The gifts of Magic Frog and his own hopeful and unselfish spirit bring Jumping Mouse finally to the Far-Off Land where no mouse goes hungry. 4to (29 cm.)

STEPTOE, JOHN (Story and illus.).
New York: Viking Press, 1976.
81 pp., color illus. Older children's book. 8vo, cloth. First ed.

STEPTOE, JOHN (Story and illus.).
Train Ride.
New York: Harper & Row, 1971.
(31 pp.), color illus. When his friends call his bluff, Charles must take them on the long subway ride from Brooklyn to Times Square and find the way back again. 8vo (24 cm.). First ed.

STEPTOE, JOHN (Story and illus.).
New York: Harper & Row, 1970.
(24 pp.), color illus. Two little boys in Harlem speculate on what they will be when they grow up. 8vo (24 cm.).

STEPTOE, JOHN (text and illus.).
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale.
New York: Amistad, 1987.
Children's book. 32 pp., color illus. A fairy tale Cinderella-type story inspired by an original folk tale from 1895, set in Africa, with detailed and colorful ink and watercolor illustrations of the people, architecture, clothing, jewelry, flora, and fauna of the Zimbabwe region. Winner, Coretta Scott King Illustration Award, 1988. Squarish 4to (11 x 9.5 in.), cloth, d.j.

STEPTOE, JOHN (wrtten and illus.).
My Special Best Words.
New York: Viking Press, 1974.
Children's book. 27 pp., illus. A little black girl describes her daily life with her younger brother, father, and baby sitter. 8vo (24 cm.)

American Morning/Mourning. A Poem..
Philadelphia: Philadelphia Poetry Project 1985.
Steptoe's second book, a chapbook. [The 38 pp. book by the same title published by Whirlwind Press (1990) contains other poems in addition to the title poem.] 8vo, wraps. Ed. of 120 copies.


ANNAPOLIS (MD). Banneker-Douglass Museum.
Pass it On: The Art of African-American Children's Literature.
January 1-June 30, 1995.
Included: Tom Feelings, Francine Haskins, Jerry Pinkney, John Steptoe.

Walk Tall in the World: African American Literature for Today's Children.
In: Journal of Negro Education Vol. 59, no. 4 (1990):556-65.

BROOKLYN (NY). Skylight Gallery, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
2000 Challenge Exhibition.
September 9-October 28, 2000.
(10) pp. exhibition brochure, 6 b&w illus., brief text on each artist. Intro. by Eric G. Pryor; text and curated by Ellsworth Ausby. 6 artists included: Kimberly Becoat (as Beacoat), Kevin M. Davis, Jennifer Jarrell, Javaka Steptoe, Dirk Joseph, Weldon Ryan. This brochure represents the only record of this exhibition. Single quadri-folded sheet ( 11 x 22 in.), printed on both sides.

CHICAGO (IL). American Library Association.
Notable Children's Books, 1940-1970.
Chicago: American Library Association, 1977.
x, 84 pp., index. African American artists and books illustrated include: Benny Andrews--Arnold Adoff, I Am the Darker Brother; Ernest Crichlow--Dorothy Sterling, Forever Free; Diane Dillon and Leo Dillon--Erik Haugaard, Hakon of Rogen's Saga; Elton Fax--Shirley Graham and George D. Lipscomb, George Washington Carver; Tom Feelings--Julius Lester, To Be a Slave; George Ford--Humphrey Harman, Tales Told Near a Crocodile; Milton Johnson--Margaret Coit, Andrew Jackson; Olivia Coolidge, Men of Athens; Erik Haugaard, The Little Fishes; John Steptoe--Stevie; Mozelle Thompson--James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, Lift Every Voice and Sing; John Wilson--Jean George, Spring Comes to the Ocean [Igoe]. 8vo (23 cm.), wraps.

A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books.
New York: Bowker, 1982.
Index of illustrators includes: Jacqueline Ayer (4 books), Moneta Barnett (5), Charles Bible (1), Carole Byard (1), Leo Carty (1), Gylbert Coker (1), Don Crews (5), Ernest Crichlow (2), Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon (2), Stephanie Douglas (1), Tom Feelings (3), George Ford (1), Harper Johnson (1), Jerry Pinkney (3), Ray Prather (1), John Steptoe (6), Mozelle Thompson (1), Emmett Wigglesworth (1), and John Wilson (1). [Obviously not a very complete reference; see vastly expanded 7th ed. pub. 2006.]

LOS ANGELES (CA). California African American Museum.
Lasting Impressions: Illustrating African American Children's Books.
Group exhibition of fifteen illustrators, all Coretta Scott King Award winners. Curated by Brian Pinkney. Included: Pat Cummings, Jerry Pinkney, Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, John Steptoe, among others. [Traveled to: Cleveland Museum of Art, February 16-April 17, 1994; Capital Children's Museum, Washington, DC, May 6-July 9, 1995; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, -October 28, 1995; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, -November 17, 1996, and many other venues.]

NEW YORK (NY). New York Cultural Center.
Blacks: USA: 1973.
September 26-November 15, 1973.
28 pp. exhib. cat., 20 b&w illus., checklist of approx. 100 works by 42 artists. Intro. Mario Amaya; text by artist Benny Andrews. Excellent reference to many of the leading African American artists of the '60s and early '70s. Includes work by Roland Ayers, Ellen Banks, Camille Billops, Kay Brown, Vivian Browne, Carole Byard, Art Carraway, Dana Chandler, Art Coppedge, Melvyn Ettrick, Frederick J. Eversley, Reginald Gammon, Palmer Hayden, Ben Hazard, Leon Hicks, Manuel Hughes, Suzanne Jackson, Marie Johnson-Callaway, Ben Jones, Stephanie Jones, Cliff Joseph, Robert Jerden, Kassan (a.k.a. Joseph Washington), Jacob Lawrence, Al Loving, Richard Mayhew, Valerie Maynard, Ademola Olugebefola, James Phillips, Howardena Pindell, Leslie K. Price, Mahler Ryder, Betye Saar, Raymond Saunders, Vincent Smith, John Steptoe, Nelson Stevens, Russel Thompson, William Travis, Charles White, Hale Woodruff. The first major exhibition of Black art chosen by an all-Black jury. 4to (11 x 8.5 in.), wraps. First ed.

NEW YORK (NY). Society of Illustrators, Inc.
My Soul Looks Back and Wonders: The Black Experience in Illustration, 1773-2010.
September, 2010.
Group exhibition. Includes: Scipio Moorhead, Patrick Reason, Henry Jackson Lewis; John Henry Adams, Gil Ashby, Pedro Bell, Thomas Blackshear, Barbara H. Bond, Colin Bootman, Alexander Bostic, Bradford Brown, Elbrite Brown, Ashley Bryan, Yvonne Buchanan, Carole Byard, Elmer Simms Campbell, Mal Cann, Gregory Christie, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper, Nina Crewes, Donald Crews, Ernest Crichlow, Allan Rohan Crite, Pat Cummings, Frank Dillon, Aaron Douglas, Shane Evans, Elton Fax, Tom Feelings, George Ford, Jan Gilchrist, Cheryl Hanna, Oliver Harrington, James Hoston, Leonard Jenkins, Joel Peter Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones, Roy E. LaGrone, E. B. Lewis, Henry Jackson Lewis, Charles Lilly, Overton Loyd, Aaron McGruder, Don Miller, Christopher Myers, Kadir Nelson, Jackie Ormes, Gerald Purnell, Fred Pfeiffer, Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Jerry Pinkney, Ivan Powell, James E. Ransome, Anna Rich, Faith Ringgold, Aminah Brenda Robinson, Reynold Ruffins, Synthia St. James, Albert Alexander Smith, Javaka Steptoe, John Lewis Steptoe, Jean Pierre Targete, Don Tate, Toni Taylor, Mozelle Thompson, Nancy Tolson, Ezra Tucker, Eric Velasquez, Laura Wheeler Waring, James Lesesne Wells, Eric Wilkerson, Hilda Rue Wilkerson, Cornelius Van Wright.

Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children's Picture Books.
Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989.
352 pp., appendix list of books discussed, index. Hundreds of 20th children's book illustrators are discussed, but only two African Americans included: Leo and Diane Dillon (Why Mosquitos Buzz; Who's in Rabbit's House) and the briefest possible passing mention of John Steptoe (Stevie.) 8vo (9.5 x 6.5 in.), cloth, d.j. First ed.

African Americans in the Visual Arts.
New York: Facts on File, 2003.
x, 262 pp., 50 b&w photos of some artists, brief 2-page bibliog., index. Part of the A to Z of African Americans series. Lists over 170 visual artists (including 18 photographers) and 22 filmmakers with brief biographies and token bibliog. for each. An erratic selection, far less complete than the St. James Guide to Black Artists, and inexplicably leaving out over 250 artists of obvious historic importance (for ex.: Edwin A. Harleston, Grafton Tyler Brown, Charles Ethan Porter, Wadsworth Jarrell, John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, William Majors, Camille Billops, Whitfield Lovell, Al Loving, Ed Clark, John T. Scott, Maren Hassinger, Lorraine O'Grady, Winnie Owens-Hart, Adrienne Hoard, Oliver Jackson, Frederick Eversley, Glenn Ligon, Sam Middleton, Ed Hamilton, Pat Ward Williams, etc. and omitting a generation of well-established contemporary artists who emerged during the late 70s-90s. [Note: a newly revised edition of 2012 (ten pages longer) has not rendered it a worthy reference work on this topic.] 8vo (25 com), laminated papered boards.

In Black and White: Afro-Americans in Print.
Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo Public Library, 1980.
2 vols. 1089 pp. Includes: John H. Adams, Ron Adams, Alonzo Aden, Muhammad Ali, Baba Alabi Alinya, Charles Alston, Charlotte Amevor, Benny Andrews, Ralph Arnold, William Artis, Ellsworth Ausby, Jacqueline Ayer, Calvin Bailey, Jene Ballentine, Casper Banjo, Henry Bannarn, Edward Bannister, Dutreuil Barjon, Ernie Barnes, Carolyn Plaskett Barrow, Richmond Barthé, Beatrice Bassette, Ad Bates, Romare Bearden, Phoebe Beasley, Roberta Bell, Cleveland Bellow, Ed Bereal, Arthur Berry, DeVoice Berry, Cynthia Bethune, Charles Bible, John Biggers, Camille Billops, Bob Blackburn, Irving Blaney, Bessie Blount, Gloria Bohanon, Leslie Bolling, Shirley Bolton, Charles Bonner, Michael Borders, John Borican, Earl Bostic, Augustus Bowen, David Bowser, David Bradford, Edward Brandford, Brumsic Brandon, William Braxton, Arthur Britt Sr., Benjamin Britt, Sylvester Britton, Elmer Brown, Fred Brown, Kay Brown, Margery Brown, Richard L. Brown, Samuel Brown, Vivian E. Browne, Henry Brownlee, Linda Bryant, Starmanda Bullock, Juana Burke, Selma Burke, Eugene Burkes, Viola Burley, Calvin Burnett, John Burr, Margaret Burroughs, Nathaniel Bustion, Sheryle Butler, Elmer Simms Campbell, Thomas Cannon, Nick Canyon, Edward Carr, Art Carraway, Ted Carroll, Joseph S. Carter, William Carter, Catti, George Washington Carver, Yvonne Catchings, Elizabeth Catlett, Mitchell Caton, Dana Chandler, Kitty Chavis, George Clack, Claude Clark, Ed Clark, J. Henrik Clarke, Leroy Clarke, Ladybird Cleveland, Floyd Coleman, Donald Coles, Margaret Collins, Paul Collins, Sam Collins, Dan Concholar, Arthur Coppedge, Wallace X. Conway, Leonard Cooper, William A. Cooper, Art Coppedge, Eldzier Cortor, Samuel Countee, Harold Cousins, William Craft, Cleo Crawford, Marva Cremer, Ernest Crichlow, Allan Crite, Jerrolyn Crooks, Harvey Cropper, Doris Crudup, Robert Crump, Dewey Crumpler, Frank E. Cummings, William Curtis, Mary Reed Daniel, Alonzo Davis, Charles Davis, Willis "Bing" Davis, Dale Davis, Charles C. Dawson, Juette Day, Thomas Day, Roy DeCarava, Paul DeCroom, Avel DeKnight, Beauford Delaney, Joseph Delaney, Richard Dempsey, Murry DePillars, Robert D'Hue, Kenneth Dickerson, Leo Dillon, Raymond Dobard, Vernon Dobard, Jeff Donaldson, Aaron Douglas, Emory Douglas, Robert Douglass, Glanton Dowdell, David Driskell, Yolande Du Bois, Robert Duncanson, Eugenia Dunn, John Dunn, Adolphus Ealey, Eugene Eda, Melvin Edwards, Gaye Elliington, Annette Ensley, Marion Epting, Minnie Evans, Frederick Eversley, James Fairfax, Kenneth Falana, Allen Fannin, John Farrar, William Farrow, Elton Fax, Muriel Feelings, Tom Feelings, Frederick Flemister, Mikelle Fletcher, Curt Flood, Thomas Floyd, Doyle Foreman, Mozelle Forte (costume and fabric designer), Amos Fortune, Mrs. C.R. Foster, Inez Fourcard (as Fourchard), John Francis, Miriam Francis, Allan Freelon, Meta Warrick Fuller, Stephany Fuller, Gale Fulton-Ross, Ibibio Fundi, Alice Gafford, Otis Galbreath, West Gale, Reginald Gammon, Jim Gary, Herbert Gentry, Joseph Geran, Jimmy Gibbez, Sam Gilliam, Robert Glover, Manuel Gomez, Russell Gordon, Rex Goreleigh, Bernard Goss, Samuel Green, William Green, Donald Greene, Joseph Grey, Ron Griffin, Eugene Grigsby, Henry Gudgell, Charles Haines, Clifford Hall, Horathel Hall, Wesley Hall, David Hammons, James Hampton, Phillip Hampton, Lorraine Hansberry, Marvin Harden, Arthur Hardie, Inge Hardison, John Hardrick, Edwin Harleston, William A. Harper, Gilbert Harris, John Harris, Maren Hassinger, Isaac Hathaway, Frank Hayden, Kitty Hayden, Palmer Hayden, Vertis Hayes, Wilbur Haynie, Dion Henderson, Ernest Herbert, Leon Hicks, Hector Hill, Tony Hill, Geoffrey Holder, Al Hollingsworth, Varnette Honeywood, Earl Hooks, Humbert Howard, James Howard, Raymond Howell, Julien Hudson, Manuel Hughes, Margo Humphrey, Thomas Hunster, Richard Hunt, Clementine Hunter, Norman Hunter, Orville Hurt, Bill Hutson, Nell Ingram, Tanya Izanhour, Ambrose Jackson, Earl Jackson, May Jackson, Nigel Jackson, Suzanne Jackson, Walter Jackson, Louise Jefferson, Ted Joans, Daniel Johnson, Lester L. Johnson, Jr., Malvin Gray Johnson, Marie Johnson, Sargent Johnson, William H. Johnson, Joshua Johnston, Barbara Jones, Ben Jones, Calvin Jones, Frederick D. Jones Jr., James Arlington Jones, Lawrence Jones, Lois Mailou Jones, Eddie Jack Jordan, Ronald Joseph, Lemuel Joyner, Paul Keene, Elyse J. Kennart, Joseph Kersey, Gwendolyn Knight, Lawrence Compton Kolawole, Oliver LaGrone, Artis Lane, Doyle Lane, Raymond Lark, Lewis H. Latimer, Jacob Lawrence, Clarence Lawson, Bertina Lee, Joanna Lee, Peter Lee, Hughie Lee-Smith, Leon Leonard, Curtis Lewis, Edmonia Lewis, James Edward Lewis, Norman Lewis, Samella Lewis, Charles Lilly, Henri Linton, Jules Lion, Romeyn Lippman, Tom Lloyd, Jon Lockard, Juan Logan, Willie Longshore, Ed Loper, Ed Love, Al Loving, Geraldine McCullough, Lawrence McGaugh, Charles McGee, Donald McIlvaine, James McMillan, William McNeil, Lloyd McNeill, David Mann, William Marshall, Helen Mason, Philip Mason, Winifred Mason, Calvin Massey, Lester (Nathan) Mathews, William Maxwell, Richard Mayhew, Valerie Maynard, Yvonne Meo, Sam Middleton, Onnie Millar, Aaron Miller, Eva Miller, Lev Mills, P'lla Mills, Evangeline J. Montgomery, Arthur Monroe, Frank Moore, Ron Moore, Scipio Moorhead, Norma Morgan, Ken Morris, Calvin Morrison, Jimmie Mosely, Leo Moss, Lottie Moss, Archibald Motley, Hugh Mulzac, Frank Neal, George Neal, Otto Neals, Shirley Nero, Effie Newsome, Nommo, George Norman, Georg Olden, Ademola Olugebefola, Conora O'Neal (fashion designer), Cora O'Neal, Lula O'Neal, Pearl O'Neal, Ron O'Neal, Hayward Oubré, John Outterbridge, Carl Owens, Lorenzo Pace, Alvin Paige, Robert Paige, William Pajaud, Denise Palm, Norman Parish, Jules Parker, James Parks, Edgar Patience, Angela Perkins, Marion Perkins, Michael Perry, Jacqueline Peters, Douglas Phillips, Harper Phillips, Delilah Pierce, Howardena Pindell, Horace Pippin, Julie Ponceau, James Porter, Leslie Price, Ramon Price, Nelson Primus, Nancy Prophet, Noah Purifoy, Teodoro Ramos Blanco y Penita, Otis Rathel, Patrick Reason, William Reid, John Rhoden, Barbara Chase-Riboud, William Richmond, Percy Ricks, Gary Rickson, John Riddle, Gregory Ridley, Faith Ringgold, Malkia Roberts, Brenda Rogers, Charles Rogers, George Rogers, Arthur Rose, Nancy Rowland, Winfred Russell, Mahler Ryder, Betye Saar, Charles Sallee, Marion Sampler, John Sanders, Walter Sanford, Raymond Saunders, Augusta Savage, William E. Scott, Charles Sebree, Thomas Sills, Carroll Simms, Jewel Simon, Walter Simon, Merton Simpson, William H. Simpson, Louis Slaughter, Gwen Small, Albert A. Smith, Alvin Smith, Hughie Lee-Smith, John Henry Smith, Jacob Lawrence, John Steptoe, Nelson Stevens, Edward Stidum, Elmer C. Stoner, Lou Stovall, Henry O. Tanner, Ralph Tate, Betty Blayton Taylor, Della Taylor, Bernita Temple, Herbert Temple, Alma Thomas, Elaine Thomas, Larry Thomas, Carolyn Thompson, Lovett Thompson, Mildred Thompson, Mozelle Thompson, Robert (Bob) Thompson, Dox Thrash, Neptune Thurston, John Torres, Nat Turner, Leo Twiggs, Bernard Upshur, Royce Vaughn, Ruth Waddy, Anthony Walker, Earl Walker, Larry Walker, William Walker, Daniel Warburg, Eugene Warburg, Carole Ward, Laura Waring, Mary P. Washington, James Watkins, Lawrence Watson, Edward Webster, Allen A. Weeks, Robert Weil, James Wells, Pheoris West, Sarah West, John Weston, Delores Wharton, Amos White, Charles White, Garrett Whyte, Alfredus Williams, Chester Williams, Douglas R. Williams, Laura Williams, Matthew Williams, Morris Williams, Peter Williams, Rosetta Williams (as Rosita), Walter Williams, William T. Williams, Ed Wilson, Ellis Wilson, Fred Wilson, John Wilson, Stanley Wilson, Vincent Wilson, Hale Woodruff, Bernard Wright, Charles Young, Kenneth Young, Milton Young. [Note the 3rd edition consists of two volumes published by Gale Research in 1980, with a third supplemental volume issued in 1985.] Large stout 4tos, red cloth. 3rd revised expanded edition.

ST LOUIS (MO). St. Louis Public Library.
An index to Black American artists.
St. Louis: St. Louis Public Library, 1972.
50 pp. Also includes art historians such as Henri Ghent. In this database, only artists are cross-referenced. 4to (28 cm.)

Black Children's Literature Got de Blues: The Creativity of Black Writers and Illustrators.
Peter Lang, 2008.
116 pp., illus. Black children’s literature published in the past forty years by authors and illustrators who can be classified as blues artists, and whose work reflects social, political, economical, and historical developments of the Black American experience. Includes: Romare Bearden, Ashley Bryan, Carole Byard, R. Gregory Christie, Alexis De Veaux, Shane Evans, Tom Feelings, Cheryl Hanna, E.B. Lewis, James Ransome, Faith Ringgold, Synthia Saint James, Javaka Steptoe, John Steptoe, and others. 8vo (8.8 x 5.9 in.).

Profiles in Children's Literature.
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001.
xi, 399 pp., illus. Discussions with authors, artists, and editors. Includes: Arna Bontemps, Tom Feelings, E.B. Lewis, Jerry Pinkney, and John Steptoe. 8vo (24 cm.).