Poet Nikki Giovanni and illustrator Bryan Collier first met when they got together to produce a book about one day in the life of Rosa Parks. So when the invitation came to write a story about her friend, Nikki Giovanni worked to make it fly.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Parks about 24 or 25 years ago on a really rainy day in Philadelphia. I said, 'Miss Parks, Nikki Giovanni. I'm a writer.' And she said, 'Oh, baby,' she said, 'I love that Nikki Rosa.' And it just took my breath away. I had no idea she knew who I was."
Giovanni wanted to show Rosa Parks not as a civil rights icon, but as what she was, which was "an ordinary woman who was goin' to do, and always did do, extraordinary things."
When Bryan Collier first got the Rosa Parks book, he read it about a hundred times. Bryan Collier is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. His signature artwork is a mix of water color and collage. According to Collier, "a collage is like this wonderful metaphor for life. It's often about small, insignificant moments, only when you put them together, that's when they sort of create this huge event."
Soon it all comes together. When the two worlds of words and pictures collide — you sometimes get magic.