It Jes’ Happened by Don Tate

It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw
By: Don Tate
Illustrations by: R. Gregory Christei

If I were to create a list about all of the reasons that I love kid lit, I would have a very very long list. Somewhere near the top of list you might see something like this:

Reason # 131 as to why I LOVE Kid Lit

Picture book biographies of amazing people I have never heard of.


It Jes’ Happened by Don Tate would fit perfectly in this category. Before reading this book I had never hear of Bill Traylor, a man that we went from a boy born in slavery to man that began drawing at the the age of 85.


I love learning history from picture book biographies, and for me one of the most fascinating times in our countries history is from the end of the Civil War until The Great Depression. I am very interested in what life was like for people that transitioned from slavery to freedom.


I don’t always read the afterward at the end of picture books biographies, but I found Bill Traylor’s life so intriguing that I not only read the afterward, but I also spend some time online research Bill Traylor.

Today I’m feeling very thankful thank Don Tate shared Bill Traylor’s story.

Bill Traylor
Blue Man with Umbrella and Suitcase, 1939
pencil and tempera on cardboard


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