Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas by Jeanne Walker Harvey is a sweet story about a woman who we might not have heard of, but one that in many ways changed the world. Hitting many first landmarks, such as Almas Thomas was the first black woman to have an art show at a particular museum, she was the first contemporary artwork and first woman of color to have their work in the White House), but she also just seemed to be a decent person who gave back to her community.
The story, while non-fiction, is told in a fiction manner. We see the history of the country and of black America. We see how Thomas educated themselves ad finally became a teacher. When she decided to finally create art, her style fit the time, and would become classic. The illustrations of Loveis Wise are part their own style to show the story and done in a way to show the work of Thomas. The pages are filled with color and are boldly proud of themselves.
Overall, the book is simple, but the story is anything but. Thomas was a complicated person because she was just that. A person. The older reader/listener (ages at least five and up) would be the best audience. Perfect for a classroom dealing with art history, or with a class dealing with black history, this book covers many fields.
While Thomas did not live to see her work being chosen by the Obama’s to be included in the White House collection, others can see how Thomas was still many history.