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Ashley Bryan produced his first book in kindergarten when his teacher asked the students to create their own books featuring letters of the alphabet. He studied at Cooper Union and earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University. His awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, six Coretta Scott King Honor awards, the Arbuthnot Prize, and a Fulbright Scholarship. A former teacher at Dartmouth College, he has compiled, written, and illustrated numerous books, many of them based on African folk tales. His latest book is "My America" (HarperCollins, 2007), co-written with and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. He lives in Isleford, Me.