A visit to Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait.
When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book.
Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops...and looks up!
Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, “anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender.”
**FOREWORD BY ARTIST AMY SHERALD**
About the Author
Parker Curry, nine years old, is a New York Times bestselling author and dynamic, curious young mind with a love for ballet, art, fashion, and inspiring others. Currently, Parker is a very curious, voracious learner in third grade, exploring her passions: sewing, writing, mathematics, and reading new books in hopes of expanding her understanding of the world around her. At two years old, Parker became an international inspiration when a profound photograph of her awestruck by Michelle Obama's portrait went viral. That extraordinary moment was the subject of Parker's first published book, Parker Looks Up, a New York Times bestseller and recipient of multiple literary recognitions. Precocious Parker lives with her family in Sherman Oaks, California, where she enjoys spending time at the beach, traveling abroad, knitting, sewing, crocheting, and reading to herself or audiences of children and adults alike.
Jessica Curry is a New York Times bestselling author, executive assistant, independent school registrar, public speaker and host, freelance writer, celebrity interviewer, and devoted, doting Mama to three children: Parker, Ava, and Cash. Jessica was born and raised in Washington, DC, and attended Morgan State University and Howard University. Jessica’s debut children’s picture book, written with her oldest daughter, Parker, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the California Young Reader Medal. The mother-daughter duo has since penned six additional children’s books in hopes of inspiring others to dream big dreams and share their stories. Jessica’s work has been featured by The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, NPR, NBC Nightly News, Access Hollywood, The Library of Congress National Book Festival, Good Morning America, The New-York Historical Society, and more. Jessica and her family reside in Sherman Oaks, California.
Brittany (Bea) Jackson, the New York Times bestselling and award-winning illustrator of Parker Looks Up and Parker Shines On, attended the College for Creative Studies and was a grand prize winner of the L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrator of the Future Award. In addition to her work as a children’s book artist and a character and concept artist, Bea’s art has been featured on books and comic covers as well as in various magazines. In 2021, Target launched Wondershop, a Christmas-themed collection, which included Bea’s art on gift bags, gift boxes, and wrapping paper. She lives in Detroit, Michigan.