Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground

Gold medal selection, the Society of Illustrators
Illustration Annual Exhibit 61

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Up.St.Art Annapolis Fall 2017 Issue

Click HERE to read the Fall 2017 issue of Up.St.Art Annapolis featuring Sally Wern Comport, Principal of Art at Large, Inc., as their selected Cover Artist! Hard copies available for free around Annapolis, including FinArt Gallery & Studios at 214 West Street.

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National Parks Service Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Illustrations   

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Winner of

  • Society of Illustrators 60th Illustration Annual Selection

  • Communication Arts 2018 Illustration Annual Selection

  • Best of Show, “Image & Imagination”, The Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College, 2019


Ada's Violin


Winner of

  • The Christopher Award

  • 2017 Flora Stieglitz Straus Award by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education

  • 2017 Américas Award for Children's & Young Adult Literature, The Consortium of Latin American Studies Program (CLASP)

  • EUREKA!  Nonfiction Gold Award (CA)

  • Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Multicultural Books List

  • NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book

  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids

  • 2017 Green Earth Book Award Short List

  • Texas Bluebonnet 2017-18 Master List

  • Junior Library Guild Spring 2016 Selection

  • 2017-18 Black Eyed Susan Nominee

  • ILA Notable Books for a Global Society

  • ALA Notables nomination list

  • GoodReads Popular Mock Caldecott 2017

  • BooksNational Education Association Read Across America Resource Calendar

  • 2019 Bluestem Award: Illinois’ Grades 3-5 Readers’ Choice Award

"Comport’s mixed-media collages are nothing short of brilliant as she plays with light and dark throughout. The spreads capture the look and feel of the cramped and stinking landfill, the oppressive heat, and the hardscrabble lives of the residents. They also convey the resourcefulness and warmth of the families and the aspirations of the children. The scenes of the kids embracing their instruments and sharing their joy at making music are absolutely transcendent. 'With her violin, Ada could close her eyes and imagine a different life. She could soar on the high, bright, bittersweet notes to a place far away. She could be who she was meant to be.' ” 
VERDICT A virtuoso piece of nonfiction, gloriously told and illustrated.

"The mixed-media collages are a particular effective medium for this true story, layering images of Ada and the orchestra over the landfill. The nuances of the subject may strike a stronger chord with adults rather than children, but the interesting visuals and the underlying message of hope and perseverance should help this find an audience." 

"Comport's complex, digitally enhanced collages combine acrylics, drawing, and layered typographic elements, conveying both the oppressive omnipresence of garbage and the functional beauty of the handcrafted instruments. . . . Pair with the suggested video links to experience the music of a remarkable, resilient cultural community."

Hood’s (Rooting for You) beautifully narrated true tale begins in Cateura, a “noisy, stinking, sweltering slum” of Paraguay. That’s where Ada Ríos lives with her family, recyclers (gancheros) who collect and sell trash from the nearby landfill. When engineer Favio Chávez begins teaching music to at-risk children there, Ada learns the violin, and she and other students play instruments made from recycled trash. Comport (Love Will See You Through) employs a vibrant collage technique, using pictures of food labels, tires, and other detritus to form colorful, almost ethereal backdrops. Light-infused scenes of gancheros picking through mountains of trash, children playing soccer in Cateura’s streets, and Ada practicing violin all include hopeful shades of yellow. Torn bits of a musical score edge out the garbage scraps as the story progresses. When the Recycled Orchestra gains fame, its members perform in some of the world’s biggest, brightest cities: “Buried in the trash was music. And buried in themselves was something to be proud of.” An author’s note expands on this uplifting, instructive story; a Spanish-language edition is available simultaneously.

The illustrations, compilations of torn paper, paint, and pen and ink illustrations, add to the feeling of being within the landfill, and are a beautiful representation of the location...Highly Recommended.

Nile Crossing

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  • School Library Journal Fall 2017 Selection

  • The Original Art Show, Juried Selection, The Society of Illustrators

Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece)




  • Society of Illustrators 58th Illustration Annual Selection

The bold, colorful mixed-media illustrations capture the emotion of the situations described, and Watkins’s writing style is conversational but impassioned.

Watkins again uses events in King’s illustrate his dedication to acting on his convictions. Comport (Hanging Off Jefferson’s Nose) features intense shades of orange, fuchsia, and purple in her energetic mixed-media art, which incorporates imposing display type and occasional newspaper excerpts illuminating the turbulence of the time. Especially striking are her conspicuous portraits of hands: raised in protest, folded in prayer, and linked in solidarity.

The picture-book format features compelling, expressive artwork. King’s guiding beliefs spill across the pages in bold, oversize font, accompanied by detailed illustrations in rich, somber hues.

Dream March

A smart narrative and skillfully done illustrations make this introduction to Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement one all libraries will want to consider.

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Edmund Pettus Bridge, selma alabama | Interior art

  • Society of Illustrators 60th Annual Selection

  • Communication Arts 2018 Illustration Annual Competition

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