A visit to Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady’s 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.”
Parker Curry is three years old, and is a full-time Pre-K 3 student. She is precocious and talkative with a love for ballet and books. She lives with her mother, father, and younger sister in Washington, DC.
Jessica Curry is a New York Times published author, writer, work-at-home full-time mother to two little girls, Parker and Ava. Her blog, Happy Mama, Happy Babies—a motherhood and lifestyle blog that chronicles their adventures—has been mentioned in The Washington Post, The Grio, Heavy, Daily Mail (London), ESPN’s The Undefeated, and on the Emmy Award–winning talk show The Real by Tamera Mowry-Housley, further inspiring Jessica to share candid, honest moments and memories of Parker, Ava, and their family. She and her family live in Washington, DC.
Brittany Jackson (Bea for short) is an award-winning illustrator who attended the College for Creative Studies, and is the grand prize winner and returned alumni of L Ron Hubbard’s Illustrator of the Future Award of 2007. Bea has worked in freelance as a character and outfit designer for various social networking and gaming platforms for more than eight years, though she is most publicly known in publishing as the illustrator for the popular children’s book Hair Like Mine. She lives in Detroit, Michigan.