How can we forget this adorable viral moment with Parker Curry admiring, First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait in the National Gallery.
Parker Curry and her mother have a brand new book called “Parker Looks Up” about their trip that day.
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.”
We purchased this book for Aaryn (our one-year-old) for her 1st birthday, even though it was something that all the children could read. From the moment we pulled it out of the box, she was excited (the colors are beautiful and vivid, but I will get to that in a moment).
Like most, we all fell in love with the photograph of seeing Parker admire Michelle Obama’s portrait in the National Gallery. It was a beautiful portrait, and MO is a beautiful woman, so who could blame her!
The story itself was a fun journey as to what occurred that day leading up to the big moment. I also love how the story does not solely focus on her seeing the portrait but enjoy the entire museum, an important part that my kids picked up on as well.
The illustrations in this story are first class.
Brittany Jackson (also the illustrator of Skin Like Mine) is amazingly talented, and I personally can’t wait to see more illustrations from her in the future.
Parker’s reaction to the real portrait of Michelle Obama is the same reaction all of my girls had seen her illustrated in this book.
To my point earlier of Aaryn being drawn to the beautiful colors in the book, I love how simple and not overwhelming the colors are. Having a child with SPD, where it was hard for him to really focus on a lot of children’s picture books because of the many vibrant colors, this one was perfect. Even at 11 years old he loved reading this particular story to his sisters (3 times as a matter of fact).
Also, I want to note how amazing it is that mom (Jessica Curry) decided to take her daughter’s viral moment and make it into a beautiful children’s story? As much as I love buying books for my children, I will admit that is increasingly difficult to find stories with other black/brown faces that they can relate to. This book was one that they instantly fell in love with from the beginning and were so excited to see a “real-life” little girl experience this pure joy and happiness–the same joy and happiness that they felt!
Have you had a chance to check out Parker Looks Up? Let us know what you think!