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Magic Trash
A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

from Charlesbridge


Tyree Guyton and J.H. at The Heidelberg Project in Detroit, Michigan


Smithsonian Magazine Kid's Books
Bankstreet Best Children's Books, 2012 

Publishers Weekly - July 25, 2011
Shapiro richly describes the activism behind much of Guyton's work: "When trouble still sizzled in one discarded home, Tyree coated it in dots and squares of pink, blue, yellow, and purple, then perched a magenta watchdog on the porch." Brantley-Newton's vivid compositions, which incorporate paint, newsprint, and photo-collage, honor an artist who created the world he wanted to live in.

Veg Books - August 26, 2011
Pairing rhythmic, sometimes-rhyming prose with expressive illustration …

Kirkus Reviews - August 31, 2011
Multi-colored, multi-layered, multi-media illustrations trace the life of Tyree Guyton and his visionary artwork, which used reclaimed trash to turn a derelict Detroit street into community-activist art. Readers whiz through Tyree's story, propelled by his energy and zinging, trippy triplets that cap each significant event in his life. "Let rockets fly! / Boards tower high. / Bounce, jump and dance, magic trash!" An inspiring, exciting introduction to avant-garde art and social commentary, this biography convinces young readers that art can exist, thrive and effect change outside in the real world.

Daily Kos - September 4, 2011
Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s mixed media collage art is a fitting tribute to the beauty of Tyree Guyton’s vision that anything can become a beautiful thing when used for a purpose.

School Library Journal - November 1, 2011
Replete with vivid action words, onomatopoeia, and singsong rhythmic interludes, the text creates a sense of urgency and exhilaration. However, it is the artwork that is the truly outstanding element of this book. Brantley-Newton captures the exuberant nature of Guyton's work while incorporating his use of dots and circles, cast-off objects, and painterly brushstrokes. Glowing pigments appear rubbed into canvas surfaces to create backgrounds for the cartoonlike yet sensitive drawings of Guyton, his family, and his neighbors. Crayon drawings, gouache highlights, and charming collage tidbits ensure that each page is full of life.