"About the Book ""That steel-driving man who was born--and died--with a hammer in his hand comes vividly to life in a picture book so colorful and dramatic that surely it is the best yet by Ezra Jack Keats, a Caldecott Medal winner. . . . Each double-page spread seems to radiate the vital force that led John Henry to challenge a steam drill to a rock-drilling contest--and win"".--The Chicago Tribune. Book Synopsis Caldecott Medalist Ezra Jack Keats's vibrant retelling of the popular African American folk ballad. Have you heard the tale? John Henry was born with a hammer in his hand. He was taller and stronger than anyone around. When men started talking about laying railroad tracks across the prairies and deserts, and right through the mountains, John Henry knew he and his hammer had to be a part of it. And drive those spikes he did! Then came the day when a challenge was announced: Who could dig a tunnel through a mountain faster--John Henry and his hammer? Or a steam drill? Review Quotes ""The heroic figure of John Henry is captured in a simple rhythmic picture book. Dramatic pictures with large bold figures express the feeling of this tall tale.""--(starred) School Library Journal. About the Author Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983) is the Caldecott Medal-winning author of The Snowy Day, which broke ground in 1962 as one of the first picture books for young children to portray a realistic, multicultural, urban setting. Since its initial publication, The Snowy Day has come to be regarded as both a children's classic and one of the most important picture books ever written/illustrated. Ezra Jack Keats' legacy lives on in the popularity of his most famous character, Peter--the star of The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Peter's Chair, A Letter to Amy, Goggles, and others. Visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation online at www.ezra-jack-keats.org"