Illustrator Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem. His dual heritage coupled with the experience of living in dual cultures in New York City gives Eric a rich and unique cultural perspective.
His first picture book, The Piano Man, earned him the 1999 Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe award for new talent. Eric also illustrated The Sound that Jazz Makes by Carole Boston Weatherford, winner of the CBC-NCSS Carter G. Woodson award in the field of social studies. Eric also illustrated Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali.