Today we’re thrilled to reveal the cover for I Am Osage: How Clarence Tinker Became the First Native American Major General by Kim Rogers and illustrated by Bobby Von Martin! The jacket art is also by Bobby Von Martin, and the jacket design is by Tom Starace. The book will be released on February 6, 2024 by Heartdrum. Preorder it here.
This informative and inspiring picture book by acclaimed author Kim Rogers (Wichita), with striking artwork by debut illustrator Bobby Von Martin (Choctaw), celebrates the achievements of Clarence Tinker, a member of the Osage Nation who became the first Native American major general.
Clarence Tinker always knew that he wanted to do something extraordinary. Something adventurous. Something that made a difference in the world. But as a member of the Osage Nation at the turn of the twentieth century, there were a lot of obstacles that he had to face to achieve his dreams. When he was a child, Clarence was taken away from his family and community. He was forced to attend a prison-like boarding school, like many other Native children of his generation. There, he wasn’t able to speak his language or practice his Osage customs.
Still, Clarence kept his dream close to his heart and joined the US Army with the goal of becoming an officer. Though he was treading an unfamiliar path, he worked hard and never forgot his Osage values and traditions that, ultimately, paved his way to success.
I Am Osage, the first nonfiction project from the Heartdrum imprint, combines gorgeous, vibrant artwork with a stirring text that celebrates an unsung hero while also shedding light on significant American history.
Kim Rogers is the author of Just Like Grandma, illustrated by Julie Flett. She is an enrolled member of Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and is a member of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. Much of her writing highlights her Wichita heritage. Kim lives with her family on her tribe’s ancestral homelands in Oklahoma.
Bobby Von Martin is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Born into a family of professional artists, he fell in love with art from a very young age. He is passionate about including cultural influences and historical subject matter in his paintings to inspire children and adults in Native American communities, and he volunteers as an art teacher for Native youth. He lives in Fresno, California.