Amazon Fishbowl - children's book author Jerome T. White 

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerome T. White drew all the time. But when he became the artist for his classroom's newspaper in fifth grade, a light bulb went off. "Hey, I might have a talent here," he realized. Encouraged by that early experience, he went on to study art, became a schoolteacher, and at the same time pursued a career as a fine artist. Today, his art appears in books, as pieces displayed in public spaces and homes, and on commissioned wall murals.

White joined Amazon’s Mark Hatcher for a Fishbowl. Authors, musicians, actors, and filmmakers have been known to show off their talents in the Amazon “Fishbowl,” so named because guests are surrounded by excited Amazonians—kind of like a fish in a fishbowl! Fishbowls originated in our Seattle offices, but now they’re regularly livestreamed to be available to our global employees (and we’ve pivoted to all livestream Fishbowls during these times).

In this Fishbowl, White shares more about how he got his start, how he develops ideas, and what he's been working on, including the children's book Red Tail Dreamer, about a kid who dares to dream about flying airplanes. The book is a tribute to White's grandfather, who was a physical education instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators.

"My work has taught me dedication," White says. "What I try to do is set that example for my students." In order to get better at something, he adds, you have to make it part of who you are. Listening to White describe his own passion and commitment to mastery, you might be inspired to follow your own storytelling instincts.

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.