Ashley Bryan, author, artist, and illustrator, has been awarded the 2004 Coretta Scott King Award for his new book, Beautiful Blackbird. This colorful book is an adaptation of a Zambian folktale, in which Blackbird teaches the lesson that beauty is not external. The illustrations are deceptively simple cutouts that combine with the playful verses in an engaging tale of acceptance and self-awareness. Bryan, who lives on Islesford, was previously honored for his 1981 book Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum, which won the Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations.