As an illustrator, Adjoa creates original cut paper collages for children’s picture books. Her work celebrates nature and the simple joy and wonder of childhood. Her goal is to delight and intrigue the viewer with bright, playful colors and geometric shapes that bring even the most reluctant reader into her books.

   Adjoa enjoys the physical nature of art making. Her formal training was as a Printmaker – creating etchings, lithograhs and silkscreen prints. Now, she paints her papers with watercolor, acrylic and dyes, paying special attention to color and texture, and then meticulously cuts and pastes to create her three-dimensional compositions.

   Teachers can build their students self esteem and foster creativity with workshops by this national presenter and author/illustrator. Explore art and writing with the Family Ties and My Wide Wide World workshops where students write their own stories and poetry and experiment with cut paper collage, simple bookmaking and paper decorating techniques.

   Adjoa has illustrated 17 pictures books and has authored three, including Grandma’s Purple Flowers, a book that offers hope after the loss of a loved one. Sharing her passion for books, Adjoa has presented workshops for over four years through the National Museum of Women in the Arts and through many other programs across the U.S. Her illustrations were included in the travelling exhibition, Picture Stories: A Celebration of African American Illustrators. Adjoa’s one-woman exhibit Color All Around features 41 illustrations and will tour nationally through 2009.

Selected Reviews of Adjoa’s Books

Destiny’s Gift
Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
Illustrated by Adjoa Burrowes
   I know the adage “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” holds true, but when I flipped through the pages I thought, I like this book. Destiny’s Gift is a story of a young girl named Destiny who loves visiting Ms. Wade’s bookstore that is across the street from her home. It is a story aptly told with illustrations and words. When Ms. Wade receives a letter one day telling her that her rent is going up, she is faced with the real possibility of closing the bookstore because she will not be able to afford the raised rent. When Ms. Wade shares this fact with Destiny, she is not only saddened for her own sake, but wants to help Ms. Wade keep her store. Destiny gets the support of her parents to inform the community and community support is forthcoming through posters, picket signs, donations, and an increase in customers (at least temporarily). The relationship between Destiny and Ms. Wade is well developed, and demonstrates the effects people have on each other, as evidenced by the special gift Destiny gives Ms. Wade at the end of the story. The illustrations communicate a sense of cultural and environmental awareness without being didactic. 2004, Lee & Low Books, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Sheree White (Children’s Literature).

Grandma’s Purple Flowers
Adjoa Burrowes
   Many books for young children deal with death, but few have pictures that are so winning. Cut paper, watercolors, and acrylics are combined beautifully to depict each season . . . Although the collages are not as technically sophisticated as in some recent offerings, they burst with life as they capture the smallest nuances of emotion between grandmother and granddaughter. The first-person text is simple, moving, and hopeful. 2000, Lee & Low, $15.95. Ages 4-8. Reviewer: Ilene Cooper (Booklist, Nov. 1, 2000 (Vol. 97, No. 5)

Program Details

Adjoa is available for programs especially designed for K-5 students that focus on Family History and Self Esteem. Ideal group size is one class, although she will address assemblies. Her hands-on Young Illustrators and Young Writers workshops are designed for one class. Adjoa also presents to adult audiences. Sample topics for adults and children include:

  • Getting Published: The Rules, The Myths and The Magic
  • Making a Picture Book: From Start to Finish
  • Journey to Grandma: Writing and Illustrating Grandma’s Purple Flowers
  • Writing Memories: Use Your Family History as a Guide

Speaking fees are negotiable. Out of area transportation and lodging to be paid by sponsor.

Additional Information

To learn more about Adjoa and her publications please visit