Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Grandma’s Purse

Perfect Picture Book Friday
grandmas-purse.jpgGrandma’s Purse (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018) by Vanessa Brantley-Newton just makes me smile. Not only while reading it, but whenever I think about it.
Told from the viewpoint of a little girl who is excited “Mimi is coming for a visit,” the book shows us treasures from Grandma’s purse. And those magical things make her grandma Mimi. Items are explained and the little girl gets to use them.
I love how she calls her grandmother’s perfume “smell-good” and how Mimi explains that her coin purse “also holds memories.”
At the bottom of the purse, there’s a surprise, but you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what it is.
This is one of Vanessa’s three authored books. To see the other two, and all the books she’s illustrated for other authors, go here.

Posted in Nonfiction, PB, So Many Good Books

Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist

sewingstories.jpgSewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015) by Barbara Herkert is a delightful picture book biography. The warm illustrations are done by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Read the illustrator’s comments about the book here.
The story takes Harriet from slave child watching the adults quilt to becoming a free woman, quilter and artist. When I read it, I almost cried when Harriet has to sell her story quilt. Besides the lyrical text of the story, there are patchwork boxes with extra information on each spread.
The back matter is very interesting in this book, too. It includes explanations about her quilts, tells more of her story, and even shows a picture of Harriet.
If you are a quilter or love quilts, this is a “must have” book. But it’s also a good story for kids to understand that even when life is hard, there can be joy and beauty.
Barbara Herkert had another artist biography come out last month as well: Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter with illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. Other books are in the works; read more on the author’s site.