Books

The World Entire: The Untold True Story of Extraordinary Rescue from World War II

Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon / Published by Chronicle Books

Coming Fall 2023

This book is a picture book biography of Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who defied his government during World War II and helped save thousands of Jewish refugees, at great personal cost.

Like a Diamond in the Sky: Jane Taylor's Beloved Poem of Wonder and the Stars

Illustrated by Becca Stadtlander / Published by Bloomsbury 

Coming February 15, 2022

In the days when most girls were brought up to run a home, Jane Taylor had a different kind of education in the English countryside, where she was inspired by nature and the stars, and dreamed of becoming a writer. But in the late 1700s, it was not considered proper for women to be writers. Jane and other female poets were shunned, unable to use their own names when published.But Jane did write, and she never forgot her love for the beauty of nature and the glow of stars, or her desire to write for children. Her published poetry became universally known for generations to come: Twinkle, twinkle little star.

This lyrical and luminous biography shines a light on the unsung poet who wrote the words of our most enduring lullaby, and features stunning artwork reflecting the world, the stars, and the story behind the poem that we all know so well.

“Enhanced with homespun gouache illustrations, Brown’s luminous portrait of a literary life will inspire budding writers and encourage an appreciation of the beauty of the night sky. An appealing portrayal of a female poet, her creativity, and her time.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Richly colored gouache paintings evoke the beauty of the rural world with a suitably old-fashioned formality…This attractive book with its extensive back matter will be of most interest in collections looking for solid picture book biographies of women.” ―School Library Journal

“Gouache paintings . . . have an intricate, vintage feel, reflecting Taylor’s interest in nature with sweeping landscapes. Copious back matter, which includes an author’s note and information on stars twinkling, fleshes out this edifying picture book biography.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Elizabeth Brown and Becca Stadtlander have integrated each component together in a beautifully woven web.  Like a Diamond in the Sky is a distinguished work of picture book art, and one which intuits how children learn.” ―Imaginary Elevators

“An engaging introduction to this Romantic-era poet.” ―Booklist

Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler

Illustrated by Aimee Sicuro / Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

They said only men could paint powerful pictures, but Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) splashed her way through the modern art world. Channeling deep emotion, Helen poured paint onto her canvas and danced with the colors to make art unlike anything anyone had ever seen. She used unique tools like mops and squeegees to push the paint around, to dazzling effects. Frankenthaler became an originator of the influential “Color Field” style of abstract expressionist painting with her “soak stain” technique, and her artwork continues to electrify new generations of artists today. Dancing Through Fields of Color discusses Frankenthaler’s early life, how she used colors to express emotion, and how she overcame the male-dominated art world of the 1950s.

Awards & Distinctions

  • New York Public Library Best Books of 2019
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • The Society of Midland Authors 2020 Awards – Children’s Nonfiction Honoree 
  • A Mighty Girl 2019 Book of the Year

“The textual descriptions of Frankenthaler’s process are gorgeous . . . [and] Sicuro’s watercolor, ink, and charcoal pencil illustrations are spirited.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Sicuro’s bold illustrations are a wonderful match for a biography on an abstract artist; the saturated colors, thick lines, and rounded shapes work well with Brown’s descriptive text to immerse readers in Frankenthaler’s world . . . A pitch-perfect expression of a little-known artist in text and illustration alike, this is a top-notch example of the picture book biography.” —School Library Journal

“Brown uses lyrical text full of action words and ranges of color to describe this lesser-known yet influential abstract expressionist artist from the twentieth century . . . [Sicuro’s] loosely drawn illustrations with thick strokes of watercolor, ink, and charcoal pencil evoke both Helen’s moods and her abstract style.” —Booklist

“Brown’s debut picture-book biography limns [Frankenthaler’s] creative and imaginative childhood, dutiful art study in college, and early career in mid-twentieth-century NYC… Sicuro’s compositions—in watercolor, ink, and charcoal pencil . . . consistently reinforce the ideas of movement and color saturation.” —Horn Book Magazine

“With sweeping strokes, Sicuro conveys the young artist’s joy in the act of creation.” —Publishers Weekly