Madeleine’s Light: A Story of Camille Claudel

Natalie Ziarnik, Author, Robert Dunn, Illustrator
Natalie Ziarnik, illus. by Robert Dunn. Boyds Mills, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59078-855-4
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Ziarnik creates a fictionalized account of a friendship between sculptor Claudel (1864–1943) and a young girl. Herself a budding artist, Madeleine Boyer eagerly awaits the arrival of Claudel to her grandmother’s château outside Tours, France. Though the brooding woman in shabby clothing is not what Madeleine expects, the two develop a tender relationship. Dunn’s expressive watercolor and pencil illustrations are characterized by shadows, somber facial expressions, and uneasy yellow-greens that allude to Claudel’s later mental instability. Despite such hints of darkness, it’s a touching story of two kindred spirits and the often-solitary creative process. Ages 5–up. (May)
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