Mary Blair’s Unique Flair: The Girl Who Became One of the Disney Legends

Amy Novesky, illus. by Brittney Lee. Disney Press, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4847-5720-8
Art imitates art-driven life in this uneven tribute to an iconic illustrator who climbed to admirable creative heights at Walt Disney Studios. Following a childhood in which her family had little money for paint supplies, Mary Blair trains as an artist and is hired by Disney to paint “a dog named Lady... and a little elephant named Dumbo.” A work trip to South America inspires her to create paint color variations and applications as she works on classic animated films and helps design the It’s a Small World attraction at Disneyland. Though an airy narrative by Novesky echoes the whimsy of Blair’s art, captured in Disney animation artist Lee’s stylized cut-paper and gouache pictures, the book problematically distills South America to a place of “bright and happy colors” (of which Blair’s favorite is, inexplicably, “blanco—the color... of possibility”) and fails to contextualize, or even address, myriad criticisms of It’s a Small World. Ages 6–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 08/01/2019
Release date: 08/13/2019
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-4847-7769-5
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