cover image Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott

Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott

Joyce Scott with Brie Spangler, illus. by Melissa Sweet. Knopf, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-525-64811-6

Scott (Entwined, for adults) and Spangler (Beast) begin this powerful picture biography of Scott’s twin sister Judith (1943–2005) with a description of their early childhood. Joyce and Judy did everything together: “I don’t know if everything comes in twos, but it seems that way to me!” But when Joyce is ready to attend school, Judy, who has “what will come to be known as Down syndrome,” stays home. One morning, Joyce wakes up to find Judy gone, institutionalized by their parents. As an adult, Joyce brings her sister to live with her family and enrolls her in an art program, where Judy begins making intricate, colorful constructions with string, twigs, and found objects, word of which grows among buyers, critics, and museums. In delicate lines, illustrator Sweet (Alphamaniacs) commemorates the story’s most emotive moments—Joyce’s desolation, clutching twin stuffed bunnies, when Judy vanishes, and the whole-family embrace that enfolds Judy when she arrives to live with Joyce’s family. Told in an order that allows readers to appreciate Judy the way Joyce does, this book’s creators successfully render a personal story of love, nurture, and individual gifts. Back matter includes more information and photos of Judy’s fiber art. Ages 4–8. [em]Authors’ agents: (for Scott) Stacey Glick, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret; (for Spangler) Mackenzie Brady Watson, Stuart Krichevsky. (June) [/em]