cover image Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter

Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter

Barbara Herkert, illus. by Gabi Swiatkowska. Holt/Ottaviano, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-016-1

Herkert and Swiatkowska present an enchanting portrait of an uncompromising artist, and from the start there’s no mistaking that Cassatt was uninterested in hewing to social and artistic conventions. “In 1860, proper girls weren’t artists. They had polite hobbies—flower arranging, needlepoint. Not Mary,” Herkert writes, as Swiatkowska pictures a young Cassatt glowering, arms crossed over her chest (one suspects she’s about to rip the giant white bow off her own head). Swiatkowska does an exceptional job of evoking Cassatt’s artwork and era while staying true to the idiosyncrasies of her own work, and as Herkert follows Cassatt from art school to Europe and friendship with Degas, the rewards of creating art on one’s own terms become abundantly clear. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Oct.)