Synopses & Reviews
When Louisa May Alcotts Little Women was published in 1868, it was an instant success. Louisa drew on her experiences in writing the novel, but theres a lot more to her rags-to-riches story. Louisa came from a family that was poor but freethinking, and she started teaching when she was only seventeen years old. But writing was her passion. This informative biography captures the life of a compassionate woman who left an indelible mark on literature for all ages.
"Enchanting gouache and pastel paintings adorn this thorough biography of Little Women author Alcott. Painted in a somewhat nave style with elongated, flowing lines, single portraits of Alcott dominate several of Andersen's (Patience Wright) spreads. Natural elements like feathers and flowers pattern her dresses and decorate the background, evoking her love of nature. While the fluid compositions evoke a carefree tone, textured gold backdrops, dark hues and serious facial expressions underscore the sadness and disappointments of Alcott's short life, including a sister's early death and her family's poverty. McDonough's (The Doll with the Yellow Star) plainspoken narrative, confined to filmy, rectangular canvases on each page, provides numerous anecdotes to keep the story paced and interesting. Readers learn of her father's alternative, ahead-of-his-time views on education and diet, as well as Louisa's efforts to help her impoverished family with finances ('Once she tried to earn money as a doll's dressmaker. She chased the neighbor's hens for their feathers and made fancy dolls' hats to sell'). Endnotes provide a time line, some of the author's quotations and early poetry, and even a favorite recipe for 'apple slump.' Ages 6 10." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Praise for Louisa:"Enchanting gouache and pastel paintings adorn this thorough biography of Little Women author Alcott. . . . McDonoughs plainspoken narrative, confined to filmy, rectangular canvases on each page, provides numerous anecdotes to keep the story paced and interesting." —Publishers Weekly "McDonough clearly lays out the essentials of Alcotts life story. . . . Andersens gouache-and-pastel illustrations use strong shapes and rich colors to create iconic images. Textured gold backgrounds, dynamic and luminous, isolate the people portrayed from their everyday surroundings and intensify the pictures emotional content." —Booklist "Middle-graders will be charmed by this first look at one of Americas most beloved authors." —Kirkus Reviews "McDonough has captured the essence of Alcotts fascinating life story in this picture book. . . . McDonoughs title is for those looking for a short, accessible introduction to an amazing life." —School Library Journal "The result is an introductory biography that offers primary as well as secondary appeal, evincing some of the same charm as the subjects famous works." —BCCB Praise for Patience Wright: A Booklist Top 10 Arts Books for Youth A Notable Social Studies Trade Book 2008 Amelia Bloomer list * "Andersen has a way with women characters; her cover depiction of Wright, looking straight at the audience, a small wax head in her hand, is particularly effective." —Booklist, starred review
About the Author
Yona Zeldis McDonough
is the author of many books for children, including Sisters in Strength
and Anne Frank
. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Bethanne Andersen has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including Patience Wright: Americas First Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy. She lives in Boise, Idaho.