by Hester Bass • illustrated by E. B. Lewis
September 2009 • Candlewick Press • Nonfiction picture book • Ages 6 - 10
Enter the fascinating world of reclusive nature-lover Walter Anderson -- perhaps the most famous American artist you've never heard of.
Story: There was once an artist who braved storms, mosquitoes, alligators, and more to speak the language of nature in pencil and paint. His name was Walter Anderson. Residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast thought he was odd, rowing across twelve miles of open water in a leaky skiff to reach Horn, an uninhabited island without running water or electricity. But this solitary artist didn't much care what they thought as he spent weeks at a time on his personal paradise, sleeping under his boat, sometimes eating whatever washed ashore, sketching and painting the natural surroundings and the animals that became his friends. Here Walter created some of his most brilliant watercolors, work he kept hidden during his lifetime. In a beautifully crafted picture book biography, writer Hester Bass and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis pay homage to an uncompromising American artist.
Story behind the story: Hester Bass has been enchanted by Walter Anderson's work for over 25 years, and after Hurricane Katrina threatened to destroy so much of his cultural legacy, she felt compelled to share his story:
For me, I especially admire the way Anderson seemed to depict life as well as the likeness of his subjects. His paintings resonate like a chord, a sympathetic string vibrating with the interconnectedness of all living things. I find his art and writings, like nature itself, endlessly refreshing. My hope is that others will too. -- Hester
★"A gorgeous chronicle of a versatile Southern American artist... Superb..." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.