Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter

Barbara Herkert (Author) Gabi Swiatkowska (Illustrator)


Mary Cassatt was a headstrong, determined girl. She wanted to be an artist in 1860, a time when proper girls certainly weren't artists. It wasn't polite. But Mary herself wasn't polite. She pursued art with a passion, moving to Paris to study, painting what she saw. Her work was rejected by the Salon judges time and time again. One day, the great painter Edgar Degas invited her to join him and his group of independent artists, those who flouted the rules and painted as they pleased--the Impressionists. Mary was on her way.

I began to live, said Mary. Today, her paintings hang in museums around the world and she is recognized as one of the most celebrated female artists of all time.

Product Details

Henry Holt & Company
Publish Date
October 27, 2015
8.8 X 0.4 X 11.2 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Barbara Herkert has her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University, and she studied art and art history at Oregon State University. She is the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI-Oregon. Gabi Swiatkowska has illustrated many notable books for children, including My Name Is Yoon, for which she received the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, Arrowhawk, Waiting for Gregory, and Queen on Wednesday. She lives in France.


A CBC NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
An Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Book

"Herkert and Swiatkowska present an enchanting portrait of an uncompromising artist. . . 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." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Herkert's brief, lyrical sentences capture both Mary's profound connection to art and her enduring significance in the art world. Swiatkowska's textured mixed-media paintings on saturated
double-page spreads echo Cassatt's own painting style and palette, frequently recreating
her famous pieces."-The Horn Book

"Herkert never misses an opportunity to emphasize Cassatt's opinionated,
determined personality, which is a valuable takeaway for young readers. . . Swiatkowska's lush paintings beautifully evoke Cassatt's signature style.Little ones fresh off a museum visit will likely appreciate this warm introduction to a pioneering artist."-Booklist