Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter by Barbara Herkert

5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, May 19, 2017!

A picture book biography of Impressionist painter, Mary Cassatt, with gorgeous illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. We follow Mary from her girlhood in Pennsylvania to her move to Paris to study art to her invitation by Edgar Degas to join a group of independent artists, who painted as they pleased.

Exclusive interview with the author:

1) How many drafts of this book did you write?

At least 7 or 8 before I submitted it to my agent; then another 3 or 4 for my editor.

2) How long did it take to write this book?

It takes me at least a year to do all the research. In this case, I read everything I could about Mary and traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art for a private showing of her prints by expert Dr. Heather Lemonedes. Somewhere in the midst of my research, the first draft comes to me. Then it’s weeks and weeks of honing the manuscript, finding just the right words and rhythm.

3) How did your career take off?

Two avenues led to my career taking off. The first step was joining SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. Through SCBWI, I met my amazing agent, Karen Grencik, which eventually led to my first book contract. The second thing I did to advance my career was getting a MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. This was key to really honing my craft and giving me the confidence to succeed.

4) What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?

Right now, we have a new puppy, so I’m puppy sitting in my spare time! I love to read, and there is always a huge stack of books by my bedside. I love hiking and kayaking in Central Oregon, and boating in the San Juan Islands.

5) What book are you currently reading?

Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman. I am such a fan of her biographies for older readers. This is such a moving account of the complicated and intense relationship between Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo.

About the author:

Barbara Herkert is the author of three picture book biographies. She received a MFA in Writing for Children from Hamline University. She lives on the Oregon Coast. Visit Barbara online at

Giveaway info:

Title: Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter
Author: Barbara Herkert
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt/Macmillan
Author website:

5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, May 19, 2017.

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One Response to Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter by Barbara Herkert

  1. gary quintard May 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    great contest!