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I have been completely smitten with biographical picture books lately. I have always found it fascinating to learn about someone from history, but there is something so special about reading about it in picture book form. Picture books add a certain element of magic to every topic, and biographies are no exception!
One of my brand new favorites is a book called The Bluest of Blues. Full disclosure here…I bought this book solely based on the beauty of the cover. I was captivated by the illustrations! Thankfully for me, the inside of the book is every bit as gorgeous as that front cover. In this instance, judging a book by its cover completely paid off!
The Bluest of Blues
The Bluest of Blues is a brand new book from author/illustrator Fiona Robinson. The book shares the story of the life of Anna Atkins and the first ever book of photographs. Anna Atkins lived in the 1800’s and is known today for being a botanist, artist, and photographer. Anna lived at a time where very few women entered the field of science or academia in general! Thankfully Anna had a wonderful and dedicated father who encouraged her every step of the way. Anna is very well known for her cyanotype prints of seaweed and other plants. You can still see her “poppy” cyanotype at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London!
Fiona Robinson so beautifully shares the life of Anna. The illustrations are some of the most beautiful I have seen. The gorgeous shades of blue with the occasional pop of color are just stunning. The blue of the pages is so gorgeously complemented by the inclusion of Anna’s cyanotypes. I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of these types of prints before. I am sure that I have seen them somewhere along the way but I have never heard a name attached to them!
Creating Our Own Sunprints
I love when picture books inspire us to create our own art. There is something about a well-done picture book that just gets the creative juices flowing. So, Anna created her cyanotypes using a special chemical on paper that then had to be exposed to the sun and run under water. There is a way to re-create this at home. I wasn’t feeling super motivated to mess with a bunch of chemicals, so thankfully for us, I found an amazing solution!
Nature Print Paper! Nature Print Paper is a fantastic product. We ordered a stack of paper on Amazon and it was ready to roll when we got it. We got a package of 40 papers, each 5×7 in size. All we had to do was lay the items that we wanted to print on top of the paper and then expose it to the sunlight for a few minutes. You can watch the paper changing…homeschool win…Science and Art in one! The items only need to stay in the sunlight briefly and then you dip them in a pan of water for a minute. After they dry you are left with absolutely GORGEOUS images. The stark white of the image against “the bluest of blues” 🙂
We are so eager to head to the beach and get some seaweed to try. I think it will be absolutely beautiful. It truly feels like you are creating a piece of art!
You can grab Nature Print Paper right on Amazon!
I hope you get a chance to read The Bluest of Blues and learn all about Anna Atkins. Try your hand at making some beautiful sun prints as well…super easy and absolutely beautiful!