32pp, color

8.5in x 10.75in

7 to 11
February 2020







Age Range:



Beautiful Shades of Brown:

The Art of Laurie Wheeler Waring

By Nancy Churnin

Illustrated by Felicia Marshall

    Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn't see any artists who looked like her. She didn't see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. So when she was offered a commission to paint portraits of accomplished African Americans, she jumped at the chance. Writers, singers, political activists, and thinkers all posed for her. Now her portraits hang in Washington, D.C.'s National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured.

    “Marshall’s realistic and well-researched artwork is as rich and textured as the life of Laura Wheeler Waring. The story is authentic, and as I read it, I could almost smell oil paints and thinners long gone from my own studio. Thank you to Nancy Churnin and Felicia Marshall for bringing to light a story to be enjoyed by boys and girls, whites and blacks and browns — and everyone in between.”

    — Don Tate, award-winning author-illustrator of Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

    ”What a magnificent book, suffused with love and joy! I will never again see the color brown without looking for the many textures and colors within it. I wish I had this book when my brown-skinned children were young. I will buy copies for every child I know.”

    — Joan Steinau Lester, award-winning author of Black, White, Other

    “A beautiful representation of an interesting painter that teachers — and budding artists — will especially appreciate.”

    — Michele Bellah, Copperfield’s Books