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A Thousand Glass Flowers

Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead

Illustrated by Evan Turk

This gorgeous and empowering picture book from award-winning author-illustrator Evan Turk paints the portrait of Marietta Barovier, the groundbreaking Renaissance artisan who helped shape the future of Venetian glassmaking.

Marietta and her family lived on the island of Murano, near Venice, as all glassmakers did in the early Renaissance. Her father, Angelo Barovier, was a true maestro, a master of glass. Marietta longed to create gorgeous glass too, but glass was men’s work.

One day her father showed her how to shape the scalding-hot material into a work of art, and Marietta was mesmerized. Her skills grew and grew.

Marietta worked until she created her own unique glass bead: the rosetta. Small but precious, the beautiful beads grew popular around the world and became as valuable as gold. The young girl who was once told she could not create art was now the woman who would leave her mark on glasswork for centuries to come.

Phoograph (c) by Veronica Lawlor

Evan Turk is an Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning illustrator, author, and animator. He is the author-illustrator of The Storyteller, Heartbeat, You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks, and A Thousand Glass Flowers and the illustrator of Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; Grandfather Gandhi; and its companion Be the Change. Originally from Colorado, Evan now lives in the Hudson River Valley with his husband and two cats. He is a graduate of Parsons School of Design. Visit him at EvanTurk.com.

Phoograph (c) by Veronica Lawlor

Evan Turk is an Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning illustrator, author, and animator. He is the author-illustrator of The Storyteller, Heartbeat, You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks, and A Thousand Glass Flowers and the illustrator of Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; Grandfather Gandhi; and its companion Be the Change. Originally from Colorado, Evan now lives in the Hudson River Valley with his husband and two cats. He is a graduate of Parsons School of Design. Visit him at EvanTurk.com.

* "Poetic yet accessible text sparkles with clarity as it portrays the artistic sensibility and discerning eye of a young girl. . . . Clearly a labor of love, this ethereal and striking selection incorporates imagination, art, creativity, and women’s history in a story that emphasizes dedication, resilience, and innovation. An enchanting tale."

– Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

* "This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of millefiori, Italian "thousand flower" beads, through the imagined life of Marietta. . .Vibrant illustrations featuring deep, rich hues complement the descriptive text. . . [the] illustrations also deftly capture Marietta's grit and determination. . . Audiences are sure to enjoy this unique offering. . ."

– Booklist, STARRED review

* "Byzantine masterworks and period costumes give a sense of luxury to this picture biography. . .A triumphant tale of a girl who defeats tradition, it’s also a visual homage to Venice, which Turk renders with vigorous pastel strokes in glorious hues."

– Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

"Inspired by Renaissance artists, [Turk's] breathtaking illustrations evoke the stunning art of glassmaking. The narrative flows well, providing context to Barovier’s fascination with glassmaking and highlights the difficulties she faced. . . Turk provides brilliant illustrations in this work about a lesser-known artist who made a tremendous impact." 

– School Library Journal

"Evan Turk’s illustrations are brilliant. Though books are only ink on paper, this art manages to conjure the heat of the furnace and the ethereal delicacy of Murano glass."

– The New York Times Book Review

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