Anne Elizabeth's Diary: A Young Artist's True Story

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Uderzo, trans. by Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge, collects 14 "all-new" comic tales of the titular Gallic warrior never before published, alongside others that appeared separately from the 1960s to the present. Some fun historical tidbits: a 1986 comic, "The Lutetia Olympics," was printed to bolster Paris's bid for the 1992 games, while "Chanticleerix," (2003, published for the first time here), details an avian battle of symbolic proportions between the Gaulish rooster and the Roman eagle. Fans of these smart works should be kept in hysterix. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
At first glance, this is a perfectly charming little book. It covers one year in the life of twelve-year-old New Yorker Anne Elizabeth Rector in 1912. Though not rich, Anne Elizabeth is the privileged only child of a photographer and a dressmaker. She is also a budding artist, and her colored sketches add much to her daily diary entries. The book is lovingly reproduced with these sketches, photographs, and Krull's historical sidebars (interesting but on the bland side, and there is a wishy-washiness about whether the date is actually 1912 or 1910). The reader is pivoted through the book by the writer's small dramas: school events; skating with her beloved father; most of all her desire to be a real, genuine artist. When the diary ends at Christmas, the desire is for more. But this is all that the young lady wrote, even though she went on to study art in Paris and to become an artistic entrepreneur in her own right. Like Anne Frank's diary, it all feels so true. Turn the final page to learn that Krull added "interpretations, continuity, and emotion." This reader felt crushed. What, in the end, are we dealing with? Fact, or beautifully illustrated semi-fiction? If nothing else, that confession should have been made up front. 2004, Megan Tingley Books/Little Brown, Ages 8 to 12.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Rector was an aspiring young artist living in New York City in 1912. During that year, the 12-year-old kept a diary; her simple sentences and charming pen-and-ink illustrations reflect on her life, thoughts, and wishes. To her entries Kathleen Krull has added informative sidebars on early-20th-century, middle-class life, events of the day, famous people, and about how this real girl might have been influenced by movies, literature, and some of the more progressive women and teachers of her time. Rector succeeded in pursuing an art education at The Art Students League of New York and eventually supported her family through the Depression with a small art business she shared with her talented dress designer and seamstress mother. The diary is a wonderful snapshot of a child's life during the period coupled with fact-filled snippets detailing street life in New York, fashion, ship travel, private-school education, girls' roles in sports, and women artists of the day including Georgia O'Keeffe and Mary Cassatt. The book is printed on pale peach paper and the text is in a handwritten font. Krull has also included a brief follow-up on Rector's adult life, her marriage to Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Edward Duffy, and family photographs taken by her father. A note by the artist's granddaughter further personalizes the volume.-Rita Soltan, Oakland University, Rochester, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A marvelous confluence of text and image, history and research, family and locale makes this a deeply appealing title. For Christmas, 12-year-old Anne Elizabeth Rector got a diary from her mother and art supplies from her father, and she kept an illustrated diary the whole year of 1912. Her entries are brief but almost always illustrated: teachers' hats, friends' shoes, faces, flowers. It's clear that she misses her father, a photographer who travels a lot, and has issues with her mother, a seamstress who gets sick headaches often. Drawing and painting are her passion, even though her family and friends cannot understand her desire. Krull creates sidebars illuminating the plays Anne Elizabeth sees, the dinners she eats, the social and cultural milieu of New York City. Notes from Krull on keeping a diary, from Anne Elizabeth's granddaughter, and a summary of the rest of her life (she did become an artist, and she did make a living at it) are a bonus. (notes, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316072045
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Elizabeth Rector (1899-1970) attended the Art Students League of New York. She was an accomplished fine artist. She also painted boxes, made unique toys and dollhouses, and handmade furniture for the rich and famous, like movie star Carole Lombard. She married Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Edmund Duffy and had one daughter.

Kathleen Krull is the acclaimed author of the the "Lives of..." series. She is a frequent speaker at schools and conferences and writes articles and book reviews for The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, and Publishers Weekly, among others.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Anne Elizabeth's Diary is a very informing biography. Tells the

    Anne Elizabeth's Diary is a very informing biography. Tells the story of a young girl who's passion is to make art. How she became an amazing woman and artist who had to go through many challenges to get to where she wanted to go. This biography would be a wonderful read for anyone who loves art but can't express it as often as they would like. Can do any type of art, be it drawing, painting, physical building, etc. Also, very helpful on emotional ways of making yourself feel better through art. This book was very helpful to me and will be to you as well I'm sure. Give it a read!

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