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Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

The Story of a Painting

by Hugh Brewster
illustrated by John Singer Sargent

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list price: $19.95
published: 2007
publisher: Kids Can Press
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose: The Story of a Painting

This charming, true story focuses on how Kate Millet gets over her disappointment and takes part in the creation of John Singer Sargent’s well-loved painting. Illustrated with over 35 Sargent paintings and sketches, this evocative account will captivate readers.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

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  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
  • Short-listed, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
  • Runner-up, Information Book Award, Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada
  • Short-listed, Governor General’s Literary Award, children’s literature, Canada Council for the Arts
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Young Kate Millet is the model for the painting John Singer Sargent is working on in her parents' garden. Everyone says she is posing well, even though she finds it very hard to stand still. Then, one of her father's friends arrives with his two daughters. They're older, taller and have lighter hair than Kate. Sargent decides to use them as models instead. Kate is devastated. Based on numerous letters and recollections from the period, Hugh Brewster's story describes Kate's disappointment, the many difficulties experienced by the painter through the long artistic process, Kate's reconciliation with him and how she is immortalized on canvas after all. Illustrated with over 35 of Sargent's paintings and sketches, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose recreates the 1880s milieu of the famed American painter during an extended trip to England, and the thoughts and days of a girl who was there alongside him.

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Editorial Reviews

This is an exquisite book ...

... a fascinating story ... Brewster makes accessible the rarefied world of art ... Sargent’s work ... offer a feast for the eyes.

This ideal gift book by an award-winning author will educate, entertain, and inform a whole new generation of readers and art lovers.

A great introduction to the world of art ...

This is an exquisite book, gently written and beautifully produced ... one of the most charming and instructive of art-making stories ... compelling, essential reading for anyone of any age who is interested in painting ...

... well-researched and engaging volume ...

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About the Authors

Hugh Brewster

Hugh Brewster is the award-winning author of Anastasia's Album and Inside the Titanic, and the co-author of 882 1/2 Amazing Answers To Your Questions About the Titanic with Laurie Coulter.

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John Singer Sargent

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