A Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice selection for 2005
Nominated for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for Illustration for 2004
Marietta's father, Jacopo Tintoretto, is a renowned and famous artist living in Venice during the Renaissance era. More than anything, Merietta wants to paint like her father. But Marietta is a girl -- to work and study with her father she must disguise herself in boy's clothing. Her hose and doublet allow her to accompany her father to the studios and galleries of Venice with the paint box her father has given her.
"A gift from one painter to another, my dear. The work of an artist can fill the heart with light. Use it well, Marietta, and your heart will know happiness."
When Marietta meets Piero, a young cabin boy, she is envious of everything he sees sailing the oceans -- mountains, meadows and seas far from Venice. But Piero, sold into slavery to the ship's captain, only dreams of staying at home and learning to paint. As the friendship between the two grows throughout the summer, they make plans that will allow Piero's dreams to come to fruition. And when the time for Piero's escape home arrives, Marietta's special gift of her cherished paint box makes his trip extra special.
"This poignant tale has its roots in historical fact. [Tintoretto] did indeed have a daughter who dressed in boy's clothing in order to work and study with him. Trottier's fictional story about Marietta and her friend seems plausible, due in part to her descriptive and expressive writing style. East's painterly illustrations are magnificent. Each spread captures the feeling of Renaissance Venice and supports the accompanying text. As a standalone story or as a supplement to curriculum studies of the Renaissance, this book is a worthy addition." "Her story of Marietta and Piero, told in a simple and stately prose, manages to suggest a sixteenth century manner of speaking. In a few short pages, she creates believable characters, a vivid setting and a gripping theme."
-- Canadian Review of Materials"Historical fact and fanciful fiction interweave making this story of hope and dreams fulfilled one that readers of all ages will enjoy. Stella East's paintings make this book a treasure! Libraries needing more titles to add to their collection in the Renaissance time period will wisely choose this title. A delightful story line, informative author's note, and striking illustrations combine to make this book an excellent choice. This is a paperback edition, modestly priced. This story will be well-loved by all the little artists out there!"
-- Lane Education Service District (4 out of 5 Stars)