The Connecticut, and beyond, children's literature community was saddened last week to hear of the death of Jane Sutcliffe, an excellent writer of historical nonfiction. I first knew her through the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Eventually she joined my writers' group.
I am rerunning below a post about Jane's presentation at the 2015 Connecticut Children's Book Fair. You can also check out another 2015 post about Jane's book The White House Is Burning: August 24, 1814.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Jane Sutcliffe At The Connecticut Children's Book FairConnecticut Children's Book Fair. Jane's a member of my writing group, and I've been acquainted with her for several years through the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. As things turned out, she was a morning presenter, and hers was the first author talk I attended.
Jane talked about the original inspiration for her book Stone Giant: Michelangelo's David and How He Came to Be and how researching it led to another book, Leonardo's Monster. What was particularly interesting about Jane's presentation was her description of seeing the actual David statue in Venice and seeing in the face not just beauty, but a story.
Speaking of David's story--I was certainly familiar with Michelangelos's statue, David. And I definitely know much of David's story...David and Goliath, King David, etc. I taught Sunday school for close to a decade and David is sort of the superhero of the Old Testament. I am embarrassed to say that I had not made the connection between the statue David and the Biblical David.
Or if I had, it never hit me the way it did when Jane showed a close up of the statue's face and described what she saw in it and how it related to the story of David and Goliath.
Jane Sutcliffe's Connecticut Children's Book Fair presentation would make a great offering at art museums with children's programs. I wonder if it couldn't be extended into an art history talk for schools, too.