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Picture Book Hour: Candace Fleming and Matthew Cordell

Picture Book Hour: Candace Fleming and Matthew Cordell

Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 02:00PM ET
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Join us for a reading of What Isabella Wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner Builds a Museum, with picture book author Candace Fleming and illustrator Matthew Cordell, followed by a Q&A!

About Author Candace Fleming, Illustrator Matthew Cordell & the Book!

From multiple award-winning author Candace Fleming and Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell comes the true story of a woman who always got what she wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner.

For years, the indomitable Isabella Stewart Gardner searched the world for magnificent artwork and filled her home with a truly unique collection, with the aim of turning it into a museum, which she established in 1903.

Isabella always did things her own way. One day she'd wear baseball gear to the symphony, the next, she'd be seen strolling down the street with zoo lions. It was no surprised that she was very particular about how she arranged her exhibits. They were not organized historically, stylistically, or by artist. Instead, they were arranged based on the connections Isabella felt toward the art, a connection she hoped to encourage in her visitors.

For years, her museum delighted generations of Bostonians and visitors with the collections arranged exactly as she wanted. But in 1990, a spectacular burglary occurred when two thieves disguised as police officers stole thirteen paintings, valued at $500 million, including a Rembrandt and a Vermeer. They have yet to be recovered, though a $10 million reward is still being offered for their safe return.

Author Candace Fleming perfectly captures Isabella's inimitable personality and drive, accompanied by exuberant illustrations by Matthew Cordell.

Candace Fleming is the author of more than thirty books for children, including Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera, winner of the Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book. Other books for older readers include The Family Romanov, winner of, among other awards, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.

Matthew Cordell is the Caldecott Medal–winning author and illustrator of Hello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers, and the illustrator of numerous highly acclaimed children’s books, including Special Delivery, which was a Washington Post Best Book. Matthew lives near Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children.