Nancy Churnin

A Mighty Girl's Pick of the Day Repost

A Mighty Girl Pick of the Day: "Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring" by Nancy Churnin. As a child, Laura Wheeler Waring loved mixing paints to get the perfect shade — especially to capture the exact shades of brown reflecting the varied skin colors of her family members. But, growing up in the late 19th century, she couldn't help but notice that museums didn't show many paintings of people with brown skin. Waring studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and then in Paris where work by Matisse and Gaugin encouraged her to paint the people she knew. And when she returned home to America, her portraits of famous African Americans would become classic works of art that still inspire visitors to the National Portrait Gallery. This gorgeously illustrated picture book about a trailblazing artist celebrates self-expression, diversity, and welcoming different points of view. Highly recommended for ages 5 to 9.

"Beautiful Shades of Brown" is available at

For more books for children and teens about pioneering African-American women, visit our blog post "99 Books about Extraordinary Black Mighty Girls and Women" at

For older kids, there's also an illustrated biography celebrating 50 pioneering women in the arts, "Women in Art," for ages 9 and up at

For many stories for children and teens of pioneering girls and women in the arts -- both in real-life and fiction -- visit our "Creative Arts" section at

And, if you'd like to encourage your own Mighty Girl's interest in the arts, check out our blog post "Growing Creativity: Arts and Crafts Toys for Mighty Girls," at