Title: Suzette and the Puppy A Story about Mary Cassatt
Author: Joan Sweeney
Illustrator: Jennifer Heyd Wharton
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.
Publication Date: 2000
Genre: Historical Fiction, Picture Book
Audience: Gr. Pre-K-2

Overview: This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of a little French girl, Suzette, who meets an American lady, Mary Cassatt, and her puppy, Nipper. She befriends the pair and soon discovers that Mary is an artist. The friendship triggers Mary to paint a picture of Suzette and Nipper, which she titles Little Girl in a Blue Armchair. Does this sound like a familiar painting? That’s because it is! It hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Activity: Students can role-play and be artists just like Mary Cassatt. Have the students split into pairs and draw or paint a picture of their partner with an object of their choice, like a book or toy. Then, have students make up a story to go along with the picture, chronicling how the “famous portrait” came about.

Reviewer’s Name: Megan Wise