Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott by Joyce Scott with Brie Spangler and Melissa Sweet, art by Melissa Sweet

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott: Scott, Joyce, Spangler, Brie,  Sweet, Melissa, Sweet, Melissa: 9780525648123: Amazon.com: Books
Melissa Sweet on Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott | The  TeachingBooks Blog

Summary:  Until the age of 5, Joyce Scott and her twin sister Judy are inseparable.  But when Joyce starts kindergarten, Judy, who had “what will come to be known as Down syndrome”, stays home.  One day Joyce wakes up and finds that Judy is gone.  From that day on, Judy lives in a big gray institution where Joyce only sees her on occasional visits.  Joyce finds it harder and harder to leave at the end of each visit until, as an adult, she decides to bring Judy home to live with her and her family.  Since Joyce works during the day, she enrolls Judy at the Creative Growth Art Center, an art school for adults with disabilities.  For many months, Judy sits and looks at magazines, until one day she creates a small sculpture with twigs, yarn, twine, and paint.  From that day on, she works at the studio every day, making unique art from all sorts of colorful materials.  After her death, her work becomes renowned and continues to be exhibited all over the world.  Includes information on Creative Growth Art Center and Down Syndrome, a timeline of Judith Scott’s life, notes from the author and illustrator, sources, and photographs of Judy and one of her sculptures called “Twins”.  48 pages; grades K-5.

Pros:  Judith Scott’s story is so engaging that, even though it’s a bit long for a picture book, it would hold the attention of younger readers, and possibly inspire them to try their own creations.  Joyce’s voice passes along the love and appreciation she feels for her sister and Judy’s artistic gifts.  And, as always, I would be happy to see Melissa Sweet get some Caldecott recognition, which I wanted so badly for Some Writer! that I feel compelled to still mention it four years later.

Cons:  I wish there were more photos of Judy’s work in the book.

Judith Scott - 20 artworks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s