The Secret World of Hester Bass

Well, the secret is out. Alabama author Hester Bass is getting lots of attention for her new book The Secret World of Walter Anderson, a biography of the celebrated watercolor artist who lived and worked along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Beautifully illustrated by E.B. Lewis, this biography is in picture book format but aimed at kids approximately six to ten years of age, so don’t pass it by because you think your kids are “too old” for picture books. (Actually, I could write a whole blog post on that attitude, and I probably will… one day.)

signed copies available

signed copies available

But, back to the topic, Hester’s new book from Candlewick Press has received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews (a very big deal in the book world) and was just announced as one of the inaugural set of “Okra Picks” by the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association.

Oh, and we have a limited number of signed copies available, as Hester stopped by Spellbound today! (No, you didn’t miss the announcement; it was all very last minute, so no offical book signing was planned.)

It’s a very rainy day (in other words SLOW), so we had time for a long talk. I got to hear the story of how meeting Paul Fleishman, her favorite author (and previous guest at Spellbound!), at a writer’s conference a few years ago started a chain of serendipitous events that led to her finishing this book, then finding an agent, then signing with the publisher she most hoped to sign with, then getting her first choice for illustrator! (Writers usually have no say whatsoever in who will illustrate their words, so that in itself was amazing.)

In addition to the signed copies of The Secret World of Walter Anderson, we also have some signed bookplates and postcards featuring text and illustrations from the book. There is great additional material in the back of the book that helps make it a great jumping off point for further study on the lives of artists, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, etc. (In case there are any teachers reading this!) So come on in–an Okra Pick, like okra, is best served fresh and hot.


One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hey, Leslie!
    I so enjoyed my visit to Spellbound – what a warm and inviting oasis you’ve created. It was a sunny spot on a (very) rainy day. Wish I could have stayed longer, and will look forward to my next visit. Great display of The Secret World of Walter Anderson, thanks – Okra Picks Rock!
    Best wishes,

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