Mary Blair’s unmatched style and color have inspired generations of artists. Now kids can learn all about her through a picture book that celebrates her life’s work called Mary Blair’s Unique Flair. Author Amy Novesky retell’s Mary’s story with cut paper illustrations in Mary Blair’s style by Brittney Lee.
Mary Browne Robinson is a dreamer whose wish is to make beautiful art for the rest of her life. She grows up to become Mary Blair, an artist who went on to inspire classic Disney films like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. And her love of art and children combined on the classic attraction, it’s a small world.
The book is full of Mary Blair elements, including her signature flowers, suns, and butterflies. There are also a lot of Disney-isms, including a train and characters like Dumbo, Lady, Tinker Bell, Alice, Cinderella, and Suzy the little blue coup. Best of all, Walt Disney graces the pages several times in Mary Blair’s signature style.
For older readers, the back of the book features a section from illustrator Brittney Lee, an artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios. She talks about her love of Mary Blair and her excitement and challenges creating the art in the book completely out of cut paper. She does a marvelous job and had I not known it was cut paper, I would’ve suspected it was paint. She also recounts a time she got to explore some of Mary Blair’s original artwork for it’s a small world made out of cut paper.
Another exciting addition comes from Maggie Richardson, a niece of Mary Blair’s. She was consulted on the project and shares an anecdote about visiting her aunt while she was working on it’s a small world. The back of the book also provides a bibliography of books about Mary Blair and books illustrated by her.
Mary Blair’s Unique Flair is a perfect gift for a child who loves to make art or a Disney fan who loves the work of Mary Blair. It summarizes her story in a charming way, but the real highlight is Brittney Lee’s cut paper artwork that celebrates Mary Blair’s style, applying it to her own story.
Mary Blair and her work can be seen in the following films on Disney+:
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.