top of page
Yellow textured background

News & Reviews

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Artist -Architect of Light and Lines


Christy Ottaviano Books

Henry Holt and Company


A uthor: Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrator: Dow Phumiruk C haracter: Maya Lin O verview from the jacket flap: "You may be familiar with the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but do you know about the artist-architect who created this landmark?

As a child, Maya Lin loved to study the spaces around her. She explored the forest in her backyard, observing woodland creatures, and used her house as a model to build tiny towns out of paper and scraps. The daughter of a clay artist and a poet, Maya grew up with art and learned to think with her hands as well as her mind. From her first experiments with light and lines to the height of her success nationwide, this is a the story of an inspiring American artist." T antalizing taste:

"The first time Maya visited

the finished wall, she searched

for the name of the father of a friend.

When she touched the name, she cried,

just as she knew others would.

Thousands came that Veterans Day

to see and touch and remember.

Salutes, hands on hearts, honoring.

And every day since then,

visitors have done the same."

and something more: I wanted to share this post (that I first posted on my TRUE TALES & A CHERRY ON TOP blog) because I continue to feel deep appreciation and admiration for everyone who has been involved in the creation of this book -- Deborah Warren of East West Literary Agency (my incredible agent who found a home, a perfect home, for my manuscript), Dow Phumiruk (the amazing illustrator who absolutely astounded me with her talent and perception), Christy Ottaviano (the publisher/editor who edited with the perfect gentle touch and allowed the book to blossom with her attention to detail and incredible talent and experience), and everyone else at Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt who contributed to the book.

A picture book is truly a collaborative process, and so many people had a part in it. I truly feel as if I've won the literary lottery with the publication of this book -- it's more than I ever envisioned.

Thank you also to my dear family and friends who always support me and encourage me in my writing. I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to write this book about Maya Lin and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. And it's been such an honor to share this book with children who continue to amaze me with their sensitivity and perceptions.

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Balzer + Bray

(Harper Collins)

pub. 1.19.2021

40 pages

A True Tale with

A Cherry On Top Author: Megan Reid and illustrator: Aaliya Jaleel

Character: Maryam Mirzkhani


"As a little girl, Maryam Mirzakhani was spellbound by stories. She loved reading in Tehran’s crowded bookstores, and at home she'd spend hours crafting her own tales on giant rolls of paper.

Maryam loved school, especially her classes in reading and writing. But she did not like math. Numbers were nowhere near as interesting as the bold, adventurous characters she found in books. Until Maryam unexpectedly discovered a new genre of storytelling: In geometry, numbers became shapes, each with its own fascinating personality—making every equation a brilliant story waiting to be told.

As an adult, Maryam became a professor, inventing new formulas to solve some of math's most complicated puzzles. And she made history by becoming the first woman—and the first Iranian—to win the Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest award."

Tantalizing taste: "People even called one of her discoveries 'the magic wand theorem' because it worked like magic to solve many problems that scientists had been puzzling over for more than a hundred years. She explained it using the image of a pool table, with balls that zigged and zagged forever. If you covered the balls in paint, how long would it take for their scattered paths to color the table completely?"

And something more: In the Author's Note, Megan Reid writes "I was sad that I had learned about this heroic figure only after she had passed away. I wished I could have let her know how much I admired her. But I was enchanted by a tidbit near the end of the article: 'Dr. Mirzakhan often dived into her math research by doodling on vast pieces of paper ... with equations at the edges.' How exciting that a brilliant mathematician was also an artist, would could bring the secrets of the infinite universe down to her living room floor."

How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat



(Simon & Schuster)

(pub.1.12.2021) 32 pages

Author: Mara Rockliff

Illustrator: Giselle Potter

Character: Frieda Caplan

Overview: "In 1956, Frieda Caplan started working at the Seventh Street Produce Market in Los Angeles. Instead of competing with the men in the business with their apples, potatoes, and tomatoes, Frieda thought, why not try something new? Starting with mushrooms, Frieda began introducing fresh and unusual foods to her customers—snap peas, seedless watermelon, mangos, and more!

This groundbreaking woman brought a whole world of delicious foods to the United States, forever changing the way we eat. Frieda Caplan was always willing to try something new—are you?" Tantalizing taste:

"It took a while for everybody to get used to Frieda's funny-looking fruits.

'A watermelon can't be seedless!' (seedless watermelon, 1962)

'Bananas should be yellow, man!' (red bananas, 1978)

'Is this from outer space, or what?' (kiwano (horned melon), 1984)

But if Frieda felt it in her elbows, she knew it was going to catch on ... eventually."

And something more: Mara Rockliff writes in the back of the book: "When Frieda started selling produce, the average supermarket carried about sixty-five kinds of fruits and vegetables. Now shoppers can find seven to eight hundred, many of them introduced by Frieda's... A scientist once told Frieda that there were up to eighty thousand edible species of plants on Earth. Frieda was ready to try them all."

Where to find Jeanne Walker Harvey books

bottom of page