Anna and Johanna, Inspired by Vermeer

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A Children's Book Inspired by Jan Vermeer

By Géraldine Elschner

llustrations from Florence Kœnig

This delightful tale about two young friends in 17th-century Holland is inspired by Vermeer’s two masterpieces, "The Milkmaid" and "The Lacemaker."

Although one is the daughter of a wealthy Dutch family and the other a household servant, Anna and Johanna become friends. Born on the same day, they celebrate their joint birthdays by making gifts for each other. But then a letter arrives that changes their lives forever. Told against the backdrop of the 17th-century Dutch city of Delft and its thriving commercial and artistic culture, this story of an unlikely friendship echoes the themes of Vermeer’s luminous depiction of domestic life. Florence Koenig’s brightly colored illustrations evoke Vermeer’s style through the city’s multifaceted landscapes, from misty mornings by the canals to busy households preparing for a special day. Young readers will be fascinated by this uplifting story of friendship inspired by Jan Vermeer.

Age Range: 4 years and up

Paperback, 32 pages, 32 color illustrations

Dimensions: 9 3/4 x 12 3/4 x 5/16 inches