He was a pale, skinny boy with thick glasses, but Norman Perceval Rockwell knew that he could draw. Beverly Gherman shows us how this awkward boy grew up to become a famous illustrator. As a boy, he sketched the characters from Charles Dickens's novels at the kitchen table. And although his mother discouraged him from pursuing a career in art, Norman knew early on that he could not ignore his talent. He dropped out of school at age fourteen to study art and begin the career that would eventually capture the heart of his entire nation. The experiences of Rockwell's life became part of his paintings: a childhood trip to the country, his son's departure for the Air Force, the fire that destroyed his studio. He also depicted world events and people of his time: Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic Ocean, the soldiers of World War II, and the children involved in school integration, as well as more intimate American scenes, such as a family dinner or a trip to the doctor's office. Beverly Gherman paints a colorful and engaging portrait of Norman Rockwell's life, enhanced by full-color reproductions of the artist's own paintings, which tell both his story and their own.
Beverly Gherman grew up taking Norman Rockwell's work for granted. His images were everywhere: on calendars, stamps, posters, magazine covers. Several years ago she visited an eighth-grade classroom and saw the students studying Rockwell's paintings. They were excited about his work, and their enthusiasm sent her back to Rockwell's world to look at his art with a fresh eye.