Nature's Friend

The Gwen Frostic Story

2019 Green Earth Book Awards - Long List

The art and writing of Gwen Frostic are well known in her home state of Michigan and around the world, but this picture book biography tells the story behind Gwen's famous work. After a debilitating illness as a child, Gwen sought solace in art and nature. She learned to be persistent and independent--never taking no for an answer or letting her disabilities define her. After creating artwork for famous Detroiters and for display at the World's Fair and helping to build WWII bombers, Gwen moved her printmaking business to northern Michigan. She dedicated her work and her life to reminding people of the wonder and beauty in nature.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$16.99 $16.99
$28.99 $28.99
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey 811/.54 B
Lexile 860L
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level Q
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585364053), PDF (9781534126459), Hosted ebook (9781534126589)
Copyright 2018
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • Green Earth Book Award, Long-listed, 2019
  • Michigan Notable Book, Winner, 2018

Booklist - Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story

Although Gwen Frostic (1906–2001) grew up with physical disabilities, her mother encouraged the girl to become active, strong, and independent. Her artistic talent and her love of nature led her to a career creating decorative brass and copperware until her materials were needed for the war effort in the 1940s. Then she designed tools for the aircraft industry by day and made linoleum prints at night. Later she moved to “the top of Michigan’s mitten,” where she created, printed, and sold greeting cards celebrating nature. Appended to this upbeat picture-book biography is further information about the artist and a list of materials and instructions for making drawings or prints from natural objects. The text describes Frostic’s life effectively and relates her work to the twentieth-century environmental movement. Brightly colored line-and-wash paintings illustrate the book, setting a cheerful tone. While no photos of Frostic’s more muted prints appear in the book, one illustration includes parts of several representative pictures. Recommended for larger collections and those where the artist’s work is well-known.

Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story - Activity Pages

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Author: Lindsey McDivitt

Lindsey McDivitt has spent most of her life near the Mississippi River or the Great Lakes. She loves searching the shore for shells or stones, especially agates, and gazing up into tall trees, especially white pines. After eight years exploring marvelous Michigan, she now lives in Minnesota.
Lindsey began writing books for children after many years creating health education programs. She was co-editor of a book of true stories of hope and healing written by stroke survivors. You can find Lindsey at where she highlights picture books with older role models and accurate images of aging.

Illustrator: Eileen Ryan Ewen

Illustrator Eileen Ryan Ewen was born into a family of artists who fostered her love of story- telling through pictures. She earned a BFA in Painting from Miami University (Ohio) and an MFA in Creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is also the illustrator of Miss Colfax’s Light (SBP, releasing March 2016). She lives in St. Louis with her family.

  • Beginning of text
  • More about Gwen Frostic
  • Sketch or Print with Nature
Activities for further learning
Author/Illustrator biography
Educational front/back matter
Full-color illustrations