Belle, a painted butterfly, has been quietly hovering over a beautiful white poppy in a seventeenth-century Dutch painting that hangs in the National Gallery of Art. Magically dislodged as her painting is being moved by museum staff, Belle and fellow butterfly Brimstone lose track of the cart carrying their painting and so are on their own to find their way back home. Because they are made of paint, they discover that they can blend into any of the other paintings in the museum, which they must do to avoid becoming a meal for the painted bird in hot pursuit.
Mary Lee Corlett is a research associate in the department of Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and has been in the museum world for more than twenty years. She has written on numerous contemporary American artists, including Romare Bearden, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Stackhouse. In 2011 her first children's book, Belle: The Amazing, Astonishingly Magical Journey of An Artfully Painted Lady, based on the National Gallery's collection, was published by Bunker Hill Publishing, New Hampshire. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia.
Belle and Brimstone find themselves on a journey they were destined to make. Being butterflies, and stuck in a painting for centuries, their life was uneventful and motionless, until that one day when fate stepped in, not only educating the butterflies, but educating the reader, as well. In trying to find their own painting, they had been popped out of when it was being taken to the Conservation Studio, the butterflies find themselves on an adventure, eluding danger, meeting new characters in other paintings. Belle's humor will delight children as they read the story, wondering if the butterflies will ever reunite with their painting. Mary Lee Corlett has created a masterpiece of her own, while the artist, Phyllis Saroff, brings her fun and illuminating story to life. What a fantastic pair. Children and adults of all ages will devour and relish this 56 page softcover picture book.