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The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photograph Fiona Robinson

Abrams Books for Young Readers
Hardback 48 pages

311 x 235 x 11mm
1st Feb 2019
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  • Price: £12.99
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A gorgeous picture book biography of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins--the first person to ever publish a book of photographyAfter losing her mother very early in life, Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was raised by her loving father. He gave her a scientific education, which was highly unusual for women and girls in the early 19th century. Fascinated with the plant life around her, Anna became a botanist. She recorded all her findings in detailed illustrations and engravings, until the invention of cyanotype photography in 1842. Anna used this new technology in order to catalogue plant specimens-a true marriage of science and art. In 1843, Anna published the book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions with handwritten text and cyanotype photographs. It is considered the first book of photographs ever published. Weaving together histories of women, science, and art, The Bluest of Blues will inspire young readers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and creativity.


Fiona Robinson is the author-illustrator of Ada's Ideas, Whale Shines, What Animals Really Like, The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-full Tale, and The 3-2-3 Detective Agency. What Animals Really Like received the 2012 Irma Black Award and a starred review from Kirkus. Bank Street named it one of the 2012 Best Children's Books of the Year and School Library Journal called it "sublime silliness." Her work has been honored by the Royal Academy of Arts and has been featured in many gallery shows. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

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