A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead

Written & Illustrated by: Evan Turk

For Ages: 5-9 years

Language: English & some Italian

Topics Covered: Historical Figures, Trailblazer, Feminism, Glassblowing, Independent Thought.


This beautiful picture book tells the story of Marietta Barovier, a prolific glassblower and one of the first women to take up the career (she got her own shop in 1460!). The story opens with Marietta as a young girl, being teased by her brothers because she can’t work in their father’s glassblowing shop. However, he father notices her lingering near the entrance and invites her in. Marietta begins to work in the shop, but her brothers are usually prioritized to accompany their father on business trips to nearby Venice because….patriarchy. Years later when she’s taken over the shop, Marietta remembers a single trip she took with her father to visit a client. The client had an old glass bowl made with a technique that had been lost to time. Marietta would go onto reimagine the technique and become a worldwide sensation for her glass beads, layering colors of glass to create beautiful flower shapes.

The artwork in this book is truly stunning, and the jewel tone palette used is my personal favorite collection of colors. Like Marietta, I find glassblowing fascinating. Unlike Marietta, I’ve only done it once and did not revolutionize anything. This picture book covers a feminist trailblazer; Marietta believed that she should be able to pursue the career she wanted and spearhead business transactions. A Thousand Glass Flowers is an empowering narrative for readers to be able to follow their interests, even if naysayers are family members, and smash the stereotypes associated with the career making it easier for others to break into it as well.

This book was kindly sent by Simon & Schuster, but all opinions are my own!

Evan Turk

Evan Turk is an award-winning illustrator, author and animator living in Croton-on-Hudson with his husband, Chris, and two cats, Pica and Bert. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and NPR. He has exhibited work at The Society of Illustrators, ArtsWestchester, Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, The Petit Palais Museum of Fine Art in Paris. A graduate of Parsons: The New School for Design, his illustration and animation have been shown all over the world. He grew up in Colorado and loves nature and being outdoors. He continues his studies with Dalvero Academy, a private illustration school in New York City. Evan loves to travel all over the world and learn about other people and places through drawing and the interactions that come from it.

Evan speaks to kids and adults across the country and loves talking with them about storytelling and making art.

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