This July, Minnesota-based author Lindsey McDivitt will visit bookstores across Michigan to promote her new children’s picture book Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story.

Gwen Frostic is one of Michigan’s most beloved artists whose nature-inspired artwork has captivated fans for generations. 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 physical limitations define her. Her career began in machine drawing at the Willow Run bomber plant near Ypsilanti but her passion for nature led her to open a studio in Benzonia, Michigan (just south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) which still exists today. Gwen was always a big supporter of the arts and as an alumnus of Western Michigan University, she bequeathed $13 million to the art school (one of the university’s largest single gifts), which is now known as the Frostic School of Art.

This picture-book biography explores the life and career of a business-savvy woman who created meaningful work and lived life on her own terms. Bright illustrations accompany Gwen’s story of a woman in business, who even when faced with challenges remained true to herself in a way that still inspires many today. She was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and May 23 is Gwen Frostic Day in Michigan.

Author Lindsey McDivitt is an avid gardener and children’s literature lover. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, but visits Gwen Frostic’s studio whenever she has a chance. Illustrator Eileen Ryan Ewen’s books include Miss Colfax’s Light and Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs. She lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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