"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." —Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Discover a delightful new story about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, one of the most famous women in the world.
History remembers Jackie as the consummate First Lady, especially for her White House restoration and the cultural events she instituted during her husband’s administration. Jackie was on the world stage in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. She led the nation in grieving the fallen leader with grace and dignity.
In this inspirational celebration of reading, Ronni Diamondstein, with her engaging writing style in this picture book biography, introduces readers to an independent and confident Jackie and the idea of how books guided her life. The insightful story paints the portrait of a child captivated by reading and a love of literature and writing—from five‑year‑old Jackie reading Chekhov stories to a seasoned and confident Jackie at her desk as an editor in the last two decades of her life.
Jackie never wrote a memoir but revealed herself in the nearly 100 books she brought into print. Jackie and the Books She Loved is a dazzling book about the real woman behind this American icon of style and grace brought to life by the whimsical and tasteful artwork of Bats Langley.
About the Author
Ronni Diamondstein has spent her life surrounded by books and immersed in the world of children’s literature. An avid reader since childhood, libraries, books, and writing have been her life’s work. As a school library media specialist and teacher in the United States and abroad, Ronni has nurtured her students’ creativity by sharing her love of reading with them. She has always been fascinated by Jackie Kennedy’s love of books and her career as an editor and was inspired to tell her story. Ronni lives in Chappaqua, New York, with her toy poodle Maggie Mae.
Bats Langley is a painter, sculptor, writer, illustrator, toy designer, and creator of many things. Bats, a Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) grad, frequently contributes illustrations for the covers and interiors of Scholastic, Spider, Ladybug, and Cricket magazines. His art has shown in galleries across the United States and the world. He illustrated Groggle's Monster Valentine and Groggle's Monster Halloween and was the author/illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in #Wonderland. Bats created the cover art for Scary Stories to Tell on The Pod, a podcast hosted by SNL head writer Anna Drezen and TV writer Andrew Farmer. He lives with his husband, Nicholas, on the island of Manhattan. They both enjoy cooking, reading, and watching the owls, which live in a sanctuary on a neighbor’s roof, swoop in their backyard.
“When I worked on my picture book with Ms. Onassis, she was a wonderful editor who worked like an invisible whisperer from the background. I think it would delight her that children can find out how much she cared for books . . .” —Peter Sís, award-winning author and illustrator and recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award
“A vivid, varied portrait that gently takes readers behind the scenes to celebrate Jackie’s lifelong love of words—both written and read. Sure to inspire young readers and wordsmiths.” —Roni Schotter, award-winning author of Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street and The Boy Who Loved Words
“Ronni Diamondstein's story of Jackie Kennedy and her lifelong passion for reading is a beautifully told ode to books and how they enrich our lives. Written about a book lover by a book lover. Illustrated with warmth and wonderful detail." —Jennifer Berne, award-winning author of Manfish and On a Beam of Light
“How lovely to learn that a love of books was the constant that guided little Jackie Bouvier as she grew up to become America's beloved First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy! Ronni Diamondstein's lyrical text, enhanced by Bats Langley's charming illustrations, will get children thinking about how books can help enrich their lives, too.” —Nancy Churnin, award-winning author of Dear Mr. Dickens, The William Hoy Story, and Manjhi Moves a Mountain
“Debut picture book author Ronni Diamondstein skillfully reveals former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s passion for reading and writing. Children will delight in ten-year-old Jackie’s poetry as well as discovering how she encouraged many others, including her husband, to write award-winning books. Complemented with vivid illustrations by Bats Langley and Diamondstein’s comprehensive timeline in the back of the book.” —Sally Cook, award-winning children’s book author
“Jacqueline Kennedy’s passion for books nourished her throughout her life, through childhood, to motherhood, as First Lady, and during her career as a book editor. Through this delightfully charming biography, young readers will be inspired to emulate Jackie in making reading and writing an important part of their own lives.” —Lisa Rogers, award winning author of 16 Words: William Carlos Williams and "The Red Wheelbarrow" and the forthcoming Woody's Words: Woodrow Wilson Rawls and "Where The Red Fern Grows."
“Ronni Diamondstein's engaging writing and the charming artwork by Bats Langley illuminate Jackie O in a way that many of us didn’t know. It’s a lovely facet of a woman who was much more than a First Lady.” —Dawn Greenberg, Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival executive director