• US Edition

Perkin’s Perfect Purple

Co-written with Debbie L. Dunn, and illustrated by Francesca Sanna, this is the fascinating true story of groundbreaking chemist William Perkin, who used the scientific method to create the color purple.

Many years ago, the color purple was available only to a privileged few. Making purple was tricky. The dye was concocted from a certain snail, and later, from plants, bugs, and rocks. Then it had to be soaked in minerals and . . . urine! The process was very complicated and expensive (not to mention smelly!).
Until 1856, when a boy named William Henry Perkin invented a new way. While testing a hypothesis about a cure for malaria, he found that his experiment resulted in something else — something vivid and rare for the times: synthetic PURPLE. Perkin, a pioneer of the modern scientific method, made numerous advances possible, including canned food and chemotherapy. But it was his creation of purple that started it all.

Rights details

World rights: Little, Brown (October 2020)
Complex Chinese: Taiwan Mac Educational Co

Good news

Cook Prize Honoree, given by Bank Street College of Education

The Cook Prize

Kirkus Starred Review

“Brisk, alliterative and full of well-chosen details … Perfect for STEAM-infused reading.”