The Broken Paintbrush

Authors: Rachel Rogers, Buddy Lieberman
Illustrator: Kara Bazley

Paperback: $14.95

Trim Size: 8.5″ x 11″
Pages: 32
ISBN: 978-1-7370986-9-0

In the early 1500s, in Italy—the time and place of Da Vinci and Mona Lisa—a paintbrush longs to paint in the hands of one of the great painters. That would be perfect. Unfortunately, its only stand-out feature is a crack running through its handle. Its supply of hope is running out. But Alessa, Mona Lisa’s young niece, is just the person to give a broken paintbrush a brand-new perspective on what “perfect” means.

The Broken Paintbrush was written by authors Rachel Rogers and Buddy Lieberman with children ages 3-10 in mind, but it is truly a story for anyone who picks it up. Readers of all ages have described the tale with words like relatable, real, hopeful, and heart-warming. This read-aloud, beautifully illustrated by Kara Bazley, is painted with the colors of hope over despair, healing over brokenness, and purpose over perfection.

Reviews of The Broken Paintbrush


We can all relate to this broken paintbrush. At one time or another we have felt forgotten, but we can remember that even on days when we feel this way, God sees us and has NOT forgotten us. This powerful story is told in such a way that the littlest of readers can understand. Certainly a must-have for your child’s library. […] This is a fun little intro into Italian art and one of the most famous paintings around. Read the full review here!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

As I was privileged to read an ARC of this book by debut authors Rachel Rogers and Buddy Lieberman, I entered into the world of The Broken Paintbrush with no idea what to expect. No other reviews existed when I heard about this book, so I took a chance to read based solely on the passion that I saw the authors had for this story. And upon closing the pages, the smile on my face confirmed that the authors’ passion had been successfully brought to life with this book. […]

I received this book for free from the author/publisher. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this is a voluntary review. This is a Review. Read the full review here!

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Inspirational. Beautiful. Thoughtful.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Broken Paintbrush is a sweet and thought provoking book. The story is told so skillfully that a paintbrush becomes more relatable than many main characters of YA and middle-grade fiction books that I’ve read. Every one of us has at one time or another struggled with wanting to be more, wanting to be someone special, and this book shows us that broken can indeed be beautiful. I’d recommend it to all ages, because the best children’s books aren’t only for children, but for anyone who is willing to find truth in the pages of a story.

Favorite Character: The paintbrush! When you combine fun, contemplative, and slightly sarcastic inner dialogue with great character development, you’ve got something good. Even though [it] was a paintbrush, I understood [its] struggles to be something more, something important. You managed to make a paintbrush relatable. 🙂

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Whimsical. Thoughtful. Charming.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I read this aloud to my 3 year old, and I loved it!! The perspective on historical figures and events was really interesting. It was emotionally engaging. I was just as, or more, engaged than my daughter. The story is deep & detailed enough to appeal to much older readers!

Favorite Character: I think the coin and Francesco were my favorites. Francesco because [spoilers!]. The coin because [more spoilers!].

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Warm. Hopeful. Redemptive.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I very much liked how it was (subtly but obviously) shown that Mona Lisa and Francesco had a very close [sibling relationship] (or strong is maybe a better word).

Favorite Character: I automatically think of Mona Lisa as my favorite character just because of how supportive she was of her niece.

Describing the Story in 3 Words:


Rating: 4 out of 5.

We really enjoyed this book! We recently learned about Da Vinci, so my kids were thrilled and giggly when Mona Lisa smiled. The illustrations are lovely! The kids immediately asked if they could get out our paints. Such an inspiring story!

Favorite Character: The Little Girl [Alessa]

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Cool. Imaginative. Inspiring.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This sweet story is a simple exploration of a profound truth that every child needs to hear. I love the simplicity of the words and the whimsy of the illustrations. It’s refreshing to find a children’s book both meaningful and fun. Absolutely recommend!

Favorite Character: Francesco. [spoilers!]

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Whimsical. Heartfelt. Warm.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Authors, bravo! I will admit this is the first time a children’s book brought tears to my eyes. The characters’ personalities were marvelous, the story itself is beautiful… (and let’s not forget the illustrator and her talent!) You three have truly created something wonderful.

Favorite Character: The paintbrush. I really admired [its] constant mindset of hope (even when [it] was sad, there was still that underlying sense of “maybe this will work out after all”).

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Sweet. Moving. Entertaining.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I think this is the sweetest story ever! Not only was the story unique, but [the authors and illustrator] infused a certain artsy-ness to it that’s on every page. It’s the kind of story that will encourage kids to start painting and will inspire the ones who already love art.

Favorite Character: I loved Da Vinci. He seemed a lot like how I would imagine him, and he seemed to come to life in just the few interactions between him and Alessa.

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Colorful. Artsy. Heartwarming.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Karen: The Broken Paintbrush is a book that children, as well adults, will enjoy reading. It was able to hold my attention and made me want to know how the book ends. Charles: I really enjoyed reading the book and seeing the illustrations that contributed to the overall story.

Favorite Character: Alessa… [spoilers!]

Describing the Story in 3 Words:
Interesting. Cute. Colorful.

Have you read The Broken Paintbrush? Submit a review here!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date
on The Broken Paintbrush and upcoming projects!