Who is the most unlikely subject for a biographical children's book? Hard to say, but I might nominate Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudi just because of his obscurity to American culture and his lack of warmth as a character. He stood alone against severe ridicule as he built strange nature-inspired houses, palaces, and churches around Barcelona in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. One article I read said that people avoided walking near him on the streets. Yet, here is Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi by Rachel Rodriguez and illustrated by Julie Paschkis.
Rodriguez and Paschkis saw something that I did not consider - the opportunity to tell a story about genius and tolerance. They also saw the respectful relationship that Gaudi had with the artisans who made his strange designs come to life. Rodriguez and Paschkis do not hide that Gaudi was unpopular with the public but they show him in touch with nature and quietly content with his work. He is like a quiet child who lives in his own world. The book might really appeal to similar children.
Building on Nature is an artful celebration of Guadi's achievements. In the author's notes is a profile of the architect with a list of his buildings and a bibliography for more in depth study.
Rodriguez, Rachel. Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi. Henry Holt, 2009. ISBN 9780805087451