The Butterfly: Sensitive illustrations of a French girl and her Jewish friend during WWII

For Patricia Polacco's The Butterfly, American fine artist and illustrator Basya Cohen creates emotional yet sensitive illustrations to help tell the story in which a French girl builds a secret friendship with a Jewish girl who is hiding in her house during WWII.

Each beautiful artwork shares the sentiment of friendship, despite the circumstances – although there is an underlying feeling of dread, and an understanding that things are never quite as relaxed or happy as they might seem. It's a touching series that reminds us of the horror of that era, and why we must never allow it to happen again.

Speaking of her general work, Basya said: "I love to bring out the natural beauty in people and landscapes and tell or suggest a story. I fuse fine art with illustration by bringing a fine art look to children's picture books. I wish for my artwork to inspire and bring joy to children and adults, and through it make the world a better place.

Basya was born and raised in Metro-Detroit. After graduating high school she travelled to England to study Art & Design at Manchester College. There, she earned a Distinction for her work. She then completed her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Thomas Edison State College in 2009. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Discover more at

Discovered via Behance


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