Books by Rachel Rodríguez

BUILDING ON NATURE by Rachel Rodríguez
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Swarms of visitors each year descend upon Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí's weird, wonderful church, La Sagrada Familia, under construction in Barcelona since 1883. Here, Rodríguez highlights the daring architect's early love of nature and how that passion for organic forms was reflected throughout his career. The staccato, determinedly active-voice sentences range from clunky to lyrical, flowing best when describing architectural features: "At Casa Batlló, / a fireplace hides under a mushroom cap. / Hallways look like underwater caverns. / The house sparkles like the sea." Paschkis captures the crazy curves and elaborate detail of Gaudí's buildings—if not their context, scale and power—with her flat, folk-art-style gouache paintings and harvest palette, while graceful Art Nouveau borders harmoniously link art and text. Gaudí's engineering feats, such as the underground chapel Colonia Crypt, are confusingly presented, and referencing Gaudí's creations sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English (La Sagrada Familia is named only as "Holy Family Church," for example) is a puzzling choice. Still, there's plenty here to have young aesthetes hankering for a plane ticket to Spain. (author's note, websites, selected bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)Read full book review >
THROUGH GEORGIA’S EYES by Rachel Rodríguez
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

At the turn of the 20th century, it was very rare, almost unheard of, for a woman to become an artist. But Georgia O'Keeffe was indeed a rare commodity, and her talent and determination could not be denied. She saw the world filled with color, brightness, light and astonishing shapes. Whether she lives in the city or on her beloved Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, "Every where she looks, shapes hum and sing to her." Art is her means of communication, more intense than the spoken or written word. Using the most basic biographical facts and the sparest language, Rodriguez offers a glimpse into O'Keeffe's unique world and beseeches the reader to "lean in and look closer." Paschkis's remarkable cut-paper collages on acrylic perfectly evoke O'Keeffe's vision without ever seeming like mere imitation. It is not often that author, illustrator and subject come together so seamlessly. Breathtaking. (afterword) (Picture book/nonfiction. All ages)Read full book review >