LEO POLITI by Ann Stalcup


Artist of the Angels
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12
Email this review


Stalcup bases her biography, the first ever, of Politi, largely on interviews and personal memories—and rather than shape it as a conventional tally of travels and awards, she focuses on this Caldecott-winner’s character, artistic development, and favorite themes. Born in Fresno, Politi grew up in California and Italy. He returned to the former as an adult on a voyage through the Panama Canal and up the west coast that crystallized his interest in Latino culture. He settled in the Los Angeles area, where he became an inveterate observer of Olvera Street and other ethnic neighborhoods. Adding a generous mix of paintings, sketches, and spot art, some of it previously unpublished, the author trails along, pointing out, for instance, how the caricatures in his first children’s book, Little Pancho (1938), became real figures, drawn from life, in later titles, and how innovative it was then to depict ethnically specific children in particular, rather than generic, neighborhoods. Closing with a timeline and an annotated bibliography, this perceptive portrait should go far toward rekindling interest in an artist and writer whose reputation, outside his customary haunts at least, has faded considerably. (Biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-893110-38-9
Page count: 104pp
Publisher: Silver Moon Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2004