HOKUSAI by Deborah Kogan Ray
Kirkus Star

HOKUSAI

The Man Who Painted a Mountain
Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ray (Barn Owls, 2000, etc.) pays tribute to the prolific and influential artist who, she writes, first inspired her to become one, too. Born into poverty nearly 250 years ago, the boy known then as Tokitaro, “First Born,” (Hokusai changed his name many times—“Hokusai” means “North Star Studio”) was drawing from the age of five, and went on to create more than 30,000 works. Young readers will get a taste of his art, from sketchbook pages reproduced on the endpapers and a spread devoted to his most famous woodblock print, “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” They will also see, from Ray’s own fluid, bustling scenes, his world: the crowded markets and festivals of Edo (Tokyo), the lowly laborers and gorgeously costumed kabuki actors he portrayed, and the graceful cone of Mt. Fuji rising over all. In her perceptive accompanying text, Ray also notes how profoundly Hokusai was affected by, then later in turn affected, European artists. Backed up with a final recap and a generous bibliography, this brings both a uniquely gifted person and a historical period to life with cogent prose and evocative art. (Picture book/biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-33263-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001




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