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HOW TO PAINT THE PORTRAIT OF A BIRD by Jacques Prévert

HOW TO PAINT THE PORTRAIT OF A BIRD

By Jacques Prévert (Author) , Mordicai Gerstein (Illustrator) , Mordicai Gerstein (Translator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59643-215-4
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Gerstein sets the words of the French poet to pictures. Prévert’s poem reads like a lighthearted manual for a young painter who wishes to paint an elusive bird. The boy follows instructions precisely—painting an inviting cage to be placed under a tree to await the bird. When the bird comes, the young artist is charged with erasing the cage and, in its place, painting a tree with a perfect branch upon which the bird can light and sing. At the end of the day, the boy, who has faithfully executed directions and exercised great patience, carries home his canvas, bird, tree and all, only to have the bird fly away during the night. The poet’s advice: “Tomorrow you can paint another one.” Gerstein’s recognizable style seems at one with the lightness of Prévert’s intended whimsy. A double-page spread drolly depicts artistic endurance as the boy waits through passing seasons for his bird to come. With irresistible wit, this makes its point that, with dedication, art and creativity are infinitely renewable. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)