COLORFUL DREAMER by Marjorie Blain Parker
Kirkus Star

COLORFUL DREAMER

The Story of Artist Henri Matisse
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5

KIRKUS REVIEW

Matisse’s genius was that he never stopped exploring, even as he honored his intense childhood dreams of creativity, color and art.

Parker’s text is a pitch-perfect and appealing narrative, but the real star here is Berry’s art. She first offers careful, almost tight, school-notebooklike drawings of French cities and interiors that effectively convey the gray and noncreative aspects of Matisse’s childhood, relieved only by his colorful daydreams. After leaving his small town and working as a law clerk in Paris, Henri was freed from the prison of social convention through his mother’s simple gift of a paint box (to pass the time while convalescing from a serious illness). He then exuberantly embraced his life as an artist. Berry seamlessly infuses each successive spread with waves of the characteristically intense, almost excessively vivid, explosive color of the Fauves’ palette. She ingeniously incorporates much of Matisse’s now-iconic imagery (goldfish, Mediterranean rugs, busy fabrics, Tahitian jungle palm fronds, lemons, leaves, strong geometric shapes, stars and much more). Parker and Berry finally combine to movingly present the methods, meaning and passion that propelled Matisse’s later work—simple cutouts in bright monochromatic papers.

This inspiring and accessible picture book serves as a brilliant introduction to one artist’s vitality. The message? Like Matisse, we must never stop creating and experimenting. (author’s note, list of museums with Matisse artwork) (Picture book/biography. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3758-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012




NEW & NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOKS: NOVEMBER 2012:

Children CHRISTMASTIME by Alison Jay
by Alison Jay
Children WATERLOO & TRAFALGAR by Olivier Tallec
by Olivier Tallec
Children FACES FROM THE PAST by James M. Deem
by James M. Deem
Children CHARLEY'S FIRST NIGHT by Amy Hest
by Amy Hest

MORE BY MARJORIE BLAIN PARKER

ChildrenWHEN DADS DON'T GROW UP by Marjorie Blain Parker
by Marjorie Blain Parker
ChildrenMAMA’S LITTLE DUCKLING by Marjorie Blain Parker
by Marjorie Blain Parker
ChildrenYOUR KIND OF MOMMY by Marjorie Blain Parker
by Marjorie Blain Parker

MORE BY HOLLY BERRY

ChildrenWOOF by Sarah Weeks
by Sarah Weeks
ChildrenHOW MAMA BROUGHT THE SPRING by Fran Manushkin
by Fran Manushkin
ChildrenTHE GINGERBREAD COWBOY by Janet Squires
by Janet Squires

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

AdultA BIRD OR TWO by Bijou Le Tord
by Bijou Le Tord
ChildrenHENRI'S SCISSORS by Jeanette Winter
by Jeanette Winter