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WHEN PIGASSO MET MOOTISSE by Nina Laden

WHEN PIGASSO MET MOOTISSE

By Nina Laden (Author) , Nina Laden (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8118-1121-2
Publisher: Chronicle

During their youthful art wars in Paris, Picasso and Matisse had a brief falling out after a competitive spat. Here, art imitates life as Laden takes that episode and, through transformation and embellishment, turns it into neat little lessons in art history and ego reduction. Pigasso and Mootisse have separately garnered such fame that they each must flee the hordes to concentrate on their art. When they become neighbors in the countryside, all is bonhomous until their temperaments—and their artistic visions—clash, so much so that they build a great wooden fence between their houses. Gradually their hearts soften. To make amends, and since neither knows how to simply apologize, each simultaneously paints a tribute to the other (and, of course, to himself, as befits such self-importance) on the fence. There are plenty of good (modified) examples of the real artists’ works, as well as a couple of surprises, such as a Jackson Pollack-style explosion between the painters. The characters come across as bumptious, strong-willed, and appealing. Laden further lightens the story with goofy wordplay—moosterpiece, pork of art—that adds little when the quality of the artwork and the book’s detonation of color are already such pleasures. (Picture book. 4-10)