An inviting and admiring introduction to an important American artist.

READ REVIEW

HI, I'M NORMAN

THE STORY OF AMERICAN ILLUSTRATOR NORMAN ROCKWELL

The iconic American illustrator welcomes readers into his home and life.

“Hi, I’m Norman. Norman Rockwell. Come on in.” The creator of over 320 covers for the Saturday Evening Post speaks directly to readers, inviting them into his studio and on to a tour of other studios in his life—his dining room when he was young, neighborhood streets, classroom blackboards, and art school. He tells how he sold his first works, how he got his ideas, and how he used models—adult, child, and even a turkey! Rockwell is known for painting the “ideal aspects” of life, “life like I’d like it to be,” he said, and he received criticism for being old-fashioned and nostalgic, but Burleigh’s Rockwell claims he did change to face the times he lived in. During World War II, he painted his iconic series “The Four Freedoms,” based on President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous speech. And after Ruby Bridges integrated an all-white public school in the 1960s, Rockwell painted the famous, enigmatically titled The Problem We All Live With. Minor uses watercolor, gouache, and pencil to effectively render many of Rockwell’s sketches and paintings and, except for Ruby Bridges, Rockwell’s all-white world.

An inviting and admiring introduction to an important American artist. (further biography, author’s note, illustrator’s note, list of paintings rendered, timeline, reproductions) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9670-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A galloping marvel—enlightening and entertaining.

DR. SEUSS'S HORSE MUSEUM

A succinct introduction to art history via a Seussian museum of equine art.

This posthumously published text recently discovered in Ted Geisel’s studio uses horse-focused art pieces to provide historical context to artistic movements. Showing art ranging from the Lascaux cave paintings to an untitled 1994 sculpture by Deborah Butterfield, Joyner’s playful illustrations surround the curated photographs of art pieces. By using horses as the departing point in the artistic journey, Seuss and Joyner are able to introduce diverse perspectives, artifacts, and media, including Harnessed Horse from the northern Wei dynasty, a Navajo pictorial blanket titled Oh, My Beautiful Horses, and photographs by Eadweard Muybridge. Questions to readers prompt thought about the artistic concepts introduced, aided by a cast of diverse museumgoers who demonstrate the art terms in action. Joyner further engages readers by illustrating both general cultural and Seussian references. Glimpses of the Cat in the Hat are seen throughout the book; he poses as a silent observer, genially guarding Seuss’ legacy. For art enthusiasts, some illustrations become an inside joke, as references to artists such as Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Marina Abramovic, and René Magritte make appearances. Thorough backmatter contains notes on each art piece referenced along with a study of the manuscript’s history and Seuss’ artistic style. Absent, probably unsurprisingly, is any acknowledgment of the Cat’s antecedents in minstrelsy and Seuss’ other racist work, but prominent among the museumgoers are black- and Asian-presenting characters as well as a girl wearing hijab and a child who uses a wheelchair.

A galloping marvel—enlightening and entertaining. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-55912-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter

MALALA'S MAGIC PENCIL

The latest of many picture books about the young heroine from Pakistan, this one is narrated by Malala herself, with a frame that is accessible to young readers.

Malala introduces her story using a television show she used to watch about a boy with a magic pencil that he used to get himself and his friends out of trouble. Readers can easily follow Malala through her own discovery of troubles in her beloved home village, such as other children not attending school and soldiers taking over the village. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations give a strong sense of setting, while gold ink designs overlay Malala’s hopes onto her often dreary reality. The story makes clear Malala’s motivations for taking up the pen to tell the world about the hardships in her village and only alludes to the attempt on her life, with a black page (“the dangerous men tried to silence me. / But they failed”) and a hospital bracelet on her wrist the only hints of the harm that came to her. Crowds with signs join her call before she is shown giving her famous speech before the United Nations. Toward the end of the book, adult readers may need to help children understand Malala’s “work,” but the message of holding fast to courage and working together is powerful and clear.

An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter . (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31957-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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