A DAY WITH PICASSO

In the Adventures in Art series, Pfleger offers art lovers a chance to spend a day with Picasso, to glimpse his art, and to experience how this artist may have lived. Picasso’s wife, Franáoise, manages to deter an anxious gallery owner, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who arrives early to collect a new painting. Picasso, in the meantime, hasn’t finished the painting, and is snoozing late to make up for lost sleep. When he finally rises, he gets up to paint, eat lunch, and play with his children. In the afternoon he paints from a model and prepares his costume for that evening’s masquerade party. Interwoven throughout his daily routine are reproductions of his art and explanations of how they reflect his life. The reproductions are good, but so are the black-and-white photos of Picasso—with his family, just fooling around, or creating art. Even if the actual day is fictionalized, the ambience is spot on, making this a more effective biography for children than many standard narrative accounts. (Picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 3-7913-2165-X

Page Count: 28

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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THE COLORS OF US

This vibrant, thoughtful book from Katz (Over the Moon, 1997) continues her tribute to her adopted daughter, Lena, born in Guatemala. Lena is “seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up”; she learns during a painting lesson that to get the color brown, she will have to “mix red, yellow, black, and white paints.” They go for a walk to observe the many shades of brown: they see Sonia, who is the color of creamy peanut butter; Isabella, who is chocolate brown; Lucy, both peachy and tan; Jo-Jin, the color of honey; Kyle, “like leaves in fall”; Mr. Pellegrino, the color of pizza crust, golden brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful, then mixes her paints accordingly for portraits of her friends—“The colors of us!” Bold illustrations celebrate diversity with a child’s open-hearted sensibility and a mother’s love. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5864-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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