A charming, unique way to introduce youngsters to great art while providing an important message.

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Vincent, Theo and the Fox

A MISCHIEVOUS ADVENTURE THROUGH THE PAINTINGS OF VINCENT VAN GOGH

Two brothers, including a future famous artist, follow a mischievous young fox on a journey of discovery through a landscape of famous paintings in this debut children’s book.

In this book’s text, young Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, Theo, are rambling through the countryside, discussing their futures, when they spy a fox who seems to be headed for trouble by eating a famer’s lunch. As they follow the clever animal, intending to keep him out of danger, the fox stays one step ahead of them, jumping from one precarious situation to the next before finally finding a golden field where he understands, “This is where a fox should be.” Macaluso was inspired to write this book by tales he told his son to enliven a museum pamphlet about Van Gogh, and he illustrates it with many of the artist’s best-known paintings, including The Yellow House, The Potato Eaters, and Starry Night. The art is beautifully reproduced in all its vibrant color and attention to detail. Around these evocative works, he builds a simple story in which both the fox and the boys begin to understand the importance of finding one’s place in the world. The well-constructed narrative weaves together the animal’s and the brothers’ revelations, such as, “Sometimes you can’t know if a choice is right unless you try it.” The 34 Van Gogh masterpieces here add depth and immediacy to the text. Adult readers, though, may find the book’s positive message somewhat dampened by their awareness of the grown Vincent’s tortured later life and suicide, which go unmentioned here, and children may regret the lack of any illustrations that actually depict the fox or young brothers. But the book ultimately holds together as a simple, but reflective, work with layers of meaning that can be appreciated by readers of various ages.

A charming, unique way to introduce youngsters to great art while providing an important message.

Pub Date: March 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4954-8751-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2016

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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