The conceit at the center of this celebration of art and color? Tell a pleasingly repetitive tale featuring the Dutch post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh without ever mentioning his full name.
The eponymous Vincent (big-headed, bug-eyed, and ginger-bearded) sets out to paint the exterior of a charming little stucco house reminiscent of the iconic The Yellow House in Arles. Juggling a box of paint tubes, artist Vincent loads up his palette with a variety of saturated colors. Momentarily daunted by choice, he thinks, “White is nice,” and selects four tubes of white paint (snow, ivory, titanium, cream) to begin. But then: “Stop!” A sweet succession of tiny resident art critics—a spider, a bird, a mouse, a termite, a caterpillar, and a ladybug—all offer their own contributions to the project. Along with each color callout, a section of the painter’s palette is shown with a range of hues laid out; the paint tubes’ color labels are prominently displayed. By book’s end, that once-drab house is now painted in a quiet riot of broken color strokes and cozily situated under a swirling night sky. Arnold’s computer-generated art finesses the pigments and represents the textural effects of this great painter’s hand. Savvy parents and teachers will truly enjoy sharing this, both as an inspiration for art projects and as a low-key, kid-friendly introduction to this accessible painter.
So very Van Gogh and so very satisfying! (Picture book. 3-8)