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Books We Love: Matisse: The King of Color

By Kay on Tue, Mar 31, 2009

Books We Love, General, Home Schooling

Matisse: The King of ColorA bit about the book…
Laurence Anholt has done a beautiful job of telling the story of Matisse and his nurse, Monique, who became a nun, in a way that children can relate to and enjoy. Since I didn’t know anything about this artist, I also enjoyed getting to learn more about his personality and his art, too.

What we loved…
While the illustrations were quite unique, I also loved the way that the author used typesetting to help ‘illustrate’ certain passages. During a passage about “diving in tropical lagoons and rowing on blue-green seas”, Anholt typesets the words in curves that go around the fish in the picture behind the words to hint at the motion of swimming and waves. But, more than anything, it was the story itself that captured both my attention and the attention of my six year old. There’s just something fascinating to me personally about an artist creating a chapel in a new and different way.

Age appropriate…
While Kate enjoyed the story and illustrations, I’m not sure I’d recommend this book for children younger than 1st grade. The pictures are just different enough and the text just long enough to lose a small child’s attention. Definitely a great read for elementary schoolers, though.

From the book…

Matisse was delighted to see Monique again.
“You are all black and white,” he teased, “but I have found a way to be more colorful than ever! Look, I’ll show you… First I put on some music. Jazz is best. Now I shall paint some big sheets of paper… as BRIGHT as I can!”
Then with hands as quick as butterflies, Matisse cut a hundred dancing shapes, and soon they were pinned up on every wall of The Dream.

Check it out…
This book is only one of a series that Laurence Anholt has written about artists. He’s also written children’s books about Degas, DaVinci, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. So, now, I’m off to our local library to see which other ones we can find to explore and enjoy!!

Written by Kay Hesketh - Visit Website

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. karen Says:

    hey, along the art theme…a great book i discovered this year is called bottle houses…about a lady in california that made a “village” out of bottles and other materials from the dump to “recycle” them. great earth day story…my kids at school loved it because they were shocked at the end when i showed them a powerpoint with real pictures.. could not believe it was real!

  2. Kay Says:

    Karen~
    Thanks for recommending this book for us! Can’t wait to get a hold of it for Kate. She is soooo artsy that anything art-related really grabs her attention well. And I love the tie in with recycling, too. Great ‘two-for’ there! Keep the book recommendations coming, my librarian friend!!

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Holy cow!! Great use of visuals to help explain the proposed budget cuts and their actual impact on the overall budget.


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A little on the political side, but interesting nonetheless…

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