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April 21, 2014

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Pick of the Day: Colorful Dreamer

colorful dreamer Pick of the Day: Colorful Dreamerstar Pick of the Day: Colorful DreamerPARKER, Marjorie Blain. Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse. illus. by Holly Berry. 32p. further reading. CIP. Dial. Nov. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3758-7. LC 2011035446.
Gr 2-5
–This picture-book biography covers Matisse’s entire life but focuses on his career aspirations and achievements. The straightforward text takes a lighthearted approach by including details such as young Henri’s dream of becoming a magician and his skill with a peashooter. Berry’s illustrations are the star of the show; dignified black-and-white drawings represent the artist’s dull youth and colorful paintings are introduced when his career takes off. The style of the artwork evokes Matisse more and more as the story progresses, ending, as his career did, with paper cut-out collage. While his life story is not particularly adventurous or exciting, young readers will be drawn in by the obvious affection the author and illustrator feel for their subject. There is not enough detail for reports, but the book may spark interest that can be followed up by further research. A must for art teachers, and a nice addition to history and biography collections.–Heidi Estrin, Congregation B’nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL

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