FICTION

Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!

Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! illus. by Kevin Hawkes. unpaged. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Feb. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-13291-6. LC 2011026234.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 2–5—As the title suggests, Picasso did not always behave. He refused to conform to popular taste or replicate his own successes. Using an innovative and offbeat approach, Winter provides glimpses of the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication that ruled the artist's world. In covering his early years (his experimentation with style, perspective, and color were not always appreciated), the author delivers a pungent message to today's young artists: don't be discouraged if your creative efforts are criticized. In doing so, Winter reminds readers that Picasso, despite being mocked, brought a whole new way of looking at the world through Cubism. The painter is, of course, the dominant, larger-than-life figure throughout—one spread, positioned vertically, finds him proclaiming, "The chief enemy of creativity is 'good sense!'" Hawkes matches Winter's storytelling rhythm, supplying vitality and intensity to the spreads with colorful scenes of Paris, people of the time, and fascinating renditions of Picasso's own work. This book is a boon for art teachers and especially classroom teachers and librarians working to bring an artistic presence and sensibility into children's lives.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Winter's energetic account focuses on the painter's unquenchable inventiveness, tracing his rise from prodigy through several controversial styles and from the furor over his African mask–inspired "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" to his revolutionary cubist "Girl with a Mandolin." With his broad brush strokes and painterly art, Hawkes evokes Picasso's oeuvre without imitating it, an impressive achievement. A concluding note provides context but no sources.
Picasso was a giant -- not literally, as Hawkes depicts him on the jacket here, towering cheerfully over the city of Paris,

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