Just Being Dalí: The Story of Artist Salvdador Dalí

Putnam. Feb. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984816580.
Gr 4-6–This literary nonfiction picture book spotlights the major events in Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí’s life, from his childhood to his eventual fame. The colorful illustrations are playful and detailed. In addition to the illustrations, another strength of the text is the reinforcement of the idea that it’s okay to be different. The phrase Dalí was just “being himself” is repeated for effect. This title could be applied to lessons focusing on social emotional learning because of its positive messaging. It could also be used in art classes or ELA lessons focusing on the biography genre. A few key tenets of surrealism and representations of some of Dalí’s most important paintings are included. Back matter provides a selected bibliography, an author’s note, source notes, and details about the featured works of art.
VERDICT Recommended as an engaging and imaginative addition to biography collections, and for lessons centering on social emotional learning.

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