FICTION

Vincent Can't Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky

illus. by Mary GrandPré. 40p. bibliog. Knopf. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101937105.
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K-Gr 2—Long before Vincent van Gogh became a famous painter, he was young boy who couldn't sleep. He dreamt restlessly of escaping the confines of his life in boarding schools and bustling business centers, eagerly searching to find his passion and bring light to a harsh and unforgiving world. As a child, he wandered under the shimmering skies of his hometown, nestling in gardens and meadows and observing the intensity of the night sky. As a student, van Gogh was bored with his schoolwork and spent most of his time reading, writing, and dreaming alone. As an adult, he called himself an artist and set out on his own—teaching, writing, traveling—much to the dislike of his family. After he completes his masterpiece The Starry Night, his life's purpose is found and he can sleep peacefully at last. Captivating bursts of color are matched with rich vocabulary, capturing van Gogh's bold and unique interpretation of the world. The book's lyrical text paired with dazzling, expressive reiterations of van Gogh's most famous creations will enchant readers who long to discover their own artistic voice.
VERDICT This versatile book is both an outstanding choice for reading aloud or for introducing art history concepts to young audiences.

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