Yayoi Kusama: Ready-to-Read Level 3

S. & S./Simon Spotlight. (You Should Meet). Oct. 2021. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534495654; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781534495647.
PreS-Gr 2–Emerging readers are introduced to world-renowned Japanese pop artist Kusama, who creates in a variety of media—painting, writing, sculpting, film, and even fashion design. Kusama’s work typically includes repetitive patterns inspired by hallucinations the artist began experiencing during childhood. Her family-owned land was ripe with flowers and vegetables in Japan prior to World War II, which inspired her to spend hours outside drawing. When the war began, Kusama was required by the government to work in a parachute factory, despite being only 10 years old. She never lost sight of her dream to live and work as a professional artist, even with her mother’s disapproval. The artist made plans to study art in Kyoto after the war. Kusama moved to the United States in the 1950s and experienced success as an artist, inspiring many of her peers who, in some cases, copied her ideas and took credit for them. Today she enjoys worldwide popularity, critical acclaim, and a celebrity status that allows her art exhibitions to sell out within hours. Back matter consists of short bios on famous female artists and a list of fine arts degrees that will help young people in career awareness and exploration. This fresh offering features artwork inspired by Kusama, with text aimed at newly independent readers.
VERDICT An exciting addition to school and public library biography collections.

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