Written by Amy Novesky. Illustrated by David Diaz
Published in 2010 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
I love beautiful art. I also love reading about Frida Kahlo, so when Jill (Rhapsody in Books) wrote a review about Me, Frida, I had to get my hands on it. Me, Frida is a non-fiction read about the short time in Frida Kahlo’s life that she spent in San Francisco, California with her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera. Novesky stays with the details that we know about Frida’s life. Of course, not everything is detailed but it doesn’t have to be since it’s a children’s book and space is very limited.
The artwork by David Diaz is very beautiful. In her review, Jill wrote that there were pages that you want to tear out and put on your walls, and she is so right. You also see through the artwork how Frida thought of herself at this time. She wasn’t known as an artist but as Mrs. Rivera. At the beginning of the book, almost every page has the couple together. It’s not until Frida explores San Francisco that she comes out of her shell and starts to paint again, finding herself. The pages of just Frida are breathtaking. Young readers will enjoy this book especially the artwork. They’ll probably want to read more about the artist. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Chuck Close Face book
Published in 2012 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
If you didn’t read my read-a-thon posts, I should just tell you now that this book was a hit with my kids during the event and for good reason. Chuck Close Face Book features the artist, his artwork, and the questions of children who wanted to know more about him. Through the questions and the artist’s answers, readers learn a lot about Close including the fact that he was “severely” learning disabled as a child growing up in the 1940s and 1950s. He was dyslexic and diagnosed with prosopagnosia, also called “face blindness”. People who have the disorder can’t remember and therefore, can’t recognize faces. Close has been drawing since he was a child. It was the only thing he was really good at and his parents encouraged him. Something that’s really inspiring is that his disorder didn’t stop him. Close is famous for making portraits and he also share his techniques. You could say that this is a book for kids but I think this is a book for the whole family. My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Written by Don Tate. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
Published in 2012 by Lee & Low Books
When Bill Traylor was in his early 80s, he started drawing. Alone and living in the back of businesses, he would draw using whatever materials he could find: the stubs of pencils, scraps of paper and cardboard. It didn’t matter that he didn’t really know how to draw. He just started and taught himself, drawing pictures from his memories of living on a cotton farm near Benton, Alabama. It wasn’t long before a young artist by the name of Charles Shannon saw Traylor’s work and took an interest in it. Developing a friendship that lasted for years, Shannon saved some of Traylor’s drawing, even hosting an exhibit. It wasn’t until almost forty years later, in the 1970s that others took an interest and appreciated Traylor’s “outsider” art. Tate’s writing along with Christie’s illustrations does a fantastic job of bringing Traylor’s story to a new audience. My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
All books in this post, unless otherwise stated, were acquired via the public library.