by Patricia MacLachlan; pictures by Hadley Hooper
Picture book biography
Interest level: K-3
Reading level: 4.4
4 out of 5 stars
This is a picture book about Henri Matisse. It’s not really a biography of his life, because we learn very little about him, but it is a study in how his childhood influenced his artwork. I am always interested in what motivates a person, but don’t know how much this topic or book will appeal to children. Art teachers could use this book in art class, especially as an introduction to modern art.
The text itself is slightly difficult to follow, especially for younger readers. The picture book format invites time to study the illustrations, but the text is told in two long sentences that stretch through the entire book. I kept wondering if I was missing key punctuation, and it took me awhile to get the gist of the story.
There are notes from the author and illustrator in the back, as well as recommendations for further reading.