Monet Paints a Day
by Julie Danneberg; illustrated by Caitlin Heimerl
32 pages; ages 6 - 9
It's 1885 and Claude Monet is on the beach painting a giant stone arch. He paints fast, to capture the light, moving from one canvas to the next as the sun moves across the sky. Author Julie Danneberg writes in a loose style that reflects both the impressionistic paintings of Monet and the movement of the sea: Monet ruffles his brush across canvas; water ruffles against the shore.He flutters and dabs his brush as sea foam flutters above the surf.
While Monet pays great attention to the details of color and movement, he doesn't pay enough attention to the rising tide. He is caught by the rising tide, and his easels and paintings washed out to sea.
While fiction, this story is based on a true incident. Danneberg scatters excerpts of Monet's notes and letters, sometimes tucking in a small text box with information about Impressionism. There's a trove of resources at the back for those who want to dig deeper into history - or just want to pick up a paintbrush.