Monday, September 12, 2016
by Linda R. Lodding; illus. by Claire Fletcher
40 pages; ages 4-8
Little Bee Books, 2016
Josette takes her rabbit, Pepette everywhere. So it makes sense that, when Josette realizes that there is no formal portrait of Pepette in the parlor, they need to set off to Montmartre.
That is where the best artists set up their easels.
And that's where Josette meets Dali, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall - though they aren't named in the story (an astute observer will see them on the front end papers). There are great scenes where the artists paint the Pepette they see - with three ears, flying through the air, pink ( “through art we can see the world any way we want," says Matisse). But none of them capture the Pepette that Josette knows. So when they get home, Josette pulls out her own collection of art supplies and gets to work.
The watercolor illustrations are subdued, and have the feel of a book from an earlier time, like "Madeline" books. Together, text and illustrations offer a sweet story, and maybe some inspiration for a youngster to paint a portrait of his own favorite bunny. Or dragon.
Beyond the book: Look at images of paintings by Dali, Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall - you can find galleries of their works online, and in library books.
Paint a portrait of your favorite stuffed animal or pet.
This is National Arts in Education week. Visit us tomorrow and every day this week for arts activities and book reviews. Review copy provided by publisher.