Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

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Annotation: This book about the life of influential Mexican artist Frida Kahlo focuses on the beloved pets that inspired her work: two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a faun.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #160061
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: North-South Books
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Parra, John,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7358-4269-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1070-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7358-4269-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1070-1
Dewey: 921
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Featuring charming visuals and lively, often lyrical prose, this picture book introduces Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, interweaving biographical details while highlighting her special relationships with pets. From early efforts at painting, to a childhood illness, to school escapades, Brown takes us into Kahlo's adulthood r developing passion for creating art, her marriage to Diego Rivera, and, finally, her animals. She kept company with spider monkeys, parrots, dogs, turkeys, and much more, and Brown describes each as possessing personalities that reflect Kahlo's own characteristics: "Like her eagle, Frida's imagination could fly high." Rich-hued, folk art style illustrations incorporate evocative touches, fanciful details, and collagelike compositions. Both the accessible art and text convey a sense of how some of Frida's experiences d animals pacted and informed her life and art. Although examples of her actual artwork aren't included, an author's note lists some titles that feature her animals, and provides further biographical information.
Kirkus Reviews
Frida Kahlo's strong affection for and identification with animals form the lens through which readers view her life and work in this picture-book biography. Each two-page spread introduces one or more of her pets, comparing her characteristics to theirs and adding biographical details. Confusingly for young readers, the beginning pages reference pets she owned as an adult, yet the illustrations and events referred to come from earlier in her life. Bonito the parrot perches in a tree overlooking young Frida and her family in her childhood home and pops up again later, just before the first mention of Diego Rivera. Granizo, the fawn, another pet from her adult years, is pictured beside a young Frida and her father along with a description of "her life as a little girl." The author's note adds important details about Kahlo's life and her significance as an artist, as well as recommending specific paintings that feature her beloved animals. Expressive acrylic paintings expertly evoke Kahlo's style and color palette. While young animal lovers will identify with her attachment to her pets and may enjoy learning about the Aztec origins of her Xolo dogs and the meaning of turkeys in ancient Mexico, the book may be of most interest to those who already have an interest in Kahlo's life. A supplemental rather than introductory book on the great artist. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
Brown uses the pets and animals in Frida Kahlo-s life-spider monkeys, a parrot, and a fawn, among others-to emphasize aspects of her personality as she developed into an artist: -Frida-s turkeys were intelligent and sensitive, just like her. And, like Frida, her dogs were warm and loving.- Along with highlighting Kahlo-s tender interactions with the animals, Brown shows how art buoyed her during difficult times, including a bus accident at age 18 that left her with persistent health problems. Parra-s warm, weathered paintings are done in a flattened, folk-art style that vividly evokes the Mexican environment and -heritage of which she was very proud.- Even if readers don-t get much of a sense of the work Kahlo created, they-ll finish the book feeling like they know the artist. Ages 4-8. Agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 14Two well-known children's book creators present the life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo through the kid-friendly lens of her animal friends. Kahlo's life as a young girl at La Casa Azul was marked by the support of her family, illness, and her "animalitos," or the many pets and creatures that she loved. Each spread introduces a new animal, from Bonito the parrot to her spider monkeys Fulang Chang and Caimito de Guayabal. The text often makes comparisons between the featured critters and the independent, free-spirited girl and budding artist. Throughout, Brown makes references to Kahlo's love of and inspiration by her Aztec culture, which was often seen in her art and evidenced by her pets' names. The picture book biography touches only briefly upon some of the artist's life-changing events, such as the accident she experienced in her teens or her marriage to Diego Rivera, but instead emphasizes the companionship of the animals with which she surrounded herself. Parra's lively acrylic paintings pay tribute to the vibrant hues of Kahlo's paintings, and her ties to her Mexican and Aztec heritage are apparent. A detailed author's note about the subject's life, art, and influence concludes the book and lists the many works in which her animalitos appear. VERDICT This unique and gorgeous take on the famous figure's work will give children an accessible entry point to an important artist. A good choice for picture book biography shelves.Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/17)
Kirkus Reviews
Pura Belpre Honor
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (8/1/17)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 953
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 190931 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.7 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q72893
Lexile: AD780L
Guided Reading Level: Q

 

Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor 2018

ALA Notable Children's Book 2018

New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2017

Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017

Smithsonian Top Ten Best Children's Book of 2017

2018 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra, is based on the life of one of the world's most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life. 

The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form.

Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal. 


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