A Bird or Two: A Story About Henri Matisse
A Bird or Two: A Story About Henri Matisse
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Annotation: Simple text and bright illustrations describe the work of French painter, Henri Matisse, particularly his joyful use of color.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #4467179
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition Date: 1999
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8028-5184-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-8028-5184-0
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 98055108
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Like A Blue Butterfly about Claude Monet, this picture book also pays homage to a well-known artist. In her author's note, Le Tord explains that Matisse loved Nice, in the south of France, finding it to be a place of luminosity and beauty. Having liked Matisse's work since she was a child, Le Tord illustrates this picture book with paintings in Matisse's exuberant, color-saturated style. Any child who has ever seen Matisse's work will recognize the similarities, and Le Tord's text, which includes a few direct quotes from Matisse and members of his artistic circle, is simple enough for very young children to grasp: He paints the sunshine every day. Matisse is a dapper, grandfatherly figure on these pages, embodying a sense of art as life as surely as his paintings do. (Reviewed November 15, 1999)
Horn Book
Max and David, two preternaturally talented students at magical Rowan Academy, quest around the world and eventually beyond to prevent a demon from gaining the power to unmake creation. This dark sequel (the forces of good are continually defeated) swells in scale and scope, and Neff occasionally overrelies on summary, but overall his storytelling remains compelling.
Kirkus Reviews
Less a story than an analysis of Matisse's art, particularly after his move to Nice, this companion to A Blue Butterfly (1995), on Monet, also combines visual recasting of selected works with poetic commentary: "To his color palette he added the bluest sapphire blue he could imagine. And with it he painted the Mediterranean Sea." Using a free style of brushwork that evokes Matisse's own joy and energy, Le Tord alternates her versions of his art with scenes of the man himself, always nattily dressed, always industriously making art. This perceptive personal tribute will enhance readers' appreciation for Matisse's work; they won't mind going elsewhere for biographical details, and reproductions of his actual paintings, sculpture, and collages. (Picture book. 8-11)
Publishers Weekly
Le Tord here does for Matisse what she did for Claude Monet in A Blue Butterfly: she bends her watercolor style to incorporate suggestions of Matisse's famous works, and her scant, poetic text tells readers just enough to kindle an appreciation for Matisse's genius. The artist is already old and accomplished when he is introduced here, newly arrived in Nice and influenced by the extraordinary light. His colors change; his friends say, """"He paints/ the sunshine/ everyday./.../ He works/ joyfully,/ with a light/ heart."""" Le Tord's sun-steeped art brings out that lightness of heart: her portraits of Matisse radiate his happiness and sense of play. While her versions of his paintings are more a blending of her style and his (as opposed to imitation), they capture Matisse's optimism. She doesn't give much in the way of facts (not even saying where, exactly, Nice is located), but when she declares that """"Matisse/ made us/ `hear'/ with our/ eyes/ the music/ he painted/ in his/ pictures,"""" her meaning comes through loud and clear--there is music in her work, too. All ages. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-This lovely tribute to the father of modern art begins with his move to Nice, where he created some of his most joyful paintings, until his death at 84. The book is composed of simple statements about his later life and artwork-"Because of the delicate and bright sun of Nice, Matisse's colors changed." Occasional quotes from the painter or from his friends illuminate the joy he took in all the arts-music, dance, sculpture, and, of course, painting and paper collage. Masterful illustrations filled with the rich colors, sparkling light, and bold shapes that the artist loved echo his vision of life. This beautiful creation allows children to experience two gifted artists-Matisse and Le Tord.-Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/99)
Horn Book (4/1/09)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Word Count: 324
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 54882 / grade: Lower Grades

Greens greener than apples, yellows more yellow than lemons. . . In the brilliant sun of Nice, France, Henri Matisse painted the brightest, boldest colors he could imagine. Joyfully he painted everywhere and everyone. Enchanted and with a light heart, he painted all the time. A Bird or Two introduces young readers to the beloved painter Henri Matisse. Bijou Le Tord's delightful illustrations capture the vivid colors of Matisse, and her poetic words sing to the music of his pictures.

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