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Camille and the Sunflowers
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2002
"Where Camille lived, the sunflowers grew so high they looked like real suns - a whole field of burning yellow suns." So begins Laurence Anholt's engaging picture book about the relationship between the postman's son and Vincent van Gogh. As the story unfolds, Camille and his family befriend and help this strange painter. "Vincent came to live in the yellow house at the end of Camille's street. He had no money and no friends." Vincent painted day and night, portraits of Camille's family, the sunflower fields, even the starry night. "But no matter how hard Vincent worked, he could never sell any of his paintings." His work was never appreciated, and in the end the townfolk told him to pack up his paints and leave. "Listen Camille," said his father, "people often laugh at things that are different, but I've got a feeling that one day they will learn to love Vincent's paintings."..... Based on actual events, this simple and evocative story has a powerful message of tolerance and compassion for those who appear odd or unusual, and march to a different drummer. Mr Anholt's gentle and empathetic text is complemented by his lovely and expressive watercolor illustrations, and include reproductions of some of van Gogh's most famous paintings. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, Camille And The Sunflowers is an inspiring introduction to the artist, Vincent van Gogh, and his paintings, that shouldn't be missed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2004
This is simply one of the best books I ever got my daughter. When she was about 1-1/2 years old, we took her to a Van Gogh exhibition and she stared, absolutely transfixed, at "Wheat Field with Crows." So when I saw this book, it seemed like she would really enjoy it, and she has. Note that it is not an entirely happy story, true to Van Gogh's life, so it is maybe not for tiny kids. But even recomposed by Anholt, the paintings are still amazingly vivid and interesting, and led us on a web search to find more ([...] is the BEST spot!). If I could only have a few books to read to my daughter for the rest of her childhood, this would be on my list, and hers as well.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 1999
Book tells the story of Van Gogh in Arles through the eyes of the Postmaster's son. Glosses over his illnesses (probably caused by heavy metal posioning from his paints). Very apropriate for elementary age, and reads aloud well. Teachers, Museum Educators, parents, or caregivers can follow up the story with an art activity based on his work. Discovering Great Artists : Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters is an excelent source for activities.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2004
I bought this book for my son as it was recommended reading in his homeschool program. My son is not really "into" books but he really loved this one. He loved it so much that he wants to learn more about Vincent Van Gogh and see more of his works. (My son is only 7.)
This book is a great way to introduce your kids to Van Gogh and several of his most popular works.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2000
I thought the illustrations were well executed. The graphicreference to Vincent's suicide would be upsetting to younger children.Why should his suicide be mentioned at all? He left a legacy ofbeauty. END
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is the type of book that I do wish there were more of. I certainly am not going to go into plot, story-line, etc. here, as other reviewers have done so already and have accomplished it quite well. This story is based on a true encounter with the artist Vincent Van Gogh. This book is a wonderful tool to introduce children to the wonderful artist. It also has some wonderful lesson within it's pages dealing with acceptance and tolerance of those who are just a bit different than ourselves. The author has done a wonderful job with the text and the illustrations fit perfectly and are very well executed. The story is told through the eyes of a small boy. I have read this to quite a number of classes of children and they have all enjoyed it, which, when you think about it, is a pretty good indorsement for any children's book. This is certainly one you will want to add to your child's library.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 1998
This book has made our 2-year-old a fan of Van Gogh, to the point that she now insists on making her crayon skies with swirls of blue instead of straight lines. Very nice introduction to the artist and a few of his best-known works, with a child-pleasing narrative. An adult, however, will get very tired of the extremely simple story after reading it to an eager pre-schooler for the zillionth time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2002
I think this story demonstrates a very sensitive handling of a small part of the story of Vincent van Gogh, in terms which a child would find very easy to understand. My only worry is that when my children are old enough for me to read it to them, I will have trouble choking back the tears.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2003
This is a great stroy for young children. It gives good insight into the life of VanGogh at a child's reading and interest level. The illustrations are great. It is a great lead into an art lesson.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2006
This is a very well written and illustrated story about a young boy who encounters Vincent Van Gogh and befriends him. It is based on a true story. While it is well done and my children love the story, I was a little bit disappointed that it included only imitations of Van Gogh's paintings and not actual pictures of them. I felt that even though there is a sad element to this story, the author did an excellent job of making it suitable even for small children, and sparks their interest in learning more about his life and works. We will be using this book this year for our homeschooled kindergartner and preschooler, and I am sure that this will be a great starting point for further learning and discussions. I give this book four stars and highly recommend it.
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van Gogh and the Sunflowers (Anholt's Artists Books For Children) by Laurence Anholt (Paperback - October 1, 2007)
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