From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6 More than an account of a fascinating life, Bogart's introduction to this Canadian painter is a lesson in self-determination. It is the story of a young woman who, despite multiple birth defects and the crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis, painstakingly created Christmas cards and paintings showing scenes and people lovingly recollected from her own experience. Living in a tiny house with no electricity or indoor plumbing, Lewis painted on scraps of wood and cardboard, using remnants of paint from fishing boats that her husband found on his fish-peddling route. Her style is primitive folk art, often brightly hued. The occasional addition of impossible, but charming, detail, such as pink-and-white blossoms on evergreens, adds whimsy to her interpretations of life in Nova Scotia coastal towns. Each spread has a full-page reproduction of a Lewis painting, and each text page includes a realistic, black-and-white pencil drawing by Lang. The house in which the couple lived-door, windows, woodstove, walls, and stairs covered with paintings of flowers, birds, and butterflies-now stands in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. A lovely and inspiring book. -Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-6, younger for reading aloud. Few children will be familiar with Canadian artist Maud Lewis or her work, but her folk-art style will easily engage youngsters. Unfortunately, the organization of the text restricts involvement with the story. The book begins as Maud arrives at the home of fish peddler Everett Lewis, known to need "a wife and companion." The book then moves back and forth, sometimes confusingly, between Maud's childhood, during which her early love of painting was hampered by birth defects and arthritis, and her life with miserly Lewis. Chronological order would have worked better to draw kids in, but the reproductions of Lewis' wonderful paintings, with subjects ranging from birds in the snow to children in school, will capture attention anyway. The deceptively simple artwork, straightforward yet whimsical, will remind children of their own pictures. Lewis' works alternate with Lang's precise ink drawings that depict the artist's life, including the necessity of painting on walls and windows when there was no money for canvas. Memorable art. Ilene Cooper
See all Editorial Reviews
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved