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Capturing Joy: The Story of Maud Lewis Paperback – May 10, 2011


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Capturing Joy: The Story of Maud Lewis + The Painted House of Maud Lewis: Conserving a Folk Art Treasure
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books; Reprint edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770492623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770492622
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jo Ellen was born in Houston, Texas and spent her formative years in various cities of that state. At the University of Texas in Austin, she received degrees in elementary education and psychology. She moved to Guelph, Ontario in 1975 and worked as a supply teacher for several years, enjoying especially her experiences in school libraries. Jo Ellen has two grown children, a son and a daughter.

A real animal lover, Jo Ellen has had many interesting pets over the years, including Peruvian parrotlets, a coatimundi,and an Argentine tortoise. Current pets include Wendell the Border Collie, a huge koi, goldfish, and a ton of very colorful guppies.

Jo Ellen also loves reading, gardening, swimming, web surfing, and playing with two wonderful grandchildren. She has really enjoyed opportunities to visit and speak to children in many parts of Canada and likes to hear from her readers.

Jo Ellen loves the interplay of art and words in picture books and has written many. She likes to write about nature, numbers, art, and science. She loves fireflies, the northern lights and shooting stars, enjoying the research and learning involved. Her love of art led her to write biographies of two of Canada's best-loved female artists, Emily Carr and Maud Lewis.

A pair of books about four furry friends, THE BIG TREE GANG and OUT AND ABOUT WITH THE BIG TREE GANG, the latter of which was co-written with Jo Ellen's daughter, Jill Bogart, was aimed at early elementary readers. Jo Ellen's 2009 picture book from Tundra Books, entitled BIG AND SMALL, ROOM FOR ALL, was nominated for the Lane Anderson Award for science writing for young readers, a great honor for the book of beautiful illustrations and very few words.

After years of writing song lyrics, Jo Ellen met singer-songwriter/guitarist Eddie Douglas and formed a songwriting team that added six of her songs to Eddie's Juno nominated CD, GONNA KEEP DANCING. A new album soon to be released, SLEEPY SKY LULLABY, will feature more of Jo Ellen's lyrics and some songs co-written with Eddie.

Jo Ellen is very happy to have had her book GIFTS, illustrated in plasticene by Barbara Reid,chosen as the TD Grade One Giveaway book for 2011. It will be given free to each grade one student in Canada next fall.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: I'm a fan of picture book biographies and Maud Lewis is a favourite Canadian artist of mine.

Maud Lewis is a Canadian folk artist from Nova Scotia. She is often known as what is commonly called an "outsider" artist as she painted for the pure joy of it, on anything she got her hands on, despite her physical limitations, without any formal training and though she did sell her paintings it was more because the buyers sought her out than she sought to find buyers.

This is a lovely little biography with just enough information to give anyone a brief introduction to Maud Lewis' life and artwork. For the majority of the book every right-hand side page includes a photographic reproduction of one of Maud's paintings giving a well rounded look at several of her styles and themes. An entertaining book that could easily cause an older reader to want to explore Maud's work and life in greater length and detail. A great addition to shelves on Canadian artists.
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Very good artist. She painted what she saw and her animals are delightfully happy ones. Inspite of her handicaps, she made the world a better place.
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