Gr. 2-4. Though classified as fiction, this lyrical appreciation follows the widely known arc of Georgia O'Keeffe's biography and introduces key aspects of her sensibility, including her rugged self-sufficiency and her preoccupation with "shapes and spaces." As in her novel The Trial
[BKL My 1 04], which was targeted at older children, Bryant writes in spare, lyrical verse, honoring her subject's idiosyncratic impressions and precise observation of the natural world: a southwestern sun that "flung itself across the sky," clouds that seemed painted "with a milk-dipped feather." Andersen, for her part, strides bravely into O'Keeffe's considerable shadow. Cow skulls, southwestern landscapes, and oversize flowers are present and accounted for, but the swooping brushstrokes and earthy textures are unmistakably Andersen's own. The unacknowledged mixture of history and poetic embroidery would have benefited from a clarifying endnote; Jeanette Winters' My Name Is Georgia
(1998) strikes a better balance between capturing a spirit and documenting a life. Even so, this bold, beautiful rendition has a certain nonconformist flair that surely would have earned O'Keeffe's stamp of approval. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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About the Author
Jen Bryant has written several books for young readers, including Music for the End of Time (Eerdmans), Pieces of Georgia, and the acclaimed novel-in-verse The Trial (both Random House). Jen lives in Glenmore, Pennsylvania.
Bethanne Andersen has illustrated many books for young readers, including Seven Brave Women (Greenwillow), which received both the Boston GlobeHorn Book Honor Award and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award; and Bluebird Summer (Greenwillow), which won the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Honor Book Award. Bethanne lives in Boise, Idaho