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Henri's Scissors [Kindle Edition]

Jeanette Winter
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $6.00 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $10.99  
Hardcover $13.59  
Kindle Fire: Children's Books
Vivid, Full-Color Children's Books with Kindle Text Pop-Up
This book features Kindle Text Pop-Up for reading text over vivid, full-color images when using Kindle Fire or select Kindle Reading Apps. See additional Color Children’s Picture Books with Kindle Text Pop-Up.

Book Description

Step into the colorful world of Henri Matisse and his magnificent paper cutouts!

In a small weaving town in France, a young boy named Henri-Emile Matisse drew pictures everywhere, and when he grew up, he moved to Paris and became a famous artist who created paintings that were adored around the world. But late in life a serious illness confined him to a wheelchair, and amazingly, it was from there that he created among his most beloved works—enormous and breathtaking paper cutouts.

Based on the life of Henri Matisse, this moving and inspirational picture book biography includes a note from the author, dynamic quotes from Matisse himself, and an illuminating look at a little-known part of a great artist’s creative process.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3-At age 72, following surgery for cancer, Henri Matisse was too weak to paint. During his convalescence at the seaside, he picked up scissors and began cutting shapes from painted paper. In his own words, "It seems to me that I am in a second life." Winter's picture-book biography focuses on that second life, neatly summarizing his childhood and career in the first eight pages: "He kept on painting, forgot about law, and left his small town to be an artist in Paris." Winter captures the joy that Matisse found in cut paper, both through her acrylic and cut-paper illustrations and through quotes from his letters. The images are evocative of his art, with bright colors and rounded shapes. The first pages, depicting his youth and adulthood, are deeply framed like museum art, then transition to full-page compositions when his life changes due to illness. The author addresses his death with a light touch: "Then one night, Matisse walked into his paper garden, and the rainbow of shapes cradled the old artist and carried him into the heavens," where perhaps he now uses his scissors to make the stars in the night sky. Libraries with demand for picture-book biographies and art history will want to add this well-done title to their collections.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


* “Masterful picture-book biographer Winter (The Watcher, 2011) offers an elegant, accessible portrait of expressive artist Henri Matisse…. As an old man, Matisse becomes ill, and the book turns a stylistic corner, spending the balance of its pages exploring the changes in his circumstances and the subsequent development of his medium and his genius. Unable to paint, he begins cutting shapes from paper and dives into the process, allowing his shapes to grow with his imagination. And the book adapts in turn, the imagery now sprawling across pages, filling the space with rich color in exuberant compositions…. With a gentle narrative dotted with quotes from the artist himself, luminous illustrations, and a warm, celebratory spirit, this exemplary picture-book biography delivers a clear, sensitive portrait of the whole man, story and soul alike.” (Booklist, June 1, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW)

* "Simple, folk-style paintings show Matisse in a wheelchair in a studio amid his collages; in a quiet visual cue, a plant with oversize leaves suggests inspiration for their big, organic shapes. He continues to create until his death, another moment Winter handles gracefully…. Old age can be fertile and useful, Winter implies; disability doesn’t mean the end of creating, and triumph is possible where only sadness could have been foreseen. All of these messages lie obliquely in the text, but even readers who don’t dig that deep will share Matisse’s joy." (Publishers Weekly, May 27, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW)

Winter captures the joy that Matisse found in cut paper, both through her acrylic and cut-paper illustrations and through quotes from his letters. The images are evocative of his art, with bright colors and rounded shapes…. The author addresses his death with a light touch…. Libraries with demand for picture-book biographies and art history will want to add this well-done title to their collections.” (School Library Journal, June 1, 2013)

"In her latest picture book biography...Winter focuses on Henri Matisse’s later life, during which the painter took up collage.... With text that is straightforward and unflowery, Winter relies, successfully, on the strength of her own art to capture the essence of Matisse’s. A brief author’s note explains her specific interest in this portion of the artist’s oeuvre." (Horn Book Magazine, September-October 2013)

"In her extensive picture-book–biography oeuvre, Winter has proven to be particularly attuned to selecting the just-right elements of her subjects’ complex lives while making them both accessible to and readily understood by young children.... Winter both describes and employs Matisse’s signature, late-career technique of brilliantly colored, hand-painted, cut-paper compositions. She enlivens the simple text with liberal yet judicious quotes from Matisse’s letters and comments from contemporaries. This is a beautifully designed book that will certainly connect with readers...the book is a charming introduction to a widely reproduced, child-friendly artist, one that children will assuredly encounter and affirmingly embrace." (Kirkus Reviews, June 2013)

“In ‘Henri’s Scissors,’ Jeanette Winter rushes through the story of Henri Matisse’s childhood, but no worries: it’s his second (far more interesting) childhood that fascinates her. After becoming one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, whose only peer, it could be argued, was the aggressively prolific Picasso, Matisse has grown old. Now infirm and confined to bed, he reflects on his past triumphs in a room colored in the deepest blues and purples. But inspiration strikes, and using a pair of common household scissors as his magic wand, Matisse cuts shapes out of brightly colored paper and transforms his sick-room into a mystical garden full of flowers and birds. Then, in the final and greatest feat of his career as artist-sorcerer, ‘the rainbow of shapes cradled the old artist and carried him into the heavens.’” (Dan Yaccarino The New York Times Book Review, August 25 2013)

"The accessibility of cut paper makes it a particularly child-appealing medium, and Matisse is certainly the grand master of the art, so audiences will be pleased to see the championing of this oeuvre...the art is strong and vigorous, with a hat-tip to Matisse himself in the form of the open window (a famous Matisse subject) that allows the old man to view the sea; the playfulness and imaginative employment of actual Matisse collage shapes effectively convey the way art and life vision can blend together." (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, October 2013)

"The young reader gets a taste of Matisse’s art and a flavor of his creativity in the late period of his life.... Share this picture book biography with the art teacher. Incorporate the title in a story hour about imagination, color, or the beginnings of modern art." (Library Media Connection, January/February 2014)

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CREATIVITY IS EXPRESSED IN MANY WAYS September 6, 2013
What a wonderful gift for a child of any age! As Jeanette Winter notes her story was inspired by seeing Matisse's large cut-outs at Washington's National Gallery. Prior to that she had seen only reproductions but then to actually see the wall-size images must have been an extraordinary experience for her and that is reflected in her book filled with page after page of the artist's cut-out and a judicious use of his own words.

We meet Matisse as a young boy who enjoyed watching his mother paint china. He wanted to paint, too, so before long he was drawing on every available surface from sand to his schoolbooks. As a young man he contracted appendicitis and was confined to his bed. His mother gifted him with a box of paints. The rest, as is said, is history. He had been studying law but when he recovered from his illness he went to Paris where he continued to paint.

While he produced many amazing canvases he eventually grew old as we all do, and he became ill. Once again he was confined to his bed - he could no longer paint, he couldn't even sit up. When Matisse finally regained his strength he was well enough to travel so he went to the sea shore thinking that would make him feel better. It was a tonic for him and before long he was sitting up and drawing.

Then one day he picked up a pair of scissors and cut out shapes from painted paper. Soon the walls of his room were covered with these beautiful colored shapes. At this time he said, "My pleasure in cutting things out grows even greater. Why didn't I think of it earlier?"

So the famous artist continued to work prodigiously, joyfully until the end of his days. What lessons there are for young ones in his story! Outlets for creativity may be found anywhere. When one door is closed, find another and open it. May all learn from his example.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for classroom use January 25, 2014
By Bozbun
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some children's books about artists are too flowery. They do not succinctly convey a message about an artist's working style in a way that is appropriate for kids. This book however, is awesome. I think my first graders will love it, and I have some good ideas of how to weave it into art lessons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative art October 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the story of Henri Matisse and is one of my 4 year old grandson's favorite books. It has inspired a number of art projects during rainy afternoons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Matisse October 6, 2013
With simple texts and lovely illustrations, Jeanette Winter brings the art and life of Henri Matisse to the page. From paintings to cut paper, children, ages 4-7, will learn about this celebrated artist and his work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars where are my scissors? September 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This beautifully illustrated story will make you want to get out your scissors and cut to your heart's content. I have a lesson plan that I use with Kindergarten students that incorporates tearing and cutting shapes to learn how to create a collage background for a drawing or painting.
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