From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6–This picture book focuses on the year that Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, spent in San Francisco while he worked on murals for the Pacific Stock Exchange. It was 1930 and Frida was young, newly married, and just beginning her own career as a painter. She had never been out of Mexico and everything about this trip was new and overwhelming. Novesky adeptly tells how Kahlo began to gain her confidence and find her place in the world, using the city and its surroundings as inspiration for her own work. The writing is succinct and careful, and a portrait of Frida as a strong, feisty woman comes through clearly. Diaz's acrylic and charcoal paintings echo Kahlo's own folkloric style, brimming with color and detail, but are unique as well, providing a rich complement to the text. This is a solid choice as a supplement for a biography collection, but libraries looking for a way to introduce the artist should turn to Jonah Winter's Frida (Scholastic, 2002) or Margaret Frith's Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003) instead.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Vivid paintings illuminate this picture book portraying artist Frida Kahlo, newly married to Diego Rivera and living with him in San Francisco. Homesick for Mexico and alone while Rivera works on his mural project, Kahlo feels lost, insignificant, and restless until she finds joy in exploring the city on her own. Emboldened, she begins to paint. At a party one night, she steps out of her husband’s shadow and becomes the center of attention when she sings Mexican folk songs. Soon she exhibits a wedding portrait, Frida and Diego Rivera. The book’s topic is an odd one for a children’s picture book, but the writing is lucid, the emotions are universal, and the illustrations soar. Glowing with warm, vibrant colors, the charcoal and acrylic paintings create distinctive, statuesque people within imaginatively conceived landscapes, cityscapes, and interiors. The pink bird appearing in every scene is an element in the wedding portrait, which is photographically reproduced at the book’s end. Grades 1-3. --Carolyn Phelan