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Picasso and Minou Paperback – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570916489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570916489
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Minou was the name of Pablo Picasso's cat. An author's note and photograph help to confirm this detail, while spelling out the fictional and factual elements of this slice-of-life story from the artist's Blue and Rose Periods. The feline has finicky taste; he does not care for the somber, gaunt figures and the suffering conveyed in the artist's monochromatic palette during the early 20th century. When the paintings do not sell, the artist is forced to turn his companion loose to find his own food. The animal's quest leads to dinner and friends in the form of carnival performers, a device used by Maltbie to explain Picasso's new subject material and to segue into a fresh color scheme. The gouache, pencil, and watercolor scenes are skillful renderings of the young painter, a variety of canvases, and the characters and settings that inspired his work. Estrada's blue/gray filter on Picasso's Paris is evident without becoming oppressive. The harlequins and gymnasts are a welcome burst of climactic color until the denouement when Minou has another change to confront: Cubism. This effective introduction offers a historically accurate explanation regarding the Blue Period as well as an engaging story. Age-appropriate background on Picasso's life and artistic choices may be found in Kate Scarborough's well-illustrated Pablo Picasso (Watts, 2002).–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Minou, a robust Siamese cat, lives with young Pablo Picasso in a tiny Montmartre studio. He's not fond of Picasso's latest work--the bleak, sorrowful paintings from the Blue Period that won't sell. When the money runs out, Picasso sends Minou into the streets to find his own food, and the resourceful cat trots home with sausages donated by a boisterous crowd of circus performers. A delighted Picasso follows Minou back to the circus, where the artist is inspired to paint a series of joyous, rosy paintings, which are a huge success. Picasso sees sadness everywhere, and the artist's struggle to survive is real. But Maltbie balances the gloom with a sweet friendship story that ends successfully, while Estrada's detailed pencil, watercolor, and gouache illustrations beautifully capture the Montmartre scene, the expressive cat and artist, and Picasso's work, arranged around the gloriously cluttered studio. An author's note, which reveals the factual elements in the story, is accompanied by a small photograph of Picasso with the real Minou. A lovely introduction to Picasso's work and to an artist's life. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations are beautiful, playful.
Elizabeth Hernandez
Picasso starts painting some of his new friends, selling the artwork, as well as some of his blue period paintings, to the owner of a gallery.
Catherine W. Hughes
If you have small children who love animals and books, this is a story they will love and ask for over and over.
M. Valdez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Budding young artists and adults will be drawn to this touching story of Picasso. Set in Paris during Picasso's Blue Period when the artist struggled to sell his paintings, the tale is part fact, part fiction.

It's true that these paintings were deemed sad by many and did not sell. It's also true that Picasso lived in a garret in Montmarte where he took in a street cat he called Minou (French for kitty). The rest comes from the artist's imagination.

Our story opens with Picasso so poor that he cannot buy enough food for both Minou and himself. So he sadly returns Minou to the streets where the poor cat is booted from a restaurant and finds only stale bread in the trash.

Minou's luck changes when he wanders into a part of Montmarte that is new to him and finds people dressed in colorful clothes. To his amazement these people jumped, twirled, juggled and did all manner of wonderful tricks. Soon, a little girl found him and brought him a plate of bread and stew. Minou made short work of that, so she brought him a sausage. However, "Instead of eating the sausage, Minou held it in his mouth and ran toward Pablo's studio."

Of course, Picasso was delighted to have some food and also happy to see Minou. Eventually, Minou led the artist to the people who wore all colors of the rainbow and Picasso was so enchanted that he decided to paint them. He used colors of pink and rose, signaling the beginning of Picasso's Rose Period.

The author's note includes a photo of the young Picasso and Minou. Artist Pau Estrada prepared well for illustrating "Picasso and Minou" by visiting the Museu Picasso in Barcelona and the Musee National Picasso in Paris. Estrada's watercolor illustrations are rich with the colors Picasso used during his Blue and Rose periods, adding authenticity and vivacity to this charming story.

- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heidi on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Each image in this book is so rich. When I read it to my daughter, I always get sidetracked looking at all the detail and the amazing colors and the way the artist conveys so many different moods. I love the section in the back that talks about the paintings referenced in the book too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FurryMuse on January 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This glorious debut book by a talented children's author is filled with stunning artwork. More than that, the delightful story (based on true events) is masterful and evocative. The story of a special relationship between Picasso and Minou, a street-wise and loving feline, touched and intrigued me as both a cat lover and art lover. BRAVO, and may this book be the first of many successful works!

--Amy D. Shojai, author 21 pet care books and a founder of the Cat Writers' Association
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Hernandez on May 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Picasso's growth as an artist reaches young readers through his beloved pet. The illustrations are beautiful, playful. The plot: A kind act changes Picasso's perspective; painful adversity is overcome. My child clamored for repeated readings, and was transported by its scenes of a French circus. You'll be proud to have it on your child's shelf; an irresistible intro to fine art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne Smith on September 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My four-year-old daughter was fascinated by this story and wanted me to read it to her at least once a day while we had it from the library. I took the opportunity to check out a few other books of Picasso's art to show her that this was a story of someone real. The entree the book gave us into the world of Picasso's Blue Period was a genuinely enjoyable educational experience for her. It was a lot of fun to match the reproductions of Picasso's paintings with the pictures of the real thing in the books we brought home!

The story also opens possible discussion for other topics--poverty, artistic pursuits, caring and friendship. This is a rich and well-told story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Valdez on August 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a child care provider and artist I highly recommend this book. If you have small children who love animals and books, this is a story they will love and ask for over and over. If you have friends who are teachers, principles, child care providers, etc. you will need to buy more than one copy of this book. From the minute you open the book you realize the words compliment the art and the art returns the favor. The story of Picasso and his cat Minou is nothing less than enchanting, whismical, and an opportunity for children to enter into the world of art, and history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By O. Snow on December 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A poor young artist became successful with help from his cat, Minou. Picasso progressed from his Blue Period, which made people sad, to a more cheerful Rose Period and finally, to his Masterpiece Period, Cubism. Both Picasso and Minou had big sharp eyes which made them look like brothers. The author and illustrator both did an excellent jobs. I can't stop smiling. Cat lovers must not miss this one.
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