From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–More an analysis of the painting than a biography of the artist, Burleigh's oversized volume explicates Seurat's well-known composition. Because the artist was a private man, little is known about his personal life; by studying the technique and subject matter of La Grande Jatte
, the author makes inferences about his subject's life and work habits. He explains that the many croquetons
(paintings on cigar boxes) and small studies executed as research for the final huge painting (7' x 10') show the artist's attention to detail. Seurat's artwork is compared to that of his contemporaries, and Burleigh interweaves a detailed look at the painting with facts about the time period, quotes from other artists, and information about Seurat's unique style. Throughout, the author does a thorough job of explaining Seurat's invention of pointillism without using technical terms. Easy-to-read, with large reproductions, this is a grand introduction.–Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
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Gr. 3-6. Like Action Jackson
(2002), by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, this picture book for older readers focuses on a single painting to introduce an artist's life and work--in this case, Georges Seurat's La Grande Jatte
. Burleigh begins with direct observations about the painting's size, pointillist style, and composition, dropping facts about Seurat's life into his discussion. The text is somewhat uneven. Sophisticated language about the artist ("he was--as a friend put it--'haunted by night's magnificence'") mixes with sometimes-cloying phrases aimed at younger children ("What do we notice first?") and the many handsome reproductions of the painting are occasionally lost in the book's binding. But Burleigh's accessible observations will encourage children to think about basic art principles (how colors work together; what harmony means in a painting) and to look, linger, and find the stories, or at least the questions, in artwork. There are no source notes, but a selected bibliography, a glossary, and a time line close this attractive title, which has been published in association with the Art Institute of Chicago. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved