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A Bird or Two: A Story About Henri Matisse Hardcover – October, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Le Tord here does for Matisse what she did for Claude Monet in A Blue Butterfly: she bends her watercolor style to incorporate suggestions of Matisse's famous works, and her scant, poetic text tells readers just enough to kindle an appreciation for Matisse's genius. The artist is already old and accomplished when he is introduced here, newly arrived in Nice and influenced by the extraordinary light. His colors change; his friends say, "He paints/ the sunshine/ everyday./.../ He works/ joyfully,/ with a light/ heart." Le Tord's sun-steeped art brings out that lightness of heart: her portraits of Matisse radiate his happiness and sense of play. While her versions of his paintings are more a blending of her style and his (as opposed to imitation), they capture Matisse's optimism. She doesn't give much in the way of facts (not even saying where, exactly, Nice is located), but when she declares that "Matisse/ made us/ 'hear'/ with our/ eyes/ the music/ he painted/ in his/ pictures," her meaning comes through loud and clearAthere is music in her work, too. All ages. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-This lovely tribute to the father of modern art begins with his move to Nice, where he created some of his most joyful paintings, until his death at 84. The book is composed of simple statements about his later life and artwork-"Because of the delicate and bright sun of Nice, Matisse's colors changed." Occasional quotes from the painter or from his friends illuminate the joy he took in all the arts-music, dance, sculpture, and, of course, painting and paper collage. Masterful illustrations filled with the rich colors, sparkling light, and bold shapes that the artist loved echo his vision of life. This beautiful creation allows children to experience two gifted artists-Matisse and Le Tord.
Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
It will be a child's recitation of these words that will make parents proud of the purchase of Bijou Le Tord's book, A Bird or Two. A Bird or Two, which is a biography of Heni Matisse, does not simply factualize the life of the famous painter, instead it fleshes him out and gives him spirit, life, and strength. As an introduction to the world of art, Le Tord's book is brilliant.
The book itself is a piece of art, thus it reflects the work of it's hero, Matisse, in a way that facts cannot. In Le Tord's book there lies a well-defined tribute to the famous artist which even the youngest child can grasp and cherish.