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Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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Expressive acrylic paintings expertly evoke Kahlo's style and color palette. (Vicky Smith Kirkus Reviews)
This unique and gorgeous take on the famous figure’s work will give children an accessible entry point to an important artist. A good choice for picture book biography shelves. (Shelley M. Diaz School Library Journal)
Not the first Frida Kahlo picture book biography and certainly not the last, but maybe one of the most successful...Plus you get John Parra’s art as an extra bonus. That guy’s amazing. (Elizabeth Bird A Fuse #8 Production, School Library Journal)
Featuring charming visuals and lively, often lyrical prose, this picture book introduces Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, interweaving biographical details while highlighting her special relationships with pets...Rich-hued, folk art–style illustrations incorporate evocative touches, fanciful details, and collagelike compositions. (Shelle Rosenfeld Booklist)
Parra’s warm, weathered paintings are done in a flattened, folk-art style that vividly evokes the Mexican environment and “heritage of which she was very proud.” (Publishers Weekly)
With their folk-art sensibility, Parra’s elegant acrylic paintings evoke Kahlo’s style, her palette and her Mexican environment, but he creates a mood of harmony with the natural world and a lively, cheerful abundance all his own. (New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2017)
About the Author
Monica Brown, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of Waiting for the Biblioburro/Esperando al Biblioburro, Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/no combina, and the Lola Levine chapter book series, including Lola Levine is Not Mean, Lola Levine, Drama Queen, and Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme. Her books have garnered starred reviews, the Américas Award, two Pura Belpré Author Honors, and the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship on Chicano Cultural Literacy. She lives in Arizona with her family and teaches at Northern Arizona University. Find out more at www.monicabrown.net.
John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, designer, teacher, and fine art painter. His children’s books have earned many awards including, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, ALA’s Pura Belpré Honors, The Christopher’s Award, the International Latino Book Award, and many more. In 2015 John was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present a special event about his work and career in art and illustration and in 2017 John’s art will be seen on six new Forever Postal Stamps from USPS titled: Delicioso. He currently lives with his wife Maria in Queens, New York. John graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Visit him on the web http://www.johnparraart.com/home.htm, or follow him on twitter @johnparraart
Top customer reviews
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The focus of the book is Frida and her animals. The animals which are represented in her paintings are listed in the afterword biography along with dates.
The book is full of small background history such as the fact that her dogs were Xolo, a hairless breed known to the Aztecs.
The art itself is very colorful and primitive and does a good job of being reminiscent without attempting to copy Kahlo's style. The paintings and narrative go well together.
The book would be well received by any young reader and could be well used in a unit on art history.
I liked how the illustrations in the book included reminders of her chronic pain and difficulties, such as a wheelchair and prosthesis, without explicitly overemphasizing them. I think it would resonate well with a reading group of youngsters to maybe see that people are more similar than they had thought.
Beautiful book, well written. Very basic but a good introduction for further reading.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.
Brown uses the animals in Kahlo’s life to point out specific characteristics of her personality, each tied to a specific pet. This strengthens Kahlo’s already strong connection to her animals and makes it more clear for the reader as well. Parra’s illustrations are done on board. They have an appealing combination of organic feel, connection to nature and folk images. An appealing and unique look at Frida Kahlo. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
What a unique perspective on Frida Kahlo! There have been a couple other picture book biographies of Frida that came out in the last decade so I was honestly wondering if we even needed another one. But this was spectacular. Anyone who has a household with a parrot, a breed of Aztec dogs, a cat, turkeys, a fawn, and monkeys is bound to capture the interest of kids. It sounds almost too crazy to be true. But it totally is, and that makes it all the more enthralling. (Beware parents and guardians, you better start practicing your response to the child with the big sad puppy dog eyes begging for their own monkey, or turkey, or deer before reading this.) The animal focus and the use of similes to compare the animals’ characteristics with Frida’s brought up aspects of Frida Kahlo’s personality and stories from her childhood none of the other books have touched on. (Riding down the school hallway on donkeys and setting off firecrackers!) This will definitely grab the attention of readers. Kids will be enchanted by the various animals she had as pets and will start hunting down Kahlo’s artwork in which they appear (there’s a list in the back of the book along with some further information on Kahlo and her pets). The illustration style is charming. And this is definitely a great addition to the world of children’s lit and a very memorable picture book biography. Art teachers can obviously use this for an artist highlight or looking at animals in art, and language arts teachers, there's some fantastic usage of similes throughout. Highly recommended for anyone.
I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.