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Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Two well-known children's book creators present the life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo through the kid-friendly lens of her animal friends. Kahlo's life as a young girl at La Casa Azul was marked by the support of her family, illness, and her "animalitos," or the many pets and creatures that she loved. Each spread introduces a new animal, from Bonito the parrot to her spider monkeys Fulang Chang and Caimito de Guayabal. The text often makes comparisons between the featured critters and the independent, free-spirited girl and budding artist. Throughout, Brown makes references to Kahlo's love of and inspiration by her Aztec culture, which was often seen in her art and evidenced by her pets' names. The picture book biography touches only briefly upon some of the artist's life-changing events, such as the accident she experienced in her teens or her marriage to Diego Rivera, but instead emphasizes the companionship of the animals with which she surrounded herself. Parra's lively acrylic paintings pay tribute to the vibrant hues of Kahlo's paintings, and her ties to her Mexican and Aztec heritage are apparent. A detailed author's note about the subject's life, art, and influence concludes the book and lists the many works in which her animalitos appear. VERDICT 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
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)
Top customer reviews
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the pages are true to the arrangement and decor of those rooms. A delight.
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.