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The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist Hardcover – April 28, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This stellar picture book biography examines the life of Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Inspired by John James Audubon's work but disgusted by the practice of killing and mounting birds in order to draw them, Fuertes was one of the first to paint birds while observing them in their natural habitat. Bereghici's stunning watercolor and ink spreads practically fly off the page with their richly colored, realistic depictions of Fuertes's environment and experiences. All but a few birds represented in the illustrations are artfully labeled. The narrative is told in the first person from Fuertes's perspective, with helpful chapterlike headings appearing every few pages. The text is minimal, but Engle has selected strong, descriptive words to tell this story. This title would work well as a mentor text for demonstrating how to write a biography from the subject's point of view. Readers will enjoy learning about how Fuertes's passion for birds, which began from a very young age, led to a fulfilling career. VERDICT An excellent addition to science and biography collections.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
“In spare first-person poems, Louis Fuertes describes his life from a young devotee of birds to a career as a naturalist and artist. While Bereghici’s watercolor-and-ink art offers realistically detailed images of the birds Fuertes loves, whimsical moments are present, too… Engle’s quiet verse portrays Fuertes as a quietly impassioned individual most at home in the presence of animals or sharing his love for them.” —Publishers Weekly
“This stellar picture book biography examines the life of Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Bereghici’s stunning watercolor and ink spreads practically fly off the page with their richly colored, realistic depictions of Fuertes’s environment and experiences. The text is minimal, but Engle has selected strong, descriptive words to tell this story. VERDICT An excellent addition to science and biography collections.” —School Library Journal, Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
“The Sky Painter is highly, highly recommended. Engle’s brilliant economy of words is matched only by her affection for her subjects. In a series of free-verse poems, she tells Fuertes’ story in the first person, so young children will identify with the boy whose passions and talents would not be reined in… Throughout, Bereghici’s illustrations complement Engle’s story of a boy, then a young man, then an adult, always with an expression of wonder at what he’s been given to do.” —De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
“The Sky Painter by Margarita Engle is one of the most absolutely beautiful books! The gorgeous poems combined with the lovely illustrations (by Aliona Bereghici) make it a book you immediately want to share with others.” —Library Fanatic
“Engle’s descriptive poems are informative as well as beautiful to read: ‘Alaska: I whistle. Birds answer...The beauty of flight like a dance in the clouds.’ Bereghici’s softly hued ink and watercolor illustrations showing a wide variety of birds are clearly labeled. This appealing story of an early wildlife conservationist may inspire children to watch the sky and learn more about our avian friends.” —Booklist
“Through free verse and lovely illustrations, Margarita Engle and Aliona Bereghici introduce a new generation of children to Fuertes, whose work could inspire them to pay attention to the birds in the own communities.” —Rethinking Schools magazine
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