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van Gogh and the Sunflowers (Anholt's Artists Books for Children) Paperback – October 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Laurence Anholt is the author and illustrator of several children's books about famous artists, all available in North America from Barron's. They include Degas and the Little Dancer, Leonardo and the Flying Boy, The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, and van Gogh and the Sunflowers.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Series: Anholt's Artists Books for Children
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764138545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764138546
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful series and I love this wonderfully illustrated story of Van Gogh's time in Arles, France. The story tells of him moving in to the "yellow house" and being inspired by the colors in southern France. There are many easily recognizable works by Van Gogh in this story. But it also talks about how the town's people felt that Vincent and his paintings didn't fit in with their town. At one point in the story, the kids throw rocks at Vincent and his friend Camille. Camille's father does explain to Camille that "people often laugh at things that are different, but I've got a feeling that one day they will learn to love Vincent's paintings." Eventually Vincent is forced to leave the town but he gives Camille one of his paintings of the sunflowers. *** My caution does not come from the story itself but a book note that is printed on the last page of the story (not even on a book jacket that you can take off and put away). It explains how Vincent later becomes depressed and cuts off one of his ears. It also explains that even after seeking the help of a doctor that he commits suicide by shooting himself with a pistol. This is a tough fact for me to reconcile sharing with the age group that this book is intended for. You of course can choose not to read it to your child (or children if sharing with a class), however any curious early reader is sure to take notice of this information since it is simply printed on the last illustrated page of the story. Just be prepared and have an explanation for this information if you don't have the chance to censor the last page of the book.
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Format: Paperback
I read the review about Van Gogh shooting himself - so before I purchased the book, I checked it out at the local library. No reference was made to suicide in the book I read. We learned about this series from Carole Joy Seid and have been very grateful. Each book teaches the story behind a work of the artist.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because a fellow student brought it in to present it in an education class I was taking. I was overjoyed with the educational aspect and the cute story. It's hard to sugar coat Van Gogh. I try to introduce my four year old to various subjects and this was a great way for her to gain some broad knowledge in the area of fine art.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful book but exactly the same as Camille and the Sunflowers, which I also bought. My granddaughters (age 10, 7, and 4) love it. I bought the entire series.
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I can't say enough good about this series. It is a creative way to introduce kids to these artists. They are written to be kids stories and entertain while throwing in some information about who the artist is, to show the artists' general style and introduce some specific works by the artist. My daughter is 5. She soaks this stuff in. I think she would have been able to be as receptive to the stories at age 4 and maybe just earlier than that but it would have been pushing the envelope. I suspect she will enjoy the stories for another couple years.

It has lead us to google some of the actual artists' works. My daughter now wants to find some museums that have some of the pieces that are addressed in the books.
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My five and a half year old twins loved this story and ALL of Anholt's artists books for children. We just came back from a trip to Paris, and what better prepping for that trip's artistic components, than the series of Anholt's childrens' books! BRAVO! (But, beware, I made the mistake of reading the author's notes on the back jacket flap aloud after we'd finished the story, about how VG had cut off his ear and then shot himself, and my kids had bad dreams that night! Too much "ununderstandable stuff" for my guys at least!)

It's great how copies of some of the real paintings are included in the books, so the kids can look for those when we go to the museums!
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I would give this 10 stars if I could. You would be doing yourself and your children a favor by purchasing this! I learned more than what I thought I knew, and my 8 year old ate it up. I love that this book can connect with adults and children alike. A must buy for anyone wanting to expand their children's knowledge of an incredible painter!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You feel a great deal of sympathy for this artist after reading this book - miss-understood, under-appreciated, and alone, you can see why his life and art tended to be rather depressing, although this story doesn't really dwell on tragedy. It is a fantastic introduction for a child to the man behind the art.

The illustrations, although never pretending to re-create the actual paintings van Gogh was so famous for, several times presented landscapes or backgrounds that those familiar with his art would recognize. I thought that was a nice touch and might spark some additional interest in children if a parent/teacher points it out to them (or they discover it on their own).

I'll be checking out more of this series!
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