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When Pigasso Met Mootisse Hardcover – July 1, 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Verbal and visual puns fill Laden's (The Night I Followed the Dog) sly homage to Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, who are keenly caricatured as a prima-donna pig and a feisty bull. Pigasso is a dark-eyed hog in a red beret; his facial features rearrange according to his mood, and bruisy hues of blue and purple shadow his yellow-pink complexion. His painting of female pigs?a crafty version of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon?causes an art-world sensation. A canvas by Mootisse, a sophisticated orange bull with a neat brown beard and red-framed spectacles, featuring five graceful, nude cows?The Dance with udders?is hailed as a "Moosterpiece." After urban success, Pigasso and Mootisse move into country homes on either side of an ochre-dirt road. Pigasso's landscape features a tart-yellow house, angular shrubbery and a sharp-edged apple tree bearing cut-open fruit. Mootisse's farm offers a curvy tree, a patchwork garden of cutout leaf-shapes, and a construction-paper-smooth lawn that complements the red house. The artists at first share baguettes and bottles of wine, and make gifts of their paintings, but their friendship erodes as they snipe at each other's styles. Laden lightly satirizes the duo as "pig-headed and bull-headed," respectively, then lets them admit grudging admiration. She cites cubist and fauvist philosophies (Pigasso calls his rival a "wild beast"), and she mimics the real painters' techniques, so that Pigasso favors hard black outlines and Mootisse prefers brilliant side-by-side shades. While junior art historians familiar with the artists' work will laugh loudest, an afterword offers novices the background for this well-observed comedy. Ages 4-10.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-In this delightful tale of modern artists, a porky Pigasso and a bullish Mootisse start out as neighbors but end up feuding when they start criticizing one another's work. Now rivals, they transform their farms into bold works of art and then build a fence between the properties. However, the painters find that they miss one another's company and they each paint an apology on the fence-paintings that wow the critics and make the two fast friends. Based loosely on the real-life relationship between Picasso and Matisse, Laden's tale is a wonderful tribute to these exceptional talents and to the concept of accepting the ideas of others. The story is fast paced, packed with humor, and filled with clever wordplay. The bold acrylic paintings perfectly capture the duo's volatile temperaments and different artistic styles; they are fun to look at and reinforce the lighthearted mood of the text. Bound to entice its audience to learn more about these painters, this title is a sure bet for any children's collection. Use it in conjunction with Kathleen Krull's Lives of the Artists (Harcourt, 1995) or appropriate entries in Ernest Raboff's "Art for Children" series (Doubleday).
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Library Binding edition (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811811212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811811217
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When Pigasso Met Mootisse is a wonderful parody detailing the rivalry, feuding and eventual friendship of artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Nina Laden's creative and witty text, full of wordplay and puns, will have adults and children alike, laughing out loud and also offers the subtle lesson of acceptance and respect for others and their work. But, it's her bold, bright, busy and humorous illustrations that will mesmerize youngsters and older art lovers will enjoy finding the "pig" and "bull" representations of Picasso's and Matisse's best known works. The biographical afterword, discussing their lives, painting and relationship, will enhance the story and give children a better understanding of these two great artists. This is a marvelous, vivid picture book, perfect for kids 4-8; a hilarious story for the ears and a visual feast for the eyes.
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By A Customer on September 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
It is not often that one finds a book that is either visually charming or provides an elegant introduction to art history at an early learners level or teaches an eloquent moral lesson. To find a book that does all three is a gift.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This terrific book recounts the rivalry and eventual friendship of Picasso and Matisse, er, ah, excuse me...I meant, Pigasso and Mootisse. The protagonists in this story live across the street from each other and first hurl insults like,"You paint like a wild beast", (that's called "fauvism" for all you art lovers or snobs out there!) while Mootisse retorts, "You are pig-headed". Throughout, the paint and puns fly.
Beautiful visuals and a great afterward that tell the "real" story of Picasso and Matisse complete this utterly charming book. A good intro to art world for the little ones, as well as a lesson on the power of friendship and tolerance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very cute book. I found a reading of this book online with animated photos from the book and I used that for a presentation for my daughter's 7th grade class along with this book for them to flip through. It helped to make Matisse a little more accessible and then I drew a connection between these two artists and Eric Carle who was profoundly influenced by both. Eric Carle is very identifiable and relatable for the kids and I hoped that would be a vehicle for having them appreciate these other artists and maybe, just maybe, remember them because of it.
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Format: Hardcover
This picture book is a "moosterpiece" in itself, or a "pork of art!":) The playful illustrations in their bright contrasting colors and shapes have great kid appeal. It is a terrific selection to share with children as it highlights the life-long rules of respecting one another's differences and honoring companionship. It is a sure win with adults who also could benefit from a reminder of those rules and who will be chuckling aloud in between the clever puns. In addition art lovers of all ages will have so much fun discovering all of the silly representations of a few 20th century painters' greatest works. Laden really did an outstanding job capturing the contrasting styles of Picasso and Matisse. All of her little details really enhance the beauty of the book -- especially cute are the fly pages inside the cover with their collection of facial expressions of both painters.
I highly recommend this book to library shelves everywhere and to every pair of hands, small and large, young and old! Truly outstanding!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Such a cute book! We based my creative daughter's second Birthday around this book and used it as the guest book and read it at her party. A little too lengthy to hold a toddlers attention, but glad to have it in her collection for her to really enjoy in a few more years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is my daughter's favorite. We have read it every day for the past 9 or so months and she has most of the punch lines memorized, (e.g., "mootisse was not like the other bulls" "it was a modern art mess" "the silence was broken" "i'm tired of this crowded cow town"). After reading it the first time, she said she wanted to draw with paint. And she did. Now we do watercolors all the time and she knows that Picasso and Matisse were great artists. This book provided a fun and funny way for her to learn about two art masters and their styles while also teaching a lesson about conflict resolution.

We have taken this book on flights across the country and overseas. The illustrations and the story engage my daughter to no end. The description of this book is for 4-8 year olds but unlike Roberto: The Insect Architect by Nina Laden (also a funny, well-illustrated book), I find Pigasso/Mootisse to be appropriate for a younger {pre}reader as well. I'm back to buy more copies as gifts for all the kids that I know.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
PreKindergarten and kindergarten students loved this book' story when I retold it to them. I didn't have time to read word for word. However, the kids loved the pictures in this book. Some do notice the page of a painted "naked" cow laying on the couch. I never mention it; I had the kids focus on all the color the painter used to paint his picture; that worked to distract them from focusing on the cow lol. Many giggles with this one. Most kids felt Picaso was "weird" because of his choice to place the facial features anywhere he wanted, such as the nose on the side of the face, the face being colored with multiple colors, and eyes stacked on top of each other, centered in the face. A parent gave me the idea to say that Picaso painted silly faces so they wouldn't get scared by it. Overall, good art book especially as an intro for a silly face portrait :)
The following week when I returned to work with the kids, the majority, in both pre k and k, requested to read the Picasso book again :)
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