|What Degas Saw, |
by Samantha Friedman and Cristina Pieropan
Written Samantha Friedman
Illustrated by Cristina Pieropan
Museum of Modern Art, 2016
Ages 5-10, 40 pp
Art History, Biography, Nonfiction
The world was changing. Paris was alive.
From his studio on rue Victor Masse, the artist Edgar Degas could see pedestrians strolling on wide, new boulevards. . . smoke rising from new factories. . . grand new buildings of iron and glass.
This book introduces readers to the person of Edgar Degas at a point in his life where he was searching for a new form of expression. The narrative follows him as he experiences the busyness of Paris and longs to capture it. It alternates illustrations of the scenes with copies of Degas's actual work, like puzzle pieces, fitting into people's everyday lives.
What I Love:
I love the viewpoint the author chose. She distilled Degas's philosophy down so succinctly in the line, "He wanted to find a way to capture the beauty of the passing moment." The text does not talk down to its audience, but invites them into the artist's thought process. I love how the illustrator depicts the scene going on around the famous paintings. The book also highlights some of the artist's work which is rarely seen: not just his ballerinas, but charcoals of passersby, sketches of average Parisians. Friedman's work as a curator at the MOMA gives her a unique perspective and adds authority to both the text and the backmatter.
1. Find out more about modern art on the Museum of Modern Art's webpage and to learn more about their publishing arm, check out the recent article from Publisher's Weekly.
2. Author Sarah Friedman has collaborated with MOMA on another biography, Matisse's Garden. Buy it at the online store, or explore inside.
3. Artist Cristina Pieropan has illustrated another
art biography, this one about architect Andrea Palladio.
4. Degas used charcoal and pastel to blur the figures in his drawings, conveying the feeling of life and motion. Have students experiment with chalky media. Show them photos of movement caught on film and Degas's pastels. Have them draw their own surroundings with the side of the crayon to imply movement.
5. Kids Play Box has a tutorial for painting roosters with a fork. It's not impressionism, but it produces an amazing impressionistic effect.
6. Mr. Otter Studio produced a creative art project video where kids can recreate one of Degas's ballerina pieces. See video above.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.
|Reviewed by Barbara|
|Reviewed by Joanna|
|Reviewed by Lynn Marie|
|Reviewed by Kirsten|
|Reviewed by Joanne|
|Reviewed by Leslie|
Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, October 21, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.