In Monet Paints a Day author Julie Danneberg says she wanted to have the story read as “…one might view Monet’s Impressionist paintings.” She paints a word portrait of a day in Monet’s life in a similar way to how Monet captured the fleeting light reflecting on the water in one of his paintings, creating a fast yet accurate impression of a moment.
Although the story is told in the first person, Danneberg brings children in by having a group of children tote Monet’s supplies to the beach for him in the morning. The rest of the day is purely Monet’s to tell and it an exciting one (I won’t spoil the surprise).
The illustrations by first-time children’s book illustrator Caitlin Heimerl are breathtaking, doing full justice to the famous artist they portray. I hope we’ll see more.
As a former Art Masterpiece volunteer, I would have loved to have this book in my toolkit. It is perfect for reading to a group of children as a jumping off point for a number of exciting art projects featuring Monet. I would say, however, that you might want to consider skipping the sidebar/footnote additions to each page. They seem stiff and out of place with the rest of the text, and perhaps should have been included in the back matter.
Monet Paints a Day is a picture book biography that conveys a great deal about Monet’s life in a way that feels more like a fully developed painting, and not just a sketch. A lovely choice for budding artists and art teachers, as well.
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2012)
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