Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Edward Hopper Paints His World

Edward Hopper Paints His World

Robert Burleigh
Illustrator:   Wendell Minor 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Henry Holt and Co. , 2014   ISBN: 978-0805087529

From a very early age Edward Hopper loved to draw and paint, and he was so sure that he was going to become a painter when he grew up that he wrote the words “Would be Artist” on the top of his pencil box. When other boys were playing baseball or racing, Edward was working on his drawing skills, wondering if he would ever “be able to paint things the way they appear to me.”

   After high school Edward went to New York City to work on improving his drawing and painting skills. He worked hard and made progress, but he felt that to be a good painter he needed to learn so much more. Paris was the place to go, and to Paris he went. Edward studied the works created by other painters and began to paint outdoors, exploring the effects of light.

   Feeling ready to start using his skills to make a living, Edward returned to New York and he managed to get work creating illustrations for magazines. Though his artwork was well received, Edward was not happy. More than anything Edward wanted to paint what mattered to him, rather than creating commissioned pieces. When he did paint what he wanted to paint, no one wanted to buy what he had created. Edward did not stop painting though. He continued to paint scenes that resonated with him when he had the time, and eventually the world began to appreciate his very unique and striking paintings.

   In this beautifully presented and carefully researched picture book biography, Robert Burleigh and Wendell Minor use their skills as a writer and an artist to show young readers how Edward Hopper found his artistic voice, and how he developed his skills over time. Throughout the book Wendell Minor pays homage to Edward Hopper’s approach to art, while staying true to his own artistic style.

   At the back of the book readers will find further information about Edward Hopper, reproductions of some of his most famous paintings, and an interesting note from the artist.