Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Hello Matisse! Get to know Matisse through stories, games, and draw-it-yourself

Hello Matisse! Get to know Matisse through stories, games, and draw-it-yourself

Catherine de Duve
For ages 7 to 10
Bird Cage Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1599600017

Born in a village in northern France Matisse's father was determined that his son, who wanted to grow up to be "a knight or a circus clown," should go to college and get a good job. In the end Matisse ended up working as a clerk in a law office. Then when he was twenty-one, he got very sick and had to stay in bed in many weeks. To while away the time he took up painting and got hooked. He gave up his boring office job and went to art school in Paris.

When he was twenty six he went to see the sea and saw Impressionist paintings for the first time. He began to paint outdoors more and more and a few years later, on his honeymoon in the South of France, he truly began to explore using bright colors in his paintings. He never looked back and today we rarely think of Matisse without thinking of his brilliantly colorful artworks.

Over the years Matisse used colors in all kinds of ways that were new and exciting. In this book these forms are explained and described. Better still you, the reader, get to try some of Matisse's methods for yourself. As you read about Matisse's life you get to explore some of the painting forms that he used. For example you get to create your own still life and your own portrait in the "Fauve" style. In addition to get to explore his paintings in detail, you get to try to create unique art of your own, and so much more.

This excellent interactive book will delight young artists who like to learn and create at the same time. By the time readers come to the end of Matisse's story they will not only know about his life and his work, but they will also have created a collection of unique art pieces of their own. They will also have a better appreciation of art than they had before.