Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Monet Paints a Day

Monet Paints a Day

Julie Danneberg
Illustrator:  Caitlin Heimerl 
Historical Fiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Charlesbridge, 2012   ISBN: 978-1580892407

Claude Monet, the painter, is staying at a hotel in Etretat, a seaside resort on the coast of France. He is there so that he can spend time painting the sea in all its moods, and he also hopes to paint the Manneporte, a natural stone arch. Several of the local children help Monet to carry his canvases down to the beach, and after they are paid for their services with candy and coins, they children quickly set off for home. They know all too well that Mr. Monet can be temperamental.

Monet looks at the stone arch and then he chooses the unfinished canvas that suits the light of that “glittering morning.” Quickly he mixes his paints and then he sets to work, trying to capture what he is seeing before the light changes. Monet is so intent on what he is doing, that he does not notice that the tide is coming in.

Based on a real event that Claude Monet experienced, this story beautifully captures a day in the painter’s life, a day when his all consuming passion for his craft prevented him from noticing what was going on around him. The author shows to great effect how Monet saw the world in a unique way.

Throughout the book the narrative is accompanied by facts about Monet, and at the back of the book the author provides readers with further information about Monet’s life, his art, and his painting techniques.