Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Norman Rockwell: Storyteller with a brush

Norman Rockwell: Storyteller with a brush

Beverly Gherman
For ages 9 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2000   ISBN: 0689820011

Unlike his large, strong, and athletic older brother, Norman Rockwell was a thin weedy boy who was not good at running or playing ball. For a time he did try to build up his body with exercise, but when his efforts came to naught, Norman gave up and accepted the fact that he would always be thin and awkward looking. There was one thing that he was really good at and that he loved to do – drawing. Indeed drawing was so important to him that he decided to build a career for himself that would allow him to pursue this passion.

Determined to get down to the business of illustrating, Normal left high school when he was just fifteen and he went to art school. Doggedly he worked hard learning everything that he needed to know to make his pictures realistic and attractive.

When he was almost nineteen Norman’s art teachers cut him loose and he sent out to find work. Norman’s art was so well received that he soon had plenty of work to do, and he was also making a name for himself. In 1916, when he was in his early twenties, Norman was given the job of illustrating the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. This was a huge coup for the young artist and the beginning of a long and illustrious career.

Using Norman’s own illustrations and period photos the author of this splendid large format biography tells a splendid story, capturing Norman Rockwell’s inner person, and showing readers what inspired him. Beverly Gherman not only tells Norman’s story, but she also describes how he created the art that so many people identified with and loved.