Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Paris in the Spring with Picasso

Paris in the Spring with Picasso

Joan Yolleck
Illustrator:  Marjorie Priceman 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Random House, 2010   ISBN: 978-0375837562

It is a spring day in Paris and Gertrude Stein, the American writer, and the people in her household are getting ready for their weekly evening soiree. In another part of Paris, her guests are busy with their work. Guillaume Apollinaire gets an idea for a poem and he hurries home to get his thoughts down on paper. He is not home long before his girlfriend Coco comes in with sketches that she wants to take to Getrude’s house in the evening.

Up the hill, Max Jacob is working on a poem, and in the apartment above his, the artist Pablo Picasso is busy working on a painting. When he is content with his work Picasso sets aside his paint brush and he starts to get ready for the party. He will soon be joined by his friends, and they will all walk to Getrude’s house together.

In this unique picture book, Joan Yolleck gives her readers a picture of what it might have been like to live in Paris in the early 1900’s. We get to meet some of the colorful artistic people who lived in that great city at that time, and we can even imagine what it might have been like to spend an evening in the company of Gertrude Stein and her friends.

With its intimate and conversational style text and its bright and vigorous illustrations, this is a book readers who have an interest in artists and writers will greatly enjoy.