Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Picasso and the girl with a ponytail: A story about Pablo Picasso

Picasso and the girl with a ponytail: A story about Pablo Picasso

Laurence Anholt
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 and up
Barron’s Educational Series, 2003   ISBN: 978-0764155741

Sylvette is a shy girl who dreams of becoming an artist one day. One day her friends are talking about the fact that the famous painter, Pablo Picasso, is in town. Imagine her surprise then when she suddenly sees a portrait of herself being held up in front of her face! The man holding the picture is none other than Picasso himself. He was watching the young people from a nearby building and drew a picture of Sylvette with her long hair pulled back into a ponytail.

Picasso invites Sylvette and her friends to visit him and soon the young people are exploring his extremely messy studio. Picasso wants to draw Sylvette. The girl feels very shy and does not want to sit for the great artist, but Picasso is gently persuasive and soon the girl is sitting in front of him and Picasso is drawing her. Over time Picasso?s picture get more and more peculiar but at the same time Sylvette feels less and less shy. She gets to know the man who loves to talk, whose moods change in the blink of an eye, and who, for a little while, treats her the way a father would. He teaches her that it is important to let oneself go when one is creating art and this is a lesson which Sylvette carries with her for the rest of her life.

This is a fascinating account of how a young woman became a muse for Pablo Picasso for a few months and how Picasso gave her advice which helped her find her own way in the world, opening her own ?new doors.? This story is beautifully and warmly told and it is illustrated with vivid original paintings and reproductions of Picasso?s own work. At the back of the book the author provides his readers with further information about Picasso and Suzette.