Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Seurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots

Seurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots

Robert Burleigh
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 8 to 12
Harry Abrams, 2004   ISBN: 978-0810948112

Have you ever considered that a painting can actually tell a story? And not just a story describing what is shown in the painting but also the story of the painter who created the painting in the first place. We are going to look at A Sunday at La Grande Jatte, which was painted by Georges Seurat. Probably the first thing you will notice is that it is enormous. Then, when you get up close to it, you will see that the pictures is made up of thousands of tiny dots of paint. Seurat chose to use dots to create his paintings instead of brush strokes. Then you might start to look at the more than fifty people shown in the painting and you will be astonished to see what they are doing and the impression that they give us as we look at them.

In a very personable and even chatty style, the author of this beautifully produced and often intriguing book explores the form, history, and background of a painting. In great detail he tells us about its creator, and the atmosphere that the painting style suggests. The reader is encouraged to look at certain parts of the painting in detail and to think about what they see and what it might mean. By the time the last page is reached the reader is left with the distinct impression that he or she has been taken on a very special journey.

This book was published in association with the Art Institute of Chicago.