|Dancing through fields of color : the story of Helen Frankenthaler|
Author: Brown, Elizabeth
A picture book biography of abstract artist Helen Frankenthaler.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 508133
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 76805
Kirkus Reviews (-) (02/01/19)
School Library Journal (03/01/19)
The Hornbook (00/05/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2019 Gr 2–5—A prominent abstract expressionist whose career spanned six decades but who is not as well known as her male contemporaries today, Helen Frankenthaler loved color and celebrated it through an artistic style that came to be known as "soak-stain painting." In this picture book biography, Frankenthaler's early life and career are recounted in language that is every bit as vibrant as the illustrations that recall her paintings. Students with a creative bent will relish reading about Frankenthaler's difficulty conforming to the expectations of her art teachers and, later, those of the art world at large. Then, the story recalls her childhood vacations to the mountains and seaside to demonstrate the techniques Frankenthaler developed for creating paintings as boundless as those natural phenomena. Sicuro's bold illustrations are a wonderful match for a biography on an abstract artist; the saturated colors, thick lines, and rounded shapes work well with Brown's descriptive text to immerse readers in Frankenthaler's world. Two pages of back matter include a more formalized biography of Frankenthaler and examples of her paintings. VERDICT A pitch-perfect expression of a little-known artist in text and illustration alike, this is a top-notch example of the picture book biography.—Katherine Barr, Cameron Village Regional Library, Raleigh, NC - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2019 Although much of the world wanted young Helen Frankenthaler to color inside the lines, her parents encouraged her to paint freely. In her picture-book debut, Brown uses lyrical text full of action words and ranges of color to describe this lesser-known yet influential abstract expressionist artist from the twentieth century. Although Helen followed the rules in art school, she once again felt free to paint as she liked and buck the male-dominated art world after meeting Jackson Pollock and taking a trip to Nova Scotia. As Helen began experimenting with her own techniques, she developed the “soak-stain method” in which she poured paints onto large canvases and used mops and other tools to manipulate them. From sunny vacations with her family to dark days after her father’s death, loosely drawn illustrations with thick strokes of watercolor, ink, and charcoal pencil evoke both Helen’s moods and her abstract style. Accompanied by photos of Helen Frankenthaler in her studio, back matter expands on the artist’s influences and techniques and includes a time line, activity, author’s note, and sources. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.