Monday, March 29, 2010

30th March Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)

Vincent van Gogh was only an artist for the last ten years of his life, that is from 27 to 37. In that time he made over 1700 drawings and paintings. That's almost one every two days! And, he only sold one in his lifetime. These facts came from Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars by Joan Holub. This book is set out as if it is an assignment where a child has to write a report about a famous artist. It is easy to read but still full of information and makes connections with the implied author's own life.

Another book about van Gogh that is worth including in any early childhood library is Vincent's Colors. This book from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York uses words and pictures by van Gogh. He wrote a lot of letters, in particular to his brother, Theo and the words are taken from these letters and matched to a painting of his. The paintings have become whole page illustrations so they are large enough to share with a class.

A third book about van Gogh is Laurence Anholt's Camille and the Sunflowers. This is a fiction picture book, but much of it could be true and it focuses on one period in van Gogh's life when he was painting in France. This book also highlights how people can be very cruel to someone who is different from themselves and would therefore make a good 'circle time' book.

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