Debra, Technical Services Supervisor, Roswell Public Library, New Mexico
A tiny-eared, mischievous hamster will introduce children to the artistic styles of seventeen great artists in “If Picasso Painted a Snowman” by authors/illustrators Amy and Greg Newbold. Peering around the edge of a snowman painting representative of Vincent van Gogh with one ear bandaged, this little tour guide will capture the imagination and hearts of children as he leads us from one illustrative wonder to another. He begins the journey with three white circles stacked one upon another, then adds eyes, a nose, and a snowman smile, but since artists interpret images in vastly different ways, he looks across the book binding to the next page and is delighted to see a deconstructed snowman painted in the style of art known as Cubism, one that could have been imagined by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso.
A tough snow hero, vividly portrayed with broad strokes of black, red, yellow and blue, boldly embodies a design reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein, a sci-fi and comic book fan who elevated commercial art to a level not seen before. Moving on, our quirky little guide looks proudly upon a snowman ornamented with a deer skull and flower that could have been created by New Mexico’s own Georgia O’Keefe as she experienced the wondrous colors of the sunsets and countryside around Santa Fe, then pauses beside what might have been a snowman painted in the “flat” style of Pablita Velarde, a Native American artist born in Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.
Throughout the book, color fairly bursts off the pages, sways, shimmers and captures the imagination as seventeen paintings showcase what could have happened if each of these artists had, once upon a time, decided to paint a snowman. Paired with short, individual biographies at the end of the book, you can decide which style most appeals to you if, by chance, you can put all else aside and use your heart and imagination to build your own snowman this holiday season. The author, Amy Newbold, inspired by a trip to the Musee Picasso in Paris, wrote this book after wondering what a snowman painted by Picasso actually would look like. She currently has plans to paint her own snowman made of dots. “If Picasso Painted A Snowman” by Amy and Greg Newbold can be found in our Juvenile Easy collection.