Jacob Lawrence (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists Series)

Jacob Lawrence (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists Series)

by Mike Venezia

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Writer and illustrator Venezia adds another title to the quirky "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists" series. The books have nice large type, bright reproductions of the artwork-and parenthetical cartoons by Venezia which work to get the art and artist closer to kid level. In this instance, though, Lawrence's work is already so accessible that the additional cartoons are hardly necessary. His bold folk art style speaks clearly to all ages through his various historical series. Venezia explains Lawrence's "Great Migration" pictures well, and also manages to tell about the artist's struggles with depression in terms a child can understand. Ultimately, though, Jacob Lawrence's art speaks for itself.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A brief, conversational biography of the contemporary African-American artist. The print is large; the layout is uncluttered. Black-and-white photographs are interspersed throughout the text, along with full-color reproductions of the artist's work and Venezia's cartoons with fictionalized dialogue balloons. The text concentrates on aspects of Lawrence's life that affected his art. Mindful of his audience, Venezia handles parts of the story in a truthful but gentle manner. For example, the text states that "[Lawrence] knew that people who didn't know about their history had no way of feeling proud of their past or of themselves" to explain the artist's motivation in painting historical figures who fought against slavery. In his discussion of The Migration Series, Venezia states, "Although slavery had ended years before, many black people were still treated badly in the South." Lawrence's successful treatment for depression is mentioned, although his illness is not named. The excellent-quality reproductions do a great deal to enhance and extend the text. Lawrence's paintings have appeared in his The Great Migration (HarperCollins, 1993) and Harriet and the Promised Land (S & S, 1993), Walter Dean Myers's Toussaint L'Ouverture (S & S, 1996), and Gwen Everett's John Brown: One Man against Slavery (Rizzoli, 1993), which would all be excellent resources to use with this title. John Duggleby's well-executed Story Painter: The Life of Jacob Lawrence (Chronicle, 1998) goes into more detail and is intended for a slightly older audience.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

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Product Details

Scholastic Library Publishing
Publication date:
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists Series
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Product dimensions:
7.86(w) x 9.49(h) x 0.09(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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