School Library Journal11/01/2014
Gr 3–5—These books organize biographical material around the artists' works. They offer practical tips in the "How to Paint Like…" chapters. The writing is clear but will not necessarily grab readers. For example, Zaczek writes that van Gogh "lost interest" in his work for a firm that sold art, a vague and incomplete explanation of his failure in the working world. This book uses cartoons ineffectively, belittling serious statements by putting them in comic book—like speech bubbles. The graphics may confuse readers, and it is difficult to determine the focus of some pages, since there is no hierarchy in the size of the sidebars. The statement that van Gogh's "first sign of mental illness" was during his residence with Gaugin seems inaccurate; diary entries from before this period certainly reveal depression. The craftsmanship of these texts seems rushed. Skip these titles.