Lily Brown's Paintings

Lily Brown's Paintings

by Angela Johnson, E. B. Lewis
     
 

When Lily Brown paints, her world starts to change . . .

trees wear hats and drink tea, people walk upside down, and apples sing all the way home from the store.

It's Lily Brown's world, and it's wondrous.

A little paint and a lot of love bring imagination to life in this captivating picture book. Angela Johnson's lyrical writing compliments E. B. Lewis'

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Overview

When Lily Brown paints, her world starts to change . . .

trees wear hats and drink tea, people walk upside down, and apples sing all the way home from the store.

It's Lily Brown's world, and it's wondrous.

A little paint and a lot of love bring imagination to life in this captivating picture book. Angela Johnson's lyrical writing compliments E. B. Lewis' delightful watercolors. This book marks a different approach for E. B. Lewis' artwork as his images imitate the great artists, such as Van Gogh and Matisse.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus
Lewis's dynamic brush combines two art styles to show the interaction between a girl's real life and her imaginative life inside her paintings. Lily Brown “loves her mama, daddy, and baby brother and the world they live in,” but nothing compares to her passion for painting, an act that “makes her world start to change.” The universe becomes “a big colorful splash”: stars from the sky patronize sidewalk cafés, trees wear hats and antelopes lounge in the park on chaises longues. Aluscious spread shows jubilant apples, oranges, bananas and pears laughing and speaking. Lewis smoothly but intriguingly integrates his own deft watercolor skill with a child-like style representing Lily's work.
The gorgeously shadowed and sophisticated figure of Lily with palette or brush is perfectly positioned next to a child-style portrayal of stars or a rainbow. This is about art and color as much as imagination. Lovely and buoyant. (Picture book. 3-7)
Publishers Weekly

Not all artists lead tortured lives. At least, not this heroine, an African-American girl who "loves her mamma, daddy and baby brother and the world they live in." Johnson (Toning the Sweep) portrays a painter filled with a joie de vivre ("Sometimes she spins around her room thinking about their world. And it's wondrous") that takes flight in her paintings. Lily fills her whimsical, vibrant pictures with bright colors, and smiling faces, such as the one in which "the trees that she walks past on her way to school wear hats and drink tea on cool days with other trees and shrubbery." Lewis's (The Other Side) watercolors are equally rapturous, whether he's working in a sumptuous realistic style (for Lily's everyday life) or in the cheery naïf manner of Lily herself. He also makes the beret-wearing Lily truly charismatic; by turns vivacious and utterly intent on her work, she's the very picture of a budding artist (in fact, when she's not in a spread, the energy of even the cheeriest picture flags slightly). But unfortunately this tribute to the power of imagination ends up feeling rather flat; with no arc or narrative tension, the book feels more like a pat on the head than a clarion call. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Lily Brown loves her family and the "wondrous" world in which they live. But the world changes when young Lily begins to paint. Magical things happen to the stars and the trees and fruits around her as she paints them. Animals sit on park benches; winds tell stories. "Lily paints all that she sees and feels her own way. She puts her world of color and light on anything she can find. It's magical." And so are her mama, daddy, and baby brother, "wondrous." Lewis uses watercolors to integrate the worlds of Lily's real life and her painted imaginary one. She is visualized naturalistically as a bright, active, African American girl engrossed in her creativity. Her paintings, however, display the many stereotypes of her age, like a yellow sun with rays, humanoid stars with smiling faces, cracker-shaped goldfish, a brilliant rainbow dominating a blue sky. The two styles blend neatly in sequence. The front of the jacket shows Lewis's image of Lily, in contrast with her self-portrait on the back. To encourage budding young artists, Lewis adds a note about his own childhood art experiences and his efforts to pay homage to art masters in his illustrations.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2
Lily loves the real world in which she lives with her parents and baby brother. But when she paints, her world is transformed into a magical place indeed. Stars come to Earth and relax in cafés. Trees wear hats and drink tea. Fruit sings on its journey to people's homes. Lewis's watercolor spreads become delightfully childlike when depicting the girl's creations and pay tribute to the artists who inspired him as a youngster. Lily's bedroom and her painting of a star-studded café bring to mind Van Gogh's work. Her conversion of a path to the park into a "wild-animal living room" is a nod to Gauguin. The text comes full circle as Lily, her paints tucked away for the day, reenters the world of her loving family. Pair this story with Peter H. Reynolds's The Dot (2003) and Ish (2004, both Candlewick) to inspire readers to don their painting smocks and create new worlds of their own.
—Marianne SaccardiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lewis's dynamic brush combines two art styles to show the interaction between a girl's real life and her imaginative life inside her paintings. Lily Brown "loves her mama, daddy, and baby brother and the world they live in," but nothing compares to her passion for painting, an act that "makes her world start to change." The universe becomes "a big colorful splash": stars from the sky patronize sidewalk cafes, trees wear hats and antelopes lounge in the park on chaises longues. A luscious spread shows jubilant apples, oranges, bananas and pears laughing and speaking. Lewis smoothly but intriguingly integrates his own deft watercolor skill with a child-like style representing Lily's work. The gorgeously shadowed and sophisticated figure of Lily with palette or brush is perfectly positioned next to a child-style portrayal of stars or a rainbow. This is about art and color as much as imagination. Lovely and buoyant. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439782258
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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