Out of the Shadows: Ab Artist's Journey

Out of the Shadows: Ab Artist's Journey

by Neil Waldman
     
 

The compelling story of a torn family whose children grew up to be first-class artists will captivate young readers. How does a child grow up to become an artist? Where does the journey begin? For Neil Waldman, it began with finger paints in the kitchen of his family's Bronx apartment, with a mother who possessed a very special book from of paintings by an artist

Overview


The compelling story of a torn family whose children grew up to be first-class artists will captivate young readers. How does a child grow up to become an artist? Where does the journey begin? For Neil Waldman, it began with finger paints in the kitchen of his family's Bronx apartment, with a mother who possessed a very special book from of paintings by an artist who signed his work with the name Vincent. Finger painting and drawing, however, were more than playtime activities. In the middle of the night, Neil and his siblings would hear the terrible screams of his parents as they fought. The children found that art was a means of surviving the anger and sadness that surrounded them. The book feature more than forty fine-art reproductions and pencil drawings by Bruce, Bryna, and Neil Waldman.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Like many budding artists, Neil Waldman grew up amid family storms, taking refuge in art from a very young age. In this beautifully produced autobiography Waldman probes his earliest art memories including finger painting, discovering Van Gogh, keeping journals and sketchbooks, and illustrating an imaginary kingdom underneath the Bronx for his younger brother. Art was a family affair. Neil's mother encouraged his work, providing him with a corner of the kitchen and later the whole living room as a studio in which his siblings could join him in practicing their craft. His beloved grandfather took him to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He watched an aunt working in her Woodstock studio during a summer visit. Waldman explicitly tells his readers that all his practice paid off. The material in his journals became material in his books and he improved his writing, drawing, and painting by doing it, over and over. Reproductions of works by family members—an aunt, an uncle, and two siblings—as well as the young Waldman illustrate the story and reinforce the family connection. Printed on heavy, glossy paper, the book has the look and heft of a true art book—one to be treasured. Upper elementary and middle school readers will appreciate this inside look at the development of a writer and illustrator whose artistic work—paintings and prints, books, book covers, posters, and postage stamps—has gone on to win numerous awards. 2006, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 10 to 14.
—Kathleen Isaacs
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-This portrait of Waldman as a young boy is set against the backdrop of a tempestuous marriage. The senior Waldmans fought incessantly, so the four offspring developed rich interior lives. Three found art to be a "lifeboat" and pursued it professionally. Their mature work, and that of other relatives, decorates the text-sometimes relating directly, at other times bearing no discernible connection. Waldman's mother nurtured her firstborn's creativity, as did his grandfather, who introduced him to the van Goghs at the Metropolitan Museum and the buffalo at the zoo; these episodes reveal the serendipity that surrounds a life led by wonder and curiosity and convey how the seeds were sown for later children's books. The importance of Jewish ritual to Waldman's intellectual and moral development is also portrayed. Children might be confused when Waldman segues elsewhere or fades out. They might also find it difficult to determine the time period; he writes of both a rabbi's horse-drawn carriage and of watching TV. Nevertheless, young people familiar with his books, who need to read an autobiography, or who are interested in becoming artists themselves, may find this to be an absorbing journey.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590784112
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Pages:
148
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
10 - 18 Years

Meet the Author


Neil Waldman has received the Christopher Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the ALA Notable Award, and the Parents' Choice Award, among others. His jacket illustrations have appeared on seven Newbery Award winners. He lives in White Plains, New York.

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