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When Pigasso Met Mootisse

When Pigasso Met Mootisse

5.0 5
by Nina Laden

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When Pigasso met Mootisse, what begins as a neighborly overture escalates into a mess. Before you can say paint-by-numbers, the two artists become fierce rivals, calling each other names and ultimately building a fence between them. But when the two painters paint opposite sides of the fence that divides them, they unknowingly create a modern art masterpiece, and


When Pigasso met Mootisse, what begins as a neighborly overture escalates into a mess. Before you can say paint-by-numbers, the two artists become fierce rivals, calling each other names and ultimately building a fence between them. But when the two painters paint opposite sides of the fence that divides them, they unknowingly create a modern art masterpiece, and learn it is their friendship that is the true work of art.
Nina Laden's wacky illustrations complement this funny story that non only introduces children to two of the world's most extraordinary modern artists, but teaches a very important lesson‐how to creatively resolve a conflictin a most unusual way.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Verbal and visual puns fill Laden's (The Night I Followed the Dog) sly homage to Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, who are keenly caricatured as a prima-donna pig and a feisty bull. Pigasso is a dark-eyed hog in a red beret; his facial features rearrange according to his mood, and bruisy hues of blue and purple shadow his yellow-pink complexion. His painting of female pigs--a crafty version of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon--causes an art-world sensation. A canvas by Mootisse, a sophisticated orange bull with a neat brown beard and red-framed spectacles, featuring five graceful, nude cows--The Dance with udders--is hailed as a "Moosterpiece." After urban success, Pigasso and Mootisse move into country homes on either side of an ochre-dirt road. Pigasso's landscape features a tart-yellow house, angular shrubbery and a sharp-edged apple tree bearing cut-open fruit. Mootisse's farm offers a curvy tree, a patchwork garden of cutout leaf-shapes, and a construction-paper-smooth lawn that complements the red house. The artists at first share baguettes and bottles of wine, and make gifts of their paintings, but their friendship erodes as they snipe at each other's styles. Laden lightly satirizes the duo as "pig-headed and bull-headed," respectively, then lets them admit grudging admiration. She cites cubist and fauvist philosophies (Pigasso calls his rival a "wild beast"), and she mimics the real painters' techniques, so that Pigasso favors hard black outlines and Mootisse prefers brilliant side-by-side shades. While junior art historians familiar with the artists' work will laugh loudest, an afterword offers novices the background for this well-observed comedy. Ages 4-10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Children may not know Picasso and Matisse but they will never forget them once they read this book. Laden recreates famous paintings by those two famous masters Pigasso and Mootisse. The two become friendly when they move next door to one another. Soon a rivalry develops and they begin blaspheming each other's works. Their solution involves painting a fence that divides their properties. The finished result brings smiles to each artist's face as they view the other's art. You may view it if you visit the Mooseum of Modern Art. Don't blame me if you fail to find the paintings. They may be on loan to the "Man in the Moon" who has plenty of moola!
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-In this delightful tale of modern artists, a porky Pigasso and a bullish Mootisse start out as neighbors but end up feuding when they start criticizing one another's work. Now rivals, they transform their farms into bold works of art and then build a fence between the properties. However, the painters find that they miss one another's company and they each paint an apology on the fence-paintings that wow the critics and make the two fast friends. Based loosely on the real-life relationship between Picasso and Matisse, Laden's tale is a wonderful tribute to these exceptional talents and to the concept of accepting the ideas of others. The story is fast paced, packed with humor, and filled with clever wordplay. The bold acrylic paintings perfectly capture the duo's volatile temperaments and different artistic styles; they are fun to look at and reinforce the lighthearted mood of the text. Bound to entice its audience to learn more about these painters, this title is a sure bet for any children's collection. Use it in conjunction with Kathleen Krull's Lives of the Artists (Harcourt, 1995) or appropriate entries in Ernest Raboff's "Art for Children" series (Doubleday).-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Kirkus Reviews
During their youthful art wars in Paris, Picasso and Matisse had a brief falling out after a competitive spat. Here, art imitates life as Laden takes that episode and, through transformation and embellishment, turns it into neat little lessons in art history and ego reduction. Pigasso and Mootisse have separately garnered such fame that they each must flee the hordes to concentrate on their art. When they become neighbors in the countryside, all is bonhomous until their temperamentsþand their artistic visionsþclash, so much so that they build a great wooden fence between their houses. Gradually their hearts soften. To make amends, and since neither knows how to simply apologize, each simultaneously paints a tribute to the other (and, of course, to himself, as befits such self-importance) on the fence. There are plenty of good (modified) examples of the real artists' works, as well as a couple of surprises, such as a Jackson Pollack-style explosion between the painters. The characters come across as bumptious, strong-willed, and appealing. Laden further lightens the story with goofy wordplayþmoosterpiece, pork of artþthat adds little when the quality of the artwork and the book's detonation of color are already such pleasures. (Picture book. 4-10)

Product Details

Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 10.18(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 12 Years

Meet the Author

Nina Laden grew up in the New York City area. The daughter of two artists, she studied illustration at Syracuse University. She is the author and illustrator of The Night I Followed the Dog, also published by Chronicle Books.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
avid_readers More than 1 year ago
My first grade daughter just loved this book. Able to read herself. She just learned about art and famous artist, so she found the book very enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SanMateo_village_nanny More than 1 year ago
This hilarious book is great for children. It's full of brightly colored wild pictures and humor for adult and children alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story and art are wonderful -- illustrations capture Picasso's and Matisse's styles and the storyline is based in history. Fun for children and introduces them to art and has a message about tolerance too.