“From the creator of picture books such as Leonardo and the Flying Boy (2000), this story features Julie and her dog, Louie, who spend an idyllic day with Claude Monet. With Louie providing some comic relief along the way, the artist rows his young friend across the pond, where he picks a water lily for her, then takes her back to his studio, where he shows her a huge, panoramic work in progress: a series of paintings depicting his water garden. In the appended note, Anholt tells readers about Monet’s life and explains that the little girl is based on Julie Manet, daughter of artist Berthe Morisot, a friend of Monet. Sunny colors predominate in the illustrations, fluid drawings brightened with colorful washes that incorporate some of Monet’s paintings (identified on the copyright page). Folding out horizontally, the center spread features one of Monet’s water lily paintings with a smaller, superimposed picture showing Monet, Julie, and Louie in a rowboat. The combination of simple story and enticing art makes for a charming introduction to Monet.”
Carolyn Phelan, Booklist, February 2004
“…an appealing introduction to the artist.”
The Horn Book, Spring 2004
Gr 1-4-An engaging introduction to Monet's later work, featuring his gardens at Giverny. Based on a visit to the artist by a girl who turns out to be the daughter of Impressionist Berthe Morisot and a niece of douard Manet, The Magical Garden effortlessly combines artistic fancy with biographical fact. The simple story of a city child's day in the country is brought to life through clear text and vibrant gouache illustrations that blend seamlessly to provide an ideal introduction to Monet's temperament, work habits, and aesthetic. Anholt pulls off a deft illustrative trick, using his own fluid style to capture the flavor of many of Monet's most frequently reproduced works. Several illustrations are successful combinations of photo reproductions of Monet's paintings overlaid with Anholt's drawings of the artist and Julie. Particularly impressive is the foldout spread that depicts Monet, Julie, and her dog gliding across the lake in a small boat. The figures are incorporated into Monet's masterpiece Waterlilies: Morning. Perfect for children not old enough to enjoy the detail and comparatively intricate plot of Christina Bj rk's Linnea in Monet's Garden (R & S, 1987), this volume also includes a page of biographical information about Monet.-Sophie R. Brookover, Mount Laurel Library, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.