The Secret World of Walter Anderson

The Secret World of Walter Anderson


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“A gorgeous chronicle of a versatile southern American artist.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In a beautifully crafted biography, Hester Bass and Caldecott Honor winner E. B. Lewis pay homage to the most famous American artist you’ve never heard of. Reclusive nature-lover Walter Anderson spent weeks at a time on an uninhabited island, sketching and painting the natural surroundings and animals to create some of his most brilliant watercolors, which he kept hidden during his lifetime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763671174
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Series: Candlewick Biographies Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 48
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile: NC850L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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The Secret World of Walter Anderson 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
aconant05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Walter Anderson was a fascinating American artist. He loved nature and often spent weeks at a time on an island by himself drawing pictures and taking notes. He had a room in his cottage that was locked, and no one in his family had ever been in there. After he died in his sixties, they found murals and art from the island all over the room. He is now known as one of the greatest artists in America¿s history.This book had a great story line, because it depicts the passion Walter Anderson had for animals, nature, and art. I believe what is most important to Walter was displayed authentically in this biography.
LisaBohman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a biography about Walter Anderson, an artist. Others think Walter is strange because he rows twelve miles to get to Horn Island. There is nothing on this island, but Walter spends a great deal of time here to paint and sketch nature in peace and quiet. This place is a sanctuary for him. Every time Walter leaves for Horn Island he locks his private room at home so that no one else can enter. When Walter gets sick and dies at the age of 62, his wife unlocks the door to find a room covered in artwork and discovers Walter's drawings from Horn Island. Even though Walter painted murals, pottery, and block prints for others during his life, he kept the Horn Island drawings to himself. This is a powerful story about an amazing artist and his connection and admiration for nature. The end of the book has a more detailed account about Walter's life. This is a beautiful story that contains amazing illustrations by E.B. White. I would highly recommend this book to others. This would be a good book to read while doing an art unit on drawing and/or watercolors.
Kathdavis54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had heard a little bit about Walter Anderson after Hurricane Katrina, but this book told me a whole lot more about him. The book is in my mind partially a biography. The authors mainly focus on Anderson's art and what it meant to him, but we do get a bit of a back story in the narrative.Oddly enough, I found that I enjoyed the author's note more. It detailed Anderson's life in such detail in only a few pages. I gave this book three stars, because I while I think it is a fine book, I wonder exactly how I could use it when I find the author's note more useful than the actual text. We only receive a selected bibliography, but it obvious from the text that Hester Bass did a lot of research.
derbygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(non fiction, picture biography) There once was a man who sacrificed all that he had just to be alone in his paradise and paint the beauty of the world around him. That man was Walter Anderson. This book follows the story of Anderson - the sacrifices he made and the commitment he took to spend his days out on Horn Island just to paint. His love of painting nature around him created a life much like a hermit, but he was happy with that , and was happy with his life. Anderson was able to become one with the creatures he painted simply because he became one with them every time he gave up material necessities and stayed on Horn Island with them. He felt at one with nature and nature with him.Walter Anderson is an underappreciated artist in my opinion. Thank Goodness his wife found all his Horn Island artwork locked away in his "little room" so the rest of the world could appreciate his artistic sacrifice. As a teenager, I really liked Anderson's work and lived on the Gulf Coast so I am a bit biased toward this book. The thought of doing something different and living outside of the box in pursuit of one's own intellectual stimulation has it's appeal for me. Perhaps reading this book to a younger mind may open that possibility to someone else, a someone who is young and has much more time to explore it than I. I liked how this book had a section for the younger reader, but then had a more adult biography on Anderson in the back. The last page which shows a picture of Anderson's "Little Room" boggles the mind with this man's actual genius. This book would be a good picture biography to read with the beginnings of any art related unit. A fun field trip would be to take children to the zoo and have them sketch the animals.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first page of the book:¿There once was a man whose love of nature was as wide as the world.There once was an artist who needed to paint as much as he needed to breathe.There once was an islander who lived in a cottage at the edge of Mississippi, where the sea meets the earth and sky.His name was Walter Anderson.He may be the most famous American artist you¿ve never heard of.¿This book is two books; it¿s a close-up of Anderson¿s daily trip to Horn Island, adventuring and painting, and it¿s a complete biography of Anderson¿s life. Together, they make for an excellent book.Anderson has been called the American Van Gogh. He painted extensively and kept voluminous journals. He, like Van Gogh, used brilliant color, and he, like Van Gogh, suffered from mental illness.The illustrations in this book are beautifully painted and the story of Anderson¿s life is told with love and respect and admiration.The author¿s note is a biography of Anderson¿s life and an explanation of how she came to write the book. She came to live in Anderson¿s town and her husband worked as director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art there. She includes a bibliography at the back of the book as well.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a biography of Walter Anderson. Until I read this book I had never heard of him. It was clear from the book that he loved painting and sketching nature. He seemed to be one with it and wanted all those who viewed his work to feel the same way. He would often take a row boat and row 12 miles to a small island called Horn Island. He would use his boat for shelter and often times eat what washed up on shore. He would sometimes be gone from home for up to a month. He kept a room in his house locked and he let no one inside. Not even his wife. When he was in his sixties he got sick. While in the hospital he sketched other patients. Unfortunately he died. When his wife finally entered the locked room she could not believe her eyes. He had painted his beloved island all over the walls. I know that I will need to do more research on this artist so that I can find out more about his love of nature and the way he showed that love in his art work.
eputney87 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary- Walter Anderson was an artist from New Orleans. He loved nature and often live a hermit lifestyle for weeks on end in order to spend time in nature and produce paintings. Strength- Flow of the Text The words of this book are smooth and flow together in an almost poetic sense. Use with Kids- This would be a great book to read to upper elementary or middle school students prior to an art assignment where they are asked to go out into nature to paint or draw. This book could also be read as a read aloud prior to going on a field trip where the students will be asked to observe and study nature first hand.
misstribb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. It tells the story of Walter Anderson's unique life in Mississippi. I found it very interesting, and it made me want to learn more about him. I would reccomend this book to anyone interested in art or Mississippi History. Good and informative read.
JulieMagen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. It written very well and it has wonderful illustrations. It is the story of Walter Anderson and his love for nature, animals, and art. This book was right up my ally. It would be a wonderful read aloud if you are studying about the history of art or just the history of Mississippi! It is the story of his life and his love of art and Horn Island.
LauraMcKinion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written and illustrated biography of the great artist Walter Anderson. The language is easy to read and would be a fantastic biography for a child interested in artists. The illustrations were absolutly outstanding and really made the words on the page come alive. This book made me want to study deeper into the life of Walter Anderson and learn more about his life. The author's note at the end of the book provided more details about his life and was more for an adult reading the book.
dhn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This biographical tale of the artist Walter Anderson is well written with beautiful illustrations and is a book that I feel children and adults will both enjoy and find informative. The majority of the book is written in a picture book manner that will appeal to elementary age children, while an author¿s note is included at the end that discusses the life of Walter Anderson in a format that would interest adults. This book could be incorporated into many different plans for the classroom in areas such as: Mississippi history, social studies, art, and science. I feel that any classroom would benefit from the addition of this book to their library. Anyone who loves the art created by Walter Anderson would treasure this book and its portrayal of this amazing and gifted Mississippi artist.
kmcinern on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book explains the fascinating, yet quirky life of Walter 'Bob' Anderson. Divided into two parts, author Hector Bass begins the book with a narrative biography that provides insight into the artists fascination with nature. The illustrations, contributed by E. B. Lewis, add a photographic essay feel to the first portion of this text. The second half of the book reads as a traditional, but brief biography of Bob Anderson. The local elements of this book had me particularly interested, but I couldn't help feel a sense of sadness for the artist. It would be curious to present this book in a high school psychology class to have the students consider Anderson from that perspective. Ultimately, though, this book would be suitable for a wide variety of students.
teason on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Secret World tells the story of an artist named Walter Anderson. I enjoyed this book a lot. It was interesting learning about an artist that I hadn't heard of before. Although the writing was very good, it was the illustrations that caught my attention. The beautiful nature tones that were used made the illustrations vivid. I felt like I was on the island with him. I think that children will find his life interesting and, like me, love the pictures.
juju1220 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story about Walter Anderson and his love for life as he displays it in his artwork. Throughout the book it shares with the readers Anderson s love for art and how he travels to his favorite place to sketch his pieces which is on Horn Island. The book offers an intamite way the that reader can join in on his experiences. I thought the book was very informative along with wonderfully illustrated pictures displayed in a variety of watercolors. The end of the book goes into greater detail by adding a longer biography at the end. I think this book can accompany a great curriculum regarding a number of great artists. This book would be great for students grades fourth and up.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
I love children's picture book and early chapter biographies . They are the beginnings of future in-depth readings and education into real people and real places. As children venture into the pages of The Secret World of Walter Anderson they will see a world of lovely watercolors showing the artist in his favorite place and exploring his favorite world - his cottage on a Mississippi Gulf Coast Island. They don't really explore the art of Walter Anderson. They learn about his personality and his love of the island and isolation. While on his beloved island and while exploring this wild and beautiful setting, his mind and talent would take wings that only such isolation permitted. He portrayed the animal friends he found on the island and he captured what he perceived to be the essence of this wild and wonder place and the wild and wonder creatures that inhabited it. As a reclusive naturalist he created watercolors that he did not share with the world and they were only discovered after his death. He has been declared an American master. This a Candlewick Press children's biography and I certainly enjoyed reading about this American artist. I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book! It had amazing water color pictures on every page! Walter was an artist that had a love for nature too. He loved painting nature so much that he would travel by himself with an old worn out boat for 12 miles to Horn Island. No one lived on Horn Island so Walter would just have the company of all of his objects to paint. He loved watching all the animals and painting them. He would stay at Horn Island for weeks at a time just painting. Every time Walter would leave for Horn Island, he would lock a room in his cottage so no one could go in there while he was gone. He became very sick in 1961, but still painted while he was in the hospital. Walter soon passed and then his wife got to finally see what was in that locked room. Even though this book was an informational book, it was very interesting because of the story about Walter. I really enjoyed the book and I hope you do too! Mar3301
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells the biography of a brave man who spend weeks at a time on Horn Island, where he capture great images for his paintings. Walter Anderson is an American artist that rowed across miles of open water to spend time alone and be close to nature as he possibly could. His experiences with nature were his inspiration for his artwork. The book states how Anderson prohibited his siblings from entering this secret room where he was the only one allowed. After his death his wife finds out what Anderson kept as a secret. It's a great informative picture book about the life of a great American artist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Together, author, Hester Bass, and illustrator, E.B. Lewis tells us the story of famous and genius artist, Walter Anderson. Strange and a bit insane, Anderson "needed to paint as much as he needed to breathe," sometimes leaving his family and home for long periods of time to live somewhat as a hermit on Horn Island. On Horn Island, he was able to escape the daily challenges and stresses of life and be at peace with his "friends" (the animals of the island) and his paintings. Probably the most fascinating fact, for me, was that Anderson never let even his wife or children enter his "secret little room." After his death, Mrs. Anderson opened it to find the walls and ceiling covered with murals of his Horn Island world. In the back of the book, the author gives a detailed biography of Walter Anderson's life. According to Bass, Anderson fell ill and his "mind was tortured," escaping from two hospitals. She also indicates that only Anderson's paintings and travels to Horn Island brought him peace of mind. This made me think of an "idiot savant", whom has such a brilliant mind, yet is completely out of touch and disconnected from reality and social situations. I don't believe Walter Anderson was an "idiot savant" but parts where Bass mentions how he did not let his family see his room dedicated to Horn Island and more importantly how he could barely function unless he was painting on Horn Island is not what I would consider acceptable behavior of a husband and father. He had a whole world, a life, that he did not include with his family. That bothered me. This issue actually hits close to home for me. But other than that, I really enjoyed this picture book. Illustrator, E.B. Lewis, crafted each page with paintings in honor of Anderson and his beloved paintings. Although Walter Anderson is apparently very famous, I had never heard of him. If I had, it didn't stick in my mind, so it was interesting to learn so much about a person and his cornucopia of work. I believe this book to be a wonderful read for children. This work could aid children in appreciating the arts. I also believe works on the lives of real people help students grasp a sense of reality - it's not just some story they are reading, but something that really happened in history!
ashleyutsa More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful picture book as well as a short biography about Walter Anderson. He is from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and would row in his boat twelve miles to get to Horn Island, which was uninhabited. He would spend weeks in his own paradise on this island sketching and painting whatever he saw, from the natural surroundings to the animals that lived there on the island. This American artist used watercolors to make his beautiful artwork. The book, to me, is all about his artwork and the colors and things he used to make them. The information about Walter Anderson is there as a crutch to let you know a little bit about such an unknown artist. Being a fan of watercolor artwork, the pictures are such beautifully crafted and I enjoyed turning every page.