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      Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)

      by Gary Golio

      Jun 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Once there was a little slip of a boy who roamed the streets of London, hungry for life (and maybe a bit of bread). His dad long gone and his actress mother ailing, five-year-old Charlie found himself onstage one day taking his mum’s place, singing and drawing laughs amid a shower of coins. There were times in the poorhouse and times spent sitting in the window at home with Mum, making up funny stories about passersby. And when Charlie described a wobbly old man he saw in baggy clothes, with turned-out feet and a crooked cane, his mother found it sad, but Charlie knew that funny and sad go hand in hand. With a lyrical text and exquisite collage imagery, Gary Golio and Ed Young interpret Charlie Chaplin’s path from his childhood through his beginnings in silent film. Afterword. Facts about Charlie Chaplin. Resources. Selected books and movies. Full-color collage and ink illustrations.

      Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler

      by Elizabeth Brown

      May 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      They said only men could paint powerful pictures, but Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) splashed her way through the modern art world. Channeling deep emotion, Helen poured paint onto her canvas and danced with the colors to make art unlike anything anyone had ever seen. She used unique tools like mops and squeegees to push the paint around, to dazzling effects. Frankenthaler became an originator of the influential “Color Field” style of abstract expressionist painting with her “soak stain” technique, and her artwork continues to electrify new generations of artists today. Dancing Through Fields of Color discusses Frankenthaler’s early life, how she used colors to express emotion, and how she overcame the male-dominated art world of the 1950s.

      More about Helen Frankenthaler. Time line. Art activity. Author’s note. Quotes and sources. Select bibliography. Full-color photographs and illustrations created with watercolor, ink, and charcoal pencil.

      Bach to the Rescue!!!: How a Rich Dude Who Couldn't Sleep Inspired the Greatest Music Ever

      by Tom Angleberger

      Apr 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Out of stock
      How did Johannes Sebastian Bach come to write his famous Goldberg Variations? It may have involved a really rich guy, a very tired harpsichord player, and a whole town of cranky villagers.
      Author’s note. Full-color illustrations.

      Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and His Muse

      by Alexandria Giardino

      Mar 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Glum Pablo Neruda finds something unexpected in his friend's garden: "Luminous onion . . . sad things have always made me cry, but you have made me cry tears of joy!"

      Biographical information about Pablo Neruda and Matilde Urrutia. “Ode to the Onion (Oda a la Cebolla)” in English and Spanish. Full-color illustrations.


      by Raúl Colón

      Feb 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Out of stock
      After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds, changing how he sees the world ever after.
      Author’s note. Full-color illustrations rendered in watercolors, Prismacolor pencils, and lithograph pencils.

      The Dam

      by David Almond

      Jan 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Kielder Water is a wild and beautiful place, rich in folk music and legend. Years ago, before a great dam was built to fill the valley with water, there were farms and homesteads in that valley and musicians who livened their rooms with song. After the village was abandoned and before the waters rushed in, a father and daughter returned there. The girl began to play her fiddle, bringing her tune to one empty house after another — for this was the last time that music would be heard in that place. With exquisite artwork by Levi Pinfold, David Almond’s lyrical narrative — inspired by a true tale — pays homage to his friends Mike and Kathryn Tickell and all the musicians of Northumberland, to show that music is ancient and unstoppable, and that dams and lakes cannot overwhelm it.
      Author’s note. Full-color illustrations done in charcoal, ink, and pastel and colored digitally.

      Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker

      by Mara Rockliff

      Dec 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Meet Alice Guy-Blaché. She made movies—some of the very first movies, and some of the most exciting! Blow up a pirate ship? Why not? Crawl into a tiger's cage? Of course! Leap off a bridge onto a real speeding train? It will be easy! Driven by her passion for storytelling, Alice saw a potential for film that others had not seen before, allowing her to develop new narratives, new camera angles, new techniques, and to surprise her audiences again and again. With daring and vision, Alice Guy-Blaché introduced the world to a thrilling frontier of imagination and adventure, and became one of filmmaking's first and greatest innovators. Mara Rockliff tells the story of a girl who grew up loving stories and became an acclaimed storyteller and an inspiration in her own right.
      Author’s note. List of sources. Full-color illustrations rendered in dry media.

      When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

      by Michael Mahin

      Nov 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Carlos Santana loved to listen to his father play el violín. It was a sound that filled the world with magic and love and feeling and healing—a sound that made angels real. Carlos wanted to make angels real, too. So he started playing music.
      Carlos tried el clarinete and el violín, but there were no angels. Then he picked up la guitarra. He took the soul of the Blues, the brains of Jazz, and the energy of Rock and Roll, and added the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music he’d grown up with in Mexico. There were a lot of bands in San Francisco but none of them sounded like this. Had Carlos finally found the music that would make his angels real?
      Author’s note. Bibliography. Further listening. Full-color illustrations created with acrylic and enamel markers on canvas.

      Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art

      by Hudson Talbott

      Oct 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Thomas Cole was always looking for something new to draw. Born in England during the Industrial Revolution, he was fascinated by tales of the American countryside, and was ecstatic to move there in 1818. The life of an artist was difficult at first, however Thomas kept his dream alive by drawing constantly and seeking out other artists. But everything changed for him when he was given a ticket for a boat trip up the Hudson River to see the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains. The haunting beauty of the landscape sparked his imagination and would inspire him for the rest of his life. The majestic paintings that followed struck a chord with the public and drew other artists to follow in his footsteps, in the first art movement born in America. His landscape paintings also started a conversation on how to protect the country’s wild beauty.
      Reproductions of Thomas Cole paintings. Full-color illustrations done in watercolors, colored pencil, and ink.

      Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color

      by Julie Paschkis

      Oct 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Out of stock
      Playful poems and facts celebrate the colors of the rainbow in this beautiful nonfiction picture book. With information about the science of sight and perception, pigment origins in art and textiles, colloquial expressions and word associations, there's so much to see in each vivid spread—a wonderfully sensory read.
      Author’s note. Full-color gouache illustrations.

      Walt’s Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney

      by Doreen Rappaport

      Sep 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Out of stock
      Charting Walt's progression from farm boy to actor to artist, animator, director, and entertainment celebrity, Walt's own words are presented and contextualized within Doreen Rappaport's signature compelling prose.

      Time line. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Further reading. Selected bibliography. Source notes. Full-color illustrations.

      Rosa’s Animals: The Story of Rosa Bonheur and Her Painting Menagerie

      by Maryann Macdonald

      Sep 2018

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Painter and sculptor Rosa Bonheur led a highly nontraditional life.Her artistic work habits, including visiting slaughterhouses to sketch an animal's anatomy and wearing men's clothing to gain access to places like a horse fair, helped her become one of the most beloved female painters of her time.

      Epilogue. Author’s note. Notes. Bibliography. Where to see Rosa Bonheur’s work. Index. Black-and-white and full-color illustrations, photographs, artifacts, and reproductions.
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