Cézanne’s Parrot

By: Amy Guglielmo

Illustrator: Brett Helquist

All Cézanne wants is to be a great painter like his friends Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir. But when he shows his works, the professors, the critics, and the collectors all dismiss him: “Too flat!” “Too much paint!” “These are rough and unfinished!” Even his own pet parrot, Bisou, can’t be brought to say, “Cézanne is a great painter!” And who can blame them?Cézanne doesn’t care about tradition, and he doesn’t follow the rules. He’s painting in a way no one else has done before, creating something completely new—and he’s destined to change the world of art forever.

Cézanne’s Parrot is a spirited celebration of creativity, determination, and perseverance—and the artist who would become known as the father of modern art.

Author’s note. Selected bibliography. Source notes. List of Paul Cézanne’s paintings shown in book. Full-color illustrations done in oil.

ISBN: 9780525515081

JLG Release: Apr 2020


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) , French artists , Painting , Parrots , Nineteenth-century French history

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

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School Library Journal

In this picture book biography, struggling artist Cezanne and his parrot, Bisou, live together in the French countryside. Cezanne’s work has been poorly received by art critics in Paris. He is surrounded by a circle of high-achieving artists, but gains no popularity when he bucks tradition by working more slowly than his peers, choosing common, e In this picture book biography, struggling artist Cezanne and his parrot, Bisou, live together in the French countryside. Cezanne’s work has been poorly received by art critics in Paris. He is surrounded by a circle of high-achieving artists, but gains no popularity when he bucks tradition by working more slowly than his peers, choosing common, everyday subjects to feature, and by painting with bold confidence instead of refined delicacy. Rather than imitate his predecessors, Cezanne wants to try something new. He seeks to bolster his self-esteem by asking Bisou to say “Cezanne is a great painter,” but even the bird stubbornly refuses, displaying a humorous apathy towards all attempts to train him to speak. The artist’s life changes overnight when he is invited to exhibit with a like-minded group of creatives and then returns to work with a rejuvenated spirit of determination. The resulting still lifes of fruit are so winsome that Bisou approves. Exquisitely painted illustrations are paired with the text; of particular note are an early spread of Cezanne working with Bisou in a meadow and an impressive series depicting the artist laboring in nine different attitudes. The illustration is everything one would want in a book about Cezanne: bold brushstrokes, heavy lines, and a color scheme that incorporates many of the browns, blues, and greens reminiscent of Cezanne’s own artistic sensibilities. Helquist skillfully expresses Cezanne’s changing feelings of worry, defeat, and eventual triumph by employing carefully crafted facial expressions and body postures to convey what the artist is thinking. Helquist’s depiction of Bisou is equally expressive and animated, with great detailing in the feathers. This brilliantly illustrated picture book shares a meaningful message about how to handle criticism, being true to yourself, and finding your crew. Recommended for nonfiction collections.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525515081

First Release

April 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

11" x 9"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), French artists, Painting, Parrots, Nineteenth-century French history,

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Picture Book

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