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Just Being Dalí



by
Amy Guglielmo
illustrated by
Brett Helquist

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
G.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN
9781984816580
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$21.06   $17.55
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This kid-friendly picture book biography celebrates the irrepressible individuality of Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.

Salvador Dalí just couldn’t help being himself. When he was little, he wasn’t like the other children; he was a daydreamer who liked to play pretend. When he grew up, he became an artist, but he didn’t want to make art that looked like everyone else’s. He became the most famous painter of his time after he made a picture of melting clocks. He liked to do wild, attention-grabbing things: He drove a fancy car stuffed with 1,000 pounds of cauliflower. He gave a speech inside a deep-sea diving suit. And he took his pet ocelot Babou to lunch at snooty restaurants. He designed lollipop wrappers in exchange for free candy, a lobster phone that really worked, and a hat made out of a shoe! Here’s the true story of the one and only Salvador Dalí, an artist who never stopped being himself.Author’s note. Selected bibliography. Source notes. Works of art featured in the book. Full-color oil illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

11" x 9"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Apr 2021

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography, Picture Book

Topics

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989). Spain. Art and artists. Biography. Painters. Surrealism.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

This picture-book biography paints the Spanish surrealist artist as an imaginative, quirky person right from the start. As a child, he dreams of being a king and wears his king costume to school, puzzling others, but “Salvador was just being himself.” This refrain repeats throughout the book with slight variations, each time with the words displayed on an appropriately flamboyant banner. His complicated personality and role in the adult art world are challenging to convey to children, but Guglielmo makes a good attempt at highlighting some of Dali’s odder moments (“He gave a speech inside a deep-sea diving suit”) in an objective way. Helquist’s oil paintings incorporate reproductions of famous pieces of art, which are all named at the back, and he includes a variety of skin tones in the other adults depicted (usually with disapproving expressions of their faces). He also shows many of Dali’s more amusing-to-children inventions, such as a lobster phone or a hat in the shape of a shoe. An author’s note gives more information on Dali’s life, and the selected bibliography includes other children’s books about the artist for readers whose interest has been piqued. SUSAN DOVE LEMPKE

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-This literary nonfiction picture book spotlights the major events in Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí's life, from his childhood to his eventual fame. The colorful illustrations are playful and detailed. In addition to the illustrations, another strength of the text is the reinforcement of the idea that it's okay to be different. The phrase Dalí was just "being himself" is repeated for effect. This title could be applied to lessons focusing on social emotional learning because of its positive messaging. It could also be used in art classes or ELA lessons focusing on the biography genre. A few key tenets of surrealism and representations of some of Dalí's most important paintings are included. Back matter provides a selected bibliography, an author's note, source notes, and details about the featured works of art. VERDICT Recommended as an engaging and imaginative addition to biography collections, and for lessons centering on social emotional learning.-Christina Salazar, Mesquite I.S.D., TX

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

This picture-book biography paints the Spanish surrealist artist as an imaginative, quirky person right from the start. As a child, he dreams of being a king and wears his king costume to school, puzzling others, but “Salvador was just being himself.” This refrain repeats throughout the book with slight variations, each time with the words displayed on an appropriately flamboyant banner. His complicated personality and role in the adult art world are challenging to convey to children, but Guglielmo makes a good attempt at highlighting some of Dali’s odder moments (“He gave a speech inside a deep-sea diving suit”) in an objective way. Helquist’s oil paintings incorporate reproductions of famous pieces of art, which are all named at the back, and he includes a variety of skin tones in the other adults depicted (usually with disapproving expressions of their faces). He also shows many of Dali’s more amusing-to-children inventions, such as a lobster phone or a hat in the shape of a shoe. An author’s note gives more information on Dali’s life, and the selected bibliography includes other children’s books about the artist for readers whose interest has been piqued. SUSAN DOVE LEMPKE

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-This literary nonfiction picture book spotlights the major events in Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí's life, from his childhood to his eventual fame. The colorful illustrations are playful and detailed. In addition to the illustrations, another strength of the text is the reinforcement of the idea that it's okay to be different. The phrase Dalí was just "being himself" is repeated for effect. This title could be applied to lessons focusing on social emotional learning because of its positive messaging. It could also be used in art classes or ELA lessons focusing on the biography genre. A few key tenets of surrealism and representations of some of Dalí's most important paintings are included. Back matter provides a selected bibliography, an author's note, source notes, and details about the featured works of art. VERDICT Recommended as an engaging and imaginative addition to biography collections, and for lessons centering on social emotional learning.-Christina Salazar, Mesquite I.S.D., TX

Grades 2-6
Arts Elementary Plus
For Grades 2-6
These art-themed fiction and nonfiction books will foster a love of the arts among elementary readers. Enhance your arts program monthly will 12 books per year in this category.

14 books per Year
$297.36 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Diversity,Nonfiction,Science/STEAM
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Grades 2-6
Arts Elementary Plus
14 books per Year
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