Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Anna Harwell Celenza, Joann E. Kitchel

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Charlesbridge, $19.95) are among the most famous pieces of classical music of all time. Music professor Anna Harwell Celenza creates an intriguing backstory for the composition of the concertos by focusing on Vivaldi’s warm friendships with his students at the Ospedale della Pietà orphanage in Venice. It was there that Vivaldi wrote his first concerto, “Spring,” with an accompanying sonnet for his young female pupils. Charming illustrations by JoAnn E. Kitchel add whimsy to Harwell’s characters, while an enclosed CD allows young readers to hear the music that inspired this story. Ages 6-9. JLM

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau - Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall

Though underappreciated for decades, The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (Eerdmans, $17.00) stand as a testament to the inventiveness of human imagination and continue to captivate and inspire to this day. In Michelle Markel’s picture-book biography, she emphasizes Rousseau’s lack of formal training. A forty-year-old toll collector, the artist ignored traditional techniques in his work in order to capture the vividly colorful and fantastical scenes in his mind. Despite continual rejection by critics, he continued to paint and exhibit, achieving recognition late in life from the burgeoning surrealist movement. Amanda Hall’s gorgeous illustrations paint Rousseau’s life through his own lens, turning the ordinary into the remarkable in a series of scenes that overwhelm the senses in Rousseau’s signature style. More than just an artist’s biography, this is a work of art in its own right, a book to be read and treasured. Ages 6-9. CEB
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau By Michelle Markel, Amanda Hall (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Michelle Markel, Amanda Hall (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780802853646
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers - June 11th, 2012

My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey - Jeanne Walker Harvey and Elizabeth Zunon

“Today my memory whirls back to my North Carolina past.” When Romare Bearden was three years old, he and his parents left their home in the South and moved to Harlem during the Great Migration. As he grew older and began painting, his deep connection to his early home inspired many of his famous works. Jeanne Walker Harvey retells his journey in blues-inspired verses, drawing on his family’s history to bring Bearden’s childhood to life. The bright collage illustrations are a wonderful tribute to his style, and Elizabeth Zunon includes some of Bearden’s work. Thoughtful yet fun, this creative story sweeps readers along on a train ride that showed Bearden how MY HANDS SING THE BLUES (Marshall Cavendish, $17.99). Ages 6-8 - Amy Kane
My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey By Jeanne Walker Harvey, Elizabeth Zunon (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780761458104
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Two Lions - January 5th, 2012