Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau

Spring 2013 Picture Books
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Author: Michelle Markel
Illustrator: Amanda Hall
Publisher: Eerdmans
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5364-6
Hardcover Price: $17.00

Henri Rousseau is a forty-year-old toll taker who wants to be an artist, although no one, not a single person, has ever said he was talented. But he loves nature and wants to paint, so he buys art supplies and begins. He can't afford art lessons, so he has to teach himself. He studies paintings at the Louvre, photographs and catalogues. He paints and paints, and decides his work is ready to display at an annual art exhibition; he can hardly wait for the reviews.

Undaunted by harsh words and jokes about his paintings, Rousseau returns to the exhibition year after year. And year after year, the art experts make fun of him. "They say it looks like he closed his eyes and painted with his feet."

Rousseau keeps painting and studying and painting and learning. And then he has a dream.

Spare and simple, Michelle Markel's text invites readers in; Amanda Hall's illustrations, eminently evocative of Rousseau's work, gets them hooked. Together, author and illustrator coax and capture readers with this thoroughly enchanting story of the much beloved Henri Rousseau.

Parents' Choice   ©2013 Parents' Choice

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