Monday, June 8, 2015

Cezanne and the Apple Boy by Laurence Anholt (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)


Cezanne and the Apple Boy (Anholt's Artists)

Written and Illustrated by
Laurence Anholt

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Laurence Anholt's fantastic "Anholt's Artists" series is a brilliant introduction to the world of art and artists for children who love art and history in equal measure. In "Cezanne and the Apple Boy" we find out about one of the greatest and most revolutionary artists of the 19th Century, Paul Cezanne - and his son...Paul Cezanne! Yep, that's right, a double dose of Cezanne as we learn about "The Mountain Main" and his son, and how Paul (the elder) was a key instigator of an artistic movement known as Cubism, the simplification of form and beauty, to produce rich and vibrant works of art that took the world by storm. Cezanne's post impressionist works formed an important bridge between impressionism and cubism, forming an entirely new way of thinking about painting with his 'wonky trees and crooked houses'.

Though as we learn in the story, Cezanne's life wasn't always easy. Paul (Junior) is invited by his father to join a painting exhibition when he's old enough to travel, and the young Paul finds a shambling giant of a man roaming the countryside with his donkey, painting what he sees in an amazing and new way.

Life is hard as a poor painter, but the chance discovery of Cezanne's work by an art gallery agent from Paris ushers the start of an astonishing turn of fortune, and also a turning point in the relationship between father and son.

Laurence Anholt has put together a stunning story-driven exploration of art history that is absolutely perfect as an introduction to Cezanne's life and work, and we find out that the "Apple Boy" in Cezanne's paintings (which was, of course, Paul Jr) was the apple of his father's eye too.

Utterly and completely brilliant, and we cannot wait to explore the other stories in the series (featuring artists like Picasso and Van Gogh too!)

Charlotte's best bit: She loved the quirkiness of Paul Senior (the fact he didn't like to be touched, but didn't mind a big soppy wet kiss from his son in the end! Awww!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: Stunning, brilliant, enchanting. What an absolutely fantastic introduction to the art world for little ones. Fab stuff, Laurence!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

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