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Owlkids Books

The Artist and Me
By (author): Shane Peacock Illustrated by: Sophie Casson
9781771471381 Hardcover, Dust jacket English Juvenile: Age (years) from 5 - 9, Grade (CAN) from K - 4, Grade (US) from K - 4 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying Apr 15, 2016
$18.95 CAD
Active 8.5 x 10 x 0.5 in 40 pages Owlkids Books Inc.
A Junior Library Guild Selection 2015, Commended Nominated for the 2017 Blue Spruce Award 2017, Short-listed Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2016 2017, Short-listed Clark County School District "Each One, Read One" book selection 2017, Short-listed Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Finalist 2017, Short-listed
Vincent van Gogh is now known as an acclaimed, incomparable Post-impressionist painter. But when he lived in Arles, France, in the 1880s, he was mocked for being different. Back then, van Gogh was an eccentric man with wild red hair who used clashing hues to paint unusual-looking people and strange starry skies. Children and adults alike called him names and laughed at him. Nobody bought his art. But he kept painting.

Inspired by these events, The Artist and Me is the fictional confession of one of van Gogh’s bullies — a young boy who adopted the popular attitude of adults around him. It’s not until the boy faces his victim alone that he realizes there is more than one way to see the world.

Artwork in the book uses vibrant color and texture to bring the laneways, cafés, and wheat fields of southern France to life while playing on scenes from van Gogh’s own work. The lyrical text carries the emotional weight of the subject and will leave readers with the understanding that everyone’s point of view is valuable.

Sophie Casson is a Montreal-based illustrator inspired by Ukioy-e (a genre of Japanese woodblock printing), pre-war era children’s books, post-war posters, and stencil art. She has been nominated for the Governor General’s award, as well as been honored by Communication Arts, Applied Arts, and was runner-up for the Mr. Christie’s Book Award.

"Low-key yet powerful...simple, resonant, superb." - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Delivers a meaningful message about individuality and tolerance." - School Library Journal

"Poignant... a story about deceptive appearances." - Publishers Weekly

"A real-life context for the effects of bullying, which will spark interest and encourage discussion." - Booklist

"Beautifully and sparsely written, as well as vividly illustrated... makes its point quite eloquently." - Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

"Forthright and self-aware...about the battle between authenticity and conformity, integrity and capitulation--so much a part of growing up." - The Horn Book

"Evocative...a useful classroom resource." - Canadian Review of Materials

"An obvious complement to art curricula, this book could also reinforce anti-bullying discussions at home and in the classroom." - The National Reading Campaign

"Sincere thanks must go to the authors, illustrators and their publishers for providing children with the opportunity to be inspired by these legendary individuals through such fine publications." - Canadian Children's Book News, joint review

"Would be an excellent read aloud in an art class to kick off a lesson about Vincent van Gogh or in a regular classroom during a morning meeting about bullies and treating others as you would like to be treated. Recommended." - School Library Connection

"This beautifully illustrated picture book, easily read by beginning readers...illustrates how children are taught prejudice by their elders. This is a timely concept in today's world." - The Quaker Friends Journal


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