Illustrations by Mary Grandpre
June’s an art month in Sonoma County, so let’s meet artist Vassily Kandinsky and his astonishing abstract paintings. When studious young Vasya (born in Moscow, 1866) is given a paint box by his aunt, he soon discovers that the colors make sounds--“What a noisy paint box!”--while music makes him see colors dancing. Vasya begins painting swashes and splotches of brilliant hues, though his family doesn’t understand. After trying a law career, Kandinsky breaks free, moves away, painting what he hears and feels, offering to the world pictures that make their colors sing. Grandpre's illustrations capture with cool blues the atmosphere of Vasya’s youth in old Russia and later, vivid colors swirling and racing through his mind: cobalt and crimson, emerald, saffron and charcoal. People asked: “What does it mean?” Vasya had become a pioneer of abstract art! An endnote explains Kandinsky’s sensory perceptions, known as “synesthesia,” and reproduces four of his spectacular paintings.
2014, Ages 6 to 10
Check it out from your library using the library catalog. Donate to an improved Sebastopol Regional Library here.
Recommended by: Barbara Talcroft
Barbara Talcroft reviews children’s books professionally for childrenslit.com and for Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database. She has a Master’s degree in International Children’s Literature. She also has many years’ experience as a teacher. Barbara is one of the founders of LANTERN and its past chairperson.