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Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories
Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories
Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories

Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories

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An enthralling journey through the story of world art, from early cave paintings right up to the present day. Discover artists and their art around the world, in 68 exciting and imaginative tales about artists and the way they created their work.

Written by educator and art historian Michael Bird, and beautifully illustrated by Kate Evans, the book also features reproductions of the famous artworks discussed, a comprehensive timeline of events, and extra feature spreads on places connected with art.

This is a beautiful and engaging introduction to art for any home or school library.

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—There are numerous artist biographies and art primers for kids, but few surveys. Bird's is ambitious: a look at the history of art, from 40,000 BCE to 2014, through 68 fictionalized stories. In his introduction, the author discusses the desire of the artists to connect their "invisible life of thoughts and feelings" with the world, and the stories address just that—what the artists might have been thinking about when creating their art, and the objective of the representative work reproduced here. Art historians can only surmise artists' intentions in many works (the "Lion Man" figure carved out of a mammoth tusk), but others are well documented (Ai Weiwei's political statements). The 68 tales are grouped chronologically under subheadings, introduced with information about the era, the impact of technological advancements (the use of perspective, the camera), and so on, providing additional context. World art is included, but the focus is on the West. These selections offer an entry into the lives and works of the men and women represented, but perhaps too discreetly placed, given the audience, is a note in the credits that the (abundant) quotes are "literary inventions" unless otherwise stated. There is also no list of sources. Throughout, delightful watercolors add details, while informative illustrated spreads impart facts on hubs of creativity over the years: Angkor Wat in the 1100s, Florence in the 1400s, Amsterdam in the 1600s, New York in the 1950s. VERDICT A profusely illustrated overview of art with read-aloud appeal.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal


'One of the best children's non-fiction books I've read for years, this fantastic story collection explores the lives of some of the world's most famous artists, and the developments that influenced them ... The variety is brilliant, looking at key people from 40000 BC until the present day. The stories are by turns exciting, intriguing, emotional and mysterious ... Meticulously well-researched and utterly delightful.'    Jennifer Bell, 'Sunday Best Children's Book of the Week'

'Vincent's Starry Night is a unique take on art history for children. Significant works of art are enveloped in narrative, which brings to life the context, environment, feel, sights, smells, thought life and dialogue between the artist and his world. Children's senses and imaginations are engaged ... Stories bring us closer to what we're learning, and that's part of what makes this such an exceptional book.'      Michelle  Sterling, @averyandaugustine

'This chronological globe-straddling compendium by Michael Bird ... is admirably broad, deep and thoughtful.'    Meghan Cox Gurdon on the Best New Children's Books, Wall Street Journal
  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King Publishing; 1st Edition edition (August 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780676158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780676159
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds