Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers--like a proper artist. Read more...
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Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers--like a proper artist.
But as Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing the reds, the yellows, the blues, he heard a strange sound--the swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony And as he grew older, he continued to hear brilliant colors singing and see vibrant sounds dancing. But was Vasya brave enough to put aside his proper still lifes and portraits and paint . . . music?
In this exuberant celebration of creativity, Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPre tell the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. Throughout his life, Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds, and sounds as colors--and bold, groundbreaking works burst forth from his noisy paint box.
Backmatter includes four paintings by Kandinsky, an author's note, sources, links to websites on synesthesia and abstract art.
- ISBN-13: 9780307978486
- ISBN-10: 0307978486
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: February 2014
- Page Count: 40
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 9 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-11
- Reviewer: Staff
“Is it a house?” “Is it a flower?” “What’s it supposed to be?” When an aunt gives Moscow schoolboy Vasily Kandinsky a paint box, no one knows what to make of the wild shapes he creates. He doesn’t just see the colors. He hears them: “blaring crimson... burbling green, clanging orange, and tinkling violet.” Even after he gives up his career teaching law years later and decides to study art, his teachers steer him toward traditional subjects. He resists, and his works become the art world’s first abstract paintings. Rosenstock (Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library) focuses on passages of Kandinsky’s writing that seem to indicate he experienced synesthesia, the neurological phenomenon that blurs the boundaries between the senses, and her prose strikes a balance between lightheartedness and lyricism. GrandPré’s (The Wee Hours) paintings, meanwhile, conjure up an entire epoch, lingering over the candelabras and tasseled drapes of the Kandinskys’ apartment, breathing life into all the characters, and conveying the energy and vitality of the colors Kandinsky hears. Contains an afterword and reproductions of some of Kandinsky’s works. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Feb.)