Just Behave, Pablo Picasso
Written by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
This biography of the first modern artist is designed for third grade readers and fourth grade readers and is a beautifully full-colored picture book illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. It tells the story of his life in a chronological manner. When he was in school, he worked faster and better than any of his classmates. He was very good at painting landscapes but became quickly bored and wanted to try something new.
He had a blue period and a rose colored period, but he always felt the need to move on and experiment with new subjects and techniques in the world of fine art.
This is the story of a true creative spirit. As soon as Picasso had mastered one technique, he moved on to something newer and more exciting. Some of his ideas came from visiting other museums, like the time he saw masks in an African display and went home to create a painting of various faces that looked like masks taken apart and rearranged in wild new ways.
Many of Picasso’s actual works are shown in this pictures of this book so students will be able to recognize them at other times and places.
Pablo studied and worked in both Spain and Paris. Sometimes the critics didn’t like his work or his new ideas. It hurt his feelings, but he went on painting true to his heart.
This book would be a great read aloud for any elementary or middle grade students. It should be included in any study of art comprehension. Literacy skills like sequencing, part to whole, picture clues and reading for details can be strengthened by using this book in a small or large group setting.
Children who need to have confidence in themselves and their ideas bolstered will find that kind of support in this story. Hopefully, it will help them keep their curiosity and creativity bursting through with unbounded energy.
Extras: This book contains pictures of Picasso’s work and in the back lists the names of the paintings, as well as in what Art Museums around the world they can be found.