Written by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Buy on Amazon
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.
- Title: Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!
- Author: Jonah Winter
- Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-0-545-13291-6
- Genre: biography, nonfiction
- Lexile: NA
Written by: Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
Buy on Amazon
When Booker T. Washington was a child, all he wanted to do was go to school. But he couldn’t. He was born a slave and put to work on a Virginia plantation as soon as he turned five years old. When slaves were freed during the Civil War, Booker and his family were left with no money and they didn’t know how to read or write. This book, part of the “Famous African Americans” series, tells the story of Booker’s determination to become educated.
When a school opened for black children, Booker jumped at the chance. He couldn’t go everyday because he had to work, too, but he read anything he could get his hands on. As he grew, he had a goal: he wanted to go to the first black college in Hampton, Virginia, even though it was 500 miles away. He walked, begged for rides, and hopped trains – it was a difficult journey, but he made it. He dedicated his whole life to education, first becoming a teacher, then principal, then community leader. In 1895, he landed on the national stage at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition and became a voice for a people that had to fight to be heard.
Themes of perseverance and overcoming all odds will leave a lasting impression with third grade readers. Authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack present Washington’s story in short chapters mixed with archival photographs, mock-ups, and illustrations to support reading comprehension. The book fulfills common core standards for grades K-3 and provides a “Words to Know” section along with additional reading resources and age-appropriate websites. Other titles in this series can be found on the publisher’s website: www.enslow.com
- TITLE: Booker T. Washington: African-American Leader
- AUTHOR: Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
- PUBLISHER: Enslow Elementary / Enslow Publishers, Inc.
- REVIEWER: Lauren Abbey Greenberg
- FORMAT: Paperback: 24 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-4644-0194-7
- GENRE: Non-Fiction / Biography
- LEXILE SCORE: 490