Monday, March 24, 2014

The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock

This book is a fictionalized biography of Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian abstract artist. Wassily received a painting kit when he was young and as he painted, began to hear the colors translated into sounds (a condition known as synesthesia). "The Noisy Paint Box" introduces children to the idea that art doesn't have to be representational (eg. a tree is a tree), but can be a celebration of form, line and color. It took Wassily years after being a lawyer and studying traditional art to reach his full expression as an abstract artist. Though not a strict biography, "The Noisy Paint Box" touches upon the importance art plays in one's life and provides some background information on Kandinsky at the end of the book.The illustrator Mary Grandpre (of the Harry Potter books) does a wonderful job of capturing what synesthesia must seem like to those with the condition or "gift".

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