#365PictureBooks Day 23 – Viva Frida

Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases. Distinguished author/illustrator Yuyi Morales illuminates Frida’s life and work in this elegant and fascinating book“. A Neal Porter Book. Publisher: Macmillan

This is a stunning picture book – and the production values mean this is a work of art in itself. This will appeal to a lot of adults as well as children. I was looking to buy this one for our collection as a picture book biography of Frida Kahlo. I don’t currently have any books about her in our collection. The book is less of a biography and more of an evocative poem. Whether or not it is right for your school collection will depend on whether you are looking for a biographical fact based book or one that engages the senses and provokes questions. Children will see some of the iconic symbols that feature in Frida Kahlo’s paintings (the deer, the heart, arrows, the hummingbird, parrot and dog). I am thinking that I would love to buy this one because it will lead to wonderful discussions about artistic passion and creativity (and symbolism).

The bilingual (English/Spanish) text in this picture book appears simple with a single word on some pages, but the simplicity belies its brilliance. It feels very poetic and dreamlike but passionate and strong at the same time. The artwork is incredible and the video below shows a little of what must have gone into making the mixed media illustrations for the book.

Bibliographic details:

Viva Frida /Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales; photography by Tim O’Meara

Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2014.

40 pages

ISBN:9781596436039

NZ RRP $35.50

Available to purchase locally or borrow from Auckland Libraries

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