Matisse’s Garden

Matisses GardenMatisse’s Garden
by Samantha Friedman; illustrations by Cristina Amodeo
48 pages; ages 4-8 (and beyond!)
Abrams, 2014

Starting the year off with two Matisse Mondays in a row is a perfect way to counteract the gray and white landscape outside my window. Last week it was Henri’s painting. This week it’s all about cut paper.

As Samantha Friedman tells it, one day Henri Matisse cut a small bird out of a piece of white paper. He pinned it to his wall to cover a stain. But it looked so lonely, that he cut out more shapes and pinned them on the wall. The rest is history….

Cristina Amodeo’s cut paper illustrations are perfect for this book – and the colors are vibrant and rich. Gatefolds open to reveal reproductions of Matisse’s works… a bit like taking a field trip through the book to the Museum of Modern Art (where you can view Matisse’s cut-outs through Feb 10)

Henri played with the relationship between colors. He played with shapes – those he cut out, and those left behind. Some cut-outs were complex, others simple. Some of his works were small, others stretched across the walls of his studio.

Want more? Then grab your scissors and head over to Sally’s Bookshelf for some beyond the book activities.

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