Title: Painting Pepette
Author: Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrator: Claire Fletcher
Publisher: Little Bee Books, 2016
Themes Pablo Picasso, portraits, stufffed rabbit, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse
Josette Bebette and her rabbit, Pepette
lived at #9 Rue Lafette, Paris.
Join one little girl named Josette as she searches 1920s Paris to find the best artist to paint a portrait of her stuffed-animal rabbit, Pepette.
After seeing all the fine portraits of her family in her house in Paris, Josette decides that her stuffed-animal rabbit Pepette needs a portrait of her own. The two of them set off for Montmartre, the art center of 1920s Paris, to seek out an artist to paint Pepette’s portrait. They encounter Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Marc Chagall, and Henri Matisse, who all try their hand at capturing the rabbit.
Picasso gives Pepette two noses and three ears—which doesn’t sit well with Josette. Dalí gives Pepette very droopy eyes—so Josette says “no thank you” and moves on. Chagall paints Pepette flying through the clouds. Josette points out that Pepette doesn’t fly and is afraid of heights—so they decide to keep going through the square. When they meet Matisse, he paints Pepette pink, with lots of colorful dots and splashes covering the canvas. It’s a beautiful piece of art, but it’s not Pepette.
Giving up, Josette and Pepette make their way home. Josette is upset that no one was able to no one was able to capture the true essence of Pepette. Who could capture her soft gray ears, her heart-shaped nose, and all her wonderfulness? And then it comes to her—she, Josette, is the perfect person to do this. (goodreads)
Why I like this book:
This is a picture books that feeds the eyes, the ears and the spirit. The love of Paris and this beautiful artistic period splash from the words and the illustrations. What an inspirational way to (implicitly) introduce these four artists and this city and the portrait form. The relationship between Babette and Pipette is, of course, the heart of the story and the solution of the the best portrait artist to truly capture the stuffed rabbit’s spirit is delightful and inevitable. I ooh and ahd over the Monmartre scenes and how well the illustrator captured the art and personalities of the four famous painters. This is a wonderful addition to any unit on artists and portrait painting.
Have children bring in their favorite stuffy to paint.
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