Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Vincent Can't Sleep

Vincent Can't Sleep. Barb Rosenstock. Illustrated by Mary Grandpre. 2017. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Nonfiction]

First sentence: Vincent can't while the sturdy Dutch village of Zundert slumbers, he lies rocking in his wooden cradle, flame-haired, a constellation of freckles sprinkling his cheeks.

Premise/plot: Vincent Can't Sleep is a picture book biography of artist Vincent Van Gogh. It is not a straightforward biography but brief narrative sketches that give readers insight into his life and work. Many--if not all--of the sketches begin with the phrase, "Vincent can't sleep...."

My thoughts: I read a biography of Vincent Van Gogh last year and found it fascinating. It was for young adults/adults. This picture book biography remains true to who he was but is age-appropriate. The narrative is great.
Vincent can't sleep...and won't stop painting! He's found his light! After scattered lessons from proper artists, he takes off, canvas and paints strapped to his back. Flashing brushstrokes capture country cottages at dusk, city cafes at midnight, canvas after canvas like radiant chapters in a book only Vincent can read. He discovers that darkness is not plain black--galaxies of color float on the night air.
I would recommend this one.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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