“This biographical picture book finds the right mix of storytelling and relating historical facts about the famed illustrator.”
The use of first and second person narrative helps keep a conversational, easy-to-read tone in this biographical picture book about famed illustrator and artist Norman Rockwell. Readers will finish feeling like Rockwell is a personal friend, and they will have learned a fair number of facts about his inspiring life without really realizing it—like Rockwell’s note, “100%,” painted in gold at the top of his easel, reminding him of his determination to make every new painting perfect, and Rockwell’s courageous path to becoming a regular contributor to the Saturday Evening Post. Many who have pursued a passion or dream will relate to his thoughtful introspection: “I sometimes felt I was chasing and at the same time being chased. Chasing my dream of becoming a great artist. But also being chased by the fear that I wasn’t good enough.” Like Rockwell’s own decision to “paint only the ideal aspects” of life despite his knowledge that “the world wasn’t always a pleasant place,” the biography brushes over some presumably tough moments of Rockwell’s life that would be interesting to know more about, like his decision to drop out of high school and how he handled going through a divorce with his first wife. Minor smartly chooses to use his own illustration style in recreating pieces by Rockwell, rather than imitate Rockwell’s own style, which gives the book an original take, rather than feeling like Rockwell’s own portfolio. Readers who want to learn more about Rockwell can spend some extra time in the thorough endnotes of the book and also find recommendations for additional reading.
“An inviting and admiring introduction to an important American artist.” —Kirkus Reviews
From award-winning author Robert Burleigh comes a striking, intimate picture book biography about an American icon—beloved artist Norman Rockwell.
Norman Rockwell is best known for capturing the American spirit as a painter and illustrator in the late twentieth century. This beautifully illustrated, first-person narrative explores Rockwell’s life in episodes based on important moments in American history. Norman Rockwell is not only a great American artist, but he also successfully chronicled two generations of American life, making him one of the most beloved and well-known American artists of all time.
Even though Norman didn’t play ball with the other boys, he still made friends with them by sharing his drawing talent with them. They loved to see what he would paint on the sidewalks. What can talents can you share with friends, even if they’re unique?
Norman committed to doing his very best on each piece of artwork. How do you feel when you do your best on a project?
Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, illustrated by Barry Blitt; Night Flight, illustrated by Wendell Minor; Black Whiteness, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop; and Sylvia’s Bookshop, illustrated by Katy Wu. His many other books include Hoops; Stealing Home; and Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! He lives in Michigan.
Wendell Minor has illustrated dozens of picture books, and his work has won countless awards and is in permanent collections of such institutions as the Museum of American Illustration and the Library of Congress. His cover illustrations have graced some of the most significant novels of our time by authors such as Toni Morrison, David McCullough, and James Michener. He lives in Washington, Connecticut. Visit him online at MinorArt.com.
For Paula Wiseman, editor and friend
To the Rockwell Family