Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself

by Margaret Frith (Author) Tomie dePaola (Illustrator)

Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
Through original artwork by the renowned artist Tomie dePaola-a longtime aficionado of Frida Kahlo's work-as well as beautiful reproductions of Kahlo's paintings, this latest Smart About book explores the creative, imaginative world of Mexico's most celebrated female artist.
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School Library Journal

Gr 3-5-This picture-book biography is a good way to introduce youngsters to this avant-garde Mexican painter. Told from the viewpoint of a girl who is doing a report on the famous artist, Kahlo's story is clear, concise, and accessible. All of the basic facts are here, along with many personal details that enliven the narrative. Frith does a particularly good job of explaining artistic terms within the text, and she also focuses on qualities that make Kahlo's work unique. The book concludes with three questions that the student would ask the artist if she could-a great technique for prompting children to do more research on this fascinating painter. The well-written prose is beautifully complemented both by photos of Kahlo and of some of her best-known paintings and by dePaola's splendid trademark illustrations, all set against vividly colored backgrounds. Many of the colors used are those found in Kahlo's own works. The tone of dePaola's paintings varies from humorous to realistic, showcasing his ability to reveal both the light and more serious sides of his subject. His use of color and patterned "frames" gives each illustration a vivacity that underscores Kahlo's own zest for life. Written for a slightly older audience than Jonah Winter's Frida (Scholastic, 2002), this is a fine choice for all libraries.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2003 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"The first time I saw a reproduction of a painting by Frida Kahlo, I was fascinated. I looked at as many of her pictures as I could... I was hooked. !Viva Frida!"
Margaret Frith
Margaret Frith is the author of numerous children's books, including several titles in the Who Was? series, such as Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?, Who Was Louis Braille?, Who Was Franklin Roosevelt? and Who Was Woodrow Wilson? She lives in New York City.

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934, to a family of Irish and Italian background. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration, and received the Children's Literature Legacy Award for lifetime contribution to children's literature in 2011.
DePaola has published almost 200 children's books in 15 different countries over the past 30 years. Among his most well-known titles are the Strega Nona series, 26 Fairmount Avenue, and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.
DePaola lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Grosset & Dunlap
Publication date
August 11, 2003
Smart about the Arts
BISAC categories
JNF007010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Art
Library of Congress categories
Kahlo, Frida

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