Mornings with Monet

by Barb Rosenstock (Author) Mary Grandpre (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A new picture book about the iconic artist Claude Monet, from the Caldecott-Award winning team that created The Noisy Paint Box.

Claude Monet is one of the world's most beloved artists--and he became famous during his own lifetime. He rejected a traditional life laid out clean and smooth before him. Instead he chose a life of art. But not just any art: a new way of seeing that came to be called impressionism.

Monet loved to paint what he saw around him, particularly the Seine River. He was initially rejected for using bright colors, tangled brushstrokes--condemned for his impressions. But soon art dealers and collectors were lining up each morning to see as Monet saw. Monet, however, waited only for the light. The changing light...each morning he had a dozen canvases on hand to paint a dozen different moments. His brush moved back and forth, chasing sunlight--putting in the arduous work to create an image that seemed to contain no effort at all.

The stellar team that brought you the Caldecott Honor book The Noisy Paint Box explores another influential painter, in a moving tribute to creativity, commitment, and new ways of seeing the world around you.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

The idiosyncratic painting practice of Claude Monet (1840-1926) foregrounds this engrossing picture book biography by the previous collaborators (The Noisy Paint Box). As Rosenstock deftly describes Monet's working day--waking at 3:30 a.m., being rowed on the Seine to "a flat-bottomed punt," his studio boat--she adds daubs of biographical detail: the gardens at Giverny, Monet's youth leading "a band of rebel artists... Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot." Descriptions of his process illuminate and shine alongside GrandPré's acrylic paint and ink illustrations: readers peer over Monet's shoulder as he works his way through 14 canvases, each for only as many minutes as it "matches what he sees," capturing "a series of transparencies: water, air, and memory." At times, Rosenstock's luminous language offers gentle humor ("Monet wipes his brow; it is not easy to paint air") as GrandPré's glowing dabs of color and visible brushstrokes offer a soft, legible introduction to the style of Monet's radical works. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Barb Rosenstock
BARB ROSENSTOCK is the author of the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box; Vincent Can't Sleep; Through the Window; and Mornings with Monet, all also illustrated by Mary GrandPré, as well as many other books. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, sons, and two big poodles. Visit her at

ERIKA MEZA is the illustrator of Salsa Lullaby by Jen Arena. She was born in Morelia, in the Mexican state where monarch butterflies go for the winter. She grew up in awe of the phenomenon, and carried the image of the butterfly as a piece of home when she moved to Paris to follow her dream of becoming an author and illustrator. Her themes are born out of the exploration of her migrant essence, her bittersweet relationship with change, and her attachment to innocence and curiosity. She now lives in London. Learn more about Erika at or on Twitter at @ErikaDraws.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date
March 20, 2021
ALSC Notable Children's Book
Selection 2022

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