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 award-winning author of The Noisy Paint Box, a Caldecott Honor book, The Camping Trip That Changed America, Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library, The Streak, and Ben Franklin's Big Splash. She lives outside of Chicago, Illinois, with her family. Visit

Edwin Fotheringham has illustrated many award-winning picture book biographies, including What To Do About Alice? and Those Rebels, John and Tom. He also illustrated the Tony Baloney series by Pam Muñoz Ryan. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his family and their dog and two cats. Visit

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 20, 2021
ALSC Notable Children's Book
Selection 2022

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