Vincent Van Gogh: He Saw the World in Vibrant Colors (What the Artist Saw)

by Amy Guglielmo (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

See the world through Vincent van Gogh's eyes and be inspired to produce your own masterpieces.

Have you ever wondered exactly what your favorite artists were looking at to make them draw, sculpt, or paint the way they did? In this charming illustrated series, created in full collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can see what they saw, and be inspired to create your own artworks, too. In the pages of this book, What the Artist Saw: Vincent van Gogh, meet famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Step into his life and learn what led him to paint his eye-catching self-portraits. See the landscapes that inspired his famous Wheat Fields. Have a go at painting your own sunflowers!

Follow the artists' stories and find intriguing facts about their environments and key masterpieces. Then see what you can see and make your own art. Take a closer look at nature with Georgia O'Keeffe. Try crafting a story in fabric like Faith Ringgold, or carve a woodblock print at home with Hokusai. Every book in this series is one to treasure and keep - the perfect gift for budding artists to explore exhibitions with, then continue their own artistic journeys. (c) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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School Library Journal

Gr 3-6–A biographical picture book about Vincent van Gogh. This lushly illustrated title in the artist’s own style follows the subject from crib to grave with a focus on the inspiration he took from the world around him—from night skies to workers in the fields to his own face. Even though it’s a text for young readers, it is accurate and straightforward, not shying away from the tougher parts of the artist’s life. To engage young, aspiring artists, the book also features prompts woven throughout, inviting readers to draw their classmates, the buildings around them, and themselves. A great addition to a biography section, this title also has classroom appeal through its artistic engagement that goes beyond the typical van Gogh biography that focuses on his decline. The time line of van Gogh’s works and the short, art-based glossary will be a treat for educators and young readers alike. VERDICT Add this title to the main library collection, but also to the classroom library of any art teacher. --Aryssa Damron, DC P.L., Washington, DC , Oct 01, 2021

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Amy Guglielmo
Amy Guglielmo is an artist, an arts educator, and an arts advocate. She has co-authored the picture books Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, winner of the Christopher Award, and How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine. She is also the co-author of the Touch the Art series of novelty board books featuring famous works of art with tactile additions. She lives on Lake Champlain with her husband. Visit her at and on Twitter @amyguglielmo.

Brett Helquist has illustrated many books for children, including the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. He is also the illustrator of the picture books Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World by Kim Tomsic and Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports by Phil Bildner, among others. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more at and on Instagram @bhelquist.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 07, 2021
What the Artist Saw
BISAC categories
JNF007010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Art
Library of Congress categories

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