Georgia O'Keeffe: She Saw the World in a Flower (What the Artist Saw)

by Gabrielle Balkan (Author) Josy Bloggs (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
See the world through Georgia O'Keeffe'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 of books to keep and collect, 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 What the Artist Saw: Georgia O'Keeffe, meet famous American painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Step into her life and learn what led her to look closely at nature and paint her iconic paintings of flowers and bones. See the vast New Mexico landscapes that inspired her work. Have a go at producing your own close-up still-life artworks! 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 landscapes, or even yourself, with Vincent van Gogh. 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 - perfect for budding young 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 3-7—This installment in the series shines. This volume spans artist Georgia O'Keeffe's 98 years of life, from childhood to death. As with the other entries, this title also provides suggestions for ways that readers might experiment with some of O'Keeffe's art technique or perspectives, such as, "Try zooming in on a small detail and drawing it really large!" Balkan deftly explains transition from realism to a more abstract perspective on the world. The book includes many other elements that, combined with Bloggs's lively, colorful folk art style, make for a visually pleasing presentation. Some of these include a reproduction of 13 of O'Keeffe's paintings in a time line format from 1915-1940, a glossary of art terms, and a clearly written, interesting account of the artist's life that also shows an obvious respect for the artist's self-assuredness, independence, and self-expression. VERDICT Purchase to complement art history units and for biography shelves.—Maggie Chase, Boise State Univ., ID

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

A brief, insightful introduction to the artist's life and work.—Booklist, Starred Review
Gabrielle Balkan
Gabrielle Balkan is best known for non-fiction books that delight readers ages 5-12 with curious and essential facts about the United States and animal record-breakers. Her books include The 50 States, 50 Cities, Book of Bones, and Book of Flight; Whose Bones? An Animal Guessing Game (Phaidon, Fall 2020); Megafauna: The Gigantic Beasts That Once Walked Among Us (working title) (Workman, Fall 2021). She lives, works, and rides bikes in Brooklyn with her twin 5th graders, two cats, and a writer husband. In 2020 she was nominated for an Indiana Author Award.

Josy Bloggs Based in Yorkshire, U.K. Josy began her initial career as a graphic designer. After graduating from the University of Huddersfield in 2009 with a MA in Spatial Design she went on to work as an interior designer for commercial clients. She loves working with layout and color to create impactful illustration and enjoys combining illustration with type and font selection, to create a balance between text and image. To counterbalance this when she is not creating she likes to take her dog for long walks, or cycle in the Yorkshire countryside.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2021
What the Artist Saw
BISAC categories
JNF007010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Art
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
United States
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Painting, American
Creative nonfiction

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