Picasso: Soul on Fire by Rick Jacobson

Picasso: Soul on Fire by Rick Jacobson. Illustrated by Laura Fernandez & Rick Jacobson (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 32
Ages: 8+
First Published: 2004 (Jun. 14, 2011 paperback edition)
Publisher: Tundra Books
Genre: children, picturebook, biography, artist
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

When young Pablo Picasso first painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, people were shocked.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Tundra Books.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy picture book biographies. Personally, I do not enjoy Picasso's artwork myself but he was a very intriguing personality and his life is certainly an interesting one to read about and I wondered just what a children's biography would focus on mostly.

This is a brief tale of Picasso's life which details his childhood and early years of artwork that brought him up to his influences which finally brought about his first piece of cubism, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.  Then it goes on to explain what he was trying to capture in this strange new art form, talks about his famous piece on the Spanish Civil War, Guernica, and ends with this passion and obsession of painting.  The very end of the book presents a timeline of his life.

Honestly, I found the story a tad boring, very fast paced, not giving enough info on Picasso's life but spending more time describing his artwork.  Aside from the reproduction of Guernica, the other few examples of Picasso's art could be called more like thumbprints in the top corners of pages and there were certainly not enough examples of his faces, which he is so well known for when one hears the name Picasso, to give a good representation of his art.  On the other hand, the book's artists Jacobson and Fernandez have done a brilliant job creating a beautiful picture book that calls back the time period of Picasso's hey days.  Not the best book for actually seeing Picasso's art but an OK story about the man.


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