Monday, May 13, 2024

Happy Book Birthday, Monet Chases the Light by Jenny Gahan!

Happy book birthday! I might be a day early on this one, but the pre-party is always the most fun. Today's read heads in a non-fiction direction and takes a peek at Monet. I don't believe this one will be a boring look at his life, accomplishments, dates, and such. Instead, I'm expecting something a little more general about him and his works. Obviously, it will have, at least, a little bit to do with light. And him running?

Anyway, let's just open the cover and find out.

by Jenny Gahan & Patricia Ward
Little Pink Dog Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 6 to 10

COMING MAY 14th!!!

Monet, a French artist, is fascinated by light. He paints at all times of the day, in all seasons, and in all kinds of weather. He chases the light as it frolics through the fields, dances in the treetops, and skips across the water. Eventually the light comes to rest in Monets beautiful waterlily pond.

Monet Chases the Light is a creative non-fiction picture book for children aged 4-6 years. Claude Monet, a French artist, produced paintings that glowed with light and colour.

Monet was fascinated by light and painted at all times of the day, in all seasons, and in all kinds of weather in his endeavour to capture the light in his work. This book introduces children to Monets fascination with light in a playful manner. He chases the light as it frolics through the corn fields, dances in the treetops, and skips across the shimmering water. Monet paints quickly, as the light never stays still for long. When the light is soft and silky, he uses gentle flowing strokes. When the light is harsh and bright, he uses rough, choppy strokes. Monet sometimes paints the same thing over and over, from dawn until dusk, watching the colours and light change as the sun drifts across the sky.

At his home in Giverny Monet creates a splendid waterlily pond. He paints magical pictures of his pond as the light prances through the waterlilies. Then, as an old man, Monet grows tired of chasing the light. He sits quietly beside his pond. Monet has spent his life chasing the light, but now at last the light finds him.

AMAZON    /     PUBLISHER   /    B&N   /    OBLONG BOOKS


Light and art play on every page as Monets' works are portrayed in each scene.

This book is a light, flowing homage to Monet and his works. The reader meets him when he's already older, and he's running with canvas and art supplies across a field as it artistically merges from a painted image of violet to a colorful landscape. This sets a playful tone, which holds throughout the read. But then, this isn't a read about the facts surrounding Monet, but rather, brings across his art style and works in a natural manner, which especially takes a view at his use of light...hence, the title. Every page shows a colorful landscape, which expresses how light changes the appearance. At the same time, Monet is shown as he paints the same scene on his canvas. 

The illustrations are done in watercolor and carry the same colorful style as Monet's works. The scenes keep a very light atmosphere and allow the colorful landscapes to hit with a slightly fantastical impression, which invites to dreaming.

Especially the younger end of the intended age group will enjoy this one, and it works well as a read-a-loud. The light, rhythmic tone leads the reader through the different settings, which even include Monet him painting while sitting on a boat. The entire thing rounds off to a comforting and peaceful end to form a calming read. This would work nicely as an introduction to an art theme or when learning more about Monet. 

And here they are...

Jenny Gahan is an experienced primary and special education teacher, passionate 
about sharing her love of reading and writing with children. She writes picture books, 
both fiction and non-fiction, that encourage children to use their imagination, build 
their language skills, ask questions, and engage with the world around them.
Jenny's first fiction picture book, A Rainbow of Feathers, was published in 2020. This 
beautifully illustrated book features Australian birds including a Rainbow Lorikeet, 
a blue Fairy Wren, a Scarlet Honeyeater, a Yellow Robin, and a green Fig Parrot, and 
tells the story of a baby lorikeet finding her colours.
Jenny lives in Brisbane, and in addition to reading and writing, Jenny's interests include 
photography and painting. In the future she plans to visit more of the places that inspire 
her creativity.

Patricia Ward has a B.A Design and is an emerging children's book illustrator, who is 
currently working on her fourth children's book. Patricia is an art director and illustrator 
whose work spans television, magazines and publishing. Her illustrations have 
appeared on CD artworks, magazine and book covers, in television series and her 
animations have won awards both at home in Australia and in New York in the New York 
Festivals TV & Film Awards.

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