Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kid Konnection: The Sky Painter & Giveaway

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you a gorgeous picture book about a special artist.

Summary: Louis loves to watch birds. He takes care of injured birds and studies how they look and how they move. His father wants him to become an engineer, but Louis dreams of being a bird artist. To achieve this dream, he must practice, practice, practice. He learns from the art of John James Audubon. But as Louis grows up, he begins to draw and paint living, flying birds in their natural habitats.

Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927) is now known as the father of modern bird art. He traveled with many scientific expeditions all over the world. His best-known works—paintings for habitat exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York—are still beloved by visitors today. His art helped to encourage wildlife conservation, inspiring people to celebrate and protect the world of wings.

Poems by Newbery Honor–winning author Margarita Engle and illustrations by Aliona Bereghici capture the life of Louis Fuertes and the deep sense of wonder that he felt when he painted the sky. -- Two Lions

THE SKY PAINTER: LOUIS FUERTES, BIRD ARTIST by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Aliona Bereghici is a beautiful book with gorgeous poetic prose as well as amazing illustrations. What makes it even more special is that it tells the true story of Louis Fuertes, a famous bird artist.

I'm not sure if I'm alone when I say this, but I had never heard of Mr. Fuertes. I am not a huge fan of birds and the only bird artist I know is Audubon. That's probably what made THE SKY PAINTER so interesting to me. I was fascinated with Mr. Fuertes' non-traditional way of drawing birds.

After first learning to draw birds by posing ones that had been hunted, he decided that he wanted to let the birds live. As a result, Mr. Fuertes had to learn to paint quickly so he could capture them in their natural habitats. He eventually became quite good at this and even was able to capture the motion in their wings. He is credited with creating a new form of bird art!

I thought THE SKY PAINTER was a wonderful way to pay tribute to this special artist. The book begins when Mr. Fuertes was a young child just discovering the beauty of birds. It follows him throughout his career as he changed the way bird art was made. It's apparent that Mr. Fuertes loved nature, and especially birds; and he wanted to share his appreciation with others.

THE SKY PAINTER is an absolutely gorgeous book. It's written by a Newbery Honor-winning author and her prose is truly lovely. It's simple enough for young children, yet it also tells Mr. Fuertes' story in an interesting way. However, I thought the illustrations brought the book to the next level. They are beautiful! Each page comes alive with the bright colors and there is so much for readers to experience. I thought the pictures of the birds were especially detailed (as they should be in this book!), and I appreciated how many of them were labeled.

Because THE SKY PAINTER is both interesting and educational, it would be perfect for classrooms. There is an activity kit for teachers available on the author's website that has some unique ways to enhance children's reading experience.

I highly recommend THE SKY PAINTER!

Giveaway alert: One lucky winner will receive a copy of THE SKY PAINTER: LOUIS FUERTES, BIRD ARTIST. To enter, just fill out the form below before Friday, May 8th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!

Follow along on THE SKY PAINTER blog tour!

Mon, Apr 20 Library Fanatic
Tues, Apr 21 Kid Lit Frenzy
Wed, Apr 22 Unleashing Readers
Thurs, Apr 23 5 Minutes for Books
Fri, Apr 24 Teach Mentor Texts
Mon, Apr 27 Sharpread
Tues, Apr 28 The Children's Book Review
Wed, Apr 29 Cracking the Cover
Thurs, Apr 30 A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Fri, May 1 Archimedes Notebook

Thanks to the Blue Slip Media for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That sounds gorgeous - thanks for the giveaway!