Monday, October 26, 2009

Lily Brown's Paintings


Lily Brown's Paintings by Angela Johnson was a book I had placed on my book fair wish list last week and my wish was granted. It was granted by someone I would of never suspected, a former student now in fifth grade. She walked into my room one day last week, as she would of done as a third grader two years ago and gently handed me this book. I was so surprised and filled with joy.

The book begins with Lily Brown a little girl who loves her family and when she paints, "her world starts to change." Isn't that a great notion for children to think about? That painting can open doors and creativity can change how things are. Each page is a painting by Lily Brown with her own creative spin explained through the illustrations and the text. For example, when Lily walks to school the trees are wearing hats and drink tea on cool days, bowing to her. A few pages later, Lily paints a path in the park where antelopes are lounging and alligators are on the phone. I think this would be a great model for children to see and hear to encourage creativity within their work.

My favorite page goes like this,

"In Lily Brown's paintings
the colors of people,
places, and things
change with her heart.

People walk upside down,
and the buildings on streets dance
with airplanes flying above.
And it's another world.

Lily paints all that she sees and feels her own way.
She puts her world of color
and light on anything she can find.
It's magical."

The illustrations are done in watercolor with bright and subtle tones. A bonus with this book is a note from the illustrator. She tells the reader how her work has been influenced by trips with her father to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the artists that have inspired her. She incorporates her early experiences into her work.

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