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Sawed in half? Rabbits pulled from hats? These are tricks, just magic tricks, and Clara knows them all. But on a visit to a rich gringo's house, she spots a picture of a watermelon, done by a famous artist. The painted fly on it looks so real, Clara swears she saw it move. At last, real magic! Soon Clara discovers her own artistic abilities and she paints as if from a dream—orange cats with silver wings and shells that open up like flowers. This beautiful, original story is peppered with Spanish words, features a character reminiscent of Diego Rivera, and vibrant illustrations that evoke the essence of Mexican art.
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Campbell Geeslin is the author of many books about children in Mexico. His most recent, Elena's Serenade, received three starred reviews and a Parents' Choice Award. Señor Geeslin lives in White Plains, New York.
Ryan Sanchez's work has been shown in galleries all over the world. He has illustrated for Spin Magazine, The New Republic, and The Village Voice. This is Señor Sanchez's first children's book. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The author of Elena's Serenade (2004), and other books set in Mexico, here introduces a Mexican girl and her stepfather, a famous painter dubbed "Senor Frog" for his rotund form. The painter's explanation of his surrealistic portrait of Clara--"I picture you in a dream, and then I paint what I see"--encourages the fanciful girl to create pictures melding the real and unreal. The lengthy text lacks focus, and except for a mention on the flap copy, nothing addresses the obvious parallels between the painter and Diego Rivera (whose murals of Mexican folklife are clearly referenced in Sanchez's bold, evocative oils). Still, Clara's experience may resonate with children adjusting to their own stepparents, and the theme of tapping creativity makes this a natural tool for art instructors, especially if used with Jonah Winter's Frida (2002). Sanchez, who makes an impressive debut here, depicts Clara with a disproportionately large head; when interpreted as a physical expression of a rich, expansive inner life, the choice seems entirely appropriate. Jennifer Mattson
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Book Description Schwartz & Wade, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375836136
Book Description Schwartz & Wade, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110375836136
Book Description Schwartz & Wade, 2007. Condition: New. Ryan Sanchez (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0375836136