Lenore Look Brush of the Gods

ISBN 13: 9780375870019

Brush of the Gods

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9780375870019: Brush of the Gods
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This gorgeous picture book biography, according to Kirkus Reviews in a starred review, is "a cheerful introduction not only to Wu Daozi, but to the power of inspiration."

Who wants to learn calligraphy when your brush is meant for so much more? Wu Daozi (689-758), known as China's greatest painter and alive during the T'ang Dynasty, is the subject of this stunning picture book. When an old monk attempts to teach young Daozi about the ancient art of calligraphy, his brush doesn't want to cooperate. Instead of characters, Daozi's brush drips dancing peonies and flying Buddhas! Soon others are admiring his unbelievable creations on walls around the city, and one day his art comes to life! Little has been written about Daozi, but Look and So masterfully introduce the artist to children.

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About the Author:

LENORE LOOK is the author of the popular Alvin Ho series, as well as several acclaimed picture books, including Henry's First-Moon Birthday and Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding, both of which received three starred reviews and were named ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Books. Her latest picture book is Polka Dot Penguin Pottery.

MEILO SO has illustrated many acclaimed and award-winning books, including Kate Coombs's Water Sings Blue, called "evocative" in a Publishers Weekly starred review; Janet Schulman's Pale Male, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; and Antoine ÓFlatharta's Hurry and the Monarch.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Swirling back through the mists of Chinese history, collaborators Look and So bring children the story of Wu Daozi, an artist with magic in his brush. As a boy in the late seventh century, Daozi was taught calligraphy—at least the monks attempted to teach him. However, instead of letters, worms and horse tails fall from his brush, and when he takes his art into the city, his flowers and clouds are so full of vivacity and life that people from all over come to admire his work. But what’s this? As Daozi grows older, he’s startled to see the butterflies he draws take flight from the paper. A camel walks away from the wall. His crowds of followers dissipate, perhaps because they don’t believe the art has come to life, but eventually, a new generation brings him to such heights of popularity that the emperor invites Daozi to paint a magnificent mural on a palace wall—one that takes him the rest of his life. The author’s note calls this picture book a reimagined life of the painter who brought spirit and motion to Chinese art. Certainly, Look and So have dipped deep into the well of artistry and creativity to produce a book that captures Daozi’s essence. The richly colored artwork is stunning in both its scope and particulars; inky calligraphy brushstrokes accent people and places. And the words are equally well chosen: the elderly Dazoi is drenched in the moon’s silver tears. This combination of talents happily never forgets its audience in an offering as child-appealing and whimsical as it is handsome. Grades K-3. --Ilene Cooper

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