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The compelling story of a torn family whose children grew up to be first-class artists will captivate young readers. How does a child grow up to become an artist? Where does the journey begin? For Neil Waldman, it began with finger paints in the kitchen of his family's Bronx apartment, with a mother who possessed a very special book from of paintings by an artist who signed his work with the name Vincent. Finger painting and drawing, however, were more than playtime activities. In the middle of the night, Neil and his siblings would hear the terrible screams of his parents as they fought. The children found that art was a means of surviving the anger and sadness that surrounded them. The book feature more than forty fine-art reproductions and pencil drawings by Bruce, Bryna, and Neil Waldman.
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Neil Waldman has received the Christopher Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the ALA Notable Award, and the Parents' Choice Award, among others. His jacket illustrations have appeared on seven Newbery Award winners. He lives in White Plains, New York.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5 Up This portrait of Waldman as a young boy is set against the backdrop of a tempestuous marriage. The senior Waldmans fought incessantly, so the four offspring developed rich interior lives. Three found art to be a lifeboat and pursued it professionally. Their mature work, and that of other relatives, decorates the text sometimes relating directly, at other times bearing no discernible connection. Waldman's mother nurtured her firstborn's creativity, as did his grandfather, who introduced him to the van Goghs at the Metropolitan Museum and the buffalo at the zoo; these episodes reveal the serendipity that surrounds a life led by wonder and curiosity and convey how the seeds were sown for later children's books. The importance of Jewish ritual to Waldman's intellectual and moral development is also portrayed. Children might be confused when Waldman segues elsewhere or fades out. They might also find it difficult to determine the time period; he writes of both a rabbi's horse-drawn carriage and of watching TV. Nevertheless, young people familiar with his books, who need to read an autobiography, or who are interested in becoming artists themselves, may find this to be an absorbing journey. Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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Book Description Boyds Mills Press, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New. Guaranteed. Seller Inventory # SKU030953
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