Recommended as part of the Building Bridges of Understanding for Infants to 2nd class to support children’s use of connections.
One day a strange man arrives in Camille’s town. He has a straw hat and a yellow beard. The man turns out to be the artist Vincent van Gogh. This is an introduction to the great painter, seen through the eyes of a young boy entranced by his painting. There are reproductions of Van Gogh’s work.
Use of a child’s perspective renders the subject matter more accessible for children, helps to disguise the educational aspect of the book and brings a fresh sense of wonder to the artist. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, with a couple of repeated motifs, such as van Gogh’s pipe and straw hat, to ensure the images are simple but memorable. The writing is simple and spare but with well-chosen words, which should leave children effortlessly remembering that van Gogh painted sunflowers, and that he was unappreciated in his lifetime. The themes are that of being patient, whilst not giving up, in the face of rejection and tolerance of people who are different. (Elizabeth Jones www.writeaway.org.uk )
Delightfu; a most attractive introduction to the artist and his work (School Librarian )
The excellent illustrations include some of Van Gogh’s own work and the picture of him in his bedroom is cleverly based on his own painting. The story includes the way he was teased and driven away for being different so it leads naturally to discussion of bullying (Books for Keeps )