Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse
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Colorful Dreamer: The Story of Artist Henri Matisse

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  24 reviews
An inspiring portrait of one of the world's most loved artists

There was once a boy named Henri, whose dreams were full of color even though his hometown was dreary and gray. His parents expected him to learn a trade when he grew up, but being a law clerk bored him, and he continued to dream of a colorful, exciting life, and of being noticed. Then Henri started painting . ....more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Dial
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The Noisy Paint Box by Barb RosenstockDave the Potter by Laban Carrick HillIt Jes' Happened by Don TateA Splash of Red by Jen BryantColorful Dreamer by Marjorie Blain Parker
Picture Book Biographies: Creative Souls
5th out of 26 books — 5 voters
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2013 Mock Caldecott
87th out of 97 books — 229 voters

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Matisse grew up in a French town that was industrial and gray. Despite this, he dreamed in bright colors. He was a boy who did not do well in school, at music, or really at much of anything except dreaming. Matisse decided to study law in Paris, but he discovered that being a law clerk was very dull, copying legal documents word for word by hand. Due to the stress, Matisse ended up in a hospital bed for months. It was there that he started painting to pass the time. Now he had found exactly what...more
I liked this story about Henri as he was growing up. He lived in a place with no color and everyone worked hard to just make a living. He was a daydreamer and his parents worried about him because he was not good at anything. He goes off to law school and has a hard time confined to his job and so he gets sick. While in the hospital, he starting drawing and using color. He thought he had finally found his dreams. The best part of this is the fact that they bring up how he did do something good,...more
Colorful Dreamer is the story of Henri Matisse, who has been one of my favorite artists since I was a little girl. Matisse didn't stumble upon his love of creating art until he was a young man. He first started out as a law clerk and the job stressed him out so much that he ended up in the hospital. It was while he was in the hospital that he discovered his true passion, which of course disappointed his family. No one wanted him to become an artist, but Matisse followed his heart and began to cr...more
Christine Turner
An inspiring portrait of one of the world's most loved artists There was once a boy named Henri, whose dreams were full of color even though his hometown was dreary and gray. His parents expected him to learn a trade when he grew up, but being a law clerk bored him, and he continued to dream of a colorful, exciting life, and of being noticed. Then Henri started painting . . . and kept painting and dreaming and working at his craft until he'd become one of the most admired and famous artists in t...more
bookaday #32. Nice, child friendly introduction the life of artist Henri Matisse. I like how the illustrator uses black and white to emphasize the dullness of Henri's life, changing to an explosion of color when he finds his joy and passion in art school.
Oh my, how could I have missed this book? I have been waiting for it to come in at the library, and I finally got my hands on a copy, and I LOVE IT. If I had read this before the Caldecott was awarded, I would have been pushing for it for a long time. I am retro-actively voting for it, even though the award and honors are already announced. The colors in this book are fabulous, and it is incredibly well done. My only complaint is that the main character looks too much like Harry Potter on the co...more
A good book that shows how important it is to find your passion. Matisse didn't really work hard at anything until he found art; I can totally relate to that!
Henri Matisse was not happy with the dull and dreary life he was leading. In fact, the life of a law clerk left him ill and in the hospital. To pass the time he took up painting - inspired by a patient in a neighboring bed. The colors revived and healed him. He began painting every moment he could. Eventually people noticed. He made works of art until the day he died. The illustrations do a great job showing the contrast of before and after he discovers art. This is a brief yet informative pictu...more
Mar 10, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2014-new
Although this is a very simple biography, the writing uses some really beautiful language. The illustrations reflect the text on each page - when there was no color in Matisse's life, the artist draws in black and white, when Matisse was being imaginative she used color, and as he eventually became a painter, investigating different styles, she used those styles to decorate the relevant pages. Another great model for biography writing, and a very nice introduction to a fabulous artist.
Leslie Bulion
This is a fascinating window into the life of Henri Matisse, told in lovely and accessible language for young readers. The illustrations are breathtaking, transitioning from a black and white style of the illustrator's own into and explosion of the brilliant colors and shapes of Matisse as he discovers what it is he's meant to do with his life! This book is as inviting and joyous as it is informative.
Matisse is one of my favorite artists and I loved the way Holly Berry really brought a feel for his art and style into the book. I also appreciated the message that it may take time to find out what you're passionate about, and time to discover exactly what it is that we want to work hard at.
Great picture book biography with both colored and black and white illustrations that help tell the story of Henri Matisse's life in a visual way. Note about the artist is included at the end with information about further reading and where to find his works in various museums all over the world.
The combined talents of author Marjorie Blain Parker and illustrator Holly Berry create a beautiful portrayal of the life of Henri Matisse making his contributions to the world of art accessible to the youngest of readers. This book will inspire.

My full review:
Books like this give me hope. Love this bio of Henri Matisse, how life was a struggle for him as a child and as a young man. I'd compare it with "The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau" by Michelle Markel and
Amanda Hall.
This very simple biography of Henry Matisse might be nice to share with dreamy children or those who struggle in school. It also obviously serves as an introduction to Matisse's artistic style.
Presents the life and work of the turn-of-the-20th-century French artist and imagines his art-inspired childhood and growth into becoming one of the most admired artists in the world.
Andd Becker
The book can inspire children to draw and paint. The text is interesting. The illustrations by Holly Berry are realistic. The use of alternating black/white and color is effective.
I loved the contrast of the black and white illustrations before Matisse began to paint the the vibrant colors in the later part of the book. Very inspirational
Debbie Hoskins
The cover called to me from the new book shelf and I took this book home. It is an attractive introduction to the life and work of Henri Matisse.
Some of want to create art and some of us *need* to create art. A great easy biography one of my favorite artists.
Edward Sullivan
An engaging, vivid introduction to the "master of color."
Informative but I wont read it again.
I really like the illustrations.
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
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