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Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!
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Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  81 reviews
"One day the world is a peaceful, lovely landscape painting... The next day - BLAM! - Pablo bursts through the canvas, paintbrush in hand, ready to paint something fresh and new."

Pablo Picasso may have been one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, but that doesn't mean he painted what people wanted him to paint! In fact, some people hated his paintings, and call
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.81  · 
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 ·  358 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Barb Middleton
Another great read aloud with grade 5 students studying biographies. Jonah Winter's work is fantastic as mentor texts and I went and bought all of them for our library after reading this one. He captures a character and sprinkles facts throughout the story that allow students to delve deeper into the character or topic (such as the garbage barge story). Picasso is larger than life in this story, as he is today. Picasso plowed through the art world like a matador devouring different styles and mo ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! Both words and pictures are strong in this lively biography that focuses on Picasso's early life and his twenties, when he first began to paint in a Cubist style and shocked the art world in the process. Self-reinvention and persevering in the face of criticism are themes that transcend the art context. I especially love Kevin Hawkes's paintings, with their unusual points of view (a huge Picasso stepping over the rooftops of Paris; a young Picasso literally bursting through a pastoral land ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Although many parents and teachers encourage their charges to behave, sometimes behaving--or conforming to exactly what is expected--is actually quite limiting to creativity. This partial picture book biography with just a hint of fantasy in lines such as "Picasso expanded himself to a height of one hundred feet..." (p. 36)that might be confusing to young readers also makes clear the enormity of his presence and courage--some might say arrogance--in daring to defy conventions. The author chooses ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We have been reading a lot of books about artists this month and our girls love to learn more about the lives and struggles of famous artists. I appreciated learning more about the inspiration and spark of creativity that drove Pablo Picasso to shun the popular style of artwork in his time and follow his dreams and his passion.

The metaphors in the story depict him as a larger-than-life persona and someone who is unafraid to forge new territory. We learned more about Mr. Picasso, especially from
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliant concept, to focus on the vibe & power of the art, and to save the drier details and autobiography for the end notes. I feel more appreciative of Picasso's talents and vision now, for having read this.

"The world today doesn't make sense. Why should I make pictures that do?"
Margo Tanenbaum
Those looking for an attractive book on Picasso for young readers should check out Jonah Winter's picture book, Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!, released in February of 2012 and illustrated by the versatile Kevin Hawkes (I'm a big fan of The Wicked Big Toddlah, Library Lion, and A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, among others). This book focuses on the early years of Picasso's career. In a highly creative and appropriate opening, the first 2-page illustration shows a bucolic country landscape, a peace ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
3 starred reviews: PW, SLJ, Booklist

See also review at Waking Brain Cells.

Bold, vibrant paintings, tell the story of Pablo Picasso's development as an artist. I'm not very knowledgeable about Picasso, but I did get a feel that he made quite an impact on the art world of his day. Both the text and the art portray this quite well. Seems to be a good introduction to the artist for kids, or a read aloud for an art class. Not your typical picture book biography, this one is unique. Includes a brief w
Jim Erekson
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
The theatrical voice of the narrator almost made me feel like I was in a movie trailer, or listening to a carnival barker (neither of which was a bad thing). In fact, there were moments where I thought this could easily break into a musical. It had a lot of the pacing and exaggerated feel of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I have to say I wish the storytelling style and illustration had less of the flash and fame about it, and more of the abstraction that would be more consistent w
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This fictionalized biography of Picasso includes small images of some of his famous art, as well as a very philosophical discussion of his life and attitudes. I found that to be unusual, including the almost dreamlike way of portraying his existence.
While technically a picture book, I can't really see reading this to a very young child. I think that it is really aimed at kids who are becoming aware of their own identities and creativity, and can serve to encourage them to try things outside the
I loved this book. It was such a great book about doing what you love and being yourself and exploring new ideas; being defiant when others tell you know. My five year old daughter loved this book, but I also shared it with a group of 6th and 7th grade boys and they were enthralled by the story as well. Mixed in with the story are several of his paintings to give readers a taste of the variety of styles that Picasso used during his career. The story mixes in several fantastical elements such as ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A picture book biography about one of the most famous artists the world has ever known. A few facts about Picasso’s life are included, but the overall emphasis is on the huge impact Picasso had on art. Acrylic illustrations help to support the notion that Picasso was breaking onto the scene, especially when he is depicted as bursting through a canvas ready to create something original.

The text includes the various critical responses to Picasso’s work and his strong opinions. This book does a gr
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't know if I ever thought I'd see an illustration of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in a book for kids...
A solid biography for a younger audience, however the time line is unclear and some things are to magical to really make sense in the context.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! is yet another brilliant addition to Jonah Winter's biography series. I love them, because they take a different stance on biographies, showing the life of the artist in question instead of telling it. It makes a great vehicle for discussing what accuracy consists of, and how biographic narratives can be reliable in a number of ways. You would not use this book to determine the facts of Pablo Picasso's life, but you can use it to get a sense of it, of his spirit, his ...more
Tessa Herlofson
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Just Behave Pablo Picasso" is a wonderful example of a biography made with the intention of children to read and understand. The picture book tells of Pablo Picasso's life as an artist. It told about his first paintings and how they were realistic so people found them to be beautiful. It follows his life and tells how he moved to Paris, where there he went through his "blue" phase. He then experiments with a few more styles of painting until he discovers one he loves but his audience is not a f ...more
Jaclyn Sibley
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life
Award: No awards received
Grade: 1st and 2nd
Summary: Picasso is one of the most famous artists, but his work wasn't always liked. He painted what he wanted to paint, but some viewers thought he was not doing good. Picasso ignored their negative comments and created unique works of art, eventually getting people interested.
Review: I think this is a really good book to show students it is okay to be different even if people do not like what you are doing. The illustrations are beautiful and fittin
Viviane Elbee
This book is based on Picasso's life when he was young. It follows him through his talented artistic debut in traditional art styles, and shows his decision to move towards abstract art despite intense criticism.

The book isn't pure non-fiction as exaggeration is used to show how Picasso faced heavy criticism from many sides and how he nevertheless persevered with his new art.

This is an enjoyable read for elementary school children and can be used to discuss Picasso's life & work. It can also
The story is certainly inspiring as the description in Goodreads says, and is worth reading for the story aspect. There isn't quite as much specific information about Picasso in this book as there is in some books like Laurence Anholt's artists series. It's still worth reading if there is extra time during a lesson. I just wouldn't want this book to be the focus and take away from kids time making art.
Mrs. Ruigrok
A storybook about Pablo Picasso..his many styles, the response of the people and a wrap up that tells all about him A good book to share with students learning about Picasso.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This book is a cool way to introduce abstract art concepts to kids. It also provides an introduction to Pablo Picasso and his art.
I appreciated the larger-than-life approach to portraying Picasso. I simply loved the double spread close up of the intense, not-quite-pleasant-expression on his face on the title page...right away an indication that Picasso is going to engage you whether you like it or not. And I am happy to see representations of so many different of his works throughout the book...usually with a picture book about an artist I am left wanting more of their art than I get.

I really don't mind the fantastic elem
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to Picasso and the creative process for kids.
Jane G Meyer
Included in our art studies of Pablo Picasso.
Travis Kesinger
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction:
I think this book was extremely informative and well written. Art is a topic that I am not super familiar with, and therefore needed more guidance on. I felt like this book was something that I could relate to on a variety of levels. I was engaged by the writing style, and also presented with a lot of very pertinent information.

Purpose/ Use in the Classroom:

Read Aloud: This book would be a great way to begin an art lesson. Students would be able to address the style, creativi
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Hannah Edwards
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! by Jonah Winter is a biography that was written about Pablo Picasso and his life. I think that Jonah Winter did an extraordinary job putting together parts of Pablo Picasso’s life into a children friendly book. I think that is showcases major and important pieces of his life. This is a great book for teachers to use with their students when talking about art. Pablo Picasso was a very important figure in the history of art. This book will enhance the learning process a ...more
Casey Thompson
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! by Jonah Winter is a biography that focuses on the impact that Picasso had on the art world and how he evolved as an artist throughout his life. Some details and facts about his life are included, but the main emphasis is placed on his impact. I enjoyed the illustrations because there were some of Picasso's work mixed in with the other illustrations. I think a lot of children would be able to relate to this book because it's all about doing something that you love, an ...more
Hayden Drescher
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-bookshelf
I wouldn’t say I’m a raving fan of Picasso, but I would say I’m always interested in his work whenever I get the chance to see it or talk about it. Picasso was definitely ages ahead of his time and I’m glad somebody finally gave brief, well-put summary of how he got to that point. A lot is known about Picasso but kids don’t want some humdrum lecture about him. This book is perfect for getting kids interested and excited for any arts, crafts, and other artsy situations. The activities would not o ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book! From the first page: "One day the world is a peaceful, lovely landscape painting... The next day - BLAM! - Pablo bursts through the canvas, paintbrush in hand, ready to paint something fresh and new", to Picasso’s continued determination to pursue something he felt passionate about, even though everyone turned against him.

Personally I agree with all the critics that said his new style was an artistic step backward. Everything art related came so quickly and ea
Maddie Scheer
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
1. This was a fun read! I didn't know anything about Pablo Picasso before reading this book and thought it was great to get to learn more. It was a beautiful book and focused primarily on his first years as an artist. Overall, a very good read!
2. This would be a great read aloud for a classroom studying a unit on biographies. As the book is a biography, it taught a lot about Picasso and I think the students would find it compelling and interesting. It could also be used for a unit on artists and
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Jonah Winter is the celebrated author of many picture book biographies, including Barack, which was a New York Times bestseller. His books include Here Comes the Garbage Barge, Sonia Sotomayor, Roberto Clemente, and more. A poet and a painter, Mr. Winter divides his time between Santa Fe and a small town in Pennsylvania.