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Viva Frida
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Viva Frida

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,219 Ratings  ·  547 Reviews
A 2015 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2015 Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award

Frida Kahlo, one of the world's most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.

Distinguished author/illustrator Yuyi Morales illuminates Frida's life and work in this elegant and fascin
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
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The expressively emotional three dimensional puppet dioramas of Viva Frida (which appear to have been created by author and illustrator Yuyi Morales and were then photographed by Tim O'Meara) are in all ways a delightful and wonderful visual treat, a glorious celebration of Frida Kahlo's imagination, creativity and her special and unique ways of perceiving, of looking at the world. And yes, if I were to consider the illustrations (the spectacular dioramas) and ONLY them, I can not only both much ...more
Illustrations made with wonderfully expressive puppets bring Frida, Diego (briefly), and several animal friends to life, with a warmth and sparkle not commonly associated with Frida Kahlo picture books. This book is largely a celebration of creativity and the imagination, rather than a true biography, but it makes a fun complement or jumping off point to more traditional explorations of Frida's life. Young children will love poring over the details in the artwork and (better still) making puppet ...more
Jul 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
So, who earned the 2015 Caldecott Honor citation awarded to Viva Frida, author/illustrator Yuyi Morales, or photographer Tim O'Meara? Or both? I did a little research into this question, and on the American Library Association's Caldecott webpage as of the time I wrote this review, Yuyi Morales appeared to be the only one credited for the book's art, with no mention of Tim O'Meara. Whether that's right or wrong I'll leave others to ponder, but I enjoyed all the artwork in Viva Frida, a colorful ...more
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Holy cow. This book is a force, and I'm having trouble articulating my thoughts about it. The mixed-media artwork is phenomenal. The details of the puppets, the rich textures and colors, all combined in a way that brings out the best of traditional art and digital manipulation. I rarely like books that have the text in more than one language, but this one works. The poem is simple and beautiful, and I read it to myself in both languages, despite the fact that I only have a Sesame-Street understa ...more
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-friendly
One of the toddlers I care for sometimes has the best collection of children's books I've ever seen (heavy on history, social justice, diverse representation, not centered around white, English-speaking people, etc.). Viva Frida is probably in their top three most loved books. Yesterday they asked me to read it to them three times.

We linger on each page to admire the art, point out the different characters, and based on the simple phrases in both Spanish and English, we practice a bit of conjuga
Viva Frida gave me the feels. I know others have criticized it for not giving enough insight into Frida Kahlo's life in the story itself, but to me, this book is so much bigger than just a biography of Frida Kahlo. It felt like a living, breathing poem and was simply enchanting. Somebody needs to give Yuyi Morales a Caldecott already.
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Frida Kahlo is one of the most celebrated female artists in the world. This picture book is less a biography and more a celebration of her life and art on the page. Written in brief sentences, the book shows her unique perspective on the world. It pays homage to the rich love she had in her life, her pet monkey, and all of the inspiration she found around her. In a world that needs more diverse picture books, this is one worth celebrating.

The book is told entirely in short sentences from Frida K
Jim Erekson
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Much like Melissa Sweet's illustrations in A River of Words Yuyi Morales was able to make the book about the art. This was far more than a biographical telling, it was an exploration of imagery and sounds that Frida Kahlo's work and biography evoke. In fact, some people (not me) might be disappointed by the sparse biographical material. The picturebook format is a kind of poetry, in that it has severe limitations on scope (32 pages). Authors and illustrators of informative genres can either embr ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Read for 5427 class

Viva Friday has uniquely beautiful illustrations, which is par for the course for Yuyi Morales. However, the story was lacking... mostly because there wasn't one.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lis-510-complete
Viva Frida is an enchanting introduction to the phenomenal Frida Kahlo. Yuyi Morales’s illustrations were created using stop-motion puppets, acrylic paint and photography and pay homage to the artist’s extraordinary, surreal style. The text is spare, just a few words per page in both English and Spanish, and hints at Kahlo’s creative, colorful and complicated life. Since Kahlo’s life and art were so intense, Morales’s Viva Frida is a gentle and imaginative book that makes the artist accessible i ...more
Amy Layton
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This book is a force to be reckoned with.  There's a beautiful duality in all aspects of this book, and most notably within its language and illustrations.  The text is written in both English and Spanish, keeping true to Kahlo's heritage while also giving children a chance to learn/reinforce some words in a different language.  Morales' artwork, additionally, is mixed media, involving both puppetry as well as painting, which makes complete sense given that the puppets give a lifelike quality to ...more
Marie Sheedy
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales is a stunning book with Frida Kahlo portrayed throughout the book, while introducing words in both Spanish and English. I appreciated the beautiful pictures and vibrant colors, I believe paying respect to the talented artist Frida Kahlo. The one downside to this book may be that while Frida Kahlo is used throughout the book, the reader doesn't learn anything about the life of this woman. The author does include information at the end of the book about Frida, giving us ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in Kahlo and women's history
I looked at this quickly while it was being processed in Technical Services. It is an exquisite book. I see a number of people are predicting a Caldecott for Morales based on this book. It might happen: it wouldn't surprise me. I used the category biography for this book, which is a bit of an exaggeration. It is more a description of what Frida's art feels like than a real biography of her. The book is just so gorgeous. However, it is quite brief. The use of this book will be to give to the kid ...more
Maria Rowe
• 2015 Caldecott Honor Book •

Not much text and didn't learn anything about Frida Kahlo. I also didn't really like the photos very much. Some of the photos looked blurry in spots - especially Frida's facial features. I'm not sure if this was touched up in Photoshop or what, but it was visually jarring. I'm also confused as to why the photographer, Tim O'Meara, didn't get any credit and looks like he didn't share in the Caldecott? I did like that the book was in both English and Spanish, and it w
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mock-caldecott
Gorgeous. Not for kids, I think, so much, and DEFINITELY not a picture book biography, so don't go looking for facts about Frida's life. Instead, appreciate the meticulous artwork and the simple text:

I am
I search
I see
I play
I know
I dream
And I realize that I feel
And I understand that I love
And create
And so I live!

I might actually give this as a gift to the creative adults in my life.
Adrienne Pettinelli
Winner of a 2015 Caldecott Honor. This is one of those books that floors me anew every time I open it, and I have opened it a lot of times. I mean a LOT.
Marissa Elera
Everything Morales touches turns to gold. I could not love this more.
Sarah Hannah
The art in this book is just fascinating. Weird and slightly off but still beautiful, which is kind of perfect, because that's Kahlo's work in a nutshell.
Alyson Long
-Plot summary and personal response: “Viva Frida” is a fantastic book for young readers to take a quick peek at two different languages at one time. The text and pictures give a short story/description of some of the aspects of Frida Kahlo’s (a famous artist) life through use of Spanish, English, dolls, puppets, and life-like illustrations. As you go through the pages, it is necessary to use the pictures to tell yourself the story, not just the words. Through the pictures you can see that the ma ...more
Viva Frida is a winner of the Caldecott Award and if you read this book, you could immediately tell why! A book of few words, this picture book with such vibrant colors and the usage of multimedia will make you fall in love. It is a must have for both an at home library as well for the classroom library for children of all ages; it is a great book to introduce the famous painter, Frida to children.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Reflection: Text to World -- the story, more specifically the illustrations, cause the reader to examine the idea of beauty and physical perfection. Frida clearly has a unibrow, but the story isn’t about appearance. Simply the illustrations detail Frida going about her day and her appearance is enhanced by the beauty of nature, her gowns, and the fact that the unibrow is later glorified (in a manner of speaking). This is a story about how each culture has beauty and perceptions of beauty we shou ...more
Brooke Snyder
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: diversity
Summary: This book is written in both Spanish and English. It’s a story about a young woman who searches, sees, explores, loves, creates, and lives!

Personal Response/Critical Response: I like this book. I think children will enjoy it but I don’t know if they will understand the book unless the teacher describes to them what the story is saying. The lack of words may confuse the children because they would need to use the illustrations to get a deeper meaning. Some students may not get this.

Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Morales' illustrative technique has always astounded me. The imagery she is able to create with a combination of stop motion puppetry, digital photography, and painting is beautifully detailed, whimsical, and aesthetically pleasing.

The only thing simple about this book is its sparse and meaningful text. It's not the right book for you if you're looking for an informative biography of Frida Kahlo. But if you are looking for a gorgeous bilingual picture book this is it. It illustrates the inspirat
Betty Ortega
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
* Book Summary
This is a very short book about Frida, the famous artist, who explains everything she experiences and what makes her human. She loves, she lerns, she dreams, and much more. The book is in English and Spanish.
Caldecott Honor (2015), Pura Belpré Award for Illustration (2015)

* Grade Level/ Interest level
* Appropriate Classroom Use
I would use this book when talking about different cultures to show how we are all different yet the dame. Or when learning about differ
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a huge Frida Kahlo fan, I knew that I would appreciate this book. I was not disappointed. The illustrations, through various mixed media, photography, and paintings, are stunning. The images constructed to fill the pages of this book could easily fill the walls of a modern art museum. I especially love the use of puppetry to show images of Frida. They capture the spirit of Frida in a way that is unique and inspired. The story serves as a simple guide to the illustrations that allows for deep ...more
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Expressive illustrations using an altered Barbie for Frida, this bilingual book does a wonderful job of capturing in very few words the motivation behind artistic expression. What is art and what does it do for the artist are big subjects and this book does a really nice job of introducing young children to these concepts. It also illuminates Frida's life and the symbols that frequent her work. The biography of the artist at the end is much appreciated and should spur young readers onto further ...more
A bilingual picture book bio about Frida Kahlo that really focuses on her essence. Text is very limited and could be read aloud (in both languages).

Artwork is beautiful and uses figures and realia to create a realistic world that then morphs into a dreamlike world of illustrations.

This book is nice for a unit on the artist, but it does require some knowledge of the artist's life to make sense of the people and animals that made up her world.

Amy Rae
Okay, I admit it. I was skeptical. Despite the fact that I love dolls, I found the Frida Kahlo doll on the cover a little creepy. But Yuyi Morales' combination of 2D art and photography of her Frida doll (with accompanying Diego doll!) really won me over. The text was a little too abstract to really do it for me, but the art is so pretty that it could be the only thing in the book, and I would still love it.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
If I was judging this book on the illustrations alone I would not hesitate to give it five stars. But the text didn't give me anything about the artist, until the end in the author's note. I knew nothing about this illustrator until I read the author's note. Unless I was an art teacher, I can't really see using this with my students. I love the illustrations and the use of the dolls.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I agree with the folks who say this is Caldecott material. Honestly, it's gorgeous to look at and obviously a labor of love. A very beautiful book that raises the bar for illustrations for childrens books.
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Yuyi Morales is the illustrator of Kathleen Krull’s Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, whose accolades include a Pura Belpré Award and a Christopher Medal, as well as the Pura Belpré Award-winning Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. Born and raised in Mexico, she now lives in northern California.
More about Yuyi Morales

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