Edward Hopper Paints His World

Robert Burleigh, Author, Wendell Minor, Illustrator
Robert Burleigh, illus. by Wendell Minor. Holt/Ottaviano, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8752-9
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Burleigh and Minor (Abraham Lincoln Comes Home) pair up for another terrific profile of a famous American, this time artist Edward Hopper. Minor’s gouache watercolors (stunning works of art in their own right) echo Hopper’s evocative realism and clean lines. Full-color spreads and sketched b&w vignettes portray the artist from his youth to his old age, observing and painting his surroundings. From the boyhood room in which Hopper paints a lone sailboat on the Hudson River to the country gas station he captures at dusk in his famous painting, Gas, the illustrations convey the solitary tone of Hopper’s work. In many scenes, readers peer over Hopper’s shoulder as he works, seeing what he sees. The accessible narrative then invites the audience to think more critically about the context in which Hopper created. “Many houses in his paintings seem moody, quiet, and alone. Were Edward’s houses a bit like Edward himself?” A few of Hopper’s quotations about art are included in an afterword, along with reproductions of several well-known paintings. Sources, a bibliography, and an artist’s note wrap up this remarkable picture-book biography. Ages 5–9. (Aug.)
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