cover image The Little Painter of Sabana Grande

The Little Painter of Sabana Grande

Patricia Maloney Markun. Bradbury Press, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-762205-8

During the dry season in Panama, when school closes, Fernando embarks on a special hunt. His goal is not wildlife, but colors--black from the tree stump burned to charcoal, blue from an obscure berry, yellow from dried meadow grasses and red from the brook's clay bottom. Enthralled with his new paints, Fernando suddenly realizes he has no paper. But the white adobe walls of the village houses prove too obvious to ignore, and soon Fernando's parents give in to his pleas--``Do your best, Fernando. Remember, the neighbors will have to look at your pictures for a very long time.'' As the boy's vining poinciana tree vividly blossoms on his family's house and crawls up towards the thatched roof, curious neighbors watch--and commission him to extend his canvas to the whole village. Casilla's warm, brightly lit watercolors fill the pages and engulf the text in yellow light and luxuriant hues. This picturesque true story will engage adults reading aloud and may well inspire budding artists--some, perhaps, with hidden penchants for painting on surfaces other than paper. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)