cover image Breaking Waves: Winslow Homer Paints the Sea

Breaking Waves: Winslow Homer Paints the Sea

Robert Burleigh, illus. by Wendell Minor. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4702-2

“How can paint and canvas ever tell the true story of the vast and ever-changing ocean? Winslow doesn’t know the answer, but he feels the puzzle patiently waiting deep within him.” Burleigh lyrically cycles through the seasons and the sea’s changing moods as perceived by the artist Winslow Homer (1836–1910), punctuated by direct quotes from the artist, presented in italics. Throughout, Burleigh focuses on Homer’s creative process, repeating the imperative “Look!”— a clue to Homer’s faith in acute and careful observation, and a cue to the reader to engage with Minor’s watercolor and gouache illustrations. Minor’s realistic depictions of Homer’s spare and tidy domestic world and prim suiting situate the story in time, while the looser, more expressive evocations of the untamed Maine coastline evoke place. The closing section, dotted with exclamations and painting reproductions, fills in biographical details. A solid introduction to a major American artist. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]