cover image Las Pinturas de Willy

Las Pinturas de Willy

Anthony Browne, Alix Browne. Lectorum Publications, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-968-16-5959-2

Gr 2-8-Willy, the irrepressible chimp from Willy el campeon (Willy the Champ) and Willy el timido (Willy the Wimp), both from Fondo de Cultura Economica, is at it again. This time, he demonstrates his artistic ability by showing his favorite paintings. Noting that each picture tells a story, Willy divulges the one behind each of his favorites, be it El primer traje (The First Suit), a take on Boticelli's Birth of Venus; En la alberca(On the Pond), based on Ingres's The Turkish Bath; or Cuarto sin vista(Room Without a View), which combines Vermeer's The Artist in His Studio and Caspar David Friedrich's Midday. The book ends with a double-page foldout showing all the paintings upon which Willy's tongue-in-cheek versions are based, with a caption explaining why Browne finds them significant. As usual, this artist combines his excellent drawing and drafting skills with several surprising elements. Haystacks resemble loaves of bread, fishers pull up hauls of bananas, caves resemble gorilla heads, and doors and windows bear an eerie resemblance to frightened faces. The translation is true to the original, maintaining the humor and wordplay. This is an essential purchase for school libraries with Hispanic populations and strong arts programs, as well as for bookstores serving such communities. Ann Welton, Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, Tacoma, WA