Book review: A Bird or Two

I’m always on the hunt for engaging picture books for the art room. Of course, I love all books, but if I can find a story about a famous artist then I’m thrilled! A trip to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s bookstore produced a bounty of beautiful picture books, including this little beauty…

Bijou Le Tord’s A Bird or Two: A Story about Henri Matisse is probably the best book on Matisse that I have read. The illustrations by the author are a wonderful representation of the artist’s work. The colors are fresh and appealing, certainly enough to intrigue a classroom of children. The text is even better. Strong, visual words are used sparingly and give the readers a glimpse into what Matisse must be thinking when he picked subjects for his paintings.

I don’t have many posters of Matisse’s works, but this book might be all I need to deliver a good lesson. Have you read this book? What book about Henri Matisse is your favorite?






  1. jess ott says:

    Awesome. I am also a big fan of picture books especially those on artists! I will have to try to find this one!

    One of my favorites is, “Camille and the Sunflowers.”

  2. Melanie Cramer says:

    She also wrote one on Monet called A Blue Butterfly. The thing that’s so great about it is all the illustrations are created using only the colors from Monet’s own palette.

  3. Shannon says:

    I found this book on Matisse, Matisse the King of Color by Laurence Anholt. I did a Matisse Lesson with Kindergarten and they loved the bright and colorful pictures!!

  4. Pat says:

    I love that book! I’ve had it in my colection for a few years and the kids love it! I also have a beautiful book of his called, Jazz. The illustrations of Matisse’s work iin Jazz are so bright and vivid they make you want to go paint something!

  5. J.R. Cooper says:

    “Painting the Wind” is a great van Gogh book. The illustrator does a great job of working van Gogh’s textured brush strokes into his own illustrations. It has wonderful character connections too.
    You can find it here:

  6. gail says:

    I just checked a new book out of the library this week called “Magritte’s Marvelous Hat” by D.B. Johnson. Really cute book with a lot of visual jokes for a wide age-range appeal. I thought it was a great way to introduce Surrealism to a young audience and am hoping to use it in my classroom next year.

  7. Natalie says:

    Ive always used this book. It’s my favorite

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

Art Lesson Categories