Inspiring children one color at a time

Book review: A Bird or Two

By on Apr 28, 2012 | 12 comments

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┬áis 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. 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.”


    jess ott

    April 28, 2012

  2. 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.

    Melanie Cramer

    April 28, 2012

    • Thanks for the rec! I’ll definitely check it out.


      April 29, 2012

    • I love all of Anholt’s books. What a gift he is to our art community!


      May 3, 2012

    • Matisse, King of Color is also one of my favorites.


      May 4, 2012

  3. 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!


    April 29, 2012

    • I’ve never seen this one. Looks amazing. I just added to my Amazon wish list! Thanks.


      May 1, 2012

  4. 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.


    May 31, 2012

    • I love book recommendations, so thank you! I’ll check it out!


      June 1, 2012

  5. Ive always used this book. It’s my favorite


    September 11, 2012

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