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

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About Patty

Welcome to DSS. I'm an art teacher to 400 elementary kids in Goleta, California. This is where you will find a library of art lessons, handy PDF lesson plans and resources to make teaching art to kids a whole lot easier.
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