about the book
Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little Russian boy. He studied math and history. He practiced piano when told to. He even listened to the adults talk and talk at the dinner table without complaining.
Then his aunt gave him a paint box.
When his family sent him to art classes, they expected pretty houses and flowers—the work of a proper artist—but what they got was one of the first abstract artists.
As Vasya mixed paint colors, he heard the sound of the new color. It was like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony! Color was sound, and sound was color. He had a very noisy paint box.
Barb Rosenstock was born on April Fools’ Day—which almost tells you all you need to know about her!
Any library anywhere is her favorite place. She is good at sleeping anywhere, too, and knows a lot of useless stuff— but that she is happy to know anyway. She really loves to dance, sing, and act, even though she is not very good at any of them. She is sort of a drama queen, so her family nicknamed her “Sarah Heartburn” after the famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt.
A great day for Barb would be time spent with her husband, kids, and friends, at a history museum, or visiting a nice city, or going to a concert.
The best thing that happened to Barb was becoming a mother—the second best: becoming an author!
Also by Barb Rosenstock:
Ben Franklin’s Big Splash : The Mostly True Story of His First Invention. Calkins Creek. 2014.
The Streak : How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero. Calkins Creek. 2014.
Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library. Calkins Creek. 2013.
The Camping Trip That Changed America : Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks. Dial. 2012.
Fearless : The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith. Dutton Juvenile. 2010.
Mary Grandpré was born in South Dakota, but was raised in Minnesota. She began drawing when she was five, reproducing Disney characters, and later imitating Salvador Dalí and copying black-and-white photos from the encyclopedia.
She didn’t major in art at Pomona College because she thought illustration was “a boring, commercial thing.” In her mid-twenties, she reconsidered and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Always experimenting, Mary developed a “soft geometry” style that was inspired by the painter Edward Hooper and the stained glass windows she saw at Mass every day. She loved seeing the colorful windows glow.
Mary is best known for illustrating the U.S. editions of Harry Potter. While the books were still being published, she had to sign confidentiality agreements so she couldn’t even tell anyone what she was working on. She even had to keep the manuscript in a safe, away from all the Harry Potter fans in her life! For her work with Harry Potter, she was featured on the front cover of Time magazine.
She loves illustrating children’s books because she can focus on a big project for a long time, using brighter colors to create larger, simpler pieces—and it indulges her love of magic, fantasy, and whimsy.
For illustrating The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock, Mary received a Caldecott Honor.
Mary also had the opportunity to work on DreamWorks’ animated film Antz. She enjoyed looking at ordinary things through a magnifying glass and was rewarded by seeing her landscapes on the big screen.
Mary works successfully in many genres of illustration, from advertising and corporate to editorial and children’s books. She lives is Sarasota, Florida with her family.
Also by Mary Grandpré:
Aunt Claire’s Yellow Beehive Hair by Deborah Blumenthal. Pelican Publishing. 2007.
Ben Franklin’s Big Splash : The Mostly True Story of His First Invention by Barb Rosenstock
Ben Franklin was an avid swimmer in a century when hardly anyone knew how to swim. He wanted to figure out a way to move faster and better in the water, so he began inventing. What could make him move through the water like a fish? So Ben constructs a flipper, but will they work the way he wants them to?
Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter
In a small French town, a boy named Henri-Emile Matisse drew pictures everywhere he could, delighting his neighbors. He grew up, of course, to become a famous painter. But what happened afterward? Henri grew ill and had to use a wheelchair. He could no longer paint, but he still wanted to create. What to do? Make paper cutouts, of course!
The Sky Painter : Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist by Margarita Engle
Louis loves birds. He liked to take care of injured birds, studying how they look and move. He dreamed of being a bird artist, not an engineer like his father wanted him to be. As he grew up, Louis began drawing and painting birds in the natural habitats. He became so good that he’s now known as the father of modern bird art!