Author(s): Laurence Anholt
"Where Camille lived, the sunflowers grew so high they looked like real suns. . .One day a strange man arrived in Camille's town. He had a straw hat and a yellow beard." So begins this fascinating tale of Camille, a little boy who is the son of a small-town postman. Camille meets the man with the yellow beard, and they become friends. This bearded man is a painter named Vincent van Gogh. The story, based on a true-life incident, is beautifully illustrated in full color by the author. This unusual picture storybook will appeal to children who love art-and also to children who simply enjoy a good story.
Use of a child's perspective renders the subject matter more accessible for children, helps to disguise the educational aspect of the book and brings a fresh sense of wonder to the artist. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, with a couple of repeated motifs, such as van Gogh's pipe and straw hat, to ensure the images are simple but memorable. The writing is simple and spare but with well-chosen words, which should leave children effortlessly remembering that van Gogh painted sunflowers, and that he was unappreciated in his lifetime. The themes are that of being patient, whilst not giving up, in the face of rejection and tolerance of people who are different. -- Elizabeth Jones www.writeaway.org.uk Delightful! a most attractive introduction to the artist and his work School Librarian The excellent illustrations include some of Van Gogh's own work and the picture of him in his bedroom is cleverly based on his own painting. The story includes the way he was teased and driven away for being different so it leads naturally to discussion of bullying Books for Keeps
Laurence Anholt is part of a husband-and-wife team who have worked together on more than 60 picture books, published all over the world in more than 17 different languages. Their picture books -- including the Chimp and Zee series -- have won numerous awards and have been featured on television and radio. Laurence has been described by William Watt as one of the most versatile authors writing for children today. He was brought up mainly in Holland where he developed a lasting passion for art. He is a much sought after public speaker, appearing at conferences such as the European Council of International Schools Conference, the Northern Children's Book Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. To visit the Anholts' website click here