Jeanette Winter is a celebrated picture book creator whose acclaimed works include Diego; Oil; and The Secret Project, all written by Jonah Winter, and her own Sisters: Venus & Serena Williams; The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid; Nanuk the Ice Bear; Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan: Two Stories of Bravery; Henri's Scissors; Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia; Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan; and The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq.
* "Masterful picture-book biographer Winter (The
Watcher, 2011) offers an elegant, accessible portrait of
expressive artist Henri Matisse.... As an old man, Matisse becomes
ill, and the book turns a stylistic corner, spending the balance of
its pages exploring the changes in his circumstances and the
subsequent development of his medium and his genius. Unable to
paint, he begins cutting shapes from paper and dives into the
process, allowing his shapes to grow with his imagination. And the
book adapts in turn, the imagery now sprawling across pages,
filling the space with rich color in exuberant compositions....
With a gentle narrative dotted with quotes from the artist himself,
luminous illustrations, and a warm, celebratory spirit, this
exemplary picture-book biography delivers a clear, sensitive
portrait of the whole man, story and soul alike."-- "Booklist, June
1, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW"
* Simple, folk-style paintings show Matisse in a wheelchair in a studio amid his collages; in a quiet visual cue, a plant with oversize leaves suggests inspiration for their big, organic shapes. He continues to create until his death, another moment Winter handles gracefully.... Old age can be fertile and useful, Winter implies; disability doesn't mean the end of creating, and triumph is possible where only sadness could have been foreseen. All of these messages lie obliquely in the text, but even readers who don't dig that deep will share Matisse's joy.-- "Publishers Weekly, May 27, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW"
"Winter captures the joy that Matisse found in cut paper, both through her acrylic and cut-paper illustrations and through quotes from his letters. The images are evocative of his art, with bright colors and rounded shapes.... The author addresses his death with a light touch.... Libraries with demand for picture-book biographies and art history will want to add this well-done title to their collections."-- "School Library Journal, June 1, 2013"
In her extensive picture-book-biography oeuvre, Winter has proven to be particularly attuned to selecting the just-right elements of her subjects' complex lives while making them both accessible to and readily understood by young children.... Winter both describes and employs Matisse's signature, late-career technique of brilliantly colored, hand-painted, cut-paper compositions. She enlivens the simple text with liberal yet judicious quotes from Matisse's letters and comments from contemporaries. This is a beautifully designed book that will certainly connect with readers...the book is a charming introduction to a widely reproduced, child-friendly artist, one that children will assuredly encounter and affirmingly embrace.-- "Kirkus Reviews, June 2013"