In November 1885, impressionist painter Claude Monet vacationed in tretat, France, where he spent his days outside, painting scenes of the seaside village. One morning he rose early and carried all of his supplies and half-finished paintings out to the cliffs and rocky beach, finally stopping to paint the arch called Manneporte. Eager to capture the scene before him, and aware that he must work quickly to catch the light, Monet became so engrossed in his work that he forgot to watch the incoming tide. Based on a true incident, MONET PAINTS A DAY introduces readers to the life and nature of this illustrious impressionist. Interspersed throughout the story are excerpts from the painter's notes and letters, while a second layer of text and back matter includes information about Impressionism as a whole. Lush watercolor illustrations in the Impressionist style give readers a visual for this artistic movement. A bibliography is also included.
Gr 2-4-In this captivating story, Claude Monet writes a letter to his fiancee, Alice. He has traveled to Etretat, a seaside resort overlooking the English Channel, where he has an adventure on the rocky shore while painting the imposing stone arch, Manneporte. Hurrying to capture the scene on his canvas before the light changes, he pays little attention to the tide. Suddenly, a giant wave rains water down on him and he is knocked off his feet. The sea swallows him and he tumbles "like a shell against the bottom of the ocean." Finally, he lands back on the beach, where he gasps for breath, but his painting, easel, and stool have been lost. Bowing to the power of nature, he trudges back to the hotel "where dry clothes, a warm fire and a soothing cup of tea await." Undaunted, he resolves to "be back again tomorrow." Danneberg captures this brief moment in the French artist's life. Her careful word choices ("swirls," "shimmering," "ruffle," "dab," "glittering") mirror Monet's artistic style, and the images she paints are as lovely as Heimerl's watercolors. The impressionistic illustrations illuminate the first-person narrative, re-creating Monet's day at the beach in a palette of delicate pastels. The text is supplemented by factual notes on each page, as well as appended notes about Monet's career and painting technique. Pair this title with Christina Bjork's Linnea in Monet's Garden (R & S Bks., 1987).-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.