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My Name Is Georgia


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About the Author

JEANETTE WINTER has written and illustrated several books for children, including Diego, written by her son Jonah and honored as a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Ms. Winter divides her time between New York City and Texas.


Winter (illustrator of Diego) takes command of the picture book format to distill the essence of artist Georgia O'Keeffe. In prose as vivid as an O'Keeffe painting, Winter traces the life of this extraordinary woman who dedicated herself from childhood to her craft. The author captures readers' attention from the start by showing the creative seeds planted early on, as young Georgia rides by horse and cart from her Wisconsin farm to town every Saturday "to copy pictures from the stack in the art teachers' cupboard." Winter's poetic text carries readers effortlessly through the painter's years at art school in Chicago and New York ("I walked down in the canyons of steel") to her final home in New Mexico, where her subjects were the bleached bones, vast sky and red desert hills. Winter's compelling portrait depicts an artist whose laser-like focus allowed her to share her unique vision of something as expansive as the sky or as particular as a flower ("I painted it BIG, so people would notice"). Enhanced with selected quotes from O'Keeffe herself, this outstanding biography is easily one of Winter's best efforts to date. Visually, she pays homage to the artist with enough details to suggest the famous flower, skull and sky paintings, but wisely adheres to her own signature style to convey O'Keeffe and her environs. Winter's strength of line and saturated colors are a luscious blend of folk art simplicity and her singular paletteÄskyscrapers of purple and plum; black clouds against a baby blue moon; desert hills of salmon pink outlined against lavender skies. A superb and inspiring introduction for children to an exceptional American artist. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)

K-Gr 3-This admirable book gives readers a peek at the beginnings and inspirations of an artist. Rather than spouting off facts about O'Keeffe's personal life, it explores the motivations, growth, and drive that powered one of this century's most famous painters. The overall look and tone of the book are similar to Jonah Winter's Diego (Knopf, 1994), also illustrated by Jeanette Winter. Baby Georgia is shown lying in a flattened circle of prairie grass with a wider circle of clouds around her. That bull's-eye focus on O'Keeffe never shifts-hardly any other people are mentioned or pictured. The bold and almost primitive paintings seem like windows into her perceptions. Also wonderful is the way that the woman gradually ages in the illustrations. The wording is spare and simple, but uses metaphor and imagery effectively. The first-person narrative paints a portrait, and italicized quotations are smoothly woven into the text. This book has a wonderful direct voice that is lacking in the more standard fare. Combine it with more biographical titles, photos, and reproductions of the artist's paintings for a lively, personal overview of a fascinating life.-Torrie Hodgson, Burlington Public Library, WA

"Prose as vivid as an O'Keeffe painting . . . A superb and inspiring introduction for children to an exceptional American artist."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Wonderful . . . A lively personal overview of a fascinating life."--School Library Journal (starred review) "As clear, spare, and rhythmic as the painter's compositions . . . A quiet, yet intense look at Georgia O'Keeffe's life and work."--Booklist (starred review)

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