Sunday, August 25, 2013

Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look and Meilo So

Meilo So's illustrations make you feel like you are in China, long long ago.  They are lovely, totally expressive, and they really add to the story of Wu Daozi.

Schwartz & Wade Books sent me a copy of this picture book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

We watch Daozi attempt to learn calligraphy, but all his brush wants to do is create pictures.  Once the monks find he's an artist, they set him free to paint.  He does, anywhere and often.  Soon people are leaving him coins or goods to reward him for his beautiful art.  He shares that with the monks.

One day, his butterfly comes to life.  So do the other things he paints.  When his live paintings draw the emperor's attention, he's given an entire wall in the palace to paint.  He does but it takes many years.  At completion, he shows the painting off and then walks into it, never to be seen again.

This story is based upon facts but it's a fictional account.  It's almost like a fairy tale and these two have done a great job with presentation.  I recommend this book for any budding artist or for anyone who enjoys good illustrations.

Happy reading.

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